United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) was formed on
7 April 1979. Arabinda Rajkhowa is the chairman of
ULFA and Paresh Barua is its commander-in-chief. ULFA
has principally three battalions, the 27th, 28th and
709th. Operating in the background of the popular Assam
agitation (led by the All Assam Students’ Union
or AASU against illegal influx from Bangladesh), the
outfit’s objective was to “liberate Assam
through armed national liberation struggle from the
clutches of the illegal occupation of India” and
to “establish a sovereign independent Assam”.
While the Assam agitation was primarily a movement against
the illegal Bangladeshi migrants in the State, the ULFA
too raised similar concerns, which contributed to its
popularity and acceptability among the common populace.
Till the early 1990s, the ULFA enjoyed popular support
across Assam. However, due to the mindless violent campaign
of the outfit, there has been a major decline in the
support base over the years. While the outfit, over
the years, has moderated its opposition to the Bangladeshi
migrants, it continues to fight the security forces.
The ULFA, however, had a split in 2011 and at present, one faction is engaged in peace talks with the Government and the other hardliner faction is active under its leader Paresh Baruah.
It is notable that the ULFA’s influence in the State reached new heights
after the Assam Agitation. The outfit’s military prowess
is believed to have increased as a result of its ties
with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak-Muivah
(NSCN-IM), which aided it in terms of securing arms
and providing training to its cadres. The breakdown
of governance in Assam led to the declaration of President’s
Rule in the State and two army operations: Operation
Bajrang (between November 27, 1990 and June 10, 1991)
and Operation Rhino (between September 15, 1991 and
January 13, 1992). The military offensices targeted
the outfit and its facilities within Assam forcing its
leadership to seek refuge in Bangladesh. ULFA was subsequently
patronised by the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI)
of Pakistan and the Directorate General of Forces Intelligence
(DGFI) of Bangladesh. The outfit also maintained camps
in Bhutan till December 2003, when a Bhutanese military
operation dislodged it from those camps. As result of
these operations, about 650 militants, including a majority
of ULFA cadres were neutralized. In 2009, there were
reports of the ULFA setting up a base in China’s
Yunnan province, established by the group’s military
chief Paresh Baruah. A clear indication that ULFA is
starting to get more support from the Chinese front
is to be found in an article in August 2009 published
in the website of the China International Institute
for Strategic Studies (CIISS) by a Chinese strategist
asking Beijing to support ULFA for it to achieve independence
for Assam from India.
In November 2007, the movement of the 28th battalion
of ULFA (the group’s most potent strike unit)
was disrupted in Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland –
a territory used by the ULFA to travel between Assam
and Myanmar. On November 11, the NSCN (IM) carried out
an ambush on ULFA men in transit in Nagaland’s
Mon District and killed two ULFA cadres keeping two
others as hostages thus restricting ULFA’s movement.
This was apparently the result of ULFA’s warmed
up relations with the NSCN (K) – the rival group
of NSCN (IM). ULFA’s earlier partner in terror,
the NSCN (IM) refused any right of movement for ULFA
cadres through Naga territory. However, ULFA’s
route to Bangladesh through Garo Hills of Meghalaya
Strategically, ULFA is linked to the NSCN-K, the NDFB
and the Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO). It shared
a fraternal relationship with the NSCN-IM till 2001.
However, due to the over emphasis of the Naga outfit
on inclusion of areas within Assam in its proposed Nagalim,
such ties have been disrupted. During the early part
of 2007, ULFA formed strategic alliances with small
extremist groups such as the KLNLF and the AANLA. The
violent drive carried out by the KLNLF against the Hindi-speaking
trading community in the Karbi Anglong district in August
2007 was supported by the ULFA and, on several occasions
ULFA cadres were directly involved in the attacks. Again,
ULFA’s support to AANLA, earlier a nascent outfit
with about 50 cadres, has actually transformed it into
a violent group with access to sophisticated arms and
On June 24, 2008, the Alfa and Charlie companies of
the ULFA's Myanmar-based 28th battalion declared a unilateral
ceasefire and came over-ground seeking a negotiated
settlement to their three-decade-old problem. They declared
that they would have no links with the ULFA and they
would be called as the “pro-talk ULFA faction”.
They also gave up the demand for sovereignty or independence
and said that they want to work towards achieving greater
autonomy for Assam. They also submitted a charter of
demands containing 18 demands to the Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh through Assam's Chief Minister Tarun
Gogoi. The first round of formal talks with the pro-talk
faction of ULFA was held on October 29, 2009 in Guwahati.
The Bravo Company, the sole remaining formation of
the 28th battalion and the three other surviving battalions
(27th battalion, 109th battalion and the 709th battalion)
are still active. ULFA’s 27th battalion is principally
active in the district of Karbi Anglong and has coordinated
its attacks with tribal allies such as the Karbi Longri
North Cachar Hills Liberation Front (KLNLF), active
in Karbi Anglong. Cadres belonging to the 709th battalion
are active in the Kamrup district, north and western
parts of the state.
