India Timeline - Year 2018

Date

Incidents

January 1

The NIA is likely to appeal for the custody of five unidentified IS sympathisers who were arrested in October 2017 from Kannur city of Kannur District in Kerala. These IS sympathisers were arrested while their attempt to flee to Syria and join the terror organisation. They were sent to the judicial custody and later lodged at Kakkanad District Jail in Kochi, Kerala. The NIA had filed charges under Sections 38 and 39 of the UAPA, 1967.

During Investigation, it has been revealed that two alleged IS operatives, Kasim Stimberwala and Ubaid Mirza, played an important role in radicalising and further recruiting Indian Muslims from Gujarat and other states to join IS. The duo used to target and lure Indian Muslim youth over a social media platform and later added them to the messaging group or forums. After the assurance of their loyalty, the recruits were contacted by Shafi Armar alias Zahed al-Hindi. Apart from planning a ‘lone-wolf’ attack on synagogue in Khamasa area in Ahmedabad District of Gujarat, the duo were main recruiters for IS in India, said an unnamed senior Gujarat ATS official.

The body of third Fidayeen (suicide squad) was recovered by the SFs as the operation against JeM Fidayeens ended in Pulwama District. Earlier, as SATP reported, five CRPF personnel and two militants were killed in a Fidayeen attack on a CRPF camp in the early morning of the December 31 at Letpora in Pampore in Pulwama District. As the SFs were conducting searches last evening [December 31] and removing debris, they were fired upon by the third Fidayeen leading to heavy firing. However, the operation was put on hold for the night and in the morning [January 1] it was resumed and body of third Fidayeen was recovered. However, his identity was not ascertained and he is believed to be Pakistani national. According to the CRPF, three AK-47 rifles and eight grenades were recovered from the site of the gunfight.

Special Director General of CRPF, SN Srivastav, said that the operation continued throughout the night.  “Darkness was a limiting factor and it impeded our operation. This morning [January 1] we continued the operation and concluded it with the killing of last hiding militant. While I am briefing you some amount of search operation is going on as the campus is very big”, he said. “We want to discount chances of anybody hiding anywhere, though the chances are bleak. But still we want to be fully sure before calling off the operation. There were no further casualties on our side today. Four of the security forces personnel were martyred yesterday while carrying out the operation and two militants were also killed. Third militant was killed today”, he said. “And that the fifth (CRPF person) died of a heart attack”, he added

Soon after thousands joined the funeral of slain JeM militant Fardeen Ahmad Khanday in Tral in Pulwama District, his hometown, the Pakistan-based JeM released a video of 17-year-old Khanday, the son of a Police Constable, in which he asks Kashmiris to join the "jihad" against India to establish Islamic rule. "The rise in jihad has nothing to do with unemployment, as claimed by India; it is a reaction to Kashmir's occupation by India," the slain JeM militant is seen and heard saying in Urdu in the video. "The kaffirs have occupied our land, the modesty of our women is at stake, so jihad becomes our duty ... therefore, it becomes your duty to fight for azadi," he is heard saying. A resident of Nazeen Pora in Tral, Fardeen Khanday had joined the terrorist outfit in September 2017. His father is a serving Police Constable, Ghulam Mohammad Khanday.

In the video, which went viral, Fardeen is shown with an automatic rifle, surrounded by several hand grenades and other ammunition, asking Kashmiri Muslims to join the "jihad" as, according to him, India has taken away "our resources and is using them for their betterment". "Besides, our women are not safe and, equally, men are tortured by Indian soldiers," Khanday says in the video.

Two boys from Kangan area of Pulwama District in South Kashmir, who had gone missing and later updated their pictures carrying a hand grenade over social media, surrendered before Army in Pulwama. The boys Suhail Ahmad Dar, a class 10th student and Arif Ahmad Dar, a 9th class student had gone missing after offering Friday prayers at the local mosque in Kangan. The duo then uploaded their pictures on Facebook, carrying a hand grenade. However, the boys returned home and joined their families, who presented them before the Army at the 55 RR camp. The Army has assured the boys every help in their endeavor to return to the mainstream and promised that no cases will be pursued against them. The boys have handed over the hand grenade to the Army. The officials at the 55 RR camp reiterated that anyone who wants to shun violence and come back will be provided a dignified exit into the mainstream from violence.

The PSO who was abducted on December 31 was rescued by a joint team of Dima Hasao Police and AR.  Dima Hasao SP stated that ZUF militants released the victim about 1.5 Kilometres from the abduction sight after rescue operations were launched. SFs recovered .9mm carbine and a magazine with 30 rounds of ammunition whole sweeping the area.

First draft of NRC for Kokrajhar District, a total of 5,88,106 persons have been included in the draft list, among them 1,80,730 are of Kokrajhar Revenue Circle. Additionally, 97,442 are of Dotma Revenue Circle, and 1, 65,850, 73,577 and 70,507 from Gossaigaon, Bagribari and Bhawraguri Revenue Circles have also been added. The District received a total of 203,906 application forms. Additionally 333,311 people of Chirang District have been added in NRC draft. The percentage of the first list is 64.35 per cent while remaining population of the district is 186,662.

Police recovered an IED near the main entrance of Mantripukhri in Imphal West District. According to sources, a Police patrolling party found the IED on the road side, along Imphal-Dimapur highway. Later Bomb Disposal Squad disposed off the IED.

A KCP-Noyon militant was arrested near Moreh Forest Gate in Tengupal District. According to authorities, the arrested militant was working under the ‘finance secretary’ of the group , identified as ‘captain’ Ramesh alias Yangba who is in Aucheng in Myanmar.

Churachandpur District Police arrested 37 militants in 2017 and recovered 41 weapons (including 15 small arms), 28 detonators and 9 gelatin sticks. Two individuals were also detained under the National Security Act.

Imphal West Police arrested 118 militants in 2017. Police also recovered two .32 pistols with magazines and six live rounds, a, .32 revolver, three .9 mm pistols with magazines and 16 lie bullet rounds, two Chinese hand grenades with detonators, two hand grenades with one detonator, one AK-56 rifle with five magazines and 56 AK ammunition, one lethod gun with 10 shells, 81 gelatin sticks, two TNT cases.

UCM a civil society organization stated that GoI should confine the frame work agreement with NSCN-IM to Nagaland. The President of UCM stated that "If the framework agreement and its outcome is confined only to Nagaland, there will be no issue and complications’.

He also added that ‘If the framework agreement or any solution based on it is going to affect the interest of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, then no solution should be worked out without consulting the governments of these states and stakeholders’. UCM president is the spokesperson for the eight-member delegation of three citizens'' organisations who had met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in December.

AR arrested an NNC-NA militant identified as sergeant major’ Wongtong from Tuesang District. One .303 rifle, 24 live rounds were recovered from him.

An arms dealer was arrested from rom Indrapuri village in Tuensang District. The arms dealer has been identified as K Haothiu Khiamniungan. One .22 pistol, and a magazine with nine rounds of ammunition were recovered from him.

Nagaland has been declared "disturbed area" for six more months, till June-end under AFSPA. UMHA notified that it is of the opinion that the area comprising the whole of Nagaland is in such a "disturbed and dangerous condition" that use of Armed Forces in aid of the civil power is necessary. GoI declared that whole of the said state to be a ''disturbed area'' for a period of six months with effect from December 30, 2017.

January 2

Punjab Police has claimed to implement a ‘second line of defence’ to contain any infiltration by terrorists from the International Border with Pakistan. The Security Personnel deployment in the sensitive border zones has manifold of bullet-proof SUVs, tractors, night-vision devices, and cameras. All the Nakas (checkpoints) are strengthen as a part of ‘second line of defence’ with the permanent posting of two Battalions of the Punjab Police and movement of 4th IRB from Kapurthala in Kapurthala District to Pathankot District, said an unnamed senior Police official. Apart from these security measurements, a post of Asst. I-G of Counter-Intelligence has been created in Pathankot District, Pathankot (Punjab). The intelligence-sharing with the BSF includes the collection, compilation and dissemination of the information between the Police and other concerned agencies, said an unnamed SSP posted at Pathankot District.

Six ‘anti-india’ outfits remain proscribed in the UK’s list of ‘Proscribed Terrorist Organisations’ that includes 74 groups operating in and across various nations. Out of six, four groups related to the terrorism in J&K, namely Harakat-Ul-Jihad-Islami (HuJI), Harakat Mujahideen (HuM), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and its splinter group Khuddam Ul-Islam (KuI), and Jamaat Ul-Furquan (JuF). The list also includes Indian Mujahideen (IM) which is described as an organisation that aims to establish an Islamic state and implement Sharia law in India using violent means. Apart from Islamist groups, the list includes only Babbar Khalsa, a pro-Khalistan group which was described as “a Sikh movement that aims to establish an independent Khalistan within the Punjab region of India”. The International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF)—another pro-Khalistan outfit, was banned in 2001 but was removed from the proscribed list in March 2016.

A group of militants fired at the Police Station Pulwama in Pulwama District with automatic rifles and the Police guards fired back. The firing continued for about 10 minutes. Police, CRPF and Army immediately launched an operation in the area and searches are being conducted against the militants, who fired at the Police Station.  However, sources said that the militants managed to escape under the cover of darkness.

Jammu and Kashmir Police chief S P Vaid said three more Kashmiri youth, who had taken up guns, have surrendered before the SFs, taking the number of militants who have surrendered in recent past to 10. “Three more Kashmiri youth, who had joined militancy, have given up violence and returned back,” Vaid said. He said the youth have returned back in response to the call of their families. He said seven more youth had already given up militancy and returned back in the recent past. “With three more youth returning to mainstream, 10 youth, who had taken up guns, have given up path of violence and militancy so far,” he said.

The process of surrenders started on November 17 after the footballer-turned-militant Majid Khan nicknamed Ben Stokes surrendered before the SFs following passionate video appeal from his mother. After Majid Khan’s surrender, mothers of many youth, who had taken up guns and joined militancy, also appealed their militant sons to give up militancy and return. DGP Vaid said 10 militants, who have surrendered so far, hailed from south and north Kashmir. Barring Majid, the identity of nine other militants, who surrendered before the security agencies, has not been revealed. The DGP once again appealed the local militants to surrender and join the mainstream.

A CRPF jawan, Ashish Patra (29), was killed during exchange of fire between CPI-Maoist cadres at hills of Chakarbandha near Balthar village under Barachatti Tehsil in Gaya District of Bihar. CRPF sources said that a search and destroy operation was launched at around midnight on January 1 after receiving intelligence input of some splinter group's movement in the area. Commandos of CoBRA and regular battalion along with civil Police of Gaya and Aurangabad Districts were involved in the operation. Around 3.30pm on January 2, exchange of fire took place between the splinter group and SFs during which Patra received bullet injury in head and later succumbed to his injuries, CRPF sources said.

The CPI-Maoist cadres are fast losing support from the ‘Jan Militia’ members and the people of Bastar in Chhattisgarh, SDGP, Anti-Naxal Operations, D M Awasthi told reporters in Raipur. Sixty five per cent of Bastar region had been freed of Maoists so far, he said while addressing a press conference here to list out the achievement of Chhattisgarh Police during 2017. “By year 2022, Bastar would be made completely insurgency-free region,” Awasthi said. “Two years ago, there were pockets in Bastar where venturing in was not possible. Now, the movement in such regions has been made possible even for civilians,” he said. After the forces mounted pressure on the Maoists, Awasthi claimed, the rebels are now trying to get active in the forest areas of Rajnandgaon, Kawardha and Balaghat regions that border with Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. As of now, 16 out of 27 Districts in Chhattisgarh have been classified as LWE affected of which eight are classified as hyper-sensitive. He said the department has sent a proposal to include Kawardha District in the list of the hyper-sensitive District in view the Maoist presence in the forest areas of that District. Referring to operation Prahaar I and II, carried out in Bastar to flush out the rebels, Awasthi said offensive intelligence-based operations in South Sukma, Maoist core areas and in Abujhmaad areas in Narayanpur District was successfully conducted—inflicting heavy causalities on the Maoist side. However, he said there were two consecutive setbacks to CRPF in Bhejji and Burkapal in Sukma District. With losing support of the ‘Jan Militia’ and the people of Bastar, the Maoists are facing a tough time, he added. Awasthi further informed that at present around 75,000 security personnel are deployed in the State for anti-Naxal operations and the situation is well under control. Additional Chief Secretary, Home, BVR Subramaniam further added that the Naxals are now restricted to a triangular patch in Kawardha region at the borders of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh.

SFs recovered TPC, a splinter group of the CPI-Maoist belongings like pamphlets, uniforms, mobile sets, chargers, tarpaulin, blankets, torches, diaries, notebooks, tracksuits and eatable items in MaholiaTand hills under Chhatterpur Police Station in Palamu District of Jharkhand. The SFs gave a hot pursuit to a TMC squad of 30 cadres during an offensive in Kaual-Kurkutta region of Palamu District. The cadres of TPC managed to escape to nearby densely forested areas, said Vimlesh Tripathi, Chhatterpur Police Station in-charge.

CPI-Maoist cadres identified as Roopesh, Shyna, Anoop Mathew, Veeramani and Kannan were Coimbatore District and Principal Sessions Court at Coimbatore District of Tamil Nadu. Roopesh was brought under tight security from Kerala. They raised slogans demanding release of Muslim convicts who are lodged in Coimbatore Central Prison for more than 10 years, political prisoners and Sri Lankan prisoners.

Naxalite  cadre of the of the CPI-ML, Chandra Pulla Reddy Bata faction, identified as MD Rashid alias Venu surrendered before the SP, N Koti Reddy in Mahabubabad District of Telangana. Rashid is a native of Kambalapally village in Mahabubabad Mandal and joined the CPI-ML, Chandra Pulla Reddy Bata faction, in 2016.  He also worked for CPI-ML-New Democracy Chandranna faction, for three years and got arrested by the Police in West Godavari District. He spent three months in prison. After release from the prison, he led his life by running an auto rickshaw. He joined Naxalites at the request of Dubbaka Yesobu of Manuguru, said SP, N Koti Reddy. Only single member, Mokalla Sammaiah alias Nutan, is working presently for the Naxalites as others either surrendered before the Police or killed in an encounter on December 14 in Kothagudem District. “I appeal to Sammaiah to surrender before the Police,” added SP, Reddy.

The Government has no plans to give general amnesty to the militants in Jammu and Kashmir and Maoists who give up violence and arms struggle, the Lok Sabha was informed. “There is no proposal for general amnesty to the militants,” Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said in a reply to a written question in Lok Sabha. The reply came in response to a question on whether the Government has any proposal for extending general amnesty, along with a lucrative rehabilitation package, to the Maoists and militants who give up violence and arms struggle. The Minister said the Central Government was following a multi-pronged strategy to deal with LWE and the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and Northeastern States. The multi-pronged strategy comprises security-related measures and development-related initiatives. “In Jammu and Kashmir and NE States, the Central Government is also following a policy of talks with those groups who abjure the path of violence and seek resolution of their demands peacefully within the framework of the Constitution of India,” he said.

Intelligence reports also indicate ULFA-I leaders have found a location near the Namdapha national park in Changlang of Arunachal Pradesh for setting up a transit camp. About 70 cadres will be able to live here. A report says that once the camp is ready, parts of Assam close to south-east Arunachal Pradesh will witness a rise in violence.

SFs in Rangapara forest area in Kokrajhar District busted a camp of NDFB-S. The Police suspected that around 10 to 15 NDFB-S cadres were taking shelter in the temporary camp for some days.

A civilian identified as Sukur Ali was abducted from Lakhipur in Goalpara District.

Intelligence reports are indicating increased activity and possible major attack between New Year Day and Republic Day by ULFA-I and NSCN-K. An intelligence report speaks of ULFA-I arranging for 25 pairs of warm track suits and shoes. Additionally, intelligence reports also indicate ULFA-I leaders have found a location near the Namdapha National Park in Changlang of Arunachal Pradesh for setting up a transit camp. About 70 cadres will be able to live here. A report says that once the camp is ready, parts of Assam close to south-east Arunachal Pradesh will witness a rise in violence.

Foreigners Tribunal of Assam declared almost 20,000 people as foreigners till October 2017. As per the monthly report of disposal of cases in FTs of Assam, 19,612 'D' (doubtful/disputed) voters were declared foreigners till October 2017," Union Minister of State (Home) Kiren Rijiju informed Lok Sabha. According to the Kiren Rijiju, issuance of notice to the 'D' voters is a legal process and there is no question of harassing people. 'D' voters are not detained. "Only persons declared by FTs as foreigners are kept in the detention centres”.

CM Sonowal said that his Government wouldn't give any constitutional rights to the people who fail to make it to the final NRC and would allow them to live in India on humanitarian grounds until the Centre takes a decision on their expulsion. He stated that people who are declared foreigners will be barred from all constitutional rights, including fundamental and electoral. They will have only one right; human rights as guaranteed by the UN that include food, shelter and clothing." The CM said the "historic" NRC draft would make the distinction between a bona fide Indian and a foreigner.

An indefinite shutdown began in Tseminyu area in Kohima District press the demand for up gradation of Tseminyu sub-divisional headquarter into a full-fledged District headquarters. The strike has been called by the Rengma Naga frontal organizations in Kohima District.

January 3

The Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir informed the Rajya Sabha (the Upper House of the Parliament of India) that the process of demonetisation of Indian currency notes of INR 500 and INR 1,000, in November 2016 and onwards had severely hit the hawala transactions and Pakistan-printed FICNsAround INR 9.8 million were recovered from LWE groups and the LWEs had also protested expressing their discontentment against the demonetisation, said Hansraj Ahir.

A BSF Head Constable, identified as RP Hazra was killed in firing by Pakistani Rangers along the IB in Samba sector in Samba District. According to report, RP Hazra, whose 51st birthday falls on January 3, sustained a gun shot in his abdomen while manning forward border post at Chak Dulma in Samba sector at 4.20 pm January 3. Immediately after ceasefire violation by Pakistani Rangers, the BSF jawans from this side retaliated very effectively to silence the Pakistani guns. Pakistani Rangers also opened firing at Manyari and Pansar in Samba and Londi and Bobiya areas in Hiranagar sector for a brief period, leading to exchanges. The firing stopped after sometime.

Pakistan army also violated ceasefire for a brief period along LoC in Balakote sector of Poonch District in the evening. However, there were no casualties or damage on the Indian side. Indian troops retaliated effectively.

Unidentified militants shot dead a 25-year old man, identified as Arif Ahmad Sofi  in Sopore area of Baramulla District in the evening. Police said that Arif Ahmad Sofi son of Mohammad Maqbool Sofi of Wahipora Unisoo, Handwara in Kupwara District (at present Herwan Bomia, Sopore with maternal home) was shot at around 7:25 pm by militants at point blank range. Army and SOG of Jammu and Kashmir Police cordoned off the area soon after the incident and launched searches against the militants responsible for the killing.

Police arrested three persons including an OGW from Pattan area of Baramulla District. SFs identified the trio as Miyser Majid Bhat, OGW, Muzafar Ahmad Hurra and Bashir Bhat. The official said that arms and ammunition including a Chinese pistol, one magazine, four rounds, one AK-47 rifle with two magazines and 60 rounds were recovered from them.

The NIA opposed before a Delhi court the bail application of an alleged stone pelter, arrested from Kashmir Valley in a terror case, citing his "anti-national" activities. The NIA, probing funding of terror and separatist activities in the valley, told District Judge Poonam A Bamba that 24-year-old Javed Ahmed Bhat was involved in anti-national activities and took active participation in stone pelting on SFs. The agency said there were serious apprehension about Bhat fleeing from justice as well as the country and that he could tamper with evidences if released on bail. It further added that the investigation into the case was still on and the accused remained non-cooperative during the probe.

