Prior to 20th century guerrilla warfare was regarded as purely military form of waging war. It was the weapon of the weak against the strong. The guerrillas employed ‘hit and run’ tactics against their adversaries. This form of warfare was also applied to the role of irregular troops acting as partisans in support of conventional forces.
Guerrilla warfare as a means to wage war came into prominence in the last century against colonial occupation. In the middle of the last century, guerrilla war took a new characteristic when political factors were grafted on irregular military tactics.1
Counter-insurgency operations have provided the staple operational fare for the Indian Army more than any other, except, perhaps, the Israeli Army, and yet it has not received the attention it deserves. In most armies counter-insurgency operations are regarded unglamorous, where success cannot be easily measured and results are not immediately visible.
Dissident groups initially in minority and weaker than authorities, would seek power through a combination of subversion, propaganda and military action in the form of guerrilla warfare. The process came to be termed insurgency.2 After the Second World War insurgencies became the major threat to governments all over the world.
Contrary to experience, regular soldiers in most democratic armies believe that they exist primarily to fight conventional wars. Between 1960-63 John F Kennedy identified communist inspired insurgency as the predominant threat to American interests. Kennedy’s National Security Action Memorandum No 124 of 18 January 1962 saw insurgency as a major form of politico-military conflict equal in importance to conventional warfare.3
Modern British doctrine is heavily based on North-West Europe campaign of 1944-45. Yet, out of 94 separate operational commitments between 1945-1982, only 14 were not in some form of low intensity conflicts. Indeed, for the British Army only significant recent conventional experience have been 35 months of participation in the Korean War (1950-1953) when only five infantry battalions were deployed at any given time, followed by 10 days at Suez in 1956 and 24 days of land campaign in the Falklands in 1982 and 100 hours of land operation in the gulf (1990-1991).4 The Second Gulf War in Iraq has already turned into an insurgent war.
The Indian experience has been mixed. Soon after independence the Army fought a bitter war against the newly created state of Pakistan over Kashmir (1947-1948), followed by a short war of 21 days in 1965, once again over Kashmir, and finally the war with Pakistan in December 1971, lasting not more than a fortnight, but with a decisive victory over Pakistan, which resulted in the creation of yet another state – Bangladesh. In 1962 the Indian Army fought a border war with China, which lasted for about a month resulting in India’s humiliating defeat. But only a very small component of the Indian Army was involved in actual fighting. The Air Force was kept out of the war.
In the closing year of the 20th century, India once again fought a conventional border war with Pakistan on the Line of Control in the Kargil sector of Jammu and Kashmir, lasting six weeks. The war was confined to a small geographical area and only two divisions of the Army were involved in combat.
The training manual of the Indian Army emphasises minimum force as one of the cardinal rules of engagement when called out in aid of civil authority. This was originally formulated by the British to deal with situations like crowd control, communal rioting, unruly mobs and violent political demonstrations. The scope and meaning of internal security has, however, fundamentally changed…
As against the intermittent commitment in conventional wars, the Indian Army has been fighting insurgency almost continuously since independence. The Army was called out in Nagaland to quell insurgency in 1956, and since then it has been involved in counter-insurgency operations not only there but in almost all of north-east in an ever escalating area of operations. In 1984 the Army was called out to restore order in the Punjab and launched the infamous Operation Bluestar, which led to virtual insurgency that was put down at great human and economic cost by the Punjab Police, assisted by the Army and the para-military forces. By the time the situation in Punjab was brought under control in the early nineties, Kashmir was aflame with insurrection aided and abetted by Pakistan.
The proxy war in Kashmir continues till today. In between nearly four divisions of the Army were deployed in Sri Lanka to fight the insurgent LTTE to later enforce the India-Sri Lanka Accord of 1987. The casualties suffered by the Army in counter-insurgency operations in the North-east, Kashmir and Sri Lanka far exceed the total number exacted by all the conventional wars since independence.