ULFA’s top leadership is based in Bangladesh,
where the outfit is suspected to maintain several safe
houses and training camps. Indian security agencies
say ULFA’s leadership is engaged in several profit-making
ventures in Bangladesh including shipping and tanneries.
Independent verification of these claims is difficult.
The Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), according
to Indian security agencies, controls the activities
of the ULFA and in the past, several of the outfit’s
functionaries have travelled to Pakistan to receive
arms training and monetary support. Similar cordial
relations exist between the outfit and the Bangladeshi
Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI).
However, after the Awami League formed the Government
in Bangladesh in December 2008, it started taking action
against ULFA and other Indian militant organizations
operating from within its territory. Their efforts bore
fruit towards the end of 2009 with arrests of top leaders
of the ULFA. On November 6, 2009, ULFA's 'foreign secretary'
Sashadhar Choudhury and 'finance secretary' Chitraban
Hazarika were handed over to the Indian authorities.
Within a month of these arrests, on December 2, 2009,
ULFA 'Chairman' Arabinda Rajkhowa and 'Deputy commander-in-chief'
Raju Baruah were arrested in Bangladesh and on December
4 were handed over to the Indian authorities. These
arrests have weakened the outfit to a great extent and
Paresh Baruah, ULFA’s ‘Commander-in-chief’,
is the sole remaining top leader in the outfit. The
level of violence has also come down in the State after
All the top leaders of the ULFA were released from the
jail in order to facilitate the peace talks with the
outfit. This included chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa, vice
chairman Pradip Gogoi, publicity chief Mithinga Daimary,
deputy commander-in-chief Raju Baruah, finance secretary
Chitraban Hazarika, foreign secretary Sasadhar Choudhury,
cultural secretary Pranati Deka, and political ideologue
Late Bhimkanta Buragohain. Talks are going on for extraditing
ULFA general secretary Anup Chetia to India to help
him take part in the proposed peace talks.
A rift within the ULFA became visible when the ULFA
faction headed by Paresh Barua sent out a message declaring
continuation of its fight for a sovereign Assam. The
message was accompanied with a photograph of Paresh
Barua and armed cadres of ULFA in battle fatigues. For
the first time since its formation, ULFA also sent a
video footage showing Paresh Barua and the ULFA cadres.
The video displayed ULFA cadres shouting slogans against
peace talks and vowing to fight for a sovereign Assam.
The photograph was sent on 20 January, 2011 and the
video on 21 January, 2011.
The ULFA general council meeting was held on 31 January
2011 at a makeshift camp in Helacha in western Assam’s
Nalbari district. The general council meeting was attended
by the representatives from the all four battalions
of the outfit including 709, 109, 27 and 28 battalions
besides the central executive body. The general council
meeting was presided over by chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa.
The general council endorsed the resolution of the central
executive council of the outfit to sit for talks with
the Centre without any precondition.
The first formal round of talks between the outfit
and the Government took place on 10 February 2011 at
New Delhi. The eight-member delegation of ULFA, led
by Arabinda Rajkhowa, held talks with senior Home Ministry
officials led by Union Home Secretary G K Pillai. The
ULFA delegation also met the Union Home Minister P.
Chidambaram on the same day. On 14 February 2011, the
ULFA delegation met the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
On 20 January 2011, the ULFA faction headed by Paresh Barua sent out a message to the media declaring continuation of its fight for a sovereign Assam. The message was accompanied with a photograph of Paresh Barua and armed cadres of ULFA in battle fatigues. The Paresh Barua faction of the ULFA re-organized its armed wing by dismantling its existing battalions and bringing all its cadres under the mobile military headquarters. The decision to re-organize the armed wing was taken during a 10-day meeting, chaired by Paresh Barua, held from March 20 to 29 at the outfit's mobile headquarters.
The anti-talk faction of the ULFA under Paresh Barua was strongly against peace talks. Paresh Barua maintained that any discussion with the Government without sovereignty as the core issue would not solve any problem. During the Governor’s Conference convened by the President in New Delhi on 29-30 October, Governor of Assam, J.B. Patnaik said that there is a nexus between the Paresh Barua faction of the ULFA and the Naxals and there is a possibility that the Paresh Barua group may help the Naxals with weapons.
On 23 November 2011, the anti-talk faction of the ULFA announced its new 16 member central committee headed by Dr Abhijit Barman, who was made the acting chairman, while, commander-in-chief Paresh Barua became the acting vice chairman of the outfit. Paresh Barua got the additional responsibility and his rank in the outfit was upgraded from "colonel" to "Major General". The new committee was formed in the mobile military headquarter of the outfit.
As per the list, senior ULFA member Jiban Moran was made the assistant general secretary and acting finance secretary while, Drishti Rajkhowa and Bijoy Das were made deputy commander-in-chief. Michael Deka Phukan and Partha Gogoi were made assistant finance secretaries, while, Montu Saikia, Nayan Medhi, Salim and Azhar Ali were made assistant organizing secretaries. Samiran Bhuyan, Sagar Topno and Jyotirmoy Bharali were made assistant cultural secretaries and Arunodoi Dohotiya was made assistant publicity secretary. Dr Pranmoy Asom was made assistant foreign secretary of the outfit.