Pakistani troops violated ceasefire by firing and shelling posts along the LoC in Rajouri District. “The unprovoked fire from Pakistan started first from small arms which later coupled with mortar shelling throughout the night”, sources said.

SFs arrested seven CPI-Maoist cadres indentified as Kunjam Joga (30), Muchaki Hadma (20), Madvi Deva (25), Muchaki Payka (27), Kuhrami Sukka (21), Madkam Kosa (45) and Madkam Hunga (41) under Bhejji Police Station in Sukma District of Chhattisgarh. The arrested were cadres of the DAKMS, a frontal organisation of the CPI-Maoist, and involved in an attack on a Police team in Gacchanpalli forest in July, 2017. They are also wanted in case related to torching of a car and a motorcycle near Chikhalaguda in December 2017, said DIG, south Bastar range, Sundarraj P.

CPI-Maoist has succeeded in establishing RPC in many colonies on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu-Karnataka border and re-emerging in Kerala, says Intelligence Sources According to the reports, G Krishnamoorthy, 'CC member' from Karnataka, has taken charge of Kerala operations in place of Kuppuswamy aka Kuppu Devaraj who was killed in an encounter at Nilambur in Malappuram District on November 24, 2016. Krishnamoorthy has been successful in organising meetings in these areas which were attended by PLGA cadres. CPI-Maoist cadres are known to make their presence felt initially with lightning appearances and distribution of leaflets in potential areas of growth dare to form RPCs only after they get feelers that the ground is fertile. Maoists have succeeded in forming RPCs in half a dozen tribal colonies, including some in Attappadi.

Union Cabinet approved an agreement between India and Myanmar on land border crossing which the government said would enhance economic interaction between people of the two countries There are already free movement rights for people ordinarily residing in the border areas of both countries.

The agreement will also facilitate movement of people on the basis of valid passports and visas which will enhance economic and social interaction between the two countries, a statement said. It is expected to provide connectivity and enhance interaction of the people from north-eastern states of India with those of Myanmar. The agreement will safeguard the traditional rights of the largely tribal communities residing along the border which are accustomed to free movement across the land border, the statement read.

The trader abducted on December 31 was released near the North Garo Hills District along the Assam-Meghalaya border. He was released near near the Garo Hills border, at Kukurkata in Goalpara District. The family of the victim allegedly paid a ransom amount of INR 1 million for the release.

A hut belonging to a farmer of Rangpur village in the Chungajan area in Golaghat District along Assam-Nagaland boundary was set ablaze by unidentified assailants from Nagaland.

SFs arrested on OGW of GNLA from South Salmara Mankachar District. The SFs also recovered gelatin sticks, 100 detonators and 15 bundles of detonating cords were recovered from him.

Several Barak valley based organisations expressed concern over the large number of names (from the Valley) that are yet to be published and the huge quantum of errors in the published list of NRC. The meeting said the names of 30-50 per cent people from the valley's three districts have been included in the first list and these too are full of errors. In Hailakandi, 217,571 names, out of 719,840, appeared in the first list (30 per cent). In Karimganj, 507,840 names, out of 1,324,096, are on the list (38.35 per cent). In Cachar, 642,679 names, out of 1,823,302, featured on the list (35.25 per cent). Further, the Union Territory Demand Committee will take out rallies in Silchar on January 16.

In a suspected extortion threat a trader dealing in cement escaped unhurt when unidentified assailants hurled a grenade at his shop at Khurai in Imphal East District. Police said the grenade hit the roof of the shop and failed to explode.

A KCP militant Athokpak Dinesh Singh alias Mathoi was arrested from Pechi Mayai Leikai in Thoubal District. It has been revealed that the militant was involved in various extortion activities.

A PREPAK militant was arrested from Imphal West District. The militant was identified as Kshetrimayum Biken alias Pamel alias Nongdol.

Union Cabinet approved an agreement between India and Myanmar on land border crossing which the government said would enhance economic interaction between people of the two countries There are already free movement rights for people ordinarily residing in the border areas of both countries.

The agreement will also facilitate movement of people on the basis of valid passports and visas which will enhance economic and social interaction between the two countries, a statement said. It is expected to provide connectivity and enhance interaction of the people from north-eastern states of India with those of Myanmar. The agreement will safeguard the traditional rights of the largely tribal communities residing along the border which are accustomed to free movement across the land border, the statement read

One abductor who was involved in the December 31st abduction of a trader from Krishnai town in Assam was arrested from Resubelpara in North Garo Hills District. The arrestee stated that seven- member gang including two former GNLA militants, identified as Sengsan Momin alias Asong and Kalu were part of the abduction gang.

Union Cabinet  approved an agreement between India and Myanmar on land border crossing which the government said would enhance economic interaction between people of the two countries There are already free movement rights for people ordinarily residing in the border areas of both countries.

The agreement will also facilitate movement of people on the basis of valid passports and visas which will enhance economic and social interaction between the two countries, a statement said. It is expected to provide connectivity and enhance interaction of the people from north-eastern states of India with those of Myanmar. The agreement will safeguard the traditional rights of the largely tribal communities residing along the border which are accustomed to free movement across the land border, the statement read

Rh Raising, ‘convenor’ of the Steering Committee of NSCN-IM said that in order to arrive at an amicable solution for both the Nagas and GoI as agreed that GoI and Nagas will co-exist as two entities and share sovereign power between the two entities. Rh Raising stated that ‘the historic Framework Agreement is the first Indo-Naga political agreement that opens up an era of a new relationship between the two’ and added that the agreement is the legacy of both NSCN-IM and GoI.

January 4

Addressing the threat of ongoing radicalisation and to interact directly with the citizens, the Punjab Police has aspired to launch its own Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts in the month of January, said Punjab DGP Suresh Arora. Providing the details of Punjab Police’s achievements of 2017 and further plans in 2018, the Punjab Police had dismantled eight terror modules with the arrests of 47 persons and seizure of 43 different weapons. Around 21 foreign nationals were accused of providing logistics and financial assistance to these terror modules, said DGP Suresh Arora. Comparing the crime data of 2016 and 2017, the homicide cases came down from 771 in 2016 to 656 in 2017, attempt to murder from 862 in 2016 to 795 in 2017, kidnapping/abduction related cases from 1591 in 2016 to 1462 in 2017, robbery cases from 147 in 2016 to 116 in 2017, and cases of dacoits from 43 in 2016 to 26 in 2017, added DGP Suresh Arora.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan ordered the closure of the Peace International School in Ernakulam in Ernakulam District which has been under scanner for objectionable and non-secular content in the syllabus. The action comes in the wake of reports filed by the District Collector and the Education Department. The Kozhikode-based Peace Foundation operates more than 10 schools under the name ‘Peace International.’ Whether the directive is applicable to other schools of the foundation will be known once the Government Order is issued. The Chief Minister has demanded that the students in the school, located at Chakkaraparambu in Kochi in Ernakulam District, be shifted to other schools in the region. The Police are trying to bring the school Managing Director M M Akbar from abroad [Dubai, UAE]. Earlier, a probe conducted by the Education Department found that the school does not follow textbooks of NCERT, CBSE or SCERT. The District Education Officer’s report had stated that teaching a syllabus giving prominence to a single religion is violation of education rights. The Intelligence agencies have found that Abdul Rashid and Yasmin Ahammed, who are facing NIA probe for alleged links with the IS, have worked in the school. Police probe has revealed that the school teaches textbooks compiled by Burooj Realization, an Islamic education institution based in Navi Mumbai in Maharashtra. Three people who readied the text books were later arrested by Kochi Police from Mumbai. Though there were allegations that they have links with controversial preacher Zakir Naik, it has not been confirmed.

The NIA has forward its appeal to the NIA court; seeking permission to interrogate two IS accused—Manseed alias Omar al-Hindi and Safvan alias Rayyan, the first and fifth accused, respectively in the Kanakamala (Kannur District of Kerala) IS module case. Manseed was a resident of Thalassery city of Kannur District whereas Safvan resided at Tirur town of Malappuram District in Kerala. Both accused are IS sympathisers who coordinated to attack key establishments and persons at various places in South India.  As a part of ‘Hadiya case’, the accused persons knew Shafin Jahan and had communication with him. Therefore, there is a need to confirm some information regarding the matter, said an unnamed NIA officer. The NIA court will proceed to the petition on January 5.

A Pakistani intruder was killed as BSF personnel foiled a major infiltration attempt from across the IB in Arnia sector in Jammu District during wee hours. Sources said that BSF personnel noticed movement of a group of 4-5 terrorists near the barbed wire fence under the cover of thick fog in the area. The BSF personnel opened fire killing one of them, while others managed to flee back to Pakistan side. The area has been cordoned off. More details is awaited.

The BSF inflicted heavy casualties and damages on Pakistan by killing and injuring a number of Rangers, most likely around a dozen, smashing their two mortar posts and thwarting an infiltration attempt along the IB in RS Pura sector in Jammu District. Though there was no official word from the BSF on ‘exact number of casualties’, both fatal and non-fatal, suffered by the Rangers, reliable reports said the number could be ‘around a dozen’. “Many Rangers have been killed or injured in retaliatory firing by the BSF after the BSF Head Constable RP Hazra was martyred yesterday [January 3] afternoon in Pakistan firing at Chak Dulma in Samba sector,” reports said, adding that there was panic among the Rangers, which was quite visible with ambulances taking repeated rounds of forward areas of Sialkot sector of Pakistan.

Three civilians were also injured on Pakistan side as they were caught in the retaliatory firing even though the BSF directly targeted the posts of Rangers and not the civilian areas to avenge the killing of Hazra. “Two mortar posts of the Rangers were located, targeted and destroyed in retaliatory action by the BSF opposite Samba sector post-martyrdom of Hazra,” reports said, adding these Pakistani posts were planning to target civilian population in Samba sector by firing mortar shells in the forward villages along the IB. However, the BSF undertook pre-emptive action and razed to ground both the Pakistani mortar posts across Samba sector. The Rangers manning these two posts were either killed or injured, reports said.

The BSF has launched ‘Operation Alert’ along over 200 kilometer long IB in Jammu to curb the increasing movement of infiltrating militants from across the border. “There are inputs that there is movement of militants and accordingly, we have declared ‘Ops Alert’ on the border,” IG of BSF Jammu Frontier, Ram Awatar said.

Pakistan-based terrorist outfit JeM has been ‘secretly’ renamed as 'Al Murabitoon'. The rechristening of JeM founded by Masood Azhar, who is wanted in India in connection with several terror attack cases, has come at a time when India has been lobbying hard at the UN for more sanctions against the outfit. According to inputs received from the intelligence agencies, the JeM is now using its new identity to secure entry into the universities and colleges across Pakistan. Besides, the changed identity of the outfit is also being used to secure more funds for the organisation.  The reports, claiming to have accessed documentary evidence, said that Masood Azhar is using this new identity for organising speech and debate competitions in schools and colleges in Pakistani cities of Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore and Rawalakot.

If the intelligence agencies are to be believed, the renaming of JeM is a well-calculated move aimed at shielding the outfit from international scrutiny. However, this is not the sole reason behind JeM's renaming. JeM's new identity is also likely to help it in expanding its anti-India operations, report said. In view of a tough competition from as LeT and the Taliban, the JeM has been under tremendous pressure to increase its influence in PoK and the Kashmir Valley.

Several pamphlets inviting entries for debate competitions have been distributed in various schools and colleges in Pakistan in the name of ‘Al Murabitoon.’ Interestingly, top leaders of JeM have been invited to the events as guests. Another thing which draws immediate attention is the prize – special swords bearing the name of Masood Azhar as the 'Ameer of Mujahedeens' – being given to the winners and the runner-ups. All this comes to light at a time when the US President Donald Trump has threatened to cut USD 255 million in aid to Pakistan over its alleged terror activities. 

Acting on a tip-off from a military intelligence unit, the Jammu and Kashmir Police and Army personnel arrested six persons involved in preparation and sale of fake stamps and identity documents of Indian Army in Baramulla District. SFs are jointly investigating a major security breach after nearly 10 SIM cards procured in the name of Army units using fake documents were seized in Baramulla District. At least six SIM cards had “ended up with the militants of the LeT”, sources said.

SSP, Baramulla, Imtiyaz Hussain said that six persons had been arrested. They have been identified as Sajad Ahmad Baba, Gowhar Ahmad Geelani, Abid Bilal Qadri, Mushtaq Shah alias Mastan, Azmatullah Bhat and Kanwol Jeet Singh, who runs a printing press. “Two more have been detained for questioning,” Hussain said. The racket came to light after tracking LeT militants for two months. “We have seized nearly 10 fake SIM cards so far. They were used for criminal activities,” he said. Initial investigation suggested that 30 SIM cards were issued on fake documents of Army units in north Kashmir. The modus operandi of the module, apparently operating at the behest of militants, was to create fake stamps of Army units and print forms.

SFs recovered belongings from a CPI-Maoist hideout at Madanpur Police Station in Pacharukhiya Jungle of Aurangabad District in Bihar. During the search operation, three Pithu, two blankets, two ground seats, utensils, uniforms, soap and sweaters recovered by SFs.

The Union Government has sanctioned around 5,500 kilometres of National Highways and State roads for improvement of road connectivity in CPI-Maoist hit areas in eight States, informed the Parliament. The Government had in 2009 approved a RRP for LWE affected areas of 34 Districts in eight States - Andhra Pradesh (including Telangana), Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh. "Original RRP envisages development of 5,565 km length of national highways and state roads to two-lane at a cost of Rs 7,300 crore," Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways, Mansukh L. Mandaviya told the Lok Sabha in a written reply. "As per proposals received from state PWDs based on site requirement, a length of 5,422 km was sanctioned for Rs 8,585 crore," he informed.

Indicating a significant presence in the region and a sign of their growing strength in Kerala, groups of CPI-Maoist cadres were spotted a total of 91 times along the Kerala side of the inter-State border between Kerala and Tamil Nadu throughout 2017, said, the Nilgiris District Police of Tamil Nadu. No recorded instance of intrusion from Kerala side, claim Police. These include both direct sightings by the Police and those by locals living in the villages along the border. Officials said that the Maoists, belonging to four Dalams – the Bhavani Dalam in Palakkad, Nadugani Dalam in Malappuram, Kabani Dalam in Wayanad and Siruvani Dalam in Palakkad – are known to be active in the region. “Of the four, the Siruvani Dalam is believed to be defunct, but we have intelligence that some of their members could be active,” said a Police officer involved with anti-Maoist operation. Though the number of sightings of Maoists has increased over the last few years, the Nilgiris District SP, Murali Rambha, said that there has not been a single incursion of any radical left-wing groups into the Nilgiris.

Arunachal Pradesh Government has taken all possible measures to prevent likely spill over of illegal migrants into the state from neighbouring Assam, in the aftermath of the NRC publication. An official release said that CM Prema Khandu has sought detailed information from the Director General of Police (DGP) about the status of the border areas in the wake of part draft NRC publication. Assuring that the situation is normal in the state, the DGP apprised the CM that all border district SP’s have been alerted and directed to coordinate with their Assam counterparts.

The Chungajan unit of AASU on blocked roads at Chungajan and Gelabil near Nagaland demanding arrest of the assailants who set fire to hut of the farmer on Jan 3

Three NDFB-S militants and a link man were arrested from Ambagaon in Udalguri District. The militants were identified as Gwmsar Daimary alias Gwbrah, Bwhwisat Basumatary alias Barhungkha and Ashish Daimary alias Akhai and one linkman Anjalu Kachari Brahma. One .9mm pistol with magazine and 3 rounds live ammunition, one 7.65 mm pistol with magazine, 5 rounds live ammunition and two grenades were recovered from the militants.

A militant of LDCM commander’ Rohan Patir, was arrested from Guwahati. The arrested militant was allegedly involved in the killing of local Indian National Congress leader Hiranya Doley in May 2017.

A total of 67 per cent names of people of Udalguri District figured in first draft of NRC. Moreover, 73 per cent people of Lakhimpur District were also included in the first draft of NRC. Lakhimpur Deputy Commissioner Barun Bhuyan stated that ‘A total of 825,048 people out of 1,121,459 from 236,760 applicant families have been featured in the part draft. On the other hand, the inclusion of the rest 27 per cent people is on hold and the application and due documents supporting their citizenship are being verified’.

GoI is likely to convene a tripartite meeting at the political level to review implementation of the Assam Accord. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh conveyed this to a delegation of the All Assam Students Union (AASU).The student body called on the Union Home Minister at his Parliament House office accompanied by BPF MP Biswajit Daimary. The delegation led by AASU adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya was told that the Centre was committed to implement the Assam Accord. The Union Home Minister stated that meeting on the Assam Accord would be convened within 15-20 days with the AASU, in which Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal would also be invited.

Unidentified militant shot dead a civilian identified as Loukrakpam Sananingthem Singh at Lamsang Khunou area in Imphal West. UNLF later claimed responsibility for the incident. The victim was earlier arrested in connection with a sexual assault case in 2015.

Police have tightened security to check the possible influx of migrants after a draft of the NRC was published in Assam. DGP L.M. Khaute has supervised security measures along the Assam-Manipur border. Manipur Chief Minister Biren Singh stated that ‘Additional Police and paramilitary personnel have been rushed to Jiribam District to ensure that undesirable persons do not enter (our state)’. Police was also deployed along the Assam-Tamenglong highway and Jessami in Ukhrul District.

Two NNC-NA militant identified as ‘private’ Joel Zeliang and Ghoikhu Swu were arrested in Dimapur for extortion.

An NSCN-R militant identified as Angukavi Yepthomi was arrested for extorting money from new Market area in Dimapur.

Meghalaya witnessed a sharp drop in the number of violent incidents related to militancy in the last three years with only 21 such reported cases in 2017 as compared to 341 in 2014.DGP SB Singh said there were 310 militancy related incidents in 2015 and 118 in 2016.

77 militants mostly from GNLA were arrested and 48 militants had surrendered in 2017. Police killed six militants and recovered 32 weapons during the year.

January 5

The Special MCOCA court rejected a plea of Kafeel Ansari—an accused in Mumbai triple blast happened on July 13, 2011.  Kafeel Ansari—a suspected member of IM was arrested by the Maharashtra ATS on May 19, 2012, for his involvement in criminal conspiracy and providing logistic support to the perpetrators for the blasts on July 13, 2011 which killed 27 and injured 127 people.

India and Indonesia has called upon all nations to contain the providing of state-sponsorship of terrorism and restrict their territories for being used by the terror outfits as a ‘safe haven’. Addressing the fifth meeting of the Joint Commission with Indonesia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs—Retno Marsudi, India’s MEA Sushma Swaraj has emphasised the India and Indonesia are ‘natural partners’ in the process of peace and prosperity and both countries equally condemned terrorism in all of its manifestations, irrespective of its origin and propaganda.

