Attrition: Tribal Tribulations in India

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October 15, 2006: Without much fanfare, or notice, India has managed to deal with a major terrorism problem in its northeast. In 2000, there were 1,515 terrorism related deaths in the northeast tribal areas. That has declined every year, reaching 715 in 2005, and 475 for the first nine months of 2006. Since 2000, there have been about 7,000 terrorism related deaths in the northeast. Some 44 percent have been terrorists, 45 percent civilians and eleven percent security personnel. The causes have largely been tribal peoples unhappy with migrants moving in from other parts of India, and illegal migrants from neighboring Bangladesh. There have also been some feuds between tribes. The principal demand of the tribes, in addition to getting rid of the migrants, is more autonomy. Some groups want to establish new countries. Part of this is driven by the development of oil and gas fields in the area, and a desire to get a greater share of the income. The Indians have used both negotiation, and force, to take down many of the terrorist groups, and this effort continues.

 


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