The National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) was
originally formed as the Boro Security Force under the
leadership of Ranjan Daimary on October 3, 1986. On
November 25, 1994, the outfit changed its name to NDFB.
The outfit aims at securing a sovereign country for
the Bodo tribals, the largest plains tribe in the state
of Assam, in the areas north of the river Brahmaputra.
The NDFB in October 2004 announced a unilateral ceasefire.
A formal ceasefire agreement between NDFB and the Government
was signed on 25 May 2005.
Internal differences within NDFB, the only surviving
Bodo insurgent group, widened following the expulsion
of its founder president, Ranjan Daimary, alias D.R.
Nabla following accusation of his involvement in the
October 30 serial explosions. On 15 December 2008,
the NDFB replaced Ranjan Daimary, with B. Sungthagra
alias Dhiren Boro, as its new president at a meeting
held in Kokrajhar. A few days later, Daimary was expelled
from the group. The NDFB now has two factions - a pro-talk
faction led by Dhiren Boro (B. Sungthagra alias Dhiren
Boro is the President of the pro-talk group of NDFB
and B. Swmkhwr alias Govinda Basumatary is its General
Secretary) and another hardliner led by Ranjan Daimary
who claims to represent the ‘real’ NDFB.
During it’s hey days, the outfit remained active
in areas in the north and north-west of the river Brahmaputra
in Assam. Districts such as Bongaigaon, Kokrajhar, Barpeta,
Dhubri, Darrang, Nalbari and Sonitpur remained the traditional
stronghold of the outfit. In spite of its espousal of
the interests of the Bodo people, the NDFB remained
bitterly opposed to the other Bodo militant outfit,
the Bodo Liberation Tigers (BLT). Several of BLT’s
leaders and civil society organisations empathising
with the BLT were killed by the NDFB.
The December 2003 military crackdown by the Royal
Bhutanese Army dealt a serious blow to the NDFB, which
had strength of about 3500 cadres. As many as 12 camps
of the outfit located in Bhutan were destroyed, impacting
seriously on the capability of the outfit to carry on
with its activities. Following the ceasefire with the
government, NDFB cadres were supposed to stay in three
designated camps. However, only a few currently are
lodged in the camps.
NDFB has close ties with the ULFA and in many cases
they carry out joint operations. It also has relationship
with other outfits in the region like the Achik National
Volunteers Council (ANVC), the Kamatapur Liberation
Organisation (KLO) and the National Socialist Council
of Nagaland-Khaplang (NSCN-K).
On 1 May 2008, NDFB submitted a charter of demands
to the Prime Minister. The charter of demands included
sovereignty or independence as the main clause which
created trouble for the talks to begin. However, on
30 September 2008, NDFB submitted in writing their
decision to hold peace talks within the ambit of the
Indian constitution by giving up its demand for sovereignty
during a meeting in New Delhi with union home ministry
officials. The first round of talks between the Centre
and the pro-talk faction of NDFB was held on 23 September
2009 in New Delhi. The ceasefire is also being periodically
The anti-talk faction led by Ranjan Daimari, however,
didn’t show any interest in talks and the outfit
carried on with its disruptive activities. On 4 October
2009, they killed 11 persons and injured 12 others
in an attack in Bhimajuli village at Balisang area under
Biswanath Chariali police station in Sonitpur district.
On 10 December 2009 the cadres of the anti-talk faction
of NDFB triggered two powerful explosions, including
a grenade attack, in two busy markets in Sonitpur district
killing four people and leaving at least 34 people wounded.
The rivalry among the pro-talk and anti-talk factions
also increased resulting in fratricidal killings.
The anti-talk faction of NDFB received a big blow when
its leader Ranjan Daimari was arrested in Bangladesh
and later handed over to Indian authorities on 1 May
2010. During interrogation he confessed that the October
30 serial explosions in Assam that killed about 90 people
and wounded more than 300 people were carried out under
his express instructions. He also said that he is ready
for peace talks and would be able to make his commanders
and cadres surrender if New Delhi was keen for negotiations.
On 27 May 2010, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)
personnel arrested four members of anti-talk faction
of NDFB, directly involved in the October 2008 serial
explosions in Assam.
The anti-talk faction of NDFB is still carrying on
its violent activities in the State. On 8 July 2010
the outfit triggered a powerful blast that flung the
locomotive and two coaches of Kolkata-bound Garib Rath
Express from the tracks, killing a six-year-old boy
and injuring 23 others at Gossaigaon in Kokrajhar district.