The Minister of Electronics & Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad informed the Rajya Sabha (the Upper House of the Parliament of India) that in 2016, total 12,317 cases of cybercrime were registered which depicts the significant growth in comparison to last three years. The data provided by the NCRB and the CERT-In, around 79 phishing attacks had affected 22 financial institutions, 13 cases were related to affecting ATMs, Point-of-Sales (PoS) systems and the UPI. The RBI has registered total of 12,520 cases of credit-card frauds in the quarter of April-September 2017. As of now there are no reports of any financial fraud related to BHIM application but the Government is alert, said Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Indian Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi, along with top Indian Police officials will be attending three-day conference commencing from January 6 at BSF academy, in Tekanpur of Gwalior District in Madhya Pradesh. Besides other issues, cyberterrorism, the impact of social-media on society, cross-border terrorism, and radicalisation of youth will be discussed during the conference. The meet would be attended by UMHA Rajnath Singh, NSA Ajit Doval, and the officers of DGP and IGP ranks from all States and Central Police organisations, said an unnamed UMHA official.

The Pakistani army resorted to shelling and also fired from small arms and automatic weapons along the LoC in Shahpur sector of Poonch District. “Pakistan army resorted to unprovoked firing of small arms and automatic weapons and also shelling from late this afternoon in Shahpur sector of Poonch district along the LoC,” sources said. Indian troops replied back, leading to heavy exchanges for some time, they added. There were no reports of any casualties or damage on the Indian side.

After New Year eve (December 31) fidayeen attack on CRPF camp in south Kashmir, the security agencies in Kashmir Valley are apprehending more fidayeen attacks by JeM militants and have increased the security around the security installations. “Yes, there is apprehension of Fidayeen attack on security force camps in the Valley,” IG CRPF Ravideep Singh Sahi said. He said there are also chances of militants carrying out grenade lobbing and hit-and-run attacks on SFs. “With Republic Day approaching, there are chances that militants may resort to attacks,” IG CRPF said.

He said the security of camps has been reviewed after the New Year eve fidayeen attack on CRPF camp by three JeM militants, two of whom were locals. He said the security apparatus would be beefed up to foil any militant attacks. Sources said three militants who launched fidayeen attack on CRPF camp at Lethpora in Pulwama District on December 31 belonged to Afzal Guru Squad of Jaish. “The Afzal Guru Squad was written in one of the AK-47 rifle of the militants killed in the 36-hour encounter in CRPF camp,” they said. According to sources, the militants who had participated in District Police Lines Pulwama and Airport fidayeen attacks last year (2017) had also written Afzal Guru squad on the wall and warned of taking revenge of Afzal Guru’s killing. A Senior Police official said a group of Jaish militants is on run and they may be planning another fidayeen attack on security installations in the Valley.

A research scholar from Kupwara in Kupwara District has appeared in a photograph posted on social media holding an UBGL, with a message claiming that he has joined the militancy.  Mannan Wani, son of Bashir Ahmad Wani, joined the HM on January 5, states the message along with the photograph that appeared on Facebook and WhatsApp. According to Wani’s family, he was pursuing his PhD in applied geology at AMU in Uttar Pradesh. Wani’s brother, Mubashir Ahmad, a junior engineer, said: “We have also seen the picture on social networking sites. But we have no idea (whether he has joined militants or not). We lost contact with him on January 4 as his phone was switched off. We thought he had switched it off for some reason or lost it. As we couldn’t contact him, we lodged a missing report with police on Saturday.”

Officials at AMU could not be contacted for comment but the university’s official website states that Wani (26), was pursuing a PhD on ‘Structural and Geo-Morphological Study of Lolab Valley, Kashmir’. According to the website, he received an award for the best paper presented at an international conference on ‘Water, Environment, Ecology and Society’ in 2016. It states that he enrolled in AMU after doing his Bachelor’s in Geology and Earth Sciences from the University of Kashmir. He completed his Master’s and M Phil in Geology from AMU, it says.

Wani’s brother said his brother left home for Aligarh a month ago. “All this time, we thought he was in Aligarh. He would talk to us regularly. We don’t have any idea where he is,” he said. Sources said Wani was active during the recent student elections at the university. He had also apparently penned several articles on student politics on an online portal, thecompanion.com. Wani’s biographical sketch on the portal describes him as a research scholar at AMU who is a “student activist having interest in geopolitics and Islamic revivalist movements”.

Two CPI-Maoist cadres, including a woman cadre, were gunned down in an encounter in Muduvandi-Kawadgaon forest axis in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh. “The operation, involving composite forces of CRPF's elite unit CoBRA 204th battalion and DRG, was launched last night in the interiors of Gangaloor, located around 450 kilometres away from Raipur,” DIG, south Bastar Range Sundarraj P, said. After the encounter, during search, two Maoists clad in ‘uniform’ were found dead at the spot. Besides, one .303 rifle, one 12 bore gun and one country-made pistol, were also recovered from there, the DIG added.

Jharkhand Police arrested a cadre of the PLFI, a splinter group of the CPI-Maoist, identified as Anuj Dhanvar alias Pankaj, at Silafari village after an exchange of fire in Gumla District of Jharkhand. Two PFLI cadres Prakash Uraon ‘area commander’ and Sanjay Tiger managed to escape and hiding at Tongri.

Kerala Police recovered explosives from under the Kuttippuram Bridge across the Bharathapuzha River at Kuttippuram in Malappuram District of Kerala. The explosives found are remotely operated and are made for the Indian Army in Maharashtra. CPI-Maoist cadres are suspected to be in possession of Claymore mines, used exclusively by the Indian Army, said Police.

The Police have arrested a ‘platoon commander’ and two ‘militia’ members of the CPI-Maoist at Venkatapuram of Jayashankar-Bhupalpally District in Telangana. The arrested were identified as Madivi Pande alias Susheela alias Laxmi, working as protection ‘platoon commander’ of the ‘CC member’ Katakam Sudharshan aka Anand aka Duladadha, and the militia members - Ramesh and Nandini of Bheeram village in the District. 

AAPSU President Hawa Bagang stated that people of Arunachal Pradesh will never accept granting of citizenship to refugees including the Chakmas and Hajongs. He also added that asking for citizenship with unrelenting attitude within Arunachal Pradesh will boomerang and the people of the State will never accept it. The statement was made during a joint high-power committee meeting on the Chakma and Hajong issue which was attended by Arunachal Pradesh Home Secretary GS Meena, along with Chakma and Hajong representatives.

SFs arrested arms peddler, identified as Sumlianthang in Manja in Karbi Anglong. SFs also recovered 12 neogel sticks, 34 detonators and 12 fuse wires.

A civilian identified as Sukur Ali, who was abducted on January 2 from Assam was rescued from Bajengdoba in North Garo Hills District. The Police also arrested four abductors identified as Jandal Ch Sangma, Julius Ch Sangma, Brendil R Marak and Sangna A Sangma. The abductors had demanded INR 12.5 million as ransom.                                                                                                                                                                                                

Six militants including two NSCN-K and four NSCN-KN militants were arrested at Meluri town in Phek District. SFs also recovered one carbine machine gun (CMG), two pistols, ammunition of various calibers and one hand grenade along with various incriminating documents. According to authorities, the arrested militants were involved in extortion and threatening local population.

The NIA court in Kochi of Ernakulam District in Kerala granted permission to NIA for interrogating two IS accused operatives, Omar al-Hindi and Safvan alias Rayyan of Kanakamala IS module case as a part of Hadiya case of ‘love-jihad’. The NIA team consists of IT experts would interrogate two accused on January 8 at the Viyyur Central jail in Thrissur, Thrissur District (Kerala), in the presence of jail superintendent. The NIA team will question if Shafin Jahan, husband of Hadiya had any connections with IS operatives or IS module in Kerala. The Kanakamala IS module was planning to attack sensitive places and key personalities in various regions in South India.

Telangana Police arrested three cadres of CPI-Maoist indentified as Madivi Pande alias Susheela alias Laxmi (29), Ramesh and Nandhini at Venkatapuram centre of Eturnagaram in Jaishankar Bhupalpally District of Telangana. Madivi Pande hails from Urren village, Bairanghad Tehsil in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh. She worked at different levels from 2009 in CPI-Maoist. She worked in the ‘jan militia’ from 2009 to 2010 and in the Marthur LOS from 2010 to 2011 and with Bairanghad LOS, in 2013 with the Bairanghad Platoon, and in 2014 Gangaloor LOS. Madivi Pande has been working as the protection ‘platoon commander’ of 'central committee (CC) member' Katakam Sudharshan aka Anand aka Duladadha, and participated in several offences in Chhattisgarh and Telangana, said Eturnagaram, ASP, Rahul Hegde. She was involved in set ablaze of road construction vehicles at Tekulagdudem village of Wazeedu Mandal in January 2015 and took part in exchange of fire with the Police at Jella forest area near Kodijuttugutta in May 2015, added Hedge.

January 6

The NIA will seek support from the Interpol in providing information regarding Pakistan’s ISI involvement in the ‘targeted’ killings of Hindu leaders at various places in Punjab during the last two years. The ongoing investigation and interrogation of gangsters and Sikh radical group members had revealed that the financial support was routed from Pakistan to various members of radical groups based in the UK, Italy, France, Germany, Canada, the US, and UAE in a proposal to revive Sikh militancy in the state of Punjab, said an unnamed official of Punjab Police. Some specific intelligence inputs does support that ISI was keen to establish allegiance between Khalistani outfits and LeT. The NIA had confirmed that Harmeet Singh alias PHD— who is based in Pakistan, was an essential link between ISI and Sikh militant outfits, said unidentified sources.

Four policemen were killed and two others were seriously injured in an IED blast set off by suspected militants in Sopore town in Baramulla District. Three of the four Policemen were identified as Irshad of Doda, M Amin of Kupwara Ghulam Nabi of Sopore and Parvaiz Ahmad of Vilgam Handwara, Police said. The fourth Policeman succumbed to his injuries on the way to hospital. According to official sources, militants triggered an IED at Sopore, where a general strike was observed on Saturday [January 6] as on this day 57 persons were killed in alleged security force firing in 1993. Four Police personnel were killed they said adding that the IED was planted beneath a shop. Several shops were also damaged in the blast, sound of which was heard in the entire town. SF and Police personnel were deployed in the town to maintain law and order, report said. JeM claimed responsibility for the blast.

Suspected CPI-Maoist cadres gunned down the village Sarpanch of Chhindgarh village near Kelang of Bastar District in Chhattisgarh. According to officials they (Maoists) suspected that the sarpanch was a ‘Police informer’.

A Maoist was gunned down in an encounter with SFs in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh. The exchange of fire took place at around 3pm in the forests of Karka village under Gangaloor Police Station limits in which one Maoist was killed, Bijapur ASP, Mohit Garg said. The identity of the killed Maoist was yet to be ascertained, he said.

CPI-Maoist cadres set ablaze vehicles, earth moving equipment and ransacked a computer room at a bauxite mine at Kukutpat in Latehar District of Jharkhand. Around 35 CPI-Maoist cadres arrived at Kukutpat set on fire one dumper, two trucks, a compressor machine, two motorcycles, earth moving equipment and a weighbridge before ransacking a computer room as the company had not paid heed to their demand for ‘levy’ (ransom money), said Police. A total of 14 vehicles - two trucks, two excavators, a JCB machine and nine vehicles were set ablaze by CPI-Maoist. The area where the incident took place comes under the jurisdiction of Samri Police Station of Chhattisgarh, however, some parts falls under Jharkhand’s territory, said ADGP, RK Mallick.

SFs arrested ‘chairman’ of ZUF identified as ‘major’ Naimeyning was arrested from Mahur in Dima Hasao.

The Government of Kerala has issued an alert to all of its DCs to take precautionary security measures against the possible modules of IS operating in the state. Abdul Rasheed—an operative and Emir of IS Kerala module, send an audio message to other members of the group focusing on the assassination or destroy the non-Muslims with any modus-operandi including poisoning the drinking water and to carry-out massive killing through plying trucks over the crowd in Indian festivals such as Thrissur Pooram and Kumbh Mela, stated the confidential letter sent out on December 16, 2017 by the UMHA Additional Chief Secretary (Home and Vigilance) Subrata Biswas. Number of IS threat messages are spreading out on social media and all of such messages are getting checked for their authenticity by the state Police, said Kerala Police Chief Loknath Behera.

Acting upon the intelligence inputs from the Central Intelligence agencies regarding terror attacks through UAVs and Micro-Light Aircraft, the UMHA has issued an advisory to the Chief Secretaries, DGPs and the CPs of eight states including Delhi. Presence and operation of MLAs, UAVs and similar Arial Vehicles of long range shall be prohibited within 300 kms the Delhi state on Republic Day and the Beating Retreat ceremony. Only state-owned light aircraft carrying Governors and Chief Ministers of States on-board are exempted during this restriction period on 26 to 29 January.

CPI-Maoist cadres set ablaze a poclain machine, one truck and a hyva truck at Hindalco bauxite mines in Kudag area under Samri Police Station limits of Balrampur District of Chhattisgarh. CPI-Maoist cadres also blew up a weigh-bridge unit at Kudag and assaulted two guards before fleeing from the spot, said Balrampur District Police.  

Three Maoists were arrested and a 10 kilograms tiffin bomb was recovered from their possession in Kondagaon District of Chhattisgarh. The cadres were arrested from the forest between Ranapal and Nawagaon villages under Mardapal Police Station limits when a joint team of SFs was out on duty to ensure security to the road construction work, according to Kondagaon, ASP, Maheshwar Nag. The construction of road is underway between Ranapal and Bayanar in Mardapal area, he said. The composite squad, involving 41st battalion of the ITBP and local Police, was carrying out patrolling to provide security to the construction works, when it spotted three Maoists hiding in the forest between Ranapal and Nawagaon, following which they were arrested, he said. A 10-kg tiffin bomb, one bundle wire, one dry battery, Maoist literatures and a Naxal banner in the name of East Bastar Division of the outlawed CPI-Maoist were recovered from their possession, Nag said.

Three powerful IEDs, suspected to have been planted by Maoists were recovered by SFs from Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh. The home-made bombs, weighing 15 kilograms, 9 kilograms and 5 kilograms, were unearthed by a joint team of the CRPF and the local Police from the forests under Basaguda Police Station limits where a road construction work is underway, according to Bijapur, ASP, Mohit Garg. A road is being built from Basaguda (Bijapur) to Jagargunda in Sukma District, another insurgency-hit District. The 49 kilograms road is not only strategically important but also crucial for the people living in this inaccessible region, he said. BDS immediately defused the explosives, which were spotted when SFs were carrying out patrolling near an under-construction bridge, the Police officer said.

Unidentified persons exploded a grenade at Raj grocery store located at Phungreitang in Ukhrul. The two injured persons were working as salesmen of the shop and were identified as Anish Kumar from (Kanglatongbi) and Vijay Kumar (from Bihar).

UNC the apex body of Nagas in Manipur is confident that a final solution to the protracted political dialogue going on between GoI and NSCN-IM.

January 6-7

Jammu and Kashmir Police along with MARCOS arrested an OGW of LeT, identified as Idress Ahmad Baba and recovered arms and ammunition from his possession in Hajin area of Bandipora District in the intervening night of January 6 – 7. “Acting on specific information, a police party of Sub Division Sumbal along with MARCOS launched a cordon and search operation during the intervening night of 6/7th of January in the fringes of Wular lake at Banyari in the jurisdiction of Police Station Hajin under the supervision of SSP Bandipora,” said Police spokesman.

“During the wee hours, a suspicious person was noticed and was challenged to stop. When he found himself encircled by the forces, he surrendered by raising his hands.” He said that a pistol, pistol magazine, four pistol rounds, one AK 47 magazine, 30 AK rounds, 2 UBGL grenades and a Chinese hand grenade were recovered from his possession. The accused, he said, was working with LeT.

January 7

The GRP officials of Mathura Railway Station arrested a suspected terrorist from J&K, identified as Bilal Ahmad Wani (32), from Delhi-Bhopal bound Shatabadi Express train at Mathura Railway Station in Mathura District (Uttar Pradesh). Later on while corroborating the intelligence reports, it was learnt that Wani is a suspected terrorist.  He has been taken by Noida ATS for further interrogation, said an unnamed senior Police officer. The interrogation of the suspected militant, Bilal Ahmed Wani, has revealed the plans of terrorist attack on Delhi-based Akshardham Temple and disruption of the Republic Day parade on January 26 in Delhi. Bilal revealed that he and other two of his companions identified as Mudsir Ahmed Wah and Mohammad Ashraf checked-in to the Al-Rashid Guest House located near Jama Masjid in Chandni Chowk of Central Delhi District, Delhi on January 2 and the trio vacated the room on January 6. The UP ATS and Delhi Police has sent a high-alert in search of the alleged absconding militants.

A Police constable was shot dead by the CPI-Maoist cadres in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh. The deceased constable was posted in Bhairamgarh and was visiting his home in Jangla village when the incident took place. The identity of the constable is yet to be ascertained.

SFs arrested two linkman of NDFB-S from Chagoliajhar area in Udalguri District. The linkmen have been identified as Nijwm Basumtari and Nirob Boro.

The KSU has warned the Northeast Frontier Railwayagainst continuing the Tetelia-Byrnihat railway project work before the State comes up with measures to tackle influx of illegal immigrants. General Secretary of KSU said the state government should take action against NFR if it resumes work. KSU and other pressure groups are demanding comprehensive mechanisms to check immigration. The work on the Tetelia-Byrnihat railway project in Ri Bhoi resumed recently months after it was stalled due to stiff opposition by pressure groups.

The BSF had recovered 20 kilograms of heroin worth INR 100 crores along with the Adhain India-Pakistan border outpost in Gurdaspur District of Punjab. Upon noticing the movement at the International Border, the BSF troopers challenged the suspected smugglers, who managed to escape due to the dense fog in the region. A search operation led to the seizure of 19 packets of approximately a kilogram each of heroin concealed in a plastic pipe, said an unnamed BSF official.

The Jammu and Kashmir Police has detained four youths for allegedly playing the Pakistani national anthem before the start of a cricket match in Bandipora District. The players, participating in a local cricket match, were detained for questioning from Arin area.

A live mortar shell allegedly fired by Pakistan Rangers earlier this month was found in a field in a village in the border belt of Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua District, leading to panic in the area, Police said. SFs recovered the live shell from Bobiyan village, an official said. The shell allegedly fired by Pakistan Rangers along the IB in Hiranagar and Samba sectors led to the killing of a BSF jawan on January 3.

Two personnel of DRG, a special wing of the Chhattisgarh Police used exclusively for anti-Naxal operational duties in the Bastar Division of Chhattisgarh, and two women were injured when pressure bombs, laid by CPI-Maoist cadres, went off at three separate places at Gangaloor and Bhairamgarh in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh. In the first incident, two women sustained splinter injuries when they stepped on an IED on the outskirts of the Pusnar village. In another incident, a DRG constable, Shankar Pulse, was injured in a blast near Burji village, and Raju Kadti, another DRG trooper suffered minor injuries after a pressure bomb exploded in the forest near Biriabhoomi village in Bhairamgarh in the third incident, said Police.

The Centre has released INR 89.6 million to Andhra Pradesh under the SRE scheme. INR 89.6 million has been released to Andhra Pradesh as reimbursement under the SRE scheme by the UMHA recently, a Ministry official said. As per the SRE guidelines, the amount is given if there is existence of and activities by one or more of the organisations which were banned under the UAPA. Eight Districts of Andhra Pradesh are hit by the Naxal violence. They are: Anantapur, East Godavari, Guntur, Kurnool, Prakasam, Srikakulam, Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram, the official said. The amount is given for procurement of arms, ammunition, vehicles and technical equipment for State Police forces.