Counter-insurgency operations have provided the staple operational fare for the Indian Army more than any other, except, perhaps, the Israeli Army, and yet it has not received the attention it deserves. In most armies counter-insurgency operations are regarded unglamorous, where success cannot be easily measured and results are not immediately visible. But the perspectives are changing and the role of the army is being re-defined. This is how General Shankar Roychowdhury, the former Chief of the Army and member of the Rajya Sabha, perceives the change: “The proxy war sponsored by Pakistan in Kashmir and its linkages with insurgency and violence in the North-east and elsewhere in the country have involved us in direct and indirect battlefield contact with Pakistan for over a decade now. These externally supported low intensity conflicts had completely redefined the traditional perception of external and internal threats, as also the categorisation of primary and secondary roles of the army, which was the main force dealing with them.”5
Evolution of Counter Insurgency Strategy6
When Naga insurgency broke out in Nagaland in 1956, neither the Indian Army nor the political masters had any experience of dealing with such situations. There was no lack of good will for the hill tribes of the north-east amongst the policy- makers of independent India, which was profoundly influenced by its first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Lal Nehru. Yet, when the unrest slowly spread to other parts and soon engulfed the whole of the north-east, the political leadership was slow to grasp the nature of insurgency and evolve a coherent policy, which took a tortuous path – from military solution to winning the hearts and minds of disaffected tribes.
Soon after independence, Nehru enunciated what came to be called the ‘Tribal Panchsheel’: “People should develop along the lines of their own genius; Tribals rights in land and forest should be protected; train and build up a team of their own people to administer and develop. Some technical help, from outside, will be needed. But we should avoid introducing too many outsiders into tribal areas; we should not over administer the area and overwhelm them with too many schemes.
Work through and not in rivalry to their (tribals) institutions. Judge results not by statistics or the amount of money spent, but by the quality of human character that is involved.”7 The above broadly constituted the policy framework around which the development of the tribal areas was to be accomplished.
After independence the tribal policy envisaged bringing the tribal population in the development process with the rest of the country as quickly as possible, but without any outside impositions and in conformity with their own cultural ethos.
The Rashtriya Rifles had been conceptually visualised as a specialised internal security formation with units constituted of seventy five percent ex-servicemen and balance from the regular army. But it didnt work out as originally conceived. Ever since its inception the force has 100 per cent deputationists from the Army…
In the process of development Nehru did not want them “to be swamped by people from other parts of the country” and wanted them to “live their own lives according to their own custom and desires”. He was also aware of the importance of keeping the tribes contented as “they live near the frontier of India and some of the same tribes live on the other side of the border, like the Nagas in Burma. They occupy thus a strategic position of great importance, which has grown in many years. Properly treated and encouraged, they can become a bulwark of our state. Otherwise, they are a danger and a weakening factor.”8
Nehru also visualised the pitfalls in implementing the tribal policy, which he had envisioned and articulated in letters he wrote to his cabinet colleagues and chief ministers. In a letter to CD Deshmukh Nehru commented, “They (Nagas) do not get on very well with the Assamese who, in the past treated them as inferiors. They are not prepared to tolerate any stigma of inferiority from anyone. As friends, they react well.”9 Nari Rustomji, one of our ablest administrators who served in the north-east for long years, observed in his book, ‘The Imperilled Frontiers’, that the unrest in the north-east has arisen not from any lack of goodwill on the part of the Indian Government but from want of understanding, empathy and sensitivity. His observation captured one of the many reasons for the tribe’s alienation from the plainsmen.
The operations against the rebels in the north-east have been undertaken with the understanding that they are fellow citizens and not enemies. This implied the use of ‘minimum force’. The training manual of the Indian Army emphasises minimum force as one of the cardinal rules of engagement when called out in aid of civil authority. This was originally formulated by the British to deal with situations like crowd control, communal rioting, unruly mobs and violent political demonstrations. The scope and meaning of internal security has, however, fundamentally changed over a period of time; it now encompasses aid to civil authority in situations vastly different, which include proxy war and low intensity conflicts where the protagonists are armed with sophisticated lethal weapons.