On 26 July 2010 it killed four jawans of the Sashastra
Seema Bal and injured two others in an ambush at Amlaiguri
in Chirang district bordering Bhutan. The faction then
carried out a violent attack between 8 and
10 November 2010, killing 23 people in 11 separate attacks
across five Bodo dominated districts of Assam. The killings
were in retaliation to the killing of a NDFB anti-talk
faction cadre on 8 November 2010 by the 51 Gorkha Regiment
of the Indian Army. Earlier, on 1 November 2010, the
anti-talk faction had issued a warning to the State
Government that if any NDFB cadre was killed by the
Indian Army in the name of fake encounter, the armed
wing of the NDFB will take action against any Indian.
The anti-talk faction of NDFB suffered another major
blow in December 2010 when security forces arrested
its deputy commander-in-chief B Jwangkhang alias George
Boro in Aizawl, Mizoram. He is one of the key accused
of 30 October 2008 serial bomb blasts in Assam. He is
now in judicial custody. On 1 August 2011, the NDFB-R faction declared a unilateral ceasefire, but counter-insurgency operation against the outfit continued due to its involvement in several subsequent incidents of violence. The NDFB-R headed for a split as I. K. Songbijit, the ‘chief’ of Bodoland Army (the armed wing of the faction), announced the formation of a nine member “interim national council” on 20 November 2012, with Songbijit as its self-proclaimed “interim president”.
Ranjan Daimary was released from jail on bail in June 2013 to expedite the proposed talks between the NDFB and the Government of India. On 29 November 2013, the Ranjan Daimary faction of the NDFB and the Government of India signed formal ceasefire agreement thus paving the road to peace talks.
Following a split in the National Democratic Front of Bodoland- Ranjan Daimary faction (NDFB-R), another rebel group was formed, the National Democratic Front of Bodoland- Songbijit, headed by I. K. Songbijit. Songbijit was the earlier ‘chief’ of Bodoland Army (the armed wing of NDFB-R). I K Songbijit announced the formation of a nine member “interim national council” on 20 November 2012, with Songbijit as its self-proclaimed “interim president”. On 8 August 2012, the Myanmar-based rebel leader who, actually belongs to the Karbi tribe, called off the 1 August 2011 unilateral ceasefire declared by NDFB-R and has emerged as the most lethal group.
Karbi National Volunteers (KNV) and Karbi People’s
Front (KPF), the two insurgent groups in the Assam hill
district of Karbi Anglong merged together in March 1999
under the leadership of Kiri Rongphar to form the United
People’s Democratic Solidarity (UPDS). At present,
its Chairman is Longder Singner alias H.E. Kathar and
General Secretary is Haren Sing Bey. The outfit aims
at establishing an independent homeland for the Karbi
After three years of violent insurgency, the UPDS entered
into a cease-fire agreement with New Delhi on 23 May
2002. While it brought a semblance of order to the violence-wracked
district, it led to a split in the UPDS, with a large
chunk of cadres parting ways to form the anti-talk faction
of the outfit, which was subsequently named the Karbi
Longri North Cachar Hills Liberation Front (KLNLF).
The ceasefire agreement has been extended periodically,
without a single round of formal dialogue being held.
During its active days, the total cadre strength of
the UPDS was about 150, one third of which were armed
with sophisticated firearms. The outfit primarily operated
in the Karbi Anglong district. Its cadres, however,
often trespassed into the North Cachar Hills district
of Assam and the Jaintia Hills district of neighbouring
Meghalaya. Majority of the UPDS cadres are presently
stationed in two designated camps located in the Karbi
Abductions for ransom and extortion constituted the
primary source of finance for the outfit. The outfit’s
extortion net is cast wide on the civilian population,
government employees and the traders in the district.
Farmers in the Block-I and Block-II areas of Meghalaya’s
Jaintia district too were targeted.
UPDS was among many outfits in the Northeast, which
were believed to have grown with the active assistance
of the NSCN-IM. The latter provided the UPDS cadres
with arms and training in return for a portion of the
extortion money collected. In addition, the UPDS also
maintains strategic ties with the NDFB and the ULFA.
A round of talks was held between the UPDS, the Central
government and the state government in New Delhi on
22 December 2010. The talks resulted in all the three
sides approving a draft accord paving the way for the
signing of a memorandum of agreement (MoA).
On 25 November 2011, UPDS signed a peace accord with
the Centre and Assam Government. The Centre declared
a package worth over Rs 2000 crore, while the new set-up
that would be formed in Karbi Anglong would be named
as ‘Karbi Anglong Autonomous Territorial Council’
The main points of the accord are:
- 39 additional subjects will be transferred to the
new Karbi Anglong Autonomous Territorial Council.
- There will be a total of 50 members in the council,
in which 44 will be elected and the rest six will be
- The council will prepare its annual budget, and the
state government will approve it.
- Funds under the Central Government’s special
package will be directly received by the council.
- New appointments for different departments under
the council will now be made by the council itself,
except for a few posts.
- A special economic package of Rs 350 crore over and
above the Plan fund over the next five years will be
provided to the council.
The accord has proposed that rehabilitation of UPDS
cadres, withdrawal of cases relating to heinous crimes
shall be reviewed case by case according to existing
policy for withdrawal of such cases.