The CPI-Maoist cadres accused some villagers of providing support to the Police and threatened them to leave their village in Malkangiri District of Odisha. Sources said, terrorised by the Maoists, two tribal families in Kuruba village under the Kalimela Police Station in the District, left the village with their belongings on January 6, and have taken shelter in their relatives’ house. Few days back the Maoists had threatened the family of Mandra Madhi and Banja Padiami accusing that they have been working as ‘Police informers’ and warned them of dire consequences. Though they repeatedly tried to counter their allegations and said that they were not working as ‘informers’, the rebels did not buy their claims. Apprehending threat to their lives, the two families constituting 13 members fled from the village.

SFs launched massive search operations against ULFA-I militants at Kakorani island village near Kotha Reserve forest under Jagun Police Station in Tinsukia District. According to army sources, ULFA-I militants were injured in the encounter.

Local sources added that suspected ULFA-I militants hurled a grenade on an Army convoy at Katabari forest under Jagun Police Station, following which  the encounter ensued.

Intelligence sources said a team of six-member ULFA-I rebels have managed to sneak into Tinsukia district from its bases in Eastern Nagaland to carry out subversive activities in the run-up to Republic Day.

VIPN has claimed responsibility for grenade explosion o January 6. According to a statement by ‘publicity secretary’ of VIPN, S. Shirat the blast was part of ILP campaign in the District.

January 8

SFs busted a temporary hideout of ULFA-I near Namdapha Reserve forest in Changlang. According to Army PRO the militants had been using the hideout as place of transit and had been terrorizing and carrying out extortion from villagers of Miao circle.

Addressing the conference of the DGPs and IGPs, the Indian PM Narendra Modi advised the senior ranks of Police officials from across the country to deal with matters related to cybercrimes including online radicalisation by terrorist organisations, on a ‘top-most’ priority basis. The urge to tackle online radicalisation was in amidst of the radical use of social media by transnational terror outfits such as AQIS and IS. The recent videos from these outfits called upon the Kashmiris to join the jihad for the cause of ‘freedom’ of Kashmir. The PM also presented President’s Police Medals to the officials of the IB for their distinguished services to the nation.

The UMHA is ready to launch an ‘online complaint’ system where people who are cybercrime victims may registered their grievances on a real-time basis. In financial crime where money is illegally withdrawn through someone’s credit or debit card, the victim may log-on to the portal and registered her/his complaint. The concerned bank would receive the complaint and may take an immediate action, says an unnamed senior official at the UMHA. As per India’s Computer Emergency Response Team’s data, nearly 21% of increase in cybercrime incidents is reported every year. The portal will be operational from January 10.

The evident information about its members joining IS came as a ‘shocking’ to the Popular Front of India (PFI) and it was expressed it through an internal circular distributed among the PFI cadres. Though the numbers are insignificant but events are the violations of organisation’s teachings that poses as matter of a serious concern, stated as in the circular (dated November 30, 2017) issued by the National Chairman of PFI— E. Aboobacker. Since identifying the dangers inherent in IS, the organisation has been guiding its members about the anti-religious and anti-national nature of the outfit [IS]. The PFI also warned its members to be cautious about the radicalisation performed by the mysterious radical groups through various means including social media, said Aboobacker. The circular was issued after at-least 15 PFI members, including former Divisional Convener from Kannur District, Kerala, had joined IS.

According to unidentified sources in Punjab Police, the foreign-based pro-Khalistani groups are luring the young, educated, suave men and women from families with no prior links with Khalistan movement and radicalising the ‘new brand’ of Sikh militancy in Punjab.. This is a new medium of spreading terrorist propaganda. The young men and women are getting radicalised via cyberspace. All investigations in such cases are handed over to the NIA. It is unclear as of how many such pro-Khalistani modules have been prepared for further anti-national activities, said Punjab’s DGP Suresh Arora. A British citizen—Jagtar Singh alias Jaggi Johal was arrested by Punjab Police on November 4, 2017 and during preliminary interrogation he revealed that top leaders of the KLF—Harminder Singh Mintoo and Harmeet Singh alias PHD, are recruiting young Sikhs with support of Pakistan’s ISI to revive the Sikh militancy and other anti-India activities, said an unnamed Punjab Police official.

One LeT militant, identified as Firdous Ahmad Mir was killed in an encounter with the SFs in Chadoora area of Budgam District. A senior Police officer said that they had information about presence of three militants including two Pakistanis at village Kaneera, Patalgam in Chadoora area of Budgam. A joint team of Army, SOG and CRPF cordoned of Kaneera Patalgam village in Chadoora area in the morning. During the searches SFs were fired upon by the hiding militants. SFs retaliated leading to a fierce gun battle in which one militant was killed. The house in which the militants were hiding was razed by the SFs and during the searches of the debris one body was recovered. Two AK-47 rifles, two shoes and two Army uniforms were also recovered. Sources said that the two Pakistani militants managed to escape from the encounter site. SFs have launched searches against them.

Soon after the news about the encounter spread, the people mostly youth took to streets at Chadoora and its adjoining areas and pelted stones on SFs. SFs resorted to teargas shelling and used some aerial shots to disperse the protesting people. Two protesters were injured during clashes

Militants fired at a SFs party in Tahab area of Pulwama District without causing any damage. SFs immediately cordoned off the area.

Pakistan army twice violated ceasefire on the LoC in Hamirpur and Nowshera sectors of Poonch and Rajouri Districts in which an Army jawan (trooper) was injured. Reports said Pakistani troops opened firing in Hamirpur sector of Poonch in the wee hours of January 8 morning causing injuries to an Army jawan, who was evacuated from the site and shifted to hospital. Indian side retaliated effectively, leading to exchanges that continued for some time.

In the evening, Pakistan again violated ceasefire at Bhawani, Numb and surrounding villages in Nowshera sector of Rajouri District by resorting to firing, targeting forward posts and civilian areas. However, no losses were reported in Pakistan firing in Nowshera sector. Indian Army gave effective reply to the Pakistani firing, reports said.

HM ‘operational commander’ Riyaz Naikoo, in an audio clip, threatened to use acid against those contesting in panchayat polls in Jammu and Kashmir that are to be held next month. In an audio clip, Riyaz Naikoo, who is based in south Kashmir, is seen telling another of the outfit’s south Kashmir commanders, Sameer Tiger that a few drops of acid should be poured into the eyes of those who contest panchayat elections. Naikoo says the contestants will become a burden for their families. The Hizbul commander also says that in 2016 because of the pellets many youths lost their eyesight and young boys lost their lives and that now the militants were planning similar fate for those wanting to contest elections. In the clip, Naikoo also says that this time they will neither kill people nor will they issue threats to those who contest elections. ”We will go to their homes and pour acid in their eyes so that they will become a burden for their families,” he is heard saying.

The Hizbul commander further says that in villages many people are unaware about the repercussion of these polls and are being used by some political agents for their personal benefits. “This time we will force them to reveal the names of those people who force them to contest elections.” Though separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani has already asked people to stay away from the panchayat elections, this is the first time since the government’s announcement of polls that HM has threatened possible election contestants.

The family of a PhD Scholar whose picture went viral on social media holding an AK-47 has appealed him to shun violence and return home. Manan Bashir Wani of Tekkipora Lolab of Kupwara District joined HM on January 5. The family members are in shock as they were not expecting their son who was pursuing PhD in AMU, to join militancy. “Manan always used to discuss every next step with me. He was like a friend to me. I had   never expected that he would make any decision without discussing with me”, said his father Bashir Ahmad. His mother appealed him to come back home. “I urge him to shun the path of violence and come back home.

The research scholar was expelled by AMU authorities in the wake of reports alleging that he may have joined a terror group after his photo appeared in the social media showing him with an AK-47 rifle, said the report.

In a bid to convince Kashmiri youth, who have recently joined Valley-based militant groups, to give up arms, the J&K Police said they need not come to police stations to surrender but can ‘simply join their families’ under the ‘no case no apprehension policy’. Police maintain the exercise of surrender will take place in front of the families. The policy, which for now sounds more likes an appeal, is for militants who have not participated in any attacks or active militant operations against SFs in Kashmir.  But the lines have only been drawn for those who don’t have any criminal cases registered against them and ‘are not involved in any heinous acts’. The surrender policy is just for local youth. The move comes in the backdrop of a research scholar of AMU in Uttar Pradesh joining the HM. “Police have appealed to local youth to give up arms and in return neither will they be apprehended nor will any cases be lodged against them,” a senior J&K police official said.

The Kashmiri youth and AMU scholar, Manaan Wani has joined the HM, the terror group's Pakistan-based ‘chief’ Syed Salahuddin said in a statement to local media. "Joining of Manaan Wani exposes the Indian propaganda that the youths of Kashmir are joining militant ranks due to unemployment and economic distress," Salahuddin said in the statement to a Srinagar-based news gathering agency. "From years on, educated and qualified youths of Kashmir have been joining Hizbul Mujahideen to take this ongoing freedom movement to logical conclusion. This spirit of youths is laudable," Salahuddin said, confirming that Wani had joined Hizbul Mujahideen, in the statement in Urdu. Wani, who belongs to Tikipora in Lolab area of Kupwara District, went missing last week.

Kalimela Area Committee (KAC) of the CPI-Maoist in Malkangiri District of Odisha, released a letter, that read Police atrocities against tribal and Maoist families are growing by the day and will not be tolerated any more. The letter claimed that Maoists who had surrendered in the recent past have done so due to pressure from the Police and people who are inspired by the Maoist ideology will never lay down arms and will continue to fight till last. Cowards surrender, Maoists are not cowards. There rebel is for the right of tribal. Those follow Maoism will never surrender.  Police are spreading false propaganda that Maoists are surrendering on their own. But, the fact is that the security personnel are pressurizing rebels to surrender. Police are also threatening the family members of the Naxals the letter issued by the ‘committee secretary’ Randev stated. The letter also warned the surrendered rebels of severe punishment as they have turned against the common man.

One Policeman was killed by suspected CPI-Maoist cadres at a village market in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh. Assistant constable Raju Lekam died after he was attacked with sharp-edged weapons by suspected rebels at the weekly market under Jangla Police Station limits, a District Police Official said. Lekam was posted with Bhairamgarh Police Station of the District.

An NSCN-U militant ‘private’ Khungam Pansa arrested from Longding District.

Nagaland CM appealed to NSCN-K to restart the peace process with GoI. He stated that had dispatched a letter to the Myanmar-based NSCN-K leadership appealing to them to re-consider their stand, revisit the ceasefire agreement with GoI. NSCN-K had abrogated the cease fire agreement in March 2015.

In the run upto State Assembly elections NLFT claimed that allegations that they have pledged support to IPFT was baseless. The NLFT ‘president’ D. Yamrok stated that NLFT would not support any political party in election.

The three-day conference of all state DGPs concluded on January 8 in Madhya Pradesh, with the discussion on key areas including cyber-security, LWE, image building of Police and the Malimath Committee on Police reforms. Post demonetisation, there was a sharp rise in cybercrime incidents and tackling them efficiently is a big challenge for our Police officials. Controlling cybercrime incidents and LWE are one of the focused areas, said Andhra Pradesh’s DGP M. Malakondaiah. Over 40,000 cybercrime incidents were registered in the state of Maharashtra whereas around 800 are registered in Andhra Pradesh, said M. Malakondaiah. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, UHM Rajnath Singh, NSA Ajit Doval took part in the meet of the DGPs and the IGPs held at Tekanpur town of Gwalior District in Madhya Pradesh.

January 8-9 The DRI had seized and arrested an unidentified suspect with 211 FICNs in INR 2,000 denomination worth INR 422,000 while he was boarding a train bound to Malda, West Bengal, from Old Delhi Railway Station in Delhi. Preliminary interrogation has revealed that the arrested person works as a carrier for another handler who belongs to an international racket. The FICNs were meant to deliver at different places in Delhi and Haryana. The DRI initiated the surveillance and arrested the unidentified handler on January 9 from Patna Railway Station, Patna, Bihar, said the statement issued by the DRI. The investigation has also revealed a syndicate based in Malda, acquired these FICNs from persons operating in Mohammadpur Upazila of Magura District in the Division of Khulna, Bangladesh, and further supply these FICNs in-and adjacent regions of Delhi, said the DRI statement.
January 9

Five persons were charged under terror law provisions in a case related to the murder of a RSS activist. The matter relates to the murder of Rudresh, an RSS worker, when he was returning after attending a Vijayadashami event in Bengaluru on October 16, 2016. The matter was heard in the NIA court, where it held that Asim Sharif, Mohammed Muzeeb Ulla, Wasim Ahmed, Irfan Pasha, and Mohammed Sadiq would be charged both for murder and for committing a terrorist act under the UAPA. Sharif, who has been named as the conspirator, was the Bengaluru district president of the PFI and as a result the case had generated headlines as it was seen as a direct conflict between the RSS and the PFI. According to the NIA, the other four accused attacked Rudresh with machetes. It also alleged that all the accused had been indoctrinated by one Abdur Rehman, a leader of the Social Democratic Party of India, which is affiliated to the PFI.  The court said it will fix the date of trial on January 27, 2018.

India and Indonesia held their first security dialogue during which they agreed on operational cooperation in security and counter-terrorism. The dialogue was led by NSA Ajit Doval and Indonesia's Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs H Wiranto. "India and Indonesia hold the first Security Dialogue ... Both agreed on operational cooperation in security and counter-terrorism fields," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

The Crime Branch of the state of Odisha has decided to issue a public advisory of “dos and don’ts” in the midst of rise in the incidents of cybercrime. The public advisory in the form of leaflets shall be published in the state language—Odia, giving the awareness on common modus-operandi opted by the con-men and expecting the common public to guard against the e-frauds, said an unnamed CB official. Nearly 60% of cybercrime incidents reported were related to banking frauds and till October 2017 at-least 669 cybercrime cases were registered in comparison to 378 such cases registered in 2016, said unnamed Police sources. All the state Police stations were advised to act swiftly in the cybercrime reported incidents and where necessary, the Police must not hesitate to take assistance from the cyber-cell of the Crime Branch, said DGP R.P. Sharma.

As per a study by the RBI, Aadhaar Card may pose a vulnerability available to the cybercriminals and India’s foreign enemies to breakdown the India’s technology dependent businesses and administration that were impossible to predict few years ago, reports by The Times of India on January 10. In its report titled ‘Biometrics and its impact in India’, the RBI promoted Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT), the adjunct faculty—S. Anant emphasised that in case of a cyber-attack on Aadhaar Card database, the loss occurred to the Indian economy and its citizens would be uncertain.

A HM militant was killed in an encounter in Kokernag area of Anantnag District, while a protester was killed as SFs fired at them in Khudwani in Kulgam District. SFs cordoned off Pehlipora village of Larnoo in Kokernag area after reports of presence of two militants hiding there. Militants fired at the SFs during the searches and they retaliated leading to an encounter. One militant, identified as Farhan Ahmad Wani son of Ghulam Mohammad Wani, resident of Redwani Khudwani in Kulgam District was killed in the encounter. “One INSAS rifle, two INSAS magazines and 42 rounds were recovered from the encounter site,” Police said, adding that the slain militant was a hardcore stone pelter.

As soon as the news about the killing of the militant spread, the clashes reported in his native village Khudwani in Kulgam District. The protesters took to streets and pelted stones on the SFs who tried to quell the protesters. Two protesters were hit by bullets during the clashes. One of them, identified as Khalid Ahmad Dar (20), a resident of Khudwani in Kulgam district was later succumbed to his injuries. A Police spokesman said, “Two civilians sustained bullet injuries when a mob pelted stones on the Army camp located at Khudwani. Reportedly some unidentified militants from the mob also fired some shots towards the Army camp.”

Police arrested two militants and busted an OGW module by arresting its nine members who were trying to recruit youth into militancy in Sopore in Baramulla District. SSP Sopore, Harmeet Singh, said that acting on specific information regarding the presence of militants in general area of Watlab, a cordon and search operation was launched by Sopore Police along with MARCOS of Navy and CRPF two days ago. “During search operation, two terrorists who were hiding near a school tried to open fire on the joint party but were overpowered and arrested. These terrorists were identified as Mushtaq Ahmad Chopan alias Haroon son of Ghulam Mohammad Chopan, resident of Wagad in Tral [Pulwama District] and Shija-ud-din Sheikh son of  Ghulam Mohi-ud-din Sheikh, resident of Dadsara in Tral affiliated with banned outfit HM”, he said. The SSP said that one AK47 rifle, one AK magazine, 15  AK rounds, one pistol, one pistol magazine, three pistol rounds and a hand grenade was recovered from their possession.

The SSP said that during the course of investigation, the names of nine persons surfaced who are working as conduits of these militants and they have been motivated to join the terrorist ranks. “These conduits are in contact with the terrorists of South Kashmir namely Reyaz Naikoo and Hamaad of HM and Ali and Qasim of JeM”, he said. He said that Sopore Police along with MARCOS, 22 RR and CRPF arrested these nine OGW’s working with HM and JeM. They were identified as Tajam-ul-Islam Shah, Syed Tamiz-ud-Din, Ghulam Nabi Mir, Mudasir Ahmad Mir, Saleem Ahmad Beigh, Muzamil Ahmad Ganie, Showket Ahmad Kaboo, Irshad Ahmad Lone and Humaiz. The SSP said that mobile phones, letter pads, posters, recruitment forms, and other incriminating documents were recovered from these OGWs.

Suspected CPI-Maoist cadres dragged a JVM-P leader out of his house in Hazaribagh District of Jharkhand and shot him dead. The 65-year-old JVM-P leader, Yugal Rana, was killed as he had helped the Police in arresting two Maoists, said ‘notes’ left by the rebels at the spot. Rana, a resident of Gondalpura in Barkagaon Police Station, was the president of JVM's Gondalpura Panchayat committee. Four armed suspected Maoists forcefully took him out of his house saying his presence was needed in a panchayat committee meeting and gunned him down near a jungle some distance away, SP, Anoop Birtharay said. The Maoists also threatened his family members, who were following them, with dire consequences if they inform the Police about the killing, he said.

Acting on information of the presence of Maoist leader Ganesh Uike, personnel of the DRG and the STF were on the search for three days near Bijapur border in Dantewada District of Chhattisgarh. While returning, the Maoists were trapped in the spike-hole and an exchange of fire took place between the rebels and SFs in Hiroli-Dokkapar forest area under Kirandul Police Station limits. After the firing, the injured Maoists were successful in fleeing away. During search, the Force recovered an inverter with two printers, a large cache of IEDs, Tiffin bombs, Pithu, electric wire, computer cable, uniform including Naxal literature and two color printers from Perpa-Hiroli jungle. In the encounter, DRG's SI Sangram Singh sustained injury. Naxals have been shot and they are also injured, Naxal operation ASP, GN Baghel confirmed the incident.

Fourteen CPI-Maoist cadres were arrested from Sukma and Narayanpur Districts of the Bastar Division of Chhattisgarh, in three separate incidents. Nine CPI-Maoist cadres were arrested in Sukma District and five cadres of CPI-Maoist from Narayanpur District. In the first incident, Chhattisgarh Police rounded up eight CPI-Maoist cadres at Bhejji Police Station limits in Sukma District,  identified as Madvi Manish (27), Jan-Militia ‘deputy commander’, Madvi Hunga (24), ‘head’ of DAKMS, a frontal of CPI-Maoist,  Podiyam Ganga (34), ‘deputy head’ of DAKMS and Madvi Hidma (19), Muchaki Kosa (19), Madvi Bheema (20), Madkam Aayta (26) and Madvi Baman (28), who are associated as ‘Jan-Militia’ of CPI-Maoist and DAKMS. All of them were allegedly involved in carrying out IED blasts targeting the SFs and firing on Police teams in Bhejji and Maraiguda areas of Sukma District. In the second incident, Madkami Pandu (26) a ‘Jan-Militia commander’ was arrested by Police team from Kukanar Police Station limits of Sukma District. Pandu was accused of carrying out a blast and opening fire on a Police patrol team in the forests between Baddugudem and Munga in Sukma District in January 2018, said ASP, Jitendra Shukla. In the third incident, five CPI-Maoist cadres identified as Bajaru Noharu, Mangatu Nag, Arjun Yadav, Amaru Patai and Sukhlal Potai were arrested and produced before a court in Narayanpur District. The arrested CPI-Maoist cadres were involved in various offences such as murders, attack on Police teams and their camps and bomb blasts and carried rewards on their heads, said Police.