The terms of engagement formulated in the past are no longer valid and needs to be redefined. General Shankar Roychowdhury, a former Army Chief, defines it as ‘adequate minimum force, the adequacy of weapons and firepower for each situation to be determined by the field commander. This included heavier weapons like mortars or artillery whenever required.’10
Isolating the Populace from Insurgents: Grouping of Villages
Intelligence is the decisive factor in counter-insurgency operations. Conversely, it is equally important to deny information to the rebels, who depend heavily on the civil population not only for intelligence but also for logistic support. This meant isolating the rebels from population centres. The concentration of civilians in guarded areas to deny the guerrillas access to food or other support was not a new idea. Beckett observes that common approaches were emerging entirely independently in different armies faced with similar difficulties in the closing years of 19th century. Thus the British campaign against the Boers in the South African campaign, the Spanish campaign in Cuba in 1895 and 1998 and the US campaign in the Philippines between 1899 and 1902 – all three armies adopted what came to be called re-construction.
Faced with Filipino insurgency after occupying the former Spanish colony, the American forces commanded by Arthur Macarthur, began to move the rural population into town in December 1900. In the province Batangas, Brigadier General Franklin Bell reconstructed 10,000 people in protective zones and destroyed all crops and livestock and buildings outside the protective zone.11
Drawing on the British experience in Malaya in the sixties, Indian Army tried the concept of grouping of villages as a means to isolate the rebels from the populace. It was tried out both in Nagaland and Mizoram. In Nagaland it was given up in the face of fierce opposition from moderate Nagas. In Mizoram the experiment produced mixed results. A study of the existing literature on the Indian experience leads one to conclude that such measures may have been acceptable means by colonial powers to quell insurgencies, but the fallout of adoption of such measures against own people is extremely contentious and repugnant particularly in times when human rights is a overriding concern.
The employment of Air Power
The use of air power against own people, even though they are hostiles, has always been a debatable choice. It also went against the established principle of minimum force. The Air Force was used in Nagaland for dropping supplies to beleaguered garrisons under threat from hostiles, but its use for strafing was quite another matter. In Nagaland and Mizoram air power was used defensively, even though for strafing rebel positions, in desperate situations as a last resort to save garrisons from being overrun by rebel forces.
Psy ops are powerful weapon in the hands of protagonists in any insurgent warfare. The Naga insurgents scored hands down over the administration and the Army in the conduct of psy ops.
Air strafing was resorted to in Nagaland at Purr and in Mizoram at Aizwal and Lungleigh to save the Assam Rifles posts from being run over by insurgents. Since 1960s, helicopters have been used extensively for movement of troops, casualty evacuation and reconnaissance as integral part of counter-insurgency operations, but the offensive use of air power has seldom been seriously considered.
Political and Diplomatic Initiatives
Counter-insurgency operations are politico-military in nature. Political mobilisation and military operations are undertaken side by side to achieve lasting results. In the context of north-east insurgencies, political initiatives have been taken at two levels, internal and external. At the internal level, negotiations have resulted in accords that granted greater political and economic autonomy to the disaffected tribes. At the external level, political and diplomatic steps have been taken to deny safe sanctuaries to the insurgents in neighbouring countries.
For example, movement of insurgent groups have been restricted by increased cooperation between Indian and Myanmar security forces. In the winter of 2003, the Royal Bhutan Army destroyed UlFA and Bodo camps, which had been in existence for over a decade in the jungles of southern Bhutan bordering Assam, thus forcing the insurgents to flee. But the Indian diplomatic effort to forge a mutually advantageous security and economic relationship with Bangladesh has been largely unsuccessful. The continued influx of illegal migrants from Bangladesh poses a grave threat to India’s security.
