INDIA: News Briefs

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Security establishment alerts Government about the activities of IS in the Af-Pak region: The Indian security establishment has alerted the Government about the activities of Islamic State (IS) in the Af-Pak region, named as the Wilayat Khurasan-WK (Khurasan Province) by the terror group. The alert was about the possible linkages of top WK leaders with the Pakistani establishment. Times of India, April 30, 2015.

LeT 'military commander' and 26/11 mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi will link with al Qaeda, warns R&AW: The release of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) 'military commander' and 26/11 (November 26, 2008 Mumbai attack) mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi by Pakistan could be bad news for the Middle East too as the militant could "reactivate" LeT's links in Syria, including with al Qaeda networks, the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) warned the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) last week. R&AW has submitted a report to the PMO saying Lakhvi's release from Adilia jail in Pakistan on April 10 assumes greater significance in view of his past activities in the Middle East and said he had earlier directed LeT operations in Chechnya Republic, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Iraq and South Asia, and sent LeT operatives to Iraq to attack US forces there. Times of India, April 29, 2015.

Quit or die, Maoists warn Policemen in Chhattisgarh: The Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) warned lower rung Policemen working in Bastar region of Chhattisgarh to leave their jobs or "get killed at the hands of People's Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) guerrillas". In a press statement issued by Madhavi, secretary of the West Bastar Divisional Committee of the Maoists, the CPI-Maoist took responsibility for the killing of Constable Bira Basant, who was abducted on April 7 and found dead two weeks later in Bijapur District. Blaming the State government and the Bijapur Police for the death of Bira, the Maoist leader claimed that the District Police did not initiate a dialogue for his release. The Hindu, April 28, 2015.

NSCN-R signs cease fire with Indian Government: The Reformation faction of National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-R) signed a cease-fire agreement for one year with the Government of India (GoI) in New Delhi on April 27. The salient feature of the cease fire is the removal of the sentence "as per the law of the land" from the cease fire ground rules. Nagland Post, April 28, 2015.

Probe doesn't show foreign funding for ISIS activists, says Union Minister of State for Home Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary: A high level probe conducted by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and State Police forces against Islamic State (IS) or Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) activists has not revealed any information on foreign funding to them. Union Minister of State for Home Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary has informed Rajya Sabha (upper house of the Parliament of India) that a total of four pro-ISIS activists, including two from Maharashtra and one each from Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh were arrested last year (2014). Times of India, April 25, 2015.

NRC update will solve influx woes, says Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi: Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on April 23 said that the ongoing exercise of National Register of Citizens, 1951, (NRC) update in the State has been given top priority as it would end issues revolving around the State's biggest problem of infiltration from Bangladesh. The process of updating the NRC now will facilitate the inclusion of the names of the persons and their descendants who appear in the NRC of 1951 or in any of the electoral rolls up to the midnight of March 24th, 1971, or in any one of the other admissible documents of the pre-1971 period. This will prove their presence in Assam on or before March 24, 1971. Times of India, April 24, 2015.

Al Qaeda's Indian branch leader killed by US airstrike in Pakistan, says report: According to a media report, Ahmed Farouq, an American who died in a United States (US) counter terrorism airstrike in January, 2015 was the 'deputy emir' of Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS). Two al Qaeda hostages, Warren Weinstein of the US and Giovanni Lo Porto from Italy, were killed in the same strike, according to CNN. Osama Mehmood, a spokesperson for AQIS, said that Farouq and another top figure, Qari Abdullah Mansur, were killed in a January 15 drone strike in Pakistan's Shawal Valley. Both Farouq and Mansur were senior al Qaeda leaders, according to Mehmood. One India, April 24, 2015.

Nine North East militant groups form a joint front based in Myanmar: As many as nine North East militant groups, including Independent faction of United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA-I) and IK Songbijit faction of National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB-IKS) have formed a joint front. At least three rounds of meetings were held among representatives of the outfits at undisclosed locations in Sagaing division of Myanmar over the last one month after which the joint front christened as the United National Liberation Front of West South East Asia (UNLFW) was floated. SS Khaplang the 'chairman' of Khaplang faction of National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-K) has been selected as the 'chief' of the 'united front'. There are conflicting reports as to the status of Paresh Baruah of ULFA-I. Sentinel Assam, April 23, 2015.

Islamic State a cause of grave concern, asserts External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called for unified action at conquering the Islamic State (IS) as she addressed the Asian African Summit at Jakarta (Indonesia) on April 22. The Minister said that the terror group had emerged as a cause of "grave concern". On the threat of terrorism, she said the rise of extremist violence and terrorism was "one of the most disturbing security phenomena and several parts of our two continents are victim to a medley of terrorist groups". India Today, April 23, 2015.