Telangana Police arrested two cadres of Naxalites of the CPI-ML, Chandra Pulla Reddy Bata faction, identified as Bommani Narsimha alias Anand alias Narsi Reddy alias Vishwanad along with courier Samdhani at Apparajpally forest area under Gudur Police Station limits in Mahabubabad District of Telangana. The Police also seized a 12 Bore weapon and 25 rounds from the duo, were waiting to contact a Dalam leader. Narasimha, a native of Ankireddy Gudem village of Chowtuppal Mandal of Yadadri Suryapet District has worked as the member of the PDSU and later worked for the CPI-ML-Janashakti. He joined the Veeranna faction in 1997 following the division in the party on caste issues. He worked for the Veeranna’s faction CPUSI. However, he joined the CPI-ML-Janashakti in 2004 following differences with the party ideology and functioning. He worked as the Odisha in charge from 2005 to 2008. He was also arrested by the Police in Jajpur District as he spearheaded the agitation against the Tata Steel factory. Since his release from the jail in 2014, he has been working for the CPI-ML-Janashakti party led by Kura Rajanna, said, SP, N Koti Reddy. Rajanna and Narasimha made efforts to revive the party. They have decided to float a new party called CPI-ML, Chandra Pulla Reddy Bata faction. Five squads have also been formed by them. A case of extortion has been filed against Narasimha at Sircilla Police Station, added SP, Koti Reddy.

CPI-Maoist cadres have set ablaze seven vehicles engaged in road construction at Jamakana under Sadar Police Station of Kalahandi District of Odisha. Around 50 CPI-Maoist cadres attacked camp of the contractor involved in the PMGSY road construction from Gunduri to Kadama. The rebels asked the contractor to vacate the place and set ablaze the road construction vehicles. The Police recovered CPI-Maoist posters, which claimed that the vehicles were set on fire to oppose the road construction work.

Extortionists served a demand letter to a businessman in Nangapa bazaar in East Garo Hills for INR 450,000.

January 10

The suspected LeT operative, Bilal Ahmad Kawa, was arrested by Special Cell of Delhi Police and Gujarat ATS in a joint operation from Delhi Airport. He was arrested after 17 years for his alleged involvement in the December 22, 2000 Red Fort terror attack. 37-year-old Bilal was apprehended after the Gujarat ATS got a tip-off regarding his movement from Srinagar to Delhi. Earlier, terrorist Mohammad Arif alias Ashfaq, who was convicted in the case, had been awarded death sentence.

A fortnight before the 69th Republic Day celebrations, the intelligence agencies have alerted of 26/11 Mumbai-like terror attack or 9/11 style attack in Delhi and seven other states. Sources in the security agencies said, “IB in its latest alert has mentioned a host of intelligence inputs that suggest terror outfits operating from Pakistan are planning multiple terrorist attacks.” The UMHA has issued an alert to the security agencies of all states, after intelligence agencies alerted of a possible attack. The UMHA has asked police chiefs of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand to keep a tight vigil on all airborne crafts and beef up security before in all major cities to thwart any terrorist attack. The Ministry has asked the state DGPs to keep surveillance on light aircrafts, helicopters and drones during and before Republic Day celebrations. According to UMHA communique, Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI along with LeT, HM, Al Qaeda and JeM fidayeens and members of sleeper cells have been activated to carry out terror attacks in the country.

The Kolkata Police recovered FICNs in denomination of INR 100, INR 500 and INR 2,000 and arrested three unidentified men and an unidentified woman from Khardah area of North 24 Parganas District of Municipality of Barrackpore Subdivision in Kolkata, West Bengal.

Two persons were arrested on charges of helping a Muslim man ‘forcibly’ convert a Kerala woman and attempting to take her to Syria to be sold off to Islamic State (IS) terrorists in Ernakulam District on January 10, reports The Indian Express. Fayaz and Siyad, both natives of North Paravur near Kochi, were arrested following investigations based on a complaint by the 25-year-old woman, who was rescued from Saudi Arabia and brought home last year by her family.

The two are friends of Muhammad Riyaz from Thalassery in Kannur District, the prime accused in the case. “They have been charged under the UAPA”, Ernakulam Rural SP A V George said, adding a hunt is on to arrest eight more accused, including Riyas, in the case. He said the police have begun a probe into their alleged link with the Islamic State terrorists. George said both Fayaz and Siyad were arrested based on the woman’s complaint that she was allegedly tortured by them in a house in North Paravoor before Riyaz took her abroad. The woman had alleged that Riyaz pretended to be in love with her when she was studying in Bengaluru (Karnataka) in 2014 and forced her to convert to Islam and married her. The woman from Pathanamthitta District was brought up in Gujarat. She had moved the Kerala High Court last year seeking an NIA probe against Riyaz for attempting to take her to Syria from Saudi Arabia and sell her to the Islamic State terrorists as a sex slave. She has also alleged that her marriage was registered using forged documents.

At least seven persons including a Police constable and an engineer of PDC were injured during clash between Police and villagers which led to ‘stone pelting’ at Parnai under Surankote Police Jurisdiction in Poonch District.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti vowed to break the ‘vicious cycle’ of youth taking up arms on the death of a militant and said efforts were on to ensure that those joining militant ranks return home. She said that her Government would continue its efforts to bring back local youth who had joined militancy to end the "vicious cycle" besides strengthening panchayats after successfully conducting the elections next month. JeM's "Afzal Guru Squad" that has claimed responsibility for major terror attacks in the Valley recently "is a challenge for not only the government but for all of us", she said in her reply to the motion of thanks on the Governor’s address in the State Assembly in Jammu.

The Indian Army killed 138 Pakistan Army personnel in 2017 in tactical operations and retaliatory cross-border firings along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir, Government intelligence sources said. The Indian Army lost 28 soldiers during the same period along the LoC, the sources said. The sources said the Pakistan Army usually does not acknowledge the deaths of its personnel and shows them as civilian casualties in certain cases. The Indian Army has been adopting a ‘tough’ approach in dealing with ceasefire violations and terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir in the last one year. The Pakistan Army has suffered 138 fatal and 155 non- fatal casualties in tactical operations and retaliatory cross-border firings along the LoC in 2017, the intelligence sources said. A total of 70 Indian Army personnel were injured during cross border firings and other incidents. According to official figures, 860 incidents of ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops were reported in 2017 as against 221 in 2016.

A soldier of 8 RR, identified as Kuldeep Sharma was injured in a landmine blast during patrolling in Kamalkote in Uri in Baramulla District. He was rushed to Uri hospital where from he was referred to Army hospital Srinagar for specialised treatment, report said.

A woman CPI-Maoist cadre was killed in an encounter with SFs in Bade Kedwal-Tumalpad forests in Sukma District of Chhattisgarh. Several composite squads of the STF, DRG, CRPF and its elite unit-CoBRA had launched the operation in the southern forests of Sukma which is considered as a core area of Maoists' military battalion no.1. When a team, comprising STF and DRG personnel, was cordoning off jungles near Kedwal-Tumalpad, it came under heavy firing from a group of rebels, leading to a gunfight, SP, Abhishek Meena said. "After the encounter ended, security forces searched the area and recovered the body of a woman Naxal clad in uniform," Meena said. Troopers also recovered some weapons and explosives from a Maoist dump in the area. The identity of the killed Maoist was yet to be ascertained, he said.

A QRT of the Gadchiroli Police killed a CPI-Maoist cadre in an encounter in Tadapalli forest area in Gadchiroli District of Maharashtra. "The incident took place between 4.30 PM to 5 PM when the QRT team was conducting a combing operation in the Tadapalli forest area," the Gadchiroli Police said in a release issued on January 11. It said the Maoists opened fire on troopers who retaliated. The QRT found the body of the Maoist when they conducted a search operation after the rebels fled the spot. Police also recovered a 0.303 rifle and four cartridges from the spot. "The deceased Maoist is yet to be identified," the release added.

The intervention by the CPI-Maoist held up the construction of ten multipurpose watch towers in Kutku range of PTR in Palamu District of Jharkhand. CPI-Maoist cadres do not want watch towers to come up fearing this high rise tower will make them most vulnerable. The work on remaining 40 towers is in normal speed in North division. In the South division, CPI-Maoist cadres threw the spanner when a ranger was manhandled and a tractor was set afire in the South division, said A K Mishra Deputy Director North division PTR.

Police arrested a suspected extortionist identified as Kaiyenpaibam Sanjit from areas of Sagolband Tera in Imphal West District. Police also recovered one 0.32 revolver 6 live rounds, 1 double barrel rifle ammunitions and one M 20 pistol with one life round.

Kuki militant groups under two umbrella organisations KNO and UPF who are conducting talks with GoI  have demanded creation of a territorial council for the Kukis in Manipur. The demand was placed in writing during talks held in New Delhi. The militant groups had had signed a suspension of operation agreement with GoI in 2008 and the January 10 talks was the sixth round of talks. The demand memorandum was signed by UPF ‘spokesperson’ Aaron Kipgen and KNO ‘negotiator’ Seilen Haokip. Altogether 13 delegates from the two organisations participated in the talks. Kukis have long been demanding creation of a separate Kuki state out of Manipur. The groups also demanded "constitutional" safeguards for Kukis in Manipur.

The 13 pro-ILP groups are dismayed that no action has been made till date by Meghalaya Government to set up entry and exit points to keep a check on illegal immigrants. About 18 entry and exit points are supposed to be set up in three phases.

KSU President stated that ‘We want that the phase 1 should be completed. Phase 1 includes places like Malidor (East Jaintia Hills), Byrnihat (Ri-Bhoi) and Athiabari (Meghalaya-Assam border).’ HYC, another pro ILP group claimed that Meghalaya was a safe haven for the suspected illegal immigrants from Assam.

The Maoists blew up a bridge by blasting an IED in Sukma District of Chhattisgarh. According to reports, the Maoists blasted the IED by blasting them near Dharampenta at around 11 pm late. A part of the bridge has been badly damaged by the blast. SP Abhishek Meena said that after the blast, CRPF personnel fired at the Maoists who later escaped. On December 11, 2017, the same bridge was damaged by the rebels by blasting it.

January 11

Delhi’s Commissioner of Police Amulya Patnaik revealed that in comparison to 2016, Delhi Police has recovered 14.81% more of FICNs in 2017. FICN worth of INR 5.74 Crores was recovered with 80 cases registered. Whereas, in 2017, FICN worth of INR 6.59 Crores was recovered in 46 registered cases. The recovery of FICNs was an initiative taken by Delhi Police and other associated agencies such as the RBI, the Central Board of Excise and Customs and the IB, said Amulya Patnaik.

In 2017, Delhi Police has registered 362 cases under the NDPS Act, 1985, which is 25.26% percent higher than the cases registered in 2016. As per the data released by Delhi Police, 289 cases were registered with 370 people arrested under various sections of NDPS Act in 2016. In 2017, 491 people had been arrested under different sections of NDPS Act. Majority of arrests in these cases were conducted by the Special Cell of Delhi Police that also deals with terrorist activities in Delhi. Drug-trafficking is our [Delhi Police] primary focus and it is a part of terrorism which is recognised as a ‘narco-terrorism’, said an unnamed Delhi Police official. 

In 2017, the Delhi Police’s Cyber cell had received 670 complaints, out of which 247 complaints were investigated following the arrest of 146 people. The cyber cell involved 723 computer teachers from 577 schools to spread the cyber-awareness among the youngsters in the midst vulnerable games, such as ‘Blue Whale’ that held responsible for multiple deaths of youngsters around the globe. Along with the staff of EOW had been training with cyber experts to collaborate with the institutions in banking sector, the SEBI and the NSE. On monthly basis, the cyber-training has been provided to the IOs from different Police Stations and so far had trained 509 officials at EOW and 362 officials at the Police Training College, said Delhi’s DCP of Crime Records Office Rajan Bhagat. To regard the success of Cyber cell, Delhi’s Commissioner of Police Amulya Patnaik had launched a website of ‘Cyber Safety Unit’ which is considered as a ‘one stop window’ to complain cyber related incidents, says report.

The NIA, which is probing the five bomb blasts that took place in court complexes in South India, including Mysuru in Karnataka, said that the accused targeted the courts to avenge the hanging of 1993 Mumbai blasts case convict Yakub Memon and the encounter of Imam Ali in Bengaluru in 2002. The charge sheet filed before the special court indicates that the outfit named ‘Base Movement’ carried out the attacks. The outfit was named so after al Qaeda, which was ‘The Base’. The outfit used the photo of Osama Bin Laden on all its letters and videos with ‘al Qaeda’ written in Arabic and English. NIA has named Ninar Abbas Ali, who worked as a painter and ran an Islamic library named Darul Islam; Samsun Karim Raja, who ran Ahad Broilers chicken shop at Madurai (Tamil Nadu) and also assisted his father in SR Printers; and S Dawood Sulaiman, an engineering student having knowledge of computers and English, in its charge sheet. The outfit believed that Muslims accused of various crimes and lodged in jails were being ill-treated and the courts were giving them a raw deal.

SFs recovered two weapons and over 400 rounds of ammunition hidden by militants in Rajouri District. Acting on a specific input, a joint team of Police and the Army launched a search operation in Jatta Malian forest in Kalakote belt of Rajouri District and recovered the arms and ammunition, reports said. The haul included one AK-47 rifle, one magazine, 400 rounds of AK rifle, one pistol with magazine, one hand grenade and two IED circuits, reports said, adding that a case was registered in this connection.

A surrendered militant, who was wanted in cases of murder and attempt to murder etc, was arrested by Police in Reasi District. The accused, identified as Manzoor Ahmed (40), son of Haji Fareed of Kothian in Pouni tehsil, at present Nawabad in Reasi District, was evading arrest in case FIR number 55/2012, under Section 302, 307.458, 366, 382, 147, 148, 323, 376 and 120B RPC.

SFs launched a CASO against militants in Kupwara District. They said that on a tip off about the presence of militants, SFs and SOG of Jammu and Kashmir Police launched a joint search operation at Hampora, Lagate Handwara in Kupwara District. All the exit points were sealed and a massive search operation has been launched. However, no one was arrested and no contact was established with the militants.

GOC Kilo Force, Major General AK Singh, said that the majority of youth in Jammu and Kashmir want peace and those who join militancy are just a few. “I think, we only talk about those few hundreds who have joined terrorism. But we don’t talk about those 22 lakh Kashmiri youths who have shunned away the path of terrorism and want peace and stability in the Valley”, he said while speaking to reporters in Baramulla in Baramulla District during a function. Singh said that recently joined militant of HM Manan Wani was tricked into militancy. “I think, Manan Wani is only an exception and he has been probably tricked into this otherwise no militant gives his photograph like this. Hizb-ul-Mujahideen has used him so that he will not join mainstream back”, he said. The Major General said that policy of the security forces is to accept those youth into mainstream who shun the path of violence. “But our policy is that any militant who wants to join back mainstream, we always accept them”, he said. “We will continue to fight back these incidents. Army and all the security forces in Kashmir are ready and we will do our best to stop those people who are involved in these incidents”, he said.

Pakistan's ISI held a meeting with terror outfits this month to plan how to counter Indian SFs that have inflicted massive damage to them in Jammu and Kashmir. At a meeting held in Rawalpindi (Pakistan), the spy agency had lengthy deliberations with Hafiz Saeed-led LeT, Maulana Masood Azhar-led JeM and senior Pakistan Army officials to find out the reasons of losses in the Valley and LoC. LeT and other terror groups expressed concern over massive losses during counter-terror operations in Kashmir, leading to a decline in local recruits to carry out attacks. Central intelligence agencies said that the ISI's main concern is the killings of newly recruited Kashmiri youths by Indian security agencies. The ruthless manner in which the killings have happened has demoralised youngsters after, sources said.

Also, the ISI is worried over the Indian Army and the BSF's response during retaliatory firing at border posts and growing casualties of its men. The ISI finds difficulties to carry on its old strategy of BAT and sniper attacks on Indian personnel as forces are giving befitting responses. Indian agencies which were in the know of the meeting have begun their counter preparations to tackle fresh designs that the ISI will use to unleash in coming months.

The explosion in Sopore town in north Kashmir's Baramulla district on January 6 by JeM is seen by intelligence agencies as a "precursor" to new the strategy unleashed by the ISI to create problems in the Valley. Terrorists detonated a powerful IED that killed four Police personnel, including an officer, in Sopore town. This is for the first time since 2015 that terrorists have used an IED to target SFs in Jammu and Kashmir.

An encounter between the CPI-Maoist cadres and SFs took place at Chhotedongar under Irpanar Police Station limits in Narayanpur District of Chhattisgarh. However, there was no report of any casualty.

A wanted CPI-Maoist cadre identified as Sagruram Sori (27) was arrested up by BSF and District Force jawans after an exchange of fire during a search operation in Bhomrapara forest under Koyelibeda Police Station area in Kanker District. The SFs also recovered two firearms, explosives, Naxal literature and other materials from the possession of the Sori.

SFs arrested two cadres of CPI-Maoist identified as Mantoo Yadav and his associate Nageshwar Yadav at Govindpur village in Jamui District of Bihar. The arrested CPI-Maoist cadres were residents of Govindpur and Fatahpur villages respectively under Chakai Police Station of Jamui District. The Police team raided Mantoo's house while he was asleep and arrested him. Nageshwar was also arrested from Mantoo's house. One 9 mm imported pistol, four live cartridges, one magazine, two mobile phones and two motorcycles were also seized, said Jamui SP, JJ Reddy. Mantoo has five criminal cases lodged with the Chakai Police Station under various sections of the IPC and the Arms Act, added SP, Reddy.

Two ‘commanders’ of the TPC outfit were killed in an encounter with a joint team of Hazaribagh District Police and troopers of the 22nd battalion of the CRPF at Konai Khurd village under Padma Police Station in Hazaribagh District of Jharkhand. The raiding team recovered one AK 47 and INSAS assault rifles besides around 200 live ammunition from the two dead rebels, along with two mobile phones and posters and literature of the banned group.

Police in an encounter killed GNLA ‘deputy commander in chief’ Matchallang M Sangma alias Vietnam at Bawe Duragre village in East Garo Hills District. An AK 56 rifle with live ammunition, Chinese grenades, three kilo grams of gelatin sticks and claymore box used for making IED were recovered from the encounter site. Matchallang M Sangma was involved in execution of surrendered GNLA ‘finance secretary’ Rakkam D Shira at East Garo Hills District. His last known execution was that of another surrendered militant by the name of Kamdak in December.

GNLA ‘commander in chief’ Sohan D Shira once again dared security forces on the lookout for him as he visited his native village of Sasatgre-Nengmandalgre in East Garo Hills District.

