NDFB soldiers brandish weapons at cease-fire camp, Western Assam.

Deserted streets in Udalguri town after shopkeepers called strike in protest of market bombing, Western Assam

Schoolteacher and activist, Western Assam

Terang Longnit, deputy chief of police of Udalguri, Western Assam

Pro-cease-fire graffiti on walls of Boro village, Western Assam

Boro woman at weekly market near Bhutan border, Western Assam

Boro woman sells red peppers at market, Western Assam.

Boro butcher chops pig at market, Western Assam.

Tea fields, Western Assam.

Assam tea fields account for 55 percent of India’s tea production.

NDFB soldier stands guard outside cease-fire camp, Western Assam.

Vast ethnic diversity, geography and under-development have bred dozens of separatist movements in India's far-eastern Assam state. But these same factors that gave rise to spasms of violence throughout the region over the last 20 years have also had a containing effect: Militant groups have run up against each other, in addition to the Indian military.

Now several ethnic-based factions, such as the National Democratic Front of Boroland, in Western Assam, have declared cease-fires with the Indian government to secure greater rights through dialogue and the ballot. Provided economic opportunities increase and a degree of greater autonomy is granted, there is hope that the calm will last, consolidating India's outpost in Southeast Asia.