Assam separatist movements
|Part of Insurgency in North-East India|
State of Assam
|Commanders and leaders|
| Paresh Baruah
|| Bikram Singh (31 May 2012-present)
Vijay Kumar Singh (31 March 2010 – 31 May 2012, retired)
|Casualties and losses|
The Assam separatist movements are insurgency movements in the Assam state of India. The conflict started in the 1970s. It stems from tension between Assamese and alleged neglect and internal colonisation by the Indian government with its federal centre in Delhi. Additionally, the state is rich in oil resources. The Assamese Separatist Movement alone has taken a toll of 12,000 ULFA members and 18,000 others. The secessionist goals of the separatist movement in Assam have lacked popular support, with most Assamese sympathizing with the separatist groups but not empathizing with their goals.
However, several organisations make up the insurgency, including the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), Adivasi National Liberation Army, Karbi Longri N.C. Hills Liberation Front (KLNLF) and National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB). ULFA is perhaps the largest of these groups, and one of the oldest, being founded in 1979. It has also attacked Hindi-speaking migrant workers. There is a movement for secession from the Republic of India. The alleged neglect and economic exploitation by the Indian state are the main reasons behind the growth of this secessionist movement. Both sides - the ULFA and the Indian state are unwilling to compromise on sovereignty and the common people of Assam has been paying the price for it. The United Liberation Front of Asom seeks to establish a sovereign Assam via an armed struggle in the Assam conflict. The Government of India had banned the organization in 1990 and classifies it as a terrorist group, while the US State Department lists it under "Other groups of concern".
ULFA founded at the site of Rang Ghar on April 7, 1979, a historic structure from the Ahom kingdom. Military operations against it by the Indian Army that began in 1990 continues till present. In the past two decades some 30,000 people have died in the clash between the rebels and the government. Though separatist sentiments deems strong, , it is disputed if the secessionist movement enjoys popular support any longer. On the other hand, strong Assamese nationalism can be found in Assamese literature and culture. The neglect and exploitation by the Indian state are common refrains in the Assamese-language media. There are instances when even the ULFA leaders are seen as saviors.
Internationally acclaimed Assamese novelist Indira Goswami has been trying to broker peace for several years between the rebels and the government. In a recent development Hiren Gohain, a public intellectual has stepped in to expedite the process.
- 2008 Assam bombings
- 2009 Guwahati bombings
- 2009 Assam serial blasts
- Bodo nationalism
- Insurgency in North-East India
- Separatist movements of India
- "Five killed in Assam bomb blasts - DAWN.COM". dawn.com. Retrieved 12 April 2014.
- Bloody Tea - Article on conflict
- Kashyap, Aruni (19 May 2010). "India needs talks for Assam's peace". The Guardian (London).
- "Bomb Kills 10 at India Independence Parade". The New York Times. 15 August 2004. p. 15 (section 1).
- "The Sentinel". sentinelassam.com. Retrieved 12 April 2014.
- "the strength of ULFA lies more in the sympathy factor it gets among its home-population (despite lack of empathy for its declared goal) than in cadres and weapons" Nath, Sunil (2001). "The Secessionist Insurgency and the Freedom of Minds". www.satp.org. Institute for Conflict Management. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) - Terrorist Group of Assam
- Assam: ULFA’s Rerun of Violence against Migrant Workers
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