Amra Bangali (We the Bengali) announced its decision to contest the coming Assembly elections in Tripura. The party held a rally in Agartala (West Tripura District) to protest against what it called the atrocities on ‘indigenous Bengali people in Assam’ and condemned attempts to create separate ‘Tipraland’.

January 11-12

The Indian Army and Pakistani Army exchanged fire and shelling along the LoC in Kamalkote sector of Uri in Baramulla District in which several Pakistani bunkers were destroyed. An official said that Pakistani troops violated ceasefire by targeting Indian Army posts in Kamalkote sector of Uri in the night.  He said that they used heavy machine guns and mortars to target the posts but there was no damage on Indian side. The Army troops of 12 Dogra, 8 RR of Baaz battalions gave a befitting reply and also fired mortars and used heavy machine guns to target the Pakistani posts.

Sources said that several Pakistani army bunkers were destroyed in the shelling in which Pakistani troops suffered casualties. However, the number of casualties was not immediately known and Army deployed in the forward posts was trying to ascertain how many and what kind of casualties did Pakistani troops suffer. The official said that the firing started at around 11.30 p.m (January 11) and continued till 3.30 a.m (January 12) during which it was war like situations in the area. However, in the morning the firing stopped but tension prevailed in the sector.

January 12

The annual crime report presented by the Pune’s Commissioner of Police Rashmi Shukla, depicts the steep rise in the number of incidents reported in 2017 in comparison to preceding years. In 2016, Pune’s cybercrime cell received 2,070 complaints of cyber-related incidents where as the numbers for 2017 are more than double with 5,741 complaints. The idea of establishing the cyber Police Stations in the city has some technical roadblocks as there are some prior criteria need to be met. But the Central Government and the state Government is making joint efforts to initiate cyber Police Stations. The steep rise in the cybercrime is due to the lack of awareness about cybercrimes and safe online practices, said Rashmi Shukla. Total of 54 cybercrime cases were resolved in 2017 as compare to 33 cases resolved in 2016, resolved independently by Pune’s cybercrime cell, says report.

Televangelist Zakir Naik, who is being probed under terror and money laundering charges by the NIA, is projected as a ‘hero’ in a school book in Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh. The Islamic Mission School in Dodhpur area of Aligarh District published a book ‘Ilm-un-Nafe’ for Class 1 that has chapters on nine famous Muslim personalities. One of them features Zakir Naik, founder of Mumbai-based NGO – Islamic Research Foundation. The school management claimed that the book – aimed at enhancing children’s general knowledge – was published two years back, but in the new session the chapter on Naik would be removed from it. “The book has chapters on renowned Muslims and one chapter is on Zakir Naik,” said the author of the book, Kunen Kausar, who is also the manager of the school. “When the book was published two years back, there was no case against Zakir Naik. Now, the chapter on him will be removed in the fresh book issued for the next session,” added Kausar.

Ahead of the Army Day on January 15, the Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army, General Bipin Rawat has said that the Indian Army is gearing up its strength in cyber and Information Warfare, which is believe to be the next theatre of operation besides battles with China along with the ‘LAC’ at the military level. Along with fighting at the border, the Indian Army also ensuring the protection of its cyber networks with the implementation of good firewalls and the capability to handle them, said General Rawat.

Militants attacked a Police Post in Keegam Police post maintained by Police and CRPF in Shopian District. However, there was no damage but the Police and CRPF retaliated and militants fled away. SFs immediately cordoned off the area and established check posts at several places in the area to trace out the militants responsible for the attack. However, no one was arrested.

Security has been put on maximum alert in Handwara area of Kupwara District after inputs about possible Fidayeen (suicide) attack by JeM. Sources said that a group of four JeM fidayeens are trying to carry out an attack in Handwara and in order to prevent the attack, security has been put on alert and SFs have established checks points and have intensified security around SFs camps and other installations.

In a significant statement on anti-militancy operations in Kashmir, Army chief General Bipin Rawat said that this year (2018) Army will shift its focus to North Kashmir from South Kashmir in 2017 to prevent the infiltration attempts and declared that troops would destroy all Pakistani posts from where terrorists are launched into the Indian soil. He said seeds of thought of some kind of ‘separate identity’ are being sown in Government schools among the children, which have separate map of the State besides that of India and called for major revamp of education system in Jammu and Kashmir to deal with the problem.

General Rawat said: “our focus of operations in 2017 was South Kashmir. This year it will shift to North Kashmir’s Baramulla, Pattan, Handwara, Kupwara, Sopore, Lolab and some Northern areas of Bandipora so that the infiltration can be thwarted there’’. Asserting that the people, who rush to site of encounters between militants and SFs, were risking their lives, the Army chief described it as ‘worrisome phenomenon’. “This is becoming a worrisome phenomenon that people are just rushing to operations to get successful and at time taking risks well beyond their capacities. Why are they taking risks? They are more concerned about tasks at hand to get success, that is why sometimes it is leading to higher casualty rate,’’ the Chief of Army Staff said.

The Army chief’s statement on focusing North Kashmir this year assumed great significance as it had been targeting South Kashmir, which had once become hub of the militancy especially after the killing of HM ‘divisional commander’ Burhan Wani in July 2016. However, last year, SFs killed nearly 200 militants in the Valley including South Kashmir. He declared that the Indian Army will destroy all those military posts of Pakistan from where they launched militants and terror strikes into Kashmir. “We target all those Pakistani posts from where they launch terrorists for infiltration into Jammu and Kashmir. Terrorists are a disposable commodity in Pakistan and Indian Army’s approach is to ensure that Pakistan feels the pain,’’ Gen Rawat said.

Referring to increased number of ceasefire violations on the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir, he said India will retaliate against any threat and will continue the similar approach till it sees reduction in ceasefire violations. “The casualties which Pakistan has suffered are three to four times more than what we did. Pakistan is sending messages regularly to return to the ceasefire. We are ready but we will continue our approach till we see a decrease in ceasefire violations,’’ the Army chief said.

Jammu and Kashmir Government said 51 persons were killed and over 9,000 injured, including over 6,000 due to pellets, during the eight months- long unrest in Kashmir after the killing of HM militant Burhan Wani in 2016. In a written reply to the question of a National Conference MLA Mubarakh Gul in the State Assembly, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said 51 people were killed in Kashmir division from July 8, 2016 to February 27, 2017 in the unrest.

She said 9,042 people were injured in firing of bullets, pellets, PAVA -shells and others during the period. Of these, 6,221 were injured due to pellets, 368 due to bullets, four due to PAVA shells and 2,449 suffered other injuries, she said. As many as 782 suffered eye injuries of which 510 were hospitalized, she said, adding that 5,197 cases of pellet injuries were treated at district hospitals and the rest were referred to Super Specialty Hospitals. The highest number of deaths - 16 - took place in Anantnag District followed by 13 in Kulgam District, seven in Pulwama and five in Kupwara, Mufti added.

Union Minister of State for the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region, Prime Minister Office, Dr Jitendra Singh said in Jammu that certain vested interests do not want the militancy to end in Jammu and Kashmir. Over the last 25 years, he said, militancy has developed as an industry and the beneficiaries of it thrive in its continuation, but what is more worrisome is that some of the so – called mainstream political activists and political groups have also learnt to sustain their political relevance in an atmosphere of instability and disturbance resulting from continued militancy.

Dr Jitendra Singh said, those who oppose the Panchayat elections are, in fact, scared of grass-root democracy flourishing in the State because that will mark an end of the game for the self-styled and un-elected leaders from the so called separatist lobby, as well as some of the so – called mainstream leaders who have mastered the art of getting themselves elected with a meager vote percentage in the shadow of militancy.

Based on information received from SP, Prashant Anand, the Manika Police arrested JJMP cadre, identified as Rajesh Shaw alias Rajeshwar Sahu, from Matlong area in Latehar District of Jharkhand. Rajesh Sahu is a resident of Sukri village under Latehar Block in the District. Abhay Shankar, OIC, said that Rajesh was involved in an encounter between JJMP and the Police in the Kumrahi jungle of Barabaiya. JJMP is a splinter group of the CPI-Maoist.

CPI-Maoist cadres set ablaze a bus after asking the passengers to alight, in Sukma District of Chhattisgarh. However, there were no reports of any casualties or injuries of the passengers in the bus. The incident occurred under Chintagufa Police Station limits when the private bus was on its way to Jagargunda from Jagdalpur, a local Police official said. The official said that a group of Maoists, armed with sharp-edged weapons and sticks, stopped the vehicle between Chintagufa and Burkapal villages and after asking passengers to alight, set it ablaze.

SFs arrested three CPI-Maoist cadres, identified as Sodhi Prakash (35), Pedkam Ramesh (19) and Buddallu Pulla (40) were arrested from two separate places in Sukma District of Chhattisgarh. Prakash, who was active as the head of Karigundam Janatana Sarkar (KJS) squad of CPI-Maoist and wanted in 17 Naxal related incidents including attacks on Police party, triggering IED on Police teams, murder and others, took place in Chintagufa, Chintalnar and Polampalli Police Stations areas in Sukma District, was arrested from Chintagufa Police Station limits. Ramesh and Pulla, were involved in set ablaze of vehicles and thrashing labourers engaged in construction of road near Kansaram rivulet of Sukma District on December 21, 2017 and triggered IED blasts in 2017 between Kansaram and Potakpalli villages, were arrested from Kistaram Police Station area, said SP, Abhishek Meena

Under the PMGSY scheme, the Kanker District Police cleared a six kilometres road route traversing a 650-metre inclined, forested and rocky landscape and the road became operational in Kanker District of Chhattisgarh. The connecting road is set to link inaccessible settlements of the tribals who live in the inhospitable terrain barely 15 kilometres away from the Kanker District headquarters. “Ever since Independence our villages had remained deprived of a route to connect us with the main roads. Every election we raised our demands for road connectivity, but all we got were promises and no action,” said Lachhanu Mandavi, the Patel of Marrapi village. The road connects more than 2,000 tribal families in around half-a-dozen remote and undeveloped villages, including Marrapi, Useli, Kalmuchhi, Marme-Kanali and Nilegondi.

The ATS of the Maharashtra Police arrested seven CPI-Maoist cadres identified as Ajay Dosri alias Krishna Lingaya alias Venugopal (40), Shankarayya, Babushankar Banguri, Narsayya, Ravi Marpalli, Ramesh Golala and Satyanarayan alias Sataya from various places in Thane District of Maharashtra. ATS officials received a tip-off that one of the key members of CPI-Maoist would arrive in Kalyan and arrested Venugopal from Kalyan railway station. Police teams were dispatched and six CPI-Maoist cadres were arrested from Vikhroli, Ghatkopar and Dombivli (east), after the interrogation of Venugopal. The Police claimed the CPI-Maoist cadres were indoctrinating youths in slum pockets and collecting finances for the GCC, which includes Maharashtra and Gujarat and seized Naxal literature and documents. CPI-Maoist cadres were led by Venugopal, ‘district committee secretary’ in CPI –Maoist, who was underground for 20 years. He was active in trade unions in Mumbai to spread CPI-Maoist ideology and carrying a reward of INR 8 00,000 announced by Telangana Government. He is booked under the UAPA, 2008, and remanded in Police custody, said DCP, ATS, Mohan Dahikar.

A militant of NSCN-R was arrested from Khonsa town in Tirap District. The arrested militant was identified as ‘sergeant major’ Manhua Wangpan. An AK-56 rifle, live ammunition, extortion note, drugs and INR 5,000 were recovered from him. According to the militant he was part of a nine men team operating under ‘captain’ Eli Ketok and had come to Khonsa for extortion.

In a bid to prevent misuse of social media & networking sites to create unrest and other untoward incidents in the State, Assam Police has decided to intensify monitoring of users of such digital platforms.  The decision has been taken after receiving reports that a section of people and organizations were making objectionable comments on vital social issues including NRC. DGP of Assam Police stated that the move aims at preempting any possible attempt by miscreants and anti-social elements to misuse social media to create disturbance. 

DGP also added that while appointment letters among 2,000 new constables will be distributed on January 12 appointing another 5,000 constables will start soon. He also added that over 300 Sub-Inspectors recently appointed are currently undergoing training.

Suspected militants hurled hand grenades and fired at an Assam Rifles post in Kangpokpi District. Although AR personnel fired at the militants, they managed to escape. No fatality was reported in the incident.

Three extortionists were arrested unidentified locations for allegedly trying to extort money from a businessman by using the name of GNLA. The arrested individuals were identified as Wilberth T Sangma, Wister N Marak and Salgra Ch Sangma.

AR arrested an arms dealer from Burma camp in Dimapur and recovered a .22 pistol. The dealer was identified as Neiwelhi Rume.

AR arrested NSCN-K militant Mhonthung Tungie in Wokha town in Wokha District.

UMHA will send 300 companies of CAPF’s for the Assembly elections in February.  The CAPF contingent will comprise of BSF, CRPF and ITBP.

The first lot comprising 25 companies of CAPF arrived on January 12 while 50 more companies will reach Tripura by January 20. Additionally 12 battalions of TSR will also be available for election duties.

The state already has over 35,000 security force personnel comprising BSF, CRPF and TSR. During the last Assembly elections in February 2013, around 20,000 CAPF personnel were deployed.

A truck driver indentified as Sorokhaibam was abducted by unidentified assailants near Lamlong in Imphal East District.

January 13

A soldier was killed as Indian Army and Pakistan Army exchanged fire along the LoC in Rajouri District. An Army spokesman said that Pakistan Army initiated ‘unprovoked’ firing on Indian Army posts in Sunderbani sector of Rajouri District. “Indian Army retaliated strongly and effectively,” he said. “However, in the exchange of fire, Lance Naik Yogesh Muralidhar Bhadane (28), was grievously injured and succumbed to his injuries,” said the official.

SFs averted a major tragedy when they detected a powerful IED planted by militants in the city outskirts on Srinagar-Baramulla road in Srinagar. Traffic on the Srinagar to north Kashmir has been suspended and entire area has been sealed. BDS summoned to defuse the IED. Official sources said that a ROP of SFs noticed an IED planted by militants on main road in the city outskirts. The area was immediately sealed and traffic suspended as a precautionary measure. The separatists had called for a general strike against the killing of civilians in the Valley.

A 12-year-old boy, identified as Mohammad Iqbal (12) was critically injured when an unexploded bomb went off near the LoC in Shahpur sector of Poonch District. According to reports, the boy found the bomb in an open field near Qasba village around 11:45 am and started fiddling with it, causing the explosion. “The boy suffered critical injuries with both his hands blown up. He was rushed to hospital and his condition is stated to be ‘critical’,” sources said, adding the mortar shell had been fired by Pakistani troops during ceasefire violation.

An Army jawan, identified as Pushkar Singh was injured in forward village of Malti in Poonch District. Sources said fresh tensions on the LoC have spread wave of fear and panic among the people living in villages located within shelling and firing range in twin border Districts of Poonch and Rajouri. The panic-stricken people were taking extreme precautions while venturing out of their houses as they feel that frustrated Pakistan army, which has suffered heavy losses at the hands of Indian troops, could target the civilians to inflict casualties and damages on them, said the report.

The state of J&K has witnessed a sudden rise in cybercrime incidents with 51 cases registered during 2017. According to the data released by the J&K Police, 38 cyber incidents were reported in 2015, whereas 25 incidents were in 2016. The J&K Government claimed that all Police Stations have been provided latest IT equipments to deal in cybercrime incidents efficiently. To tackle cybercrimes in the state, three cybercrime cells— each in Jammu, Srinagar and Crime Headquarters in J&K has been established with sufficient numbers of IT trained officers and staff to contain cyber offences, said the J&K Government.

AR arrested two individuals in Tethizu Hanging Bridge in Kiphire District.  One .22 Rifle, one magazine and live rounds were recovered from the arrested individuals.

Two suspected arms dealers were arrested a joint operation in Blue Hill Station, Dimapur.  One .22 mm Pistol, one magazine, live ammunition, one detonator, two Gelatin sticks and one Safety fuse were recovered.

EC has asked AR to increase its presence in the 1643-km-long Indo-Myanmar border to prevent Indian militants based in Myanmar from sneaking across the border and creating disturbance in poll-bound Nagaland.  Nagaland CEO also stated that the inter-state and inter-District borders have been tightened to ensure a peaceful election which is due next month. The CEO added that GoI is sending 276 companies of additional CPMF  for poll duty of which about 40 to 50 companies are scheduled to arrive in about three to four weeks.

The Union Government has asked the four states that share unfenced border with Myanmar to distribute “border pass” to all the residents living within 16 km from the boundary line. It has also asked the governments of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram to enroll the border residents under Aadhaar (unique identity card) on war footing.

A linkman of ULFA-I identified as Swarup Jyoti Chetia was arrested from Chabua in Dibrugarh District. Army stated that he was passing sensitive information about SFs and suggesting targets for extortion to ULFA-I.

Moreover he had passed information about Chabua Air Force station, ONGC , NEEPCO and other government installations to ULFA-I militant identified as Bhaskar Gogoi alias Astitwa Asom.

According Army sources, Swarup was tasked by ULFA-I to collect information on aviation-carrying turbine fuel (ATF) tankers entering Chabua Air Force station to plan placing IED on ATF tankers entering the air base.

Additionally, sources stated that an oil tanker bound for Dikom storage unloading point had crashed at the railway track barricades, adjacent to the fencing of the air force station on January 13. Although the driver claimed it was an accident, security agencies have not ruled out involvement of ULFA-I.

The Union Government has asked the four states that share unfenced border with Myanmar to distribute “border pass” to all the residents living within 16 km from the boundary line. It has also asked the governments of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram to enroll the border residents under Aadhaar (unique identity card) on war footing.

The Union Government has asked the four states that share unfenced border with Myanmar to distribute “border pass” to all the residents living within 16 km from the boundary line. It has also asked the governments of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram to enroll the border residents under Aadhaar (unique identity card) on war footing

The Union Government has asked the four states that share unfenced border with Myanmar to distribute “border pass” to all the residents living within 16 km from the boundary line. It has also asked the governments of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram to enroll the border residents under Aadhaar (unique identity card) on war footing.

January 14

Advocating a ‘politico-military’ approach in dealing with the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, Army chief General Bipin Rawat called for political initiative to go hand-in-hand with military operations in the State. General Rawat, who has followed a hard-line approach in tackling terrorism, said the armed forces operating in the State cannot be ‘status quoist’ and must evolve new strategies and tactics to deal with the situation. The Army chief said, “The political initiative and all the other initiatives must go simultaneously hand-in-hand and only if all of us function in synergy, we can bring lasting peace in Kashmir. It has to be a politico-military approach that we have to adopt.” Rawat also asserted that there was room for ramping up heat on Pakistan to cut the flow of cross border terror activities, clearly indicating that the Army will continue its policy of hot pursuit in dealing with militancy.

The state of J&K has witnessed a sudden rise in cybercrime incidents with 51 cases registered during 2017. According to the data released by the J&K Police, 38 cyber incidents were reported in 2015, whereas 25 incidents were in 2016. The J&K Government claimed that all Police Stations have been provided latest IT equipments to deal in cybercrime incidents efficiently. To tackle cybercrimes in the state, three cybercrime cells— each in Jammu, Srinagar and Crime Headquarters in J&K has been established with sufficient numbers of IT trained officers and staff to contain cyber offences, said the J&K Government.

