INDIA: News Briefs

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India Intelligence agencies have sent an alert to Canada Government, saying that pro-Khalistan terrorists are running a camp near Mission city in British Columbia to carry out strikes in Punjab. According to a report prepared by Punjab intelligence sleuths, Canadian Sikh Hardeep Nijjar has taken over as the operational head of Khalistan Terror Force (KTF) and formed a module comprising Sikh youths to carry out the attacks. Times of India, May 30, 2016.

China will expand counter-terror cooperation with India, says report: China on May 28 said it will expand cooperation with India to combat terrorism at the United Nations (UN) and other international fora. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said, the two sides have "agreed to carry forward our fine traditions, deepen practical cooperation and elevate bilateral relations." Hua added, "The two sides will expand bilateral cooperation in counter-terrorism. Terrorism is our common enemy. We will continue to enhance our counter-terrorism efforts under the UN, the BRICS and other frameworks to jointly maintain regional peace and stability." NDTV, May 28, 2016.

Pakistan should completely stop support to terror to boost ties, says Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi: Indo-Pak ties can “truly scale great heights” if Pakistan removes the “self-imposed” obstacle of terrorism, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said as he asked Islamabad to play its part by putting a complete stop to any kind of support to terrorism, “whether state or non-state”. He stated, “In my view, our ties can truly scale great heights once Pakistan removes the self-imposed obstacle of terrorism in the path of our relationship...We are ready to take the first step, but the path to peace is a two-way street". The Hindu, May 27, 2016.

17 militant groups under troops' radar across LoC in J&K: At least 17 groups of militants have become active across the Line of Control (LoC) opposite twin border Districts of Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region and Kupwara District of Kashmir valley with a view to infiltrate into the State to create disturbances even as the Multi Agency Centre (MAC), set up by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (UMHA) has maintained that 18 militants have infiltrated this year so far. Official sources said that the credible inputs available with security and Intelligence agencies revealed that at least 17 groups of militants have been observed across the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), who were fully geared to infiltrate into the State but high alertness being displayed by the troops hasn’t allowed them to succeed in their task. Daily Excelsior, May 26, 2016.

Six Assam Rifles personnel killed in Manipur: On May 22, 2016, at least six personnel of 29 Assam Rifles (AR), including one Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO), were killed, and another seven personnel were injured in an ambush laid by militants at Hengshi village, near the India-Myanmar border, in the Chakpikarong tehsil (revenue unit) of Chandel District in Manipur. The militants had triggered an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) before opening fire on the AR convoy. The militants also took away four AK-47 rifles, one light machine gun, one INSAS rifle and ammunition from the soldiers. Times of India, May 23, 2016.

Five JeM militants including 'commander' killed in Jammu and Kashmir: Five militants of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) including a 'commander' were killed in a fierce gun battle at village Drugmulla in Kupwara District on May 21 while two Army personnel were injured. Sources said that they were part of Fidayeen squad and had recently infiltrated into Kashmir and one of their members was killed in Zunreshi forests of Kupwara on May 16 while the others fled under the cover of darkness. Daily Excelsior, May 22, 2016.

IS releases new video showing Kalyan youth Fahad Shaikh, says report: The Islamic State (IS) on May 19 released a new 22-minute Arabic-language documentary featuring Indian jihadist, which seems to be their first official interview of the Kalyan youth, Fahad Shaikh who fled to Syria two years ago, where they joined the terror group. According to media reports, this one is the first propaganda video uploaded by the IS with special content focusing jihad in India and South Asia. India, May 21, 2016.

170 LWEs surrendered in two years, says Odisha Government: 170 cadres of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) have surrendered in past two years, said the Odisha Government on May 16. Furnishing a reply in the State Assembly, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said highest 65 LWEs had laid down their arms in Koraput while 42 surrendered in Malkangiri District during 2014-15 and 2015-16. As many as 42 LWEs returned to mainstream in Sundargarh District during the period. According to the Chief Minister, the State Government had come out with first surrender policy in June 2006 and the same had been made attractive in 2014. The Hindu, May 17, 2016.

