Tens of thousands of Indian troops are deployed to these remote borderlands, their mission to fight a decades-long armed separatist rebellion.

But for years, residents of the area have alleged that security forces have also waged a separate war of rape and murder of civilians, one they continue with impunity because federal law virtually prohibits the prosecution of soldiers in conflict zones.

Now, 2,500 km away in the capital, New Delhi, there is a new demand to change that. A committee established last month in the wake of mass protests over a gruesome gang rape recommended that the law be re-examined. At the very least, the Justice Verma Committee said, soldiers accused of rape should be tried under civilian law.