The accord also proposes setting up of village councils
for boosting democratic process at the grassroots level.
State Finance Commission (SFC) has been proposed for
consideration of higher fund allocation to the council
to undertake viable activity. The Centre has inserted
a clause proposing strict adherence to established norms
of financial management and proper audit of the accounts.
Special measures for socio-economic, education, health
and cultural development have been promised by the Centre.
Improvement of road connectivity, water supply and supply
of power in Karbi Anglong district under existing schemes,
besides providing one-time grant for capacity building
in KAATC for preparation of DPR have also been proposed.
The Dima Halam Daogah (DHD) was formed in 1 January
1995, following the en masse surrender of the Dimasa
National Security Force (DNSF) in November 1994. A few
cadres of DNSF led by Bijoy Naiding, Kanto Langthasa
and Jewel Garlosa did not surrender and went on to form
the DHD with an avowed objective of carving out a separate
Dimasa homeland "Dimaraji" comprising the
Dimasa inhabited areas of Dima Hasao (North Cachar Hills),
Karbi Anglong, parts of Nagaon district, and parts of
Dimapur district of Nagaland. Jewel Garlosa became the
founder president but most of the organizational activities
were done by Bijoy Naiding.
DHD signed a ceasefire agreement with the government
on 1 January, 2003. In July 2004, Jewel Garlosa left
the DHD to form another outfit, the Black Widow. Since
then, the DHD is led by Pranab Nunisa who is the designated
president of the outfit and Dilip Nunisa, who is the
DHD continues to maintain the ceasefire agreement with
the government and most of its estimated 500 cadres
are located within the designated camps set up for the
purpose. From 10 August 2009 onwards, its cadres started
depositing arms in accordance with the revised ground
rules at its designated camp in Maibong. Formal talks
with the Government, however, are yet to begin.
Despite the ceasefire agreement, the DHD continues
to extort civilians, public servants and most importantly
the tea gardens in the areas under its influence, i.e.
NC Hills district, Cachar district, pockets of Karbi
Anglong and Nagaon district.
The DHD, in its initial days was reportedly assisted
by the NSCN-IM which provided it with arms and trained
its cadres in return for money. Both, however, parted
ways after the NSCN-IM insisted on the inclusion of
the proposed Dimasa homeland within its dream territory,
Nagalim. The DHD in turn asked for Dimapur to be included
in its Dimaraji (homeland for the Dimasas). Tactical
understanding also existed between DHD, the NDFB and
Former DHD chief Jewel Garlossa formed the Black Widow
in July 2004, after leaving the DHD. The DHD-J’s
activities are mainly confined to the Dima Hasao district.
Activities of the outfit have also been noticed in the
Karbi Anglong and Nagaon district. The DHD-J cadres
have constantly clashed with their rival DHD-N cadres
and several deaths have been reported in such clashes.
Moreover, in its area of influence, the DHD-J is engaged
in large-scale extortion, targeting the civilian population,
government employees, infrastructure building agencies
as well as tea gardens. Vehicles passing through the
region, too, have been targeted for extortion. Cases
of burning of vehicles for non-compliance have also
been reported. It has also charged huge amounts of money
from the developmental projects going on in the region
like the construction of the broad gauge railway line
and the National Highway under the East-West corridor
project. The outfit also targets political parties in
the NC Hills district for fund collection and more often
than not, such demands have been fulfilled. The arrest
of Mohit Hojai, the chief executive member of N.C. Hills
autonomous council, for allegedly supplying funds to
DHD-J is an example of this. It also brings to light
a militant-politician nexus. The outfit is also said
to have a role in the ethnic clashes going on between
the Dimasas and the Zeme Nagas in N.C. Hills.
The NSCN-IM, which severed its ties with the DHD-N,
found an able ally in the DHD-J, which allows the former
to maintain its influence in the districts of Assam
such as NC Hills and Karbi Anglong. The NSCN- IM is
suspected to have armed and trained the DHD-J cadres.
Many of the DHD-J cadres have also found shelter in
the NSCN-IM facilities in Dimapur. In return, the DHD-J
shares its extortion booty with the Naga outfit.
On 4 June 2009, DHD-J chairman Jewel Garlossa was
arrested in Bangalore with two of his aides. After his
arrest, DHD-J announced a unilateral ceasefire for three
months from their side. On 2 July 2009, DHD-J was banned
under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1965.
After these developments, DHD-J showed interest in coming
for talks. On 2 October 2009, 382 cadres of DHD-J laid
down their arms in front of the authorities at Haflong,
headquarter of NC Hills district.
In November 2009, the National Investigation Agency
(NIA), which is probing the alleged diversion of funds
of the North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council to the
DHD-J, charge-sheeted the outfit’s 'chief' Jewel
Garlossa and 'commander-in-chief' Niranjan Hojai. While
Jewel Garlossa is still in judicial custody, Niranjan
Hojai went missing after he was charge sheeted. He was
arrested from Nepal on 2 July and is now being interrogated
by the NIA.