Chhattisgarh State Government extended the ban on the CPI-Maoist and its six frontal organisations for another year: Chhattisgarh State Government extended the ban on the CPI-Maoist and its six frontal organisations for another year. "The ban on the CPI (Maoist) and its six frontal organisations has been extended for another one year," a State Home Department official said on May 15. The CPI-Maoist was first banned along with its affiliates in Chhattisgarh in April 2006 under section 3 of Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act-2005, and since then the State Government has been extending the ban every year. The six frontal organisations of the Maoists that have also been banned are -- Dandakaranya Adivasi Kisan Mazdoor Sangh, Krantikari Adivasi Mahila Sangh, Krantikari Adivasi Balak Sangh, Krantikari Kisan Committee, Mahila Mukti Manch and Jantana Sarkar. The ban will be effective from April 12, 2016, for the next one year, the official added. Hindustan Times, May 16, 2016.

42 GNLA cadres including its top leaders surrender in Meghalaya during the week: Around 42 cadres of Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) surrendered in separate incidents in different parts of the Garo Hills region during the past week. The surrendered cadres included 'finance secretary' Belding Marak alias Rakkam, 'area commander' Hedeo Ch Momin alias Cellopa alias Karak, 'action commander' Hedeo Ch Momin, 'area commander' Chingnang and 'deputy area commander' Sengrak M Marak. The Shillong Times; The Sentinel, May 10-14, 2016.

IS global recruiters set sights on India, says report: Disclosures of recently-arrested Islamic State (IS) recruits revealed that group's global headhunters, including women from Argentina, Sri Lanka and Philippines, are on the prowl for Indian youth who show any leanings to radical views on social media,. Sources said the three women identify themselves as Karen from Philippines, Fatima from Argentina and Eje from Sri Lanka. Also, Counter-terror agencies are closely monitoring nearly 25 motivators, mostly from outside India, who are looking for potential recruits and then indoctrinating them on social media. The details of their functioning have been told to investigators by IS inspired Indians in their interrogation to the National Investigation Agency (NIA). India Today, May 13, 2016.

Mizoram Government accepts HPC-D peace overtures: Mizoram Government accepted the peace overtures of Manipur-based Hmar People's Convention- Democracy (HPC-D) on the condition that the outfit would not indulge in any anti-government activity during the by-elections to the village councils on May 19. Mizoram Home Minister R Lalzirliana on May 11 said the HPC-D, through the Young Mizo Association (YMA) (Tuisual Group) and the central committee of YMA appealed to the State Government to initiate a peaceful negotiation. "We welcome the peace initiative and agreed that any conflict can only be amicably solved through negotiation," he said, adding that the HPC-D was expected not to campaign for any political party or candidate during the polling. Assam Tribune, May 12, 2016.

43,000 Bangladeshis vanished in India in four years, says Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju: At least 43,000 Bangladeshi nationals, who entered India on valid documents, have vanished during the last four years, whereas only 19,995 could be deported during the same period, said Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju. Revealing this, Kiren Rijiju said in a Rajya Sabha (upper house of Parliament) reply that the highest number of 24,364 disappeared in 2011, while 6,761 was deported the same year. Last year (2015), only 116 Bangladeshi nationals disappeared, while 474 were deported. Assam Tribune, May 11, 2016.

FICN worth INR 400 crores in circulation in India, says report: According to the study "Estimation of the quantum of FICN in circulation", conducted by Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, 250 in every 10,00,000 notes in circulation in India are fake and INR 400 crore worth of such Fake Indian Currency Note (FICN) is in circulation in the country at any given point of time. The study has unearthed FICN worth INR 70 crore are infused into the Indian market every year with agencies only being able to intercept one third of them. The study has further revealed that the detection rate of fake 100 and 500 rupee notes were found to be about the same and higher than the detection rate of 1000 rupee notes by about 10 per cent. The study was based on volumes of FICN detected and cash transaction in the banking sector. The study said that "the detection of FICN is carried out primarily by commercial banks. However, their reporting is irregular too and only three banks - Axis, HDFC and ICICI report about 80 per cent of the detection". The findings have been accepted by the government and a series of strong measures to counter this 'economic terrorism' is being planned. Times of India, May 11, 2016.