Re-Organising of Infantry Battalions for Counter-Insurgency Operations
One of the earliest attempts to reorganise the infantry battalions for counter-insurgency tasks was the creation of I Battalions in the 1960s by converting some of the existing battalions drawn from some selected regiments. These units were to be permanently deployed in the Naga Hills and Tuensang Area with their personnel being periodically turned over from within their respective regiments.12
The I Battalions were to be lightly equipped having minimal motor transport but more radio sets. The battalions did good work but the experiment was given up for unknown reasons. The idea was revived again in the early 90s when the requirement of forces for internal security duties increased dramatically due to enhanced threat posed by Pakistan’s proxy war after Operation Bluestar. It was envisaged to raise ‘a paramilitary force with Army’s ethos’ under the Ministry of Defence, designated as Rashtriya Rifles.
The Rashtriya Rifles had been conceptually visualised as a specialised internal security formation with units constituted of seventy five percent ex-servicemen and balance from the regular army. But it didn’t work out as originally conceived. Ever since its inception the force has 100 per cent deputationists from the Army and has been deployed exclusively in J&K, except for a very brief period in the North-east.
Composition of Assam Rifles
Assam Rifles was raised primarily for deployment in North-east and comprised men from these areas. Over the years, the force earned a well-deserved reputation as ‘Sentinels of the North-east’, for its exemplary services in keeping peace in the North-east and guarding our eastern frontiers. Some years ago, its composition was changed to that of all-India force and its distinctive character diluted to one of the many para-military forces. It thus lost its excellent rapport with the local people, so essential for gathering intelligence. Gen VP Malik, the former Chief of the Army, recommends that the force should comprise 60-70 per cent of its personnel from the North-east.13
Civic Action: Winning the Hearts & Minds
Military operations against insurgents by its very nature are bound to result in some harassment and grievance to the general public, despite the best efforts of the troops. They have, therefore, to be balanced by effective civic actions, which provided relief to local people. Over the years the Army has expanded the scope of civic action. It has moved beyond initiatives by local commanders to deploying resources to improve the quality of life in villages by creating the basic infrastructure like provision of potable water, primary health centres, primary schools and improving village roads. Operation Good Samaritan in Manipur and Sadbhavna in the Kargil sector of J&K are examples. The concept is, however, not an original formulation of the Indian Army.
In the 50s when insurgency broke out in Nagaland, there was hardly any interaction between the Army and the media. There were many constraints. The means of communication were very limited; the existing network of road and railways passed through the then East Pakistan, which became inoperative after partition. The Brahmaputra was bridged only in 1961.
The concept of unified command in counter insurgency-operations was first experimented in Kashmir where it functioned effectively to begin with, but soon lost its way in the turf war between the various security agencies and the bureaucracy.
In the expanding American empire after 1898, civic action went hand in hand with military measures in the Philippines. In keeping with the American penchant for devising exotic phrases, they called it the ‘attraction’ programme, which included a variety of public works projects to improve communication and health.14 It was practised in Malaya in counter-insurgency operations against the communist guerrillas in the sixties by the British forces under General Templer.
Psychological Operations (PSY OPS)
Psy ops are powerful weapon in the hands of protagonists in any insurgent warfare. The Naga insurgents scored hands down over the administration and the Army in the conduct of psy ops. The Naga National Council had developed an expert publicity department headed until the end of 1955 by the charismatic Sakhrie and later by others. The underground propaganda has often been brilliant, carefully crafted to address the psychology of the people, and in sharp contrast to the dull and pretentious publicity work of the government.15
In a booklet published in 1953, the villagers were told that in the plains, ‘unlike our country land belongs to the state and the people have to pay taxes for land, for house-sites and buildings too, for fisheries and even for forest product. They have a water tax, latrine tax, entertainment tax and road tax. Everything has to be paid for if they have to live in this world. We Nagas pay no tax’.16 In Mokokchung, there was a definite attempt to win over the churches by frightening them that the Hindu Government of India would ban Christianity and force the Nagas to become Hindus, and for a time many Christians became alarmed and joined the insurgents.17
The Nagas are very fond of meat and their rice beer, which the insurgents exploited cleverly to gain their support by propagating that the campaign by the Hindus against cow slaughter and India’s policy of prohibition would one day be applied to them.