Dima Halam Daogah (Action) was floated by David Kemprai alias Action Dimasa and Bongrison Khelma alias Son Khelma after they escaped by breaking jail on 11 June 2013. Action Dimasa was earlier a member of the DHD (J) and was behind the bars from 6 December 2007 to 10 June 2013 until he managed to escape from Haflong Jail along with Bongrison Khelma, a former DNDF (Dimasa National Democratic Front) cadre. Action Dimasa immediately fled to Dimapur and was reported taking shelter in Assam–Nagaland border. He gathered some other youths and started extortion drive in Dima Hasao district. The group managed to create terror among the people after claiming that they have killed executive engineer of the Irrigation Department of Assam Rajiv Kumar Pathak for extortion money on 22 November 2013. On 12 December 2013, the self-styled commander-in-chief of the group was arrested by the police at Haflong, along with a pistol and ammunition.
The All Adivasi National Liberation Army (AANLA) was
formed in 2004 in the Singhashan hills of Karbi Anglong
under the leadership of Nirmal Tirkey, alias David Tirkey,
with the aim of protecting the interests of the people
belonging to the Adivasi community and to put pressure
on the government to grant the status of Scheduled Tribes
to the Adivasi community in Assam. The General Secretary
of the outfit is Richard Tirkey.
AANLA is now believed to have cadre strength of less
than a hundred, mostly in Karbi Anglong, Golaghat and
Jorhat districts. It also has presence in the eastern
tea-growing districts of Sivasagar, Dibrugarh and Tinsukia,
riding on the Adivasi sentiments over the issue of scheduled
tribe (ST) status to the community.
AANLA leader Nirmal Tirkey was arrested on December
7, 2008 in Jharkhand. On February 1, 2009, its 20 top
leaders, including its chief commander Sanjay Lakra
alias Biren Gaur, surrendered before the Army. On May
14, 2009, Richard Tirkey was arrested from Bokajan in
Karbi Anglong district. Weapons available with them
include AK series Rifles, carbines, pistols, .38 revolvers,
grenade launchers, SLRs etc. Some of its cadres are
trained to assemble Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs)
and the outfit is believed to be in possession of sophisticated
explosive material also.
AANLA started its terror run by kidnapping wealthy
members from within the community, including businessmen
and relatives of some Zila Parishad members and an executive
member of the Karbi Anglong Autonomous District Council.
It has been involved in a few bomb blasts, including
a blast carried on in the Rajdhani express on December
13, 2007. The outfit is also believed to be behind the
street riots that took place in Beltola area in Guwahati
on November 24, 2007 during an Adivasi protest march.
During the initial days after its formation, the AANLA
received patronage from the Kuki Revolutionary Army
(KRA), active in Karbi Anglong district. Later, the
Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council
of Nagaland (NSCM-IM) had taken AANLA under its wings.
The police in Assam say there is a written agreement
between the AANLA and the NSCN-IM about carrying out
joint operations against security forces if need be,
and about not carrying out extortion in each others’
areas of influence without prior notice.
The Muslim United Liberation Tigers
of Assam (MULTA) was formed in the year 1996. It seeks
to mobilise the Muslim youth in Assam to fight for the
cause of Muslims. It has also been carrying out a propaganda
campaign in support of a separate "Islamic homeland,"
which, they envision, would be a society based on Islamic
values and morals.
MULTA has linkages with NSCN-IM
and their cadres had been trained by the Naga group.
It has also established close ties with the ULFA and
there have been reports of some ULFA militants working
as agents of MULTA. The outfit also has extensive links
with Islamic jihadi groups in Bangladesh like the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami
(HUJI-B), Pakistan’s ISI operating in Bangladesh,
and the Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI),
the Bangladeshi intelligence agency.
Activities of MULTA have been reported
from Dhubri, Nagaon, Morigaon and Darrang districts
of Assam, with maximum reports coming from the Dhubri
district. The MULTA militants use the passage along
the International border in the Golokganj area of Dhubri
district as a route to infiltrate into the State from
The main activities of the outfit
are extortions, murders, abductions and illegal arms
manufacture and trade. The outfit, allegedly at the
behest of the ISI, has also plans to create communal
disturbances in Assam. The arrest of quite a few number
of MULTA militants in Assam during the last few years
indicate their increasing presence in the northeastern
Adivasi Cobra Militant Force (ACMF)
was formed in the late 1990s with the objective of protecting
the Adivasi people of western Assam through an armed
revolution. The outfit has its presence in the Kokrajhar
and Bongaigaon districts of Assam. The commander of
the organization is Durga Minz and the chairman is Xabrias
On 9 September 2001, the outfit
signed a cease-fire agreement with the government of
India and the ceasefire has been periodically extended
since then, with no peace talks taking place.
The Birsa Commando Force (BCF)
was formed in 1997 with demands for a separate Adivasi
land, Scheduled Tribe (ST) status for the Adivasis and
security for the Adivasi community. Birsingh Munda is
the commander-in-chief of the BCF. The outfit signed
a ceasefire agreement with the government in 14 August
2004 and has been in ceasefire since then.