According to an unnamed Delhi Police’s special cell official, the Intelligence agencies had intercepted the conversations related to a threat of terrorist attack on January 26 on occasion of the Republic Day celebrations in Delhi. The Intelligence agencies had intercepted the phone calls among three ‘ultras’ or terrorists from Afghanistan and their handler based in Pulwama of Pulwama District in J&K. Reportedly, these three terrorists had been hiding in the nearby area of Jama Masjid in Delhi. In swift response to the inputs, the CISF has elevated the security measures at Delhi’s IGI airport and all Delhi Metro stations. These elevated security measures have also includes Quick Reaction Teams and Dog squads at the locations, said an unnamed senior Delhi Police official.

Several CPI-Maoist cadres were reportedly injured in Police-Naxal encounter in Tetamadugu Jungle near Tetamgarh in Sukma District of Chhattisgarh. In the encounter, the Police neutralised the Naxalites' camps. Police claimed that half a dozen Naxalites of the military battalion of the Maoists have been injured in the firing, and some other managed to escape. Police has seized the Maoist belongings kept in the camp.

SFs arrested three CPI-Maoist cadres in Dantewada District of Chhattisgarh. A joint team of Police and the CRPF was out on a search operation when the joint team arrested them. All three were involved in many murder, robbery and arson cases. One of the arrested Maoists was carrying a reward of INR 100,000 on his head. The identities of the Maoists are yet to be ascertained.

Six teenaged Rohingya Muslims have been arrested in Tripura's Dharmanagar in North Tripura District, bordering Assam. Tripura Police stated that the youngsters, all from Myanmar and aged around 18 years, entered Tripura from Bangladesh on January 12 and were trying to go Hyderabad by train.

CPI-Maoist cadres set ablaze Kendu (Diospyros melanoxylon) leaves storehouse at Barkani village under Sadar Police Station limits in Bolangir District of Odisha. The Police recovered CPI-Maoist poster from a tree near the storehouse. The CPI-Maoist poster accused the kendu leaf DFO and Ranger of indulging in corrupt practices. It also added that the construction of Kendu leaf storehouses was incomplete and warned of further violence if steps were not taken to stop corruption, said Sadar IIC Jyotirmayee Bhucha.

One GNLA militant and an OGW were arrested from Goalpara District. A pistol and ammunition were recovered from the arrestees.

January 15

A rocket landed in the premises of Indian embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan has created a panic causing a minor damage to a structure belongs to the embassy; however no casualties in the incident were reported. The Charged’ Affaires informed that all staff members of the Indian embassy in Kabul are safe and no casualties has been caused in the incident, said a tweet released by the spokesperson of the MEA Raveesh Kumar. As of now, no terror outfit has claimed the responsibility, but Taliban and the Haqqani Network had carried out such attacks in the past.

India and Israel signed nine key agreements to strengthen the cooperation in key areas including cybersecurity, defence and counterterrorism. The cooperation between India and Israel will strengthen the existing pillars in areas of agriculture, technology and security, said Indian PM Narendra Modi at a joint media event with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Two nations held delegation-level talks and discussed regional and international issues of mutual interests.

Army Chief General Bipin Rawat asserted that the Army will not allow anti-India activities to succeed in Jammu and Kashmir and it was ready to escalate military offensive to combat cross-border terrorism if Islamabad forces it to do so, reports Daily Excelsior. Talking about the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, he said the Pakistan army has been continuously trying to help terrorists sneak into India along the LoC in J&K. “We will not let these anti-national elements to succeed at any cost. If we are forced, then we may escalate our military action and carry out (the) ‘other action’,” he said. The Army has been adopting a ‘tit-for-tat’ approach in dealing with ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops as well as foiling infiltration bids by terrorists. The Army is using its might to teach them a lesson,” the Army chief said, adding that, “terrorists and their handlers are creating various challenges within the country by adopting new tactics.” Rawat said the Army will continue to give a befitting reply to Pakistani action along the border. Addressing Army personnel on the occasion of Army Day, Rawat also said that disputes along the Line of Actual Control with China were continuing and the Army was trying to stop the Chinese transgressions. “Ensuring security along the Line of Actual Control (with China) is our main duty,” he said without elaborating further.

The Indian Army Chief of Staff (General) Bipin Rawat said that if forced, the Indian Army is all ready to launch its offensive strategy against Pakistan-based terror groups and emphasised that no anti-India activities may nurture in Indian state of J&K. Addressing the Army Personnel on the occasion of Army Day, General Rawat quoted that Pakistan Army has been trying to support the infiltration of terrorists along ‘Line of Control’ (LoC) in J&K and Indian Army is using its might to ‘teach them a lesson’. Since 2016, Indian Army has adopted an aggressive anti-terror strategy in J&K and aggressively responded with a ‘tit-for-tat’ approach to the ceasefire violations by Pakistan’s Army along with the LoC.

The NIA has revealed a common link between Pakistan-backed conspiracy of revival of Khalistan and the killings of six Hindu leaders of RSS in various locations in Punjab. The conspiracy has a focal agenda to provoke communal violence that in turn fuels the revival of Khalistani movement in Punjab. The NIA has been able to link the conspiracy and killing through the scientific examination of the weapons seized in different raids which firmly points to the involvement of Pakistan’s ISI, said NIA’s D-G Y.C. Modi.  Further investigation also revealed that the funds for these operations were routed from Pakistan to some operatives in Italy, Pakistan, Canada and the UK through Hawala channels.

The three-day conference of all state DGPs concluded on January 8 in Madhya Pradesh, with the discussion on key areas including cyber-security, Left-Wing Extremism (LWE), image building of Police and the Malimath Committee on Police reforms. Post demonetisation, there was a sharp rise in cybercrime incidents and tackling them efficiently is a big challenge for our Police officials. Controlling cybercrime incidents and LWE are one of the focused areas, said Andhra Pradesh’s DGP M. Malakondaiah. Over 40,000 cybercrime incidents were registered in the state of Maharashtra whereas around 800 are registered in Andhra Pradesh, said M. Malakondaiah. Indian PM Narendra Modi, UHM Rajnath Singh, NSA Ajit Doval took part in the meet of the DGPs and the IGPs held at Tekanpur town of Gwalior District in Madhya Pradesh.

SFs foiled an infiltration bid near the LoC in Uri sector in the Baramulla District, killing five JeM militants in the morning. A defence spokesman said that five militants were killed. Earlier, DGP S P Vaid said four JeM militants were killed at Dulanja in Uri sector in a joint operation by the Army, Police and other SFs.

Indian Army undertook major offensive against Pakistan to silence their guns, which were targeting forward Indian posts on the LoC in Mendhar sector of Poonch District, killing seven Pakistani soldiers including an officer and critically wounding five others. According to reports, five posts and four bunkers of the Pakistani army were destroyed in massive retaliatory action of the Indian troops. Sources said that Indian action against Pakistani troops, which came on the occasion of ‘Army Day’ was necessitated as the Pakistani posts continued to engage in heavy shelling in Mendhar sector targeting forward posts of the Indian Army and were also planning to strike at civilian areas, which was anticipated as the enemy was dumping large quantity of mortar shells on their side. Also, according to sources, there was hectic activity on Pakistan side of the LoC and some militants could be seen moving across with a view to infiltrate into the Indian territory with the help of Pakistani troops.

“Indian troops undertook major action against the Pakistani troops this morning in which seven Pakistan army personnel including an officer were eliminated while five others seriously injured,’’ sources said, adding there were inputs that five posts and four bunkers of Pakistan were razed to ground in the hour long action. Major damage was suffered by Pakistan in Jandrot area of Kotli sector, which was being manned by 801 Mujahid battalion of Pakistan Army under 3 PoK Brigade. Hectic activity was observed in Pakistani camp after the Indian action and nearly half a dozen ambulances and Army trucks and jeeps were seen shifting dead and injured jawans of Pakistani troops to the hospital. Some officers of PoK Brigade could be seen visiting forward posts to assess the damages.

Pakistan’s DG (SA & SAARC) Dr Mohammad Faisal summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner J P Singh and lodged protest over killing and injuries of Pakistan army personnel.

Police busted a network of OGWs who were actively involved in radicalizing and motivating the youth to join militant ranks and to send them across LoC and South Kashmir for obtaining arms training. SSP Kupwara, Shamsheer Hussain, said that on a tip off, Police arrested four OGWs identified as Rashid Bashir Pir, Zakir Amin Pir, Saif-ud-din Khatana and Manzoor Ahmad Najar. He said that two youth have also been rescued who were radicalized and motivated to join the militant ranks.

The SSP said that during last one year due to timely action and strenuous efforts made by District Police Kupwara so far 17 youth have been rescued, who were radicalized and motivated to join the militant ranks from areas close to LoC. “After proper counseling, all the rescued youth have been handed over to their parents. All the OGWs who were involved in motivating the youth for joining the militant ranks have been booked. Four top OGWs have also been booked under PSA recently”, Hussain said. District Police Kupwara has also appealed the parents of the educated youth in particular and society in general to foil the nefarious designs of such anti-national/anti-social elements who are hell bent to push the educated youth of the area into militancy cadres, so that their lives and future can be secured.

Army Chief General Bipin Rawat asserted that the Army will not allow anti-India activities to succeed in Jammu and Kashmir and it was ready to escalate military offensive to combat cross-border terrorism if Islamabad forces it to do so. Talking about the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, he said the Pakistan army has been continuously trying to help terrorists sneak into India along the LoC in J&K. “We will not let these anti-national elements to succeed at any cost. If we are forced, then we may escalate our military action and carry out (the) ‘other action’,” he said. The Army has been adopting a ‘tit-for-tat’ approach in dealing with ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops as well as foiling infiltration bids by terrorists. The Army is using its might to teach them a lesson,” the Army chief said, adding that, “terrorists and their handlers are creating various challenges within the country by adopting new tactics.” Rawat said the Army will continue to give a befitting reply to Pakistani action along the border.

Addressing Army personnel on the occasion of Army Day, Rawat also said that disputes along the Line of Actual Control with China were continuing and the Army was trying to stop the Chinese transgressions. “Ensuring security along the Line of Actual Control (with China) is our main duty,” he said without elaborating further.

An Army Captain, identified as Bangoria was injured in Pakistan firing along the LoC at Chakan-Da-Bagh in Poonch District in the night. Sources said Captain Bangoria was injured in Pakistan firing on January 15 night and has been airlifted to Military Hospital in Udhampur.

SFs killed a CPI-Maoist cadre and destroyed a camp during a combing operation in Jhilmili forest under Bakarkatta Police Station area in Rajnandgoan District of Chhattisgarh. SP, Prashant Agrawal said the operation was conducted by a joint team of the ITBP, the STF and the DRG. SP, Agrawal said that the team attacked the Maoist camp housing 50 Maoists within Bakarkatta Police Station limits in the northern part of Rajnandgaon District. In the exchange of fire, one Maoist cadre was killed. The SFs recovered three weapons and a huge cache of Naxal related material from the camp. “One pistol and two 12 bore guns were recovered. The Maoist belonged to the ‘Vistaar Platoon’ of the CPI-Maoist. Search operations are on in the area,” SP, Agrawal said. The camp was located in Jhilmili forest, about 160 kilometres from Rajnandgaon, bordering Balaghat area of Madhya Pradesh. 

Odisha Government will receive INR 2.3 billion in four years for development of infrastructure and services in Naxal -affected Districts under the NPAP launched by the Union Government. Two Districts of Odisha - Malkangiri and Koraput will be covered under the scheme. Each District will receive INR 280.57 million for the next three financial years taking the total to INR 1730.42 million. The State Government will, however, receive INR 570.14 million for utilisation in 2017-18. The Government will set up a State-level committee headed by the CS to monitor implementation of the programme. The DLC to be headed by the Collector will also have SP and DFO as members. Two Districts in Odisha included under the NPAP will receive INR 20 million each, to strengthen the vulnerable Police Stations every year. 17 Naxal affected Districts of Odisha will receive INR 10 million each for strengthening of Police Stations, said official sources.

The NIA had arrested two persons in connection with the murder of former State Minister and JD-U legislator Ramesh Singh Munda in 2008. Both suspects, identified as Prafull Kumar Mahto (27), and Jai Ganesh (37), residents of State capital Ranchi, were arrested and have since been remanded in agency custody for five days by an NIA Special Court in Ranchi District of Jharkhand. Munda was gunned down by CPI-Maoist cadres on July 9, 2008, while attending a programme at a school on the outskirts of Ranchi. Maoist ‘commander’ Kundan Pahan's name figured in the killing. Pahan had surrendered to Police in May 14, 2017. The probe was handed over to the NIA in September 2017.

Assam CM stated that GoI and Assam Government have decided to seal the Indo-Bangladesh border by December 2018. The CM also claimed that people of both the Brahmaputra and Barak valleys have extended full cooperation.

Tension prevails in and around Joykochi village near Ishar camp Chowk under Baihata Chariali Police Station in Kamrup District after a religious clash. According to sources, the clash occurred after someone threw the stomach of a goat under the Bridge of Kathalguri River during Bhogali Bihu (an Assamese harvesting festival) and Hindu community people mistook it to be the stomach of a cow.

A woman identified as Yendrembam Sobita was wounded in a blast caused by remote controlled IED near Raj Bhavan in Imphal East District. The incident was preceded by another explosion when an unidentified militant lobbed a grenade near at M Sector Defense PRO office also located in Imphal East District. The twin blasts took place in one of the highest security zones of the State and at a time when the State police are taking up preventive measures for the coming Republic Day celebration.

Police have been conducting a random mopping operation at sensitive places across valley areas, particularly in Imphal and its outskirt since the last few days.

An unidentified man was wounded in an IED explosion in an unspecified location in south Mizoram along the Indo-Myanmar border.

A senior intelligence officer stated that NLFT has around 13-15 hideouts in Bangladesh. The camps exist in various areas such as Khagracherri, Bandarban and Segunbagan in CHT.

Additionally the cadre strength of NLFT is estimated at about 60-70 militants with its ‘army chief’ Sachin Debbarma, a former ATTF militant.

The intelligence official also added that NLFT leadership is in such a pathetic condition, that they will not be able to play any role during the Assembly elections. Another official confirmed the fragile condition of the outfit saying that the BGB has already established some BOPs in CHT.

An Individual identified as Jitua Tongchongya was seriously injured in a landmine blast near Mizoram-Myanmar border pillar number two.

January 16

The Kerala Police team will be expanding the investigation to Bengaluru (Karnataka) regarding an alleged ‘forcible’ conversion of an unnamed 25 years-old woman with intentions of taking her to Syria and join the IS. Regarding the case, the accused Fayas and Siyad, will be taken too few places in North Kerala and Bengaluru where the primary accused Muhammad Riyas had stayed, said an unnamed senior official of the Ernakulam Rural Police. The woman had escaped from 80 days ‘custody’ of her husband Riyas, from an apartment in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. She claimed that Riyas insisted her forcefully to watch videos of Islamic preacher Zakir Naik and attempted to take her to Syria.

The special cell of Delhi Police has arrested Narender—a key member of an international syndicate of FICNs and recovered FICN in denomination of INR 2,000 worth INR three lakh. Acting-upon specific inputs a Police team spread-out a ‘honey-trap’ near Red Fort metro station at Chandni Chowk of Central Delhi District in Delhi, where Narender had come to deliver a consignment of FICNs to his contact, but got arrested by Police team, said an unnamed Police official. During the primary interrogation, Narender revealed that he has been involved in this activity for the last four years and he was getting new prints of FICNs from Farraka of Jangipur Subdivision of Murshidabad District in West Bengal. All seized FICNs are of fine printing and it is difficult to distinguish from original Indian notes, said Delhi’s DCP of special cell Pramod Singh Kushwah.

Two labourers, identified as Bilal Ganie and Jehangir Wagay were injured in a blast at Khandroo area of Anantnag District. The blast occurred inside an Army camp at Khandroo after the labourers stepped over the mine. Two labourers were injured. They were shifted to nearby hospital where from they have been referred to Srinagar Hospital for specialized treatment.

Army has been put on heightened alert along the LoC in Uri sector in Baramulla District after intelligence inputs about militants waiting on launch pads in PoK for infiltration. Army has inputs that militants of JeM and LeT are on the launch pads along the LoC in PoK in Uri sector where there is either no snow or very less snow due to dry weather conditions prevailing in Kashmir for last several months. The alert has been sounded in sub-sector Rampur, Torna, Rustum, Mike where Army has reports that for last over a month in militants are concentrating on launch pads to infiltrate through these areas as in other sector like Gurez and Tangdhar there is heavy snow along the LoC.

After January 15’s infiltration attempt by the JeM in Uri sector in which five militants of JeM who were on suicide mission to target an Army installation near the LoC in the sector were killed, the Army has increased vigil along LoC in the sector. Sources said that three more militants, who were yet to infiltrate and were waiting for the boat to return and fled under the cover of darkness, are injured. This is for the first time that the militants used boat to infiltrate through river Jhelum. In August 2011, militants used a Pneumatic boat to cross the Kishanganga River in Gurez sector but Army foiled their attempt and killed 12 militants and seized the boat.

A 43-year-old man, identified as Mohammad Ayoub Mir succumbed to injuries, 28 days after he was injured in Shopian District. On December 19, 2017, Mohammad Ayoub Mir, received three bullets in his abdomen during the clashes amid an encounter between the militants and SFs at Batmuran Kellar area of the Shopian District. Two militants were killed, while a woman died and over dozens of protesters were injured during the gun battle and clashes. Mir had undergone treatment for more than 15 days at SMHS hospital and was later discharged. He passed away at his home in Chatergam on January 16.

The SOG of Police detained four persons in separate raids in Pulwama (Pulwama District) and Handwara (Kupwara District) areas. Three persons identified as Mudasir Kumar, Ajaz Kumar and Sanju Ganie all residents of Chatapora Pulwama were picked up by SOG after they raided their residences on January 16 morning. They were detained for questioning in a militancy related case. One Fayaz Ahmad, a tipper driver was held by the SOG two days back. He was detained for questioning over his alleged links with HM.

Dozens of mines exploded in Mankote and Balakote sub sectors near the LoC in Poonch District due to forest fire. Official sources said that scare was created in the forward villages when the fire broke out from that side of the LoC. The fire then went on spreading on this side of the LoC and the explosion of land mines started. A larger area came under fire and the troops went on high alert. The Army was suspecting deliberate attempt of the Pakistani troops to neutralize mines and make way for armed terrorists from that side. The explosions created scare in this entire belt while troops intensified patrolling.

Authorities again suspended cross-LoC trade between Jammu and Kashmir and PoK on Poonch-Rawlakote route in view of yesterday’s (January 15) tensions on the LoC in Mendhar sector of Poonch District in which seven Pakistan army personnel were killed and five others injured.

CPI-Maoist cadres set ablaze road construction equipment, opposing the road work at Luler village under the Maithili Police Station in Malkangiri District of Odisha. Sources said the armed rebels raided the camp of a construction firm and asked the staffs and labourers to leave the spot. Then they set a tractor, road roller and other equipments ablaze. The Maoists left a poster behind claiming the incident to be their handiwork.

CPI-Maoist cadre identified as Chhathu Sada was arrested at Saghran village under Dandari Police Station area in Begusarai District of Bihar. The arrested CPI-Maoist cadre was involved in killing SAP trooper by firing on him at Kusamhot village under Chadpura Police Station area in the District in 2016.

Police arrested CPI-Maoist cadre identified as Anuj Yadav alias Ramanuj Yadav, who is absconding after setting ablaze a road roller and mobile tower from Mirganj village, under Shakurabad Police Station in Jehanabad District of Bihar. He demanded ‘levy’ (ransom money) in the construction of bridge in Murrah village, said Police.