The administration’s attempt at psy ops was lackadaisical. Occasionally, pamphlets were produced setting out the protections provided to the tribes in the constitution and the many schemes formulated for the development of tribal areas. Even these never got distributed to the target audience and in many cases rotted in the government offices.
There was no policy to counter the specifics of insurgent propaganda, based on half-truths, other than announcing the allocation of large funds for the development of the north-east, which did not touch the daily life of the common people. Learning from their past experience, the army has lately produced pamphlets, e.g., ‘Bleeding Assam’ that give factual accounts of the amoral life and debauchery which the top leaders of ULFA indulge in the safety of Bangladesh and the brutalities committed by its cadres on innocent people of Assam. Here again, the pamphlets are in English, which is not understood by ordinary Assamese.
Human Rights is a recent phenomenon, but it has been the cardinal principal for engagement for the Army for long when called in aid of civil authority, which demanded strict compliance to impartiality, minimum force and good faith. When one looks at the record of human right violations in the last century, it is appalling to read that in the face of emerging guerrilla activity in Boer campaign in South Africa, General Roberts ordered that houses in the vicinity of any railway lines, bridges and telegraph lines that had been attacked should be burned down or blown up.
Counter-insurgency operations based on winning the support of the people. Along the way the soldiers developed a healthy respect for the fighting qualities of the guerrillas and the generosity of the tribal population, which in turn looked upon the Army for help in many ways
Collective fines were also imposed and Boer civilians were forced to ride on trains as a deterrent against attack.18 Indian Army’s record was more humane and practical in similar situation in Nagaland. To avoid ambushes of vehicle convoys, 50 metres on both sides of main roads were cleared of vegetation and undergrowth, which gave road-opening parties a clear view and denied the insurgents ambush sites to hide.
And yet, there were cases, fortunately few, when ambushed that resulted in death and injury, soldiers burnt houses, suspected to have sheltered the insurgents, and beat up innocent bystanders or used force that was not commensurate with the situation in the heat of the moment to avenge their dead comrades.
The insurgents exploited the collateral damage to civilian property and death or injury to innocent civilians in encounters with the security forces to tarnish the image of soldiers as trigger-happy. In most cases the allegations of atrocities by soldiers were exaggerated, if not wholly false. This is how Verrier Elwin, who lived many years with the tribes of the north-east and influenced the tribal policy of Nehru, describes the situation: “From the very beginning the rebels made great play with the allegations of atrocities on the part of the police and other security forces.
The booklet already quoted, which was issued in 1953 by the Naga Goodwill Mission to Assam, goes so far as to say that the government of India had instructed their Indian Armed Forces to rape Naga women whenever and wherever possible.”19
The Indian Army has come a long way since it was called out to meet the challenges of an extraordinary situation in Naga Hills in 1956. In the early years human right violations, as we understand the term today, were committed not out of any hostility or antipathy towards the Naga people, but soldiers reacted under grave provocation to avenge the death of their comrades, which were invariably spontaneous and seldom pre-meditated. One of the former Chief of the Army Staff, late General BC Joshi, issued the Ten Commandments for troops employed in counter-insurgency operations in Kashmir and the North-east, which laid down the behaviour and conduct of troops.
In the 50s when insurgency broke out in Nagaland, there was hardly any interaction between the Army and the media. There were many constraints. The means of communication were very limited; the existing network of road and railways passed through the then East Pakistan, which became inoperative after partition. The Brahmaputra was bridged only in 1961. The radio and telegraph links were primitive.
