by Binalakshmi Nepram-Mentschel
In Part I of Binalakshmi’s report on small arms proliferation, she explores the cultural, political and geographical factors that make North East India a hotbed for the small arms trade. – Ed.
• Many parts of South Asia, and in particular the North East region of India, are fragmented societies run on guns and drugs. The region is being flooded with a frightening influx of small arms and narcotics. A proliferation of armed groups follows. Armed by China, Pakistan, Burmese rebels and other South East Asian state and criminal groups, the arms inventory of the insurgent groups has increased tremendously over the years.
A village in North East India. Photograph by Binalakshmi Nepram-Mentschel •
Prevalence of War Economies in North East India
There are thousands of para-military troops armed with weapons based in North East India. Crores, or tens of millions of rupees (hundreds of thousands of US dollars) go into maintaining the troops and the various war machines, specifically, weapons, tanks, bullet proof vehicles, patrol helicopters, etc. Though until now no study has been done to estimate the costs of the heavy militarization of India's North East, the truth is there for all to see. Without doubt, a war economy exists in the region.