Army has strengthened counter-infiltration grid along the LoC over the years and has brought down levels of infiltration, says Chinar Corps GOC Lieutenant General Subrata Saha: Chinar Corps General Officer Commanding (GOC) Lieutenant General Subrata Saha on April 22 said that Army has strengthened the counter-infiltration grid along the Line of Control (LoC) over the years and has brought down the levels of infiltration. The GOC said "If we see last year (2014) we have eliminated 101 militants plus apprehensions, 45 of them. Bulk of them, have been eliminated while infiltrating. We are ensuring that before they try to cause damage in the hinterland, best is to get the menace during infiltration rather than allowing them to move to Valley and endanger people's lives and do collateral damage. Times of India April 23, 2015.

Parliament security still not equipped enough to handle terror strike, says report: A high level committee of three Members of Parliament (MP) have found several lacuna in the current security status of Parliament. The panel was constituted by Lok Sabha (Lower House of Indian Parliament) in August last year under the chairmanship of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP, RK Singh (former union home secretary) with two other BJP MPs - former Rajasthan DGP Harish Chandra Meena and former Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh. DNA, April 23, 2015.

NIA and Indian Statistical Institute trying to collate data on total volume of FICN in the country, says report: The National Investigation Agency (NIA), in collaboration with the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), is now trying to figure out the total volume of the Fake India Currency Notes (FICN) in the country. "At the moment, the data on total FICN in circulation in the Indian economy varies from Rs 1,500 crore to Rs 5,000 crore depending on the agency projecting it. FICNs undermine the economic security of the country and are also a way to fund terror activities, so it was necessary to arrive at a common figure after a scientific analysis of the data collected by different agencies," said an official of Union Ministry of Home Affairs (UMHA). Hindustan Times, April 23, 2015.

Pakistan Army protecting 26/11 mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, reveals intelligence report: In what clearly exposes Pakistan's lies and lack of intent in tackling terrorism, it has now emerged that dreaded terrorist Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi is being protected by Pakistan Army commandos and is staying at an Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) safe house on Lahore's outskirts, says an intelligence agency report to the Government. A comprehensive report given by the intelligence agencies to the Government on Pakistan's security scenario since Lakhvi's release said that in fact, ever since his release from Adiala Jail on April 10, 2014 Lakhvi was provided with foolproof protection by the Pakistani establishment. Deccan Chronicle, April 22, 2015.

Pakistan is strengthening APHC led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani and forming an alliance of various separatists around the Hurriyat hawk, says report: Sources said that after Pakistan failed to unite various factions of separatists groups in Kashmir, they are now strengthening All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC) led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani and forming an alliance of various separatists around the Hurriyat hawk. It was decided a month ago in a meeting of the top functionaries of Government of Pakistan and its agencies that Geelani will be strengthened and other groups will be asked to rally around him. Daily Excelsior, April 21, 2015.

MHA decides to deploy more CAPFs on International Border behind BSF: In view of "highly alarming reports'' about all out attempts by the militants to infiltrate into India, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has decided to deploy more Central Armed Police Forces (CPFs) on the International Border (IB) behind the Border Security Force (BSF) to foil infiltration attempts even if the militants managed to breach the fencing. Sources said there had been reports that encouraged by open support of Pakistan Army and Jamat-ul-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Sayeed, over a dozen militants in full combat dresses have been camping close to the IB in Hiranagar sector of Kathua District with a view to infiltrate into this side. Daily Excelsior, April 20, 2015.

LeT and other Pakistan-based groups will shift operational focus on India in next one to three years, according to Pentagon official: Pakistan-based terrorist outfits like Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) are likely to turn their attention to India with the drawdown of US forces from Afghanistan, a top Pentagon commander told lawmakers on April 16. "Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and other Pakistan-based groups continue fighting in Afghanistan, but they will likely shift some of their operational focus to the Indian subcontinent in the next one to three years as coalition forces draw down," Admiral Samuel J Locklear Commander, US Pacific Command, told the House Armed Services Committee. Huffington Post, April 16, 2015.

Naxals in India are now getting arms and ammunition from Sri Lanka, suspect Indian Intelligence sources: India's intelligence agencies have launched a major investigation into a "specific tip-off" that Naxals (Left Wing Extremists) were now getting sophisticated weapons through the sea route from Sri Lanka. Intelligence sources claimed that they had received information some time back that Naxals were routing arms and ammunition through the sea route through an arms cartel which was suspected to be earlier providing weapons to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as well. Daily Mirror, April 16, 2015.

