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ZUF: Festering Factionalism

M. A. Athul Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management
On November 11, 2019, the Chawang-Kamson faction of the Zeliangrong United Front (ZUF-Chawang- Kamson) claimed that its defection from the ZUF was to secure better future for Zeliangrong people living in Assam, Manipur and Nagaland. The group broke away from ZUF (on an unspecified date) and signed a Cease Fire Agreement (CFA) with the Government of India (GoI) on October 26, 2019. Raitu Chawang is the ‘chairman’ and S. Kamson the ‘vice chairman’ of the splinter group. They were in the same position, respectively, in the United ZUF. The ‘parent’ ZUF is led by ‘chairman’ Pou Jenchui Kamei.
Plight of Bengali Muslims in Pakistan
There are around three million Bengalis in Pakistan, and a significant portion of them live in Karachi. They are the poorest segment of Pakistani society. They are hindered by their status as aliens in the country and there are very few, almost negligible portion, who hold official documentation as Pakistani citizen. Usman Town Bangalipara is the area where Bengalis have been living for more than six decades. In fact they are living in Pakistan from the days of Partition of India and Pakistan. Yet they are facing lots of problems and living in constant tension and harassment.
Tripura: Destabilizing Gambit
On January 29, 2019, the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), a Tripura based tribal political party, an ally of the ruling Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), along with another 10 political parties of the Northeast, met in Guwahati, the capital of neighbouring Assam, to announce their opposition to the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB). The other political parties included the Mizo National Front (MNF), the United Democratic Party (UDP), the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), the Naga Peoples Front (NPF), the National Peoples’ Party (NPP), the National Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), the Hill State Peoples Party (HSPP) and the Peoples Democratic Front (PDF).
Manipur: Malignant Politics
On January 15, 2019, at least 10 persons were wounded in a clash between protesters and Police at Khwairamband Keithel in Imphal West District. The clash occurred when people protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, [first introduced as the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, and passed on in the Lok Sabha (Lower House of Indian Parliament) on January 8, 2019, following the submission of a Joint Parliamentary Committee report on January 7, 2019] were heading towards Raj Bhavan (the official residence of the State’s Governor).
Violent surge in Balochistan
On January 1, 2019, four Frontier Corps (FC) personnel were killed and another two injured during an exchange of fire with militants who were trying to enter the residential and administration compound at an FC training centre in Loralai District of Balochistan. Four militants were also killed.
Suicide Offensive
On November 28, 2018, at least 10 people were killed and another 29 injured in a suicide attack in Kabul City (District), the national capital.
Bijapur: Leaning on the Maoists
On October 20, 2018, Security Forces (SFs) killed at least three Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadres during an encounter, which ensued when SFs launched a combing operation in the Madpal Forest of Bijapur District. SFs later recovered the bodies of the slainMaoists, a .303 rifle, live rounds, a tiffin bomb, cordex detonating cord, ‘revolutionary’ literature and other material from the encounter site. A day earlier, SFs had destroyed two Maoist camps in the Indravati National Park forest area in the District.
Contentious Border
On October 14, 2018, Security Forces(SFs) of Pakistan and Afghanistan exchanged fire along the border in the Tandah Dara Sarochahan area of Qilla Abdullah District in Balochistan Province.Afghan media claimed three Pakistani soldiers were killed in the clashes that lasted for several hours, although the Pakistan military denied this claim.Pakistani officials, however, confirmed the incident and claimed Afghan troops opened fire on Pakistani personnel who were erecting a fence along the border in the area. After the incident, Pakistani border authorities closed the Friendship Gate near Chaman, leaving thousands of people stranded on both sides of the Pak-Afghan border.
Andhra Pradesh: Audacious Hit
In an audacious attack, on September 23, 2018, Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadres gunned down Kidari Sarveswara Rao, a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) from the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Siveru Soma, a former MLA, also belonging to TDP, near Livitiput village in Dumbriguda mandal (administrative sub-division) in the agency area of Visakhapatnam District. More than 50 armed Maoists targeted the duo when they were travelling in two cars to the village to have a meeting with the girijans(the tribals of the Agency area) who were agitating to press their demand for the closure of mines at Araku, allegedly obtained by MLA Rao in the name of his brother-in-law B. Rajendra. The tribals claimed that the mines were contaminating water resources in the region. According to the Police, both Rao and Soma had received threats from the Maoists in the past. With a clear plan, Maoists surrounded the duo when they were going towards the village with little security and killed them.
Northeast: A Pale Islamist Shadow
During a span of 11 days, between September 13 and September 23, 2018, Security Forces (SFs) arrested nine Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) cadres, all residents of Assam. The first arrest took place on September 13, when a trained HM cadre, Qamar-uz-Zaman, was arrested from Shivnagar locality in Kanpur District of Uttar Pradesh. Zaman hails from Jamunamukh in Hojai District of Assam. The Uttar Pradesh Police and National Investigation Agency (NIA) subsequently alerted authorities in Assam about the arrest.
Cementing Reconciliation
On September 5, 2018, the Office on Missing Persons (OMP) handed its interim report to President Maithripala Sirisena at the Parliament. OMP Chairman Saliya Peiris handed over the report to the President recommending that the Government provide urgent and immediate relief to the families of the involuntarily disappeared, as their current socio-economic situation was dire; the implementation of a financial aid programme to provide a monthly allowance of SLR 6000 to the surviving spouse, children and parents of these missing persons, who have no permanent income; introduction of a scholarship scheme under the Ministry of Education for the children of missing persons in the form of a monthly allowance of SLR 2000 to cover essential education expenses required for the completion of their primary and secondary education; and the introduction of an employment quota of one percent within the state sector for family members of the missing.
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