The Sentinel reported that a new militant outfit, identified
as Bodoland Royal Tigers Force, has been formed in the
Bodoland area on 29 March 2008.
Asom Lion Force, a new militant outfit, is reportedly
formed on 9 July 2007 by some youths belonging to all
Northeastern states in Karbi Anglong district. Aniruddha
Barphukan, a self-styled secretary of the outfit, in
a statement said the group had been formed to "further
strengthen" the liberation movement in the North
East. Barphukan has demanded an immediate halt on all
"occupational and allied activities" by the
Government and called upon the people to boycott all
Indian functions and honour their own culture.
A new outfit called the United
Democratic Liberation Front of Barak Valley (UDLFBV)
was formed after the Panchram Apeto led United Liberation
Front of Barak Valley (ULFBV) surrendered before the
Assam Government in September 2008. The ULFBV was formed
in 2002 and was operating in the Karimganj and Hailakandi
districts of Assam.
Rabha Viper Army was supposedly formed with the support
of the ULFA in 2008. It has some influence in the Goalpara
district of Assam. It was involved in a few kidnappings
and extortion activities in the district.
The KPLT was formed on 8 January 2011 by an anti-peace
talk breakaway group of 25 members of the Karbi Longri
National Liberation Front (KLNLF) after it had laid
down arms on 11 February 2010. The group is led by
Nillip Enghi. The outfit’s major demands include
autonomous statehood for Karbi Anglong and development
of the education facilities in Karbi Anglong.
On 16 January 2011, KPLT launched a heavy attack on
Manipur bound bullet tankers (bulk LPG carriers) on
NH 39 near Bokajan in Karbi Anglong and abducted three
drivers and handymen of the tankers. Again on 25 January
2011, KPLT cadres attacked a bus and a truck heading
for Imphal from Guwahati at Deopani area along NH 39.
On 27 January the outfit killed Duwarbagori Congress
leader Mahen Engti for allegedly going against the interest
of the militant group.
On 2 April 2011, KPLT gunned down four CRPF jawans
and injured another when an operation was launched by
the CRPF against the outfit in the Deothar area under
Bokajan police station in Karbi Anglong district. On
8 June 2011, KPLT militants shot dead Karbi Anglong
Autonomous Council member Narendra Killing at Bokajan.
Adivasi People’s Army (APA) was formed in 2006 with
the help of United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA)
in Sonitpur district of Assam. It is led by its ‘commander’
Tarzen Mardi. The outfit is active in the Western Assam’s
Bodo heartland of Kokrajhar, in the northern districts
of Udalguri and Sonitpur as well as in Eastern Assam.
According to police sources, the outfit has about 40-50
The outfit was allegedly involved in the killing of
Bosco Chermaco, the president of All Adivai Students’
Association of Assam on 22 February 2011. The outfit
was also responsible for the failed bomb attack on Kanchenjunga
Express in Guwahati on June 17, 2011. The outfit was
also suspected to be behind the attack on the Guwahati-Puri
Express train on 10 July 2011. The outfit triggered
an explosion on the railway track near Bhatkuchi between
Rangia and Ghagrapar in Lower Assam leading to the derailment
of the train injuring 50 persons.
In November 2010, newspaper reports said that the Communist
Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) has established links
with APA. This was revealed during the interrogation
of Tarjan Majhi, the Sonitpur district ‘commander’ of
the APA. Majhi was arrested with five others on 3 November
2010, at Bhairabguri under Dhekiajuli Police station
of Sonitpur district. Majhi claimed that an ULFA self-styled
sergeant Major Das had provided arms training to APA
cadre in Majbat area of Udalguri district and helped
them contact the Maoists.
Formed in 2005, the NSLA is a splinter group of five militant outfits, which claim to be fighting for the cause of the Adivasis. The groups are – Adivasi People's Army (APA), Adivasi Cobra Militants of Assam (ACMA), Birsa Commando Force (BCF), Santhali Tiger Force (STF), and All Adivasi National Liberation Army (AANLA). The new outfit was formed after the five militant outfits surrendered their arms and ammunition on 24 January 2012 at Guwahati paving the way for peace talks. The other four outfits who surrendered were Hmar Peoples Convention (Democratic), Kuki Liberation Army (KLA), Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA) and United Kuki Defence Army (UKDA). The group is influential among the plantation workers in Kokrajhar, Chirang and Udalguri districts of the BTAD. The outfit’s chairman is Efril Murmu and its vice-chairman is Lakhiram Murmu. Deepak Hembrum is the deputy commander-in-chief of NSLA. The militant group is also active in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar districts, which share a border with Assam.