The existing government policy permitted the Army interaction with the media, mainly print and radio (there was no television or multi media then), through the government’s public relation officers, who were very few and not at all trained to handle news or analyse them. All that they did was to give news of ambushes and the encounters with the hostiles. Even these were reported in the national newspapers much after the events. The Army itself depended on BBC for the latest news and political developments and their analysis. Mark Tully and Subir Bhaumik, the BBC correspondents who covered (Subir Bhaumik still does) the happenings in the north-east from Calcutta, became known names for radio listeners and enjoyed huge popularity even as some of their reporting was biased against the Army.
In the absence of news from the official channels, BBC Hindi service became extremely popular and also credible. The situation was redeemed later by reporters of some of the national and local newspapers, who went on to write excellent accounts of their reporting days in the north-east.20
The insurgents made better use of the opportunities to interact with the media. Fortuitously their access to BBC reporters helped them to freely project their views not only within the country, but more importantly to the western public, who had not yet got over the bias against their erstwhile colonial subjects.
As communications improved and north-east opened to the outside world and travel restrictions were relaxed, Army’s interaction with the media also became more frequent. But the old restriction of interacting through public relation officers continued. The Army has felt circumcised by the restriction on interaction with the media even for legitimate reasons to explain its viewpoint on issues for which the best spokesman would be the army itself.
Counter-insurgency operations being politico-military in nature, civil-military relationship have to be synergetic, which in the north-east has for most part been strained. In that context, the enhancement of Army’s public image as an instrument of social and economic change is viewed with suspicion and is opposed by both politicians and bureaucrats for it brings to light their inefficiency and the politician-bureaucrat-contractor nexus.21 One of the cardinal principles of counter-insurgency operations is the unity of command.
At the operational level it meant integrated civil-military operations under one military commander appointed by the civil government. It is obvious that the Malayan model could not be applied in the north-east, where all the states had elected popular governments. But the basic concept, suitably amended, could still be applied to maximise results.
The concept of unified command in counter insurgency-operations was first experimented in Kashmir where it functioned effectively to begin with, but soon lost its way in the turf war between the various security agencies and the bureaucracy. In Assam a three-tier system was evolved; at the top was the Strategic Planning Group (ostensibly under the chief secretary) to lay down the policy; the second tier, the operation group, was headed by GOC 4 Corps, the senior military commander in Assam. It was here that key operational decisions were taken; the third tier was headed by the district collector supported by the battalion commander and the superintendent of police of the area. The strategic group at the top had GOC 4 Corps, State DGP and IGsP of BSF and CRPF as members. GOC 4 Corps attended the meeting whenever the chief minister chaired it.22
In Manipur, the chief minister insisted that the DGP of the state head the unified headquarters, which resulted in the Army keeping out of it. In Tripura the situation was different; there were no army formations in Tripura. The DIG of Assam Rifles, who, if he was a serving brigadier, had army battalions serving under him. Tripura too adopted a unified headquarters model headed by the chief secretary.
Formation of North-Eastern Council (NEC)
North Eastern Council (NEC) was set up with its headquarter at Shillong to formulate and implement an integrated development plan for the North-east region as a whole. The NEC was given jurisdiction in all matters of common interest in economic and social planning, inter-state transport and communication, and flood control. The Governor of Assam heads the council. The chief ministers of all north-eastern states are its members.
Although the council’s main focus was on infrastructure and economic development it also had a security component; the Director General of Assam Rifles functioned ex officio as the zonal security adviser to the north-eastern state governments. Regrettably, the security function of NEC was seldom activated despite this being pointed out by Gen Shankar Roychoudhury in his report to the government when he was the Army Chief.23
Counter-insurgency operations have evolved gradually, but in a profound way since independence. The guiding principles have remained constant but the operational imperatives have undergone many changes. From the earlier ‘jungle bashing’, routine searches, which produced little results compared to the effort put in and often caused frustration in troops, the abysmal ignorance of the tribal culture, looking at the Mongoloid faces with a sense of bewilderment to more focussed operations against insurgents, refinement of basic infantry tactics, which resulted in the opening of the Counter- Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School, realisation of the centrality of winning the hearts and minds of the people, and yet, ensuring ascendancy over the hostile population, for it is in nature of things to align with the winning side – the army has travelled a long way in its fight against insurgents.