Maoists still a 'challenge' in Odisha, says White Paper tabled in State Assembly: Despite Odisha State Government's claim of improvement in Left-Wing Extremism (LWE) situation in the State, it is still a challenge in a number of Districts. The situation is grim in parts of Malkangiri, Koraput, Nuapada, Rayagada, Kandhamal, Kalahandi, Balangir, Nayagarh, Rourkela and Bargarh Police districts, said the White Paper released by the State Government in the State Assembly. There is, however, improvement in the situation in districts like Jajpur, Dhenkanal, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Gajapati, Ganjam, Nabarangpur, Sambalpur, Deogarh and Sundargarh. Times of India, May 11, 2016.

Special FICN Group formed in UMHA to curb FICN circulation in India: A special Fake Indian Currency Note (FICN) Co-ordination (FCORD) Group has been formed in the Union Ministry of home Affairs (UMHA) to share intelligence/information amongst the different Security Agencies of States/Centre to counter the menace of circulation of FICN in the country. The Government has also constituted a Terror Funding & Fake Currency Cell (TFFC) in National Investigation Agency (NIA) to investigate Terror Funding and Fake Currency cases. Business Standard, May 11, 2016.

Anti-Hijacking Bill passed in the Lok Sabha: The Anti-Hijacking Bill passed in the Lok Sabha: The Lok Sabha (Lower House of Indian Parliament) cleared the Anti-Hijacking Bill on May 9. It had been cleared by the Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Indian Parliament) earlier. The Bill provides for death penalty to offenders in case hostages or security personnel die, as well as life imprisonment as punishment for the offence. It also provides for the confiscation of movable and immovable property of the accused. The Bill amends the 1982 Act which provided for death penalty for hijackers only in the event of the death of hostages. While the Anti-Hijacking Act of 1982 was tweaked in 1994, successive governments felt the need for a stronger law following the hijacking of Indian Airlines flight IC-814 in December, 1999, and the September 11, 2001 (9/11) attacks on the US. Times of India; May 10, 2016.

JeM module in Delhi neutralized: On May 3, 2016, a special cell of Delhi Police and members of the Intelligence Bureau detained 13 people for conspiring to carry out terror strikes in the National Capital Region and questioned them for three days. While 10 of the 13 men were released after questioning, three men remain in custody - Sajid, Sameer and Shakir. Scroll, May 9, 2016.

Dawood Ibrahim wanted to destablise Indian Government, according to NIA: The National Investigating Agency (NIA) has claimed that Dawood Ibrahim plotted social unrest to destablise the government. As per the plan, the D-Company shooters were assigned the task of targeting senior Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leaders and churches in order to spread communal hatred in the country. NIA claimed that at least 10 chosen members of Dawood's D-Company were assigned the task to "create unrest". The agency claimed that as part of the "larger conspiracy", D-Company sharpshooters killed two right-wing leaders - Shirish Bangali and Pragnesh Mistry - in Gujarat's Bharuch on November 2, 2015. Zee News, May 6, 2016.

No plans to restart ceasefire with NSCN-K, says UMHA: The Indian Government has no plans to re-enter into a ceasefire agreement Khaplang faction of National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-K), a Union Ministry of Home Affairs (UMHA) official said on May 2. "There is no official communication on this (re-entering into ceasefire with NSCN-K) from the Government of India, and at this moment there are no initiatives from our side," Satyendra Garg, UMHA joint secretary in-charge of northeast affairs, said. The Sentinel, May 6, 2016.

Three Maoists killed in Andhra Pradesh: Three Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadres were killed in an encounter with Police in Marripakala forests under Visakha Rural Agency area in Visakhapatnam District on May 4. Though the identity of the deceased is yet to be established, one of them is suspected to be a 'commander' of the Galikonda Area Committee of the CPI-Maoist. India Today, May 5, 2016.

[Source: SATP]

JULY 2018

Vol. 12 - No. 12


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