United People's Democratic Solidarity

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United People's Democratic Solidarity
Participant in the Insurgency in Northeast India
Active March 1999 (1999-03)–present
Ideology Karbi self-determination
(Hemprek Kangthim)
Leaders Kiri Rongphar (founder)
Area of operations

Assam, India

Opponents  India
Battles and wars Insurgency in Northeast India

United People's Democratic Solidarity was formed in March 1999 with the merger of two terrorist outfits in Assam's Karbi Anglong district, the Karbi National Volunteers (KNV) and Karbi People’s Front (KPF).[1]

The outfit signed a cease-fire agreement for one year with the Union Government on May 23, 2002.[2] However, this led to a split in the UPDS with one faction deciding to continue with its subversive activities while the other commenced negotiations with the Government. Currently, there are two factions: pro-talks and anti-talks. On May 16, 2004, the UPDS (Anti-Talks) rechristened itself as the Karbi Longri North Cachar Hills Liberation Front (KLNLF) and its armed wing as the Karbi Longri North Cachar Hills Resistance Force (KNPR).

Leadership[edit]

Kiri Rongphar was the founder ‘chairman’ of the outfit. He was arrested on October 22, 1999. On August 22, 2002, UPDS 'commander-in-chief' Long Kumar Kiling died of injuries sustained during a feline attack in the forests of Karbi Anglong district. Although this has not been proved.

At present, the outfit is headed by its Chairman Longder Singner alias H E Kathar and General Secretary Haren Sing Bey. T Nongloda is the outfit's Publicity Secretary and Lindok Ronghang its Finance Secretary.

The total cadre strength of the UPDS is estimated to be a little more than 150, of which at least 50 are believed to be armed with sophisticated weapons.

Areas of operation[edit]

The outfit's main area of operations is in the Karbi Anglong district, with a relatively minor presence in Dima Hasao district.

Linkages[edit]

The outfit is known to have grown with the active assistance of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM), which provided it with arms and ammunition. It is reported to have procured arms and ammunition from Bhutan and Bangladesh.

The UPDS also shares a ‘working relationship’ with the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) and the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA).

Funds[edit]

Abductions for ransom and extortion are the main sources of income for the UPDS. The outfit generates a considerable amount of revenue by targeting the ginger producing Kukis in the Singhason Hills area. The non-Karbi traders are also targeted for extortion. In some cases, even Karbi's have been the targets.[3]

Peace talks[edit]

The outfit held six rounds of peace talks with the State and Union Government representatives between 2002 and 2006. Tha last round of talks was held on July 26, 2006. Subsequently, the outfit pulled out of the talks process complaining of lack of progress on its core demands. The outfit's cadres are lodged in one Government guarded designated camp at Diphu with 60 cadres, two main camps and several sub-camps.

On August, 2011, The Government of India released a statement wherein it planned to sign peace pacts with UPDS.[4]

As of November 25, 2011,[5][6] the Outfit has signed a tripartite peace accord [7] with the Government Of India for reorganizing the existing autonomous district (Karbi Anglong) under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution into four administrative districts for better administrative and developmental administration.

As part of the restructuring and empowerment process, the existing autonomous council will be renamed the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Territorial Council.

The proposed Karbi Anglong Autonomous Territorial Council will have 50 members to give greater representation to people living in remote and isolated clusters of villages.

Of these, 44 will be elected members and six will be nominated by the governor of Assam.

According to the MoS, the increase in seats will be applicable from subsequent elections, due in the year 2016-17 or mid-term poll, if any, whichever is earlier.

Altogether 39 subjects will be transferred to the proposed Karbi Anglong Autonomous Territorial Council and its chief and deputy chief will have status equivalent to that of the cabinet minister and the other executive council members equivalent to the minister of state.

In the MoS, it was also mentioned that the state government would provide support for relief and rehabilitation of the members of the UPDS, besides organizing vocational classes for them.

It stated that special psychological counseling and career guidance classes would be also be held at the designated camps of UPDS to facilitate rehabilitation of its cadres.

As of 14 December, The UPDS has formally disbanded following the mass surrender of all it cadres and leaders.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "United People's Democratic Solidarity (UPDS) - Terrorist Group of Assam". Satp.org. Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  2. ^ "UPDS". Karbi Information Network. Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  3. ^ "United Peoples Democratic Solidarity (UPDS) | Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses". Archived from the original on September 28, 2011. Retrieved August 14, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Peace pacts with UPDS, DHD(J) soon". Assamtribune.com. Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  5. ^ "Confusion clouds UPDS accord Parties differ over council". Telgraphindia.com. Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  6. ^ "The Telegraph - Calcutta (Kolkata) - Northeast - UPDS rules out poll politics". Telegraphindia.com. Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  7. ^ "UPDS accord". Satp.org. Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  8. ^ "Assam terror outfit disbands". Two circles.net. Retrieved 12 October 2014.