LeT planning attacks in India, according to Intelligence agencies: Indian intelligence agencies on April 12, have warned all states and union territories about Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT's) plans to launch fresh attacks at hotels, railway stations and metro stations in key cities over the next few months. The alert is based on inputs passed on by railway authorities in Mumbai (Maharashtra) that LeT is planning a 26/11(November 26, 2008) -type strike at hotels and railway stations in the city. The Mumbai alert had warned that around 8-10 terrorist may infiltrate through the sea route to execute the attack. Times of India, April 15, 2015.

Security situation in J&K has witnessed significant improvement in recent years, says UMHA report: Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in its latest report have said that security situation in Jammu and Kashmir have improved in recent years. The report says, "The security situation in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) has witnessed significant improvement in recent years. Although in 2014 there was a slight increase in the number of terrorist incidents, Security Forces (SFs) were able to neutralize 110 militants as against 67 in 2013." Stating that ongoing militancy in the State is intrinsically linked with infiltration of terrorists from across the border both from the International Border (IB) as well as the Line of Control (LoC), it further notes, "During the year 2014, infiltration attempts decreased by 19.85% in comparison to the previous year due to tightened security and vigil on the borders." Daily Excelsior, April 15, 2015.

Separatist leader Masarat Alam arrested in Jammu and Kashmir: Police arrested separatist leader Masarat Alam on April 17) from his house in Srinagar. Earlier, on April 16, Police put under house arrest All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC) chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Masrat Alam. Times of India, April 13, 2015.

HuM's frontal organisation Ansar ul-Ummah banned by UMHA on alleged involvement in anti-India activities: Alarmed over their activities in India, particularly Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (UMHA) slapped a ban on Ansar ul-Ummah (AUU), a frontal organisation of banned Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM). As per UMHA, the alleged involvement of AUU has been found in anti-India activities. Economic Times, April 13, 2015.

SIMI regrouping in Ahmedabad, according to Gujarat ATS: Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has found signs of banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) regrouping in Ahmedabad. Alerted by some suspicious movements, its sleuths raided a house in Juhapura in Ahmedabad District in search of Yasin Patel alias Falahi, a key SIMI operative. Falahi could not be arrested, but Police have confirmed information that he was present in the city on March 28, 2015 and met former SIMI cadres. Ahmedabad Mirror, April 11, 2015.

Terror funds of INR 150 million recovered since 2006, says report: In the data on terror financing tabulated from 2006 till date, terror finances to the tune of INR 148.5 million have been recovered by National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Police of 15 states. The NIA has surpassed the states in recovery of terror finances despite starting operations as late as 2009. According to the report, the agency seized INR 36.6 million in terror funds in 11 cases investigated by it since its inception. As many as 101 persons are accused in these cases. Jammu and Kashmir ranks second only to NIA in seizures. Times of India, April 10, 2015.

NSCN-K 'reaffirms' naga 'sovereignty': Khaplang faction of National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-K) has reiterated that it would not compromise on 'naga sovereignty' and 'Pan-naga' identity and reaffirmed its abrogation of the cease fire with the Government of India and also expulsion of Y. Wangtin Naga. The 'ministry of information and publicity' (MIP) of NSCN-K stated that abrogation of the cease fire and expulsion of Wangtin were invoked in order to salvage Naga struggle from being decimated by "collusion of forces from within and outside". Nagaland Post, April 9, 2015.

AFSPA extended to more areas of Arunachal Pradesh: Government has extended Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) to almost the entire State of Arunachal Pradesh, citing a serious law and order situation in all Districts of the State which border Assam. As per a new notification issued by Union Home Ministry (UMHA) on March 27, all Districts of Arunachal Pradesh bordering the State of Assam have been declared as "disturbed area" under Section 3 of AFSPA for next one year. Sangai Express, April 8, 2015.

Pakistan Army and ISI have directed militants operating in Jammu and Kashmir not to carry out attacks on civilians but to target SFs, say Union Home Ministry officials: Union Home Ministry officials said that Pakistan Army and its intelligence agency, Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) have directed the militants operating in Jammu and Kashmir not to carry out attacks on civilians but to target Security Forces (SFs) leading to spurt in casualties among men in uniform. Officials said the killing of three Policemen by militants on April 6 in Kashmir valley was a clear indication about the plans of the Pakistan-sponsored groups. Times of India, April 6, 2015.