The militants are involved in extortion and kidnapping on both the sides of the border. NSLA militants are active in areas like Gosaingaon sub-division of Kokrajhar district. They are carrying out subversive activities like kidnapping, extortion and killings. The NSLA cadres have links with Maoists in Jharkhand and some of their cadres are trained in the red zone. On 31 March 2014, unidentified gunmen shot dead the self-styled commander-in-chief of Santhali Tiger Force Shivlal Murmu at Padumpukhuri under Gossaigaon Police station. On 2 April 2014, the Assam Home Secretary G.D. Tripathi told The Hindu that the State government had received feelers from the NSLA that it was willing to join the peace process with other outfits by surrendering their arms.
Militant outfit called Dimasa National Revolutionary Front (DNRF) raised its head in southern Assam's Dima Hasao district in July 2011. The news of the formation of the new outfit was made available to local media through SMS by its 'publicity secretary' Black Dimasa. According to the self-styled 'publicity secretary', the aim of the outfit is to "ensure safety and security of the Dimasa people living in the region and all-round development of Dima Hasao district."He also claimed that DNRF was concerned about the demand raised by the NC Hills Indigenous Students Forum (NCHISF) to bifurcate the Dima Hasao district. "We oppose the demand for bifurcation at all costs. We can't allow the district to weaken geographically by dividing it further in the name of any community or group of people," the message said. The 'chairman' of the outfit is Hasong Dimasa and the 'finance secretary' is Diamond Dimasa. (The Times of India, 5 July 2011, http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/guwahati/Dimasa-outfit-surfaces-in-Dima-Hasao-district/articleshow/9117080.cms)
Dima Jadi Naiso Army (DJNA) was formed on 25 September 2012, in the Dima Hasao Autonomous Territorial Council. This group has its headquarters at Dima Halali. Its main objective is to unite the Dimasa-Kachari population of the region and to protect and promote as well as work for the development of all Dimasa Kacharis and to fight for establishment of their own separate state—Dimaraji ('Land of Dimasas') comprising the Dimasa-inhabited areas of Assam and Nagaland. They believe that the Dimasas are deprived of their rights, existence and development. The announcement was made by the Chairman of the outfit, Bhaipa Dimasa, in a press note to the media. Bhaipa Dimasa said the DJNA (Dima Jadi Naiso Army) has taken up 11-point charter of aims and objectives, the foremost among them, being the establishment of a separate state, which will be named as ‘Dimaraji State’. It will bring about unification of all the Dimasa Kachari inhabited areas of the entire Northeast under “one umbrella, one rule and one form of government”. In order to run the outfit, they resolved to seek financial and material help of people from within and outside their ‘territory’. The Commander-in-Chief of DJNA is Jering Dimasa and the Secretary General is Rinjen Dimasa.
On 20 December 2011, a new Dimasa outfit emerged in Dima Hasao autonomous district of Assam. The NDPA (National Dimasa Protection Army) publicity secretary Sumit Dimasa said that Dimasas would not accept anything but an ‘autonomous state’ for the community. NDPA has declared that ‘armed struggle’ for achieving an autonomous state would continue till the goal is reached.
United Peoples Liberation Front (UPLF) came into existence on 4 January 2013 with an aim to create a separate Dimasa Karbi-Anchal state comprising of Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao. The statement was made in a mailed press release by information and publicity secretary of UPLF, R. Dimasa and L. Karbi. It was informed that S. Karbi was appointed as the Chairman and J. Dimasa as Commander-in-Chief of the outfit. In the release the outfit stated, “Hill people are feeling betrayed by the Government of Assam, there is no alternative to an autonomous state which will have to be created with Karbi and Dimasa dominated areas”. The organization warned that those involved in illegal exploitation of minerals and natural resources within the declared zone of Dimasa Karbi-anchal would be punished. The UPLF has also warned dishonest governmental officials to cease from deceitful activities, failing which it would carry out action in accordance to ‘Ydo- Wojaru’ martial rule.
The National Liberation Front of Bengalis (NLFB) was formed on 21 November 2013, as confirmed by the Assam police. Abhijit Das, 'commander-in-chief' of NLFB, called up a Guwahati-based satellite news channel on 20 November and claimed that the group had planted three explosives—one on a train, the other in Chirang and the third in Kokrajhar—and the police later detected the same and defused all. He said their intention was not to kill people but to warn the Government of their decision to take up arms to protest abduction and extortion in the BTC area.
HTF, an outfit formed by Naga, Kuki and Hmar people, was floated in the early 2010. The militant group had been involved in terror activities like kidnapping, extortion and triggering blasts targeting government establishments and trains in the Dima Hasao district. The group is opposed to the Government's action to change the nomenclature of the erstwhile North Cachar Hill district to Dima Hasao. They also oppose the constitution of the Dima Hasao Territorial Council in place of the autonomous council. On 13 November 2011, the Dima Hasao police and 25 Battalion Assam Rifles launched an operation in the jungles of the Arda area, 35 km from Haflong. The police arrested nine cadres of the outfit, including HTF 'commander-in-chief' Benjamin Zaolin Jate, 'finance secretary' Zare Thiyek, a self-styled 'sergeant major' and six 'sepoys' of the outfit.
(Updated till August 2014)