In the process, it set a pattern of counter-insurgency operations based on winning the support of the people. Along the way the soldiers developed a healthy respect for the fighting qualities of the guerrillas and the generosity of the tribal population, which in turn looked upon the Army for help in many ways.
And yet, despite the herculean effort in the last fifty years, insurgencies in some form or the other continue to linger in many parts of the north-east. The causes are as varied as the divergent cultural ethos and the level of development of tribal societies. The nature of insurgencies in the north-east has also undergone profound changes in the last fifty years. There is no longer romance of revolutionaries operating out of jungle hideouts to execute spectacular hit and run guerrilla attacks. Today, insurgencies in the north-east are increasingly criminalised and terrorism has become the main weapon of the insurgents. In the last few years the contours of the emerging Islamic militancy are slowly emerging, which will pose greater challenges for the security forces in the years ahead.
1. Ian FW Beckett; Modern Insurgencies and counter-insurgencies; 2001, Routelage, London, p vii.
2. Ibid, p 24.
3. Ibid, p 24.
4. Ibid, p 25.
5. Shankar Roychowdhury; Officially at Peace; 2002; Viking, New Delhi, p 18
6. Two articles, one by Rajesh Rajgopalan; ‘Restoring Normalcy: The Evolution of Indian Army Counter-Insurgency Doctrine’ published in Small Wars and Insurgencies, London, vol 2, No 1, Spring 2000, and the other by Shankaran Kalyanraman; ‘The Indian Way in counter-Insurgency’ in Efraim Inbar (ed) Democracies and Small Wars; The Review of International Affairs, Centre for Eurasian Studies, vol 2, Spring 2003, are noteworthy.
7. Verrier Elwin; Nagaland; 1961; Research Department Adviser’s secretariat, Shillong, p 45
8. Nehru’s letter to CD Deshmukh in Selected Works of Jawaharlal Nehru, second series, vol 21, 1 Jan 53-31 Mar 53, a project of Nehru Memorial library, p 158
9. Ibid, 158
10. Shankar Roychowdhury; Officially at Peace; 2002; Viking, New Delhi, p 98. The insurgent groups in the north-east, who in the early decades of 50s and 60s were armed with .303 and muzzle loading rifles, are today armed with AK assault rifles and automatic grenade launchers.
11. Beckett, op cit, pp 36-37
12. Shankar Roychowdhury, op cit, p 219
13. VP Malik in an article titled ‘Security on the Borderline’, The Indian Express, New Delhi, 18 September 2004.
14. Beckett, op cit, pp 36-37
15. Verrier Elwin; Nagaland; 1961; Research Department Advisors Secretariat, Shillong, p 73
16. Ibid, p 75
17. Ibid, p 75
18. Beckett, op cit, p
19. Verrier Elwin, op cit, p 77. The alleged atrocities by the Indian Army and central and state police forces have been catalogued by Mar Atsongchanger in his book ‘Unforgettable Memories from Nagaland’ published by Tribal Communications and Research centre, Mokokchung (Nagaland), 1994, (chapter 3).
20. Journalists VIK Sareen, HK Sareen, DR Mankekar, Nirmal Nibedon, Sekhar Gupta and some others have written excellent books based on their reporting from the North-east.
21. Shankar Roychowdhury, op cit, p 121
22. Ibid, pp 123,124
23. Shankar Roychoudhury, op cit, p 105. Another former army chief, Gen VP Malik, favours a more effective coordination of intelligence and operations through a regional set-up based at either Guwahati or Shillong. See VP Malik, p17