JeM and LeT men waiting to enter Jammu and Kashmir, say Intelligence inputs: Various inputs from Central intelligence agencies point towards the presence of groups of both Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) terrorists waiting to infiltrate at various locations along the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir. The inputs warn that LeT militants, led by one Mohammed Hussain alias Mani, are waiting to infiltrate from Derinala, while another group of five JeM terrorists has arrived from Kotli in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and has been camping at Shahbaz post. Asian Age, April 4, 2015.

IB warns of suicide attack in Delhi: Intelligence Bureau (IB) warned of Pakistan-based terror groups, led by the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), planning to carry out fidayeen (suicide) strikes in Delhi. Meanwhile, the IB has also warned of the JeM planning to target Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) workers in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), particularly in Kulgam District. The IB has drawn up a list of CPM workers who contested Assembly elections in 2014 and may be on the Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) hit list as well. Decan Chronicle, April 4, 2015.

LeT and JeM using 'Afzal Guru squad' to launch attacks in Jammu and Kashmir, says report: The recent fidayeen (suicide) attacks in Kathua and Samba in Jammu and Kashmir were allegedly carried out by the newly formed terror outfit, 'Afzal Guru squad'. According to the reports, the outfit, which was formed after the hanging of the 2001 Parliament attack convict, has become a cause of concern for Indian Security Forces (SFs). Afzal Guru's hanging at New Delhi's Tihar Jail in February 9, 2013 had triggered widespread protests in the Valley, and militants had vowed to avenge the execution. Banglore Mirror, April 3, 2015.

India and Thailand agree to strengthen security cooperation: India and Thailand have agreed to strengthen their defence and strategic cooperation, maritime security and counter-terrorism, with top Thai leaders strongly supporting the new government's "Act East" policy. Ajit Doval, National Security Advisor (NSA) to Prime Minister stated, "The overall kinetics was very positive. We discussed a range of issues, including terrorist activities, defence production, keeping the sea lanes safe, piracy, human trafficking and terrorism". New Indian Express, April 3, 2015.

Ten sarpanches killed in Kashmir in last four years, says Jammu and Kashmir Government: The Jammu and Kashmir Government on April 1 said ten sarpanches (elected head of village level local self government institution) have been killed and three injured by militants in the Valley in the last four years while 20 resigned following threats from militant outfits. In a written reply in the State Assembly, Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Abdul Haq Khan also said that the State Government was sensitive to the issue of safety of panchayat (village level local self Government institution) representatives in Kashmir and was taking various measures to instill confidence in them. Times of India, April 3, 2015.

Chinese arms being supplied to North East insurgents through Manipur, reports NIA: National Investigation Agency (NIA) interrogation of IK Songbijit faction of National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB-IKS) has revealed that Chinese made weapons come to Manipur through the China-Myanmar-India border. According to the interrogation report, arms consignments are smuggled from the China border to South Myanmar by the Kachin rebels who hand over the weapons to Isak-Muivah faction of National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) in Myanmar. NSCN-IM then passes on the weapons to NDFB-IKS in Manipur which are taken to Assam's Bodoland area, where NDFB operates. Forty six NDFB-IKS militants have been arrested so far by the NIA after December 2014 massacre of tribals. Sangai Express, April 2, 2015.

30 Nations including India join hands against terrorism: India, Pakistan as well as the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) are among the 30 Nations who have joined hands for a group, 'Group of Friends Against Terrorism' launched on April 1 at the initiative of Morocco at the United Nations (UN). In addition to China, France, Russia, United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US), the group has representation from the five continents. Morocco's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Omar Hilale presided over the launch of the group, which aims to "create synergies between all initiatives" implemented within the UN, promoting international cooperation in combating terrorism, share and exchange good practices in the fight against this scourge that threatens international peace and security. Economic Times, April 2, 2015.

Over 250 NDFB-IKS militants arrested in Assam since December 2014 massacre: Over 250 militants of IK Songbijit faction of National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB-IKS) have been apprehended, and four killed, in an operation launched by the Unified Command (UC) after the Adivasi massacre in the State on December 23, 2014. The forces have also recovered huge cache of arms and ammunition. Times of India April 1, 2015.

Prime Minister Modi assures solution to Indo-Naga peace talks in 18 months: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured a solution to the Indo-Naga peace talk within the next 18 months. According to a well placed source, the Government of India (GoI) assured Isak-Muivah faction of National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) leadership in December last year that the political dialogue would be brought to a logical conclusion within the next 18 months. Sangai Express, April 1, 2015.

[Source: SATP]

JULY 2018

Vol. 12 - No. 12


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