Police arrested CPI-Maoist cadre Sakhalu Hemla (35) at Karekorma's Karrapara forest in Rajpara in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh. The arrested CPI-Maoist cadre was involved in case of killing a woman in the village Katekormama village and accused of Dantewada jailbreak. He carries a reward of INR 5000 on him declared by SP, Bijapur.

The Dakshina Kannada Police and the ANF, on January 16, began combing operations in the Western Ghats following reports on the movement of CPI-Maoist cadres in Mittabagilu village near Shiradi in Dakshina Kannada District of Karnataka. Sources said on January 14 night three persons, believed to be members belonging to Naxal group, armed with modern weapons, visited the houses deep in forest in Uppin Angadi Police Station limits and collected essential commodities including rice and other articles, adds UNI. According to Leela, whose house they had visited, the Naxals assured that they would not harm her and asked not to inform the Police. The members identified themselves as Leela, Suresh and Purushottam.

Personnel of the 26th battalion of CRPF and local Police seized a huge cache of arms during a special operation against Naxalites at Chargi Forest area in Peterwar Block (administrative unit) in Bokaro District of Jharkhand. Acting on a tip off, a CRPF team headed by ASP, Sanjay Kumar launched an operation in Chargi forest in Peterwar block. During the operation the team detected an artificial tunnel near Chargi forest which the rebels used for strong arms and ammunition. Bokaro SP, Kartik S. said two country-made pistols, 45 cartridges, 318 piece of electronic detonators, three magazines, one rifle of 315 bore, huge cartridges of SLR and others explosives were recovered from the artificial tunnel. The arms were stored by the members of Santosh Mahto in the forest to carry out an attack by the Maoists on the SFs. Though some members of Santosh Mahto of the banned outfit were present in the forest they preferred to disperse from the spot after leaving behind their weapons, the area is close to the border of Gomia Block, also Maoists hit Block of the District.

Suspected militants set fire on nine crude oil tankers, at Namchik checkgate in Changlang. According to authorities, a group of at least 20 heavily armed militants stormed the area and fired at the tankers and set them ablaze. The tankers had been loaded with crude oil at Kharsang oil fields in Changlang and were bound for Digboi oil refinery in Tinsukia district of Assam. Police suspect ULFA-I or NSCN-K to be behind the incident.

Mikir community is seeking restoration of the lost APST and PRC status. The community residing at Chessa, Kokila, Hollongi, Balijan and Tarasso in the foothills area of Papum Pare district was enlisted as APST as per the Scheduled Tribe Amendment Act of 1950. Members of the Mikir community were given ST certificates, equal opportunities and benefits by the State government on par with other indigenous communities of the State. But they no longer get it. Papum Pare Deputy Commissioner Tai Kaye stated that ‘ST certificate is only permissible for Mikirs enlisted in the Schedule Tribe Amendment Act 1950, but is not permissible for Karbis’.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh reviewed security situation in the North-eastern States. According to official data, the security situation in the region has improved and insurgency-related incidents have gone down by 85 per cent in 2017 as compared to 2000. According to the data, there were 308 insurgency-related incidents in 2017, the lowest since 1997.

In 2000, 1,963 insurgency-related incidents had taken place in the Northeast. Also, the death toll of security personnel and civilians was lowest last year when 12 security forces personnel and 37 civilians were killed.

The number of cases of kidnapping or abduction also went down by 40 per cent as 168 incidents were reported in 2016, which came down to 102 in 2017.

An NSCN-K militant identified as `sergeant major’ Bishnu Bhujel was arrested from Mullong village in Tinsukia District.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh reviewed security situation in the North-eastern States. According to official data, the security situation in the region has improved and insurgency-related incidents have gone down by 85 per cent in 2017 as compared to 2000. According to the data, there were 308 insurgency-related incidents in 2017, the lowest since 1997.

In 2000, 1,963 insurgency-related incidents had taken place in the Northeast. Also, the death toll of security personnel and civilians was lowest last year when 12 security forces personnel and 37 civilians were killed.

The number of cases of kidnapping or abduction also went down by 40 per cent as 168 incidents were reported in 2016, which came down to 102 in 2017.

Police recovered a Chinese grenade from M-Sector in Imphal East District. The authorities stated that the grenade was lobbed but had failed to explode. Earlier on January 15 a grenade had exploded in the same area. No insurgent group has claimed responsibility for either incident.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh reviewed security situation in the North-eastern States. According to official data, the security situation in the region has improved and insurgency-related incidents have gone down by 85 per cent in 2017 as compared to 2000. According to the data, there were 308 insurgency-related incidents in 2017, the lowest since 1997.

In 2000, 1,963 insurgency-related incidents had taken place in the Northeast. Also, the death toll of security personnel and civilians was lowest last year when 12 security forces personnel and 37 civilians were killed.

The number of cases of kidnapping or abduction also went down by 40 per cent as 168 incidents were reported in 2016, which came down to 102 in 2017.

January 17

In a meeting chaired by the UMHA Rajnath Singh to discuss action plan of the newly formed Cyber & Information Security Division (CIS), it was announced that an Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (ICCCC) and a Cyber Police Force will be constituted under CIS, reports The Statesman. The UMHA Rajnath Singh expressed a concern over the rise in incidents of sharing of pornography over the Internet and called for a stringent monitoring of cyberspace and to block the websites that flouts Indian laws, especially child pornography.

Pakistani Rangers in the night resorted to shelling and firing on forward Indian positions along the IB in RS Pura sector of Jammu District in which a BSF jawan identified as A Suresh and a young girl, identified as Neelam Devi were killed while five civilians injured. Reports said Pakistani Rangers targeted forward posts of BSF and some civilian areas in RS Pura, Suchetgarh and parts of Arnia sectors at about 10.30 pm. Reports also said that the  BSF jawan who was injured in Pakistan shelling and firing in RS Pura sector succumbed to injuries later.

The BSF retaliated effectively, leading to heavy exchanges, which were going on when the reports last came in, report said. There was panic among the villagers living along the International Border, reports added.

The BSF retaliated effectively and there were official reports of two killings and heavy infrastructure losses

The people in Kashmir have realised that it is very difficult to secede from India and they are also getting tired of militancy, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said. He laid emphasis on the campaign to bring back the radicalised youth into the mainstream. This will put an end to the menace of militancy in the State, General Rawat said. “They have seen it for too long and they have realised (that) it hasn’t given them what they had desired for. Let me tell you… With a country like India, to seek independence from a nation where we have strong armed forces, where we have a strong democracy, and a very strong Government, you cannot secede from India. This is what the people have realised,” he said.

Jammu and Kashmir Government said that 195 SFs personnel have sacrificed their lives in the past three years in terrorist attacks in the State. In a written reply to the question of BJP member Ramesh Arora in the Legislative Council, Minister In-charge Home said that during last three years 195 security personnel have lost their lives in terror attacks across the State. The Minister further added that 195 security personnel attained martyrdom in terrorist-related incidents and out of these, 78 were martyred during 2017, 74 in 2016  while 43 during 2015.

Two CPI-Maoist cadres identified as Madvi Baman (30) and Harish Podiam (23), after an exchange of fire between SFs and CPI-Maoist cadres in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh. The encounter took place during an anti-Maoist operation launched at Galgam, Bhusapur and Tekmela villages of Usoor by a joint team of the STF, CAF and District Police. Two CPI-Maoist cadres were arrested from the forests near Bhusapur village under Usoor Police Station and recovered directional bomb, detonator, bow and arrow and other materials, said Police official.

Police arrested an active cadre of the PLFI, a splinter group of the CPI-Maoist, identified as Kale Dhanwar alias Lal Babu from Biramitrapur Police Station limits in Sundargarh District of Odisha. The District Police team raided the ward number-2 area of Biramitrapur and arrested Kale Dhanwar. During interrogation Dhanwar admitted his connection with the PLFI, said SP, Pinak Misra.

An ‘area commander’ of JJMP, a splinter group of the CPI-Maoist, was killed in an encounter at Jerpahari under Sadar Police Station limits in Latehar District of Jharkhand. According to the Police, a joint team of the District Police and JJ had launched a search operation in Jer hills under Sadar Police Station area, following information about the movement of a squad of JJMP, being led by Guddu Yadav. The joint team came across the group and an exchange of fire took place the next day.“A search operation was mounted this morning, which led to the recovery of a body. It was identified as that of Guddu Yadav, a resident of Kui village under Manika Police Station area. He had four cases in Chandwa and Manika area,” said a Police officer. Police sources said that an AK-47, four American-made rifles, one INSAS assault rifle, among others were recovered.

The District Police foiled an attempt by CPI-Maoist cadres to blow up a vehicle carrying SFs after the seizure of two IEDs from Imamganj region in Gaya District of Bihar. The two IEDs, each weighing 10 kilograms, were planted under the road leading to Bodhia hills under Salaiya Police Station. CRPF officer, Surendra Das said the Maoists had planted the explosives near Tilakdih village to target the SF personnel. CRPF's Assistant Commandant Sujeet Kumar said the seized explosives were of high quality and enough to cause extensive damage to the Police patrol vehicle. "Both the IEDs were defused by the personnel of the bomb disposal squad in the presence of senior officials of the central paramilitary force," Assistant Commandant Sujeet added.

Begusarai Police arrested four Maoists, who were evading arrest in several cases related to attack on SFs in Begusarai District of Bihar.

An NSCN-IM militant was arrested from Namtok village in Changlang. The militant was identified as ‘private’ Kejen Ngongpa. A pistol and ammunition were recovered from the militant

Assam DGP stated that militants were using Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland as base for insurgent activities in Assam. He stated that ‘four Districts of Arunachal and two Districts of Nagaland provide them with the terrain and access from Myanmar to Assam. According to defence sources there are inputs that the militants would try to perpetrate similar attacks in eastern Assam’s Tinsukia District in the run-up to Republic Day on January 26.

A hide out of NSCN-K and ULFA-I was busted at the Assam-Nagaland border area in Dewpani near Naginimora in Shivasagar. One NSCN-K militant identified as Temjack Libek was arrested and a pistol was recovered from him. However, 13-14 militants were able to escape and a search operation was launched to detain the militants.

Meghalaya DGP stated that crime committed by the militants in the State have come down with 21 militant-related incidents reported in 2017. State had witnessed as many as 310 militant-related incidents in 2013, 341 in 2014, 310 in 2015, and 118 in 2016. The incidents include killings, abductions, extortions and other criminal activities.

He also added that there are only nine or 10 trained GNLA militants and four ot five untrained GNLA militants following Sohan D shira of GNLA. DGP also added that ULFA-I ‘commander’ Dristi Rajkhowa is also living with GNLA cadres in the Garo hills. Dristi is dependent on them (GNLA) and both Dristi and Sohan are not hiding in Bangladesh due to ongoing operations against Indian insurgents.

January 18

Kerala Police said that one more IS operative from Kannur District engaged in extremist activities has been killed in Syria. According to Police, the death of the youth, identified as Abdul Manaf P P (30), resident of Valapattanamin Kannur District, was conveyed to the family on January 17 by his friend and another IS operative from the District, Abdul Khayyoom (25), who is also in Syria.Police have received information that nearly 17 people from the State, who had been waging the so-called holy war in Syria have lost their lives. At least six of them are from Kannur. As per available information, the IS operative Abdul Manaf was killed in November. Police said Manaf went to Syria using a fake passport and there is a case against him in this connection. He was a close associate of Shahjahan Velluva, another IS operative who was arrested in Delhi a few months back. He had also worked as the office secretary of the Popular Front of India (PFI) for some time before leaving for Syria.Prior to that he was named an accused in the murder of a CPM worker Bineesh, in 2009, said Police.According to the investigating agencies, it was through the network of Manaf that nearly 15 people out of the 29 who left for Syria to wage 'jihad', reached there.

Responding to a question at the Raisina Dialogue in Delhi on January 18, former Director-General (Retired) of the US’ CIA—David H. Petraeus has declined the concept of ‘Indian state-sponsored’ terrorism. Supporting the statement, India’s Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar said that he was at the Dialogue to talk about facts and not ‘fantasy’ stories. “As director of the CIA, and commander of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, I never once heard the term ‘Indian State-sponsored terrorism’, said Petraeus.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said his country and India "have some understanding" should India decide to unilaterally carry out combative action across the LoC against UN-designated terrorists, a statement that is indicative of an endorsement of India's right to defend itself.  Netanyahu said, "Well, let's say this, we have some understanding and I don't think I have to add beyond that," before adding that the Indo-Israeli partnership is not directed against any specific country. He added, "Israel does not claim to be a perfect country. I don't know any country which is without problems. But, we extend our hands in peace to our neighbours. It is unfortunate that at least on the Palestinian side, we haven't seen a reciprocal response." He also claimed, "Israel is no longer viewed by most Arab countries as an enemy, but as an indispensible ally in their battle against radicalism."

The trial of FICNs case in which a close associate of Dawood Ibrahim—Aftab Batki is an accused, has been initiated at the NIA. Apart from Batki, other accused persons are identified as Abid Chullikulavan from Kalikavu of Malappuram District (Kerala), Mohammed Haneefa from Kodungallur of Thrissur District (Kerala), Abdul Salam alias Podi Salam from Wandoor of Malappuram District (Kerala), and Antony Das from Valaparai of Coimbatore District (Tamil Nadu). Abid Chullikulavan was intercepted by the Indian Customs officers at the Nedumbassery airport, Kerala upon his arrival from Dubai (UAE) on January 26, 2013. Around 1,950 of FICNs in the denomination of Rs 500 were seized from him. During the investigations Abid revealed that the counterfeit Indian currency was supplied by Batki.

Police detected and defused a powerful IED, planted by the militants on roadside in Bharat area of the Doda District. Sources said Police received information from a civilian that the IED had been planted at village Pounda on the main Bharat Road, about 12 kilometers from District headquarters. The IED, weighing 10 kilograms, was successfully defused.

The NIA filed a charge sheet against 12 persons, including LeT ‘chief’ Hafiz Saeed and HM ‘head’ Syed Salahuddin, for ‘conspiring to wage war against the Government’ by carrying out terrorist and secessionist activities in Jammu and Kashmir. The NIA filed the 12,794-page charge sheet, along with annexure, before a designated court here and sought permission to continue its probe related to terror funding in the State, the agency said in a statement in New Delhi. The agency has charged Pakistan-based terrorists Saeed and Salahuddin along with 10 others for criminal conspiracy, sedition, and under stringent provisions of the UAPA, it said.

NIA officials said they had gathered substantial material and technical evidence during the probe. They said 60 locations were raided and 950 incriminating documents seized. There are 300 witnesses in the case. Besides Saeed and Salahuddin, the agency has also named the secretary of hardline pro-Pakistan separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Bashir Ahmad Bhat, businessman Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali and photo journalist Kamran Yusuf, who has been identified along with Javed Ahmad Bhat as a stone pelter. Hurriyat Conference leaders Aftab Ahmad Shah, Altaf Ahmad Shah, Nayeem Ahmad Khan, Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate, Mohammad Akbar Khanday, Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal and Bashir Ahmad Bhat have also been charged by the agency.

The agency has charged the Hurriyat leaders with acting under the overall guidance of and instructions from Saeed and Salahuddin and their ‘Pakistani handlers’ and plotting strategies to launch violent protests. They communicated these to the people in the form of ‘protest calendars’ released through newspapers, social media and religious leaders, it said. These acts aimed at creating an atmosphere of terror and fear in Jammu and Kashmir, the NIA alleged.

The Jammu and Kashmir Government said that 213 terrorists were killed and 51 civilians died in terror-related incidents last year (2017). In a written reply to a question of BJP's Sat Sharma, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti told the Legislative Assembly that 213 terrorists, including 127 foreign terrorists and 86 local terrorists, were killed in 2017 as compared to 150 terrorists, including 119 foreign terrorists and 31 local terrorists, in 2016. Similarly, 51 civilians died in 2017 and as many as 20 civilians died in 2016 in terror-related incidents, she said.

The government has taken a number of steps to check cross-border terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, Mufti said. The Chief Minister said that these measures include border-fencing and its electrification, installation of night-vision devices, target-oriented inputs on infiltration, among others. She said that the border is being manned by SFs who are adequately equipped in terms of manpower and resources.

Meanwhile, in another written reply to a question of Sharma, Mufti told the Assembly that 320 weapons, including 213 AK rifles, 101 pistols and revolvers, four RPGs, one each sniper rifle and 303 rifle were recovered in 2017. As compared to this, 178 AK-47 rifles, 81 pistols and revolvers, 7 RPGs and two each sniper rifle and 303 rifle were recovered in 2016, she said. Similarly, police recovered 394 explosive devices including 305 grenades, 76 detonators and 13 IEDs in 2017, followed by recovery of 1,358 explosive devices in 2016, which includes 333 grenades, 1,038 detonators, 26 IEDs and one anti-personnel mine, Mufti said. Besides, a large quantity of ammunition was recovered by the police during the last two years, she said, adding that 8 kg explosives were recovered in 2017 followed by 10 kg in 2016. She said 46 wireless sets were recovered in 2017 and 54 in 2016.

The Police unearthed two illegal mini-gun factories and seized three automatic pistols and five magazines during an overnight operation in Munger District of Bihar. Two persons identified as Manoj Yadav and Mohammad Israr, were arrested in this connection. Munger SP, Ashish Bharti said acting on a tip off a Police team conducted a raid at the house of Mohammad Rabbani at Bakarganj village and seized two automatic country-made pistols. Rabbani was wanted in connection with an arms deal case lodged with Batganj Police Station in West Bengal. SP, Bharti said Mohammad Israr and Manoj Yadav were arrested when they had gone to purchase weapons from Rabbani. The Police later arrested Rabbani from his hideout and produced him in the court, which remanded him in judicial custody for 14 days.

Police arrested a CPI-Maoist cadre from Shakurabad Police Station area in Jehanabad District of Bihar. Police said the Maoist rebel identified as Sheodani Thakur alias Sheodahin Thakur (30) was arrested by the 32nd battalion of SSB Bela Muzaffarpur Bihar and a team of Shakurabad Police Station from his hideout at Ratani village following a specific intelligence input. Sources said that no firearm was recovered from his possession. Thakur was a resident of village Nihalpur, Paras Bigha Police Station in Jehanabad District of Bihar and was an active member of Magadh range of CPI-Maoist.

Three IEDs suspected to be planted by the Maoists were recovered by the 32nd battalion SSB from a sugarcane field near Sonoalsubba village in Suppi Block under Majorganj Police Station in Sitamarhi District of Bihar.

One DRG soldier sustained injury an IED blast near Tumripara under Fulbagadi Police Station limits in Sukma District of Chhattisgarh. SP, Abhishek Meena said, "There was an IED blast near Tumripara under Fulbagadi Police Station in which a DRG soldier sustained injuries."Following the blast the DRG team launched a search operation of the area and arrested 11 CPI-Maoist cadres from Kistaram Maraiguda area of the District. All the arrested Maoists were also involved in setting 27 vehicles on fire, firing upon the soldiers in Kasalpada and Dharampenta bridge blast.

CPI-Maoist cadres attacked a newly-established CRPF camp in Bastar District of Chhattisgarh. However, there was no report of any casualties or injuries in the attack at the Malewahi camp on the borders of Bastar and Dantewada Districts.

Maoist presence has been detected at Kodenchery in Kozhikode District of Kerala. According to sources, a team of four armed CPI-Maoists visited the house of an individual identified as Abraham. After asking for tea, the Maoists asked the family staying at the house to cook food for them.

Security sources suspect that extortion demand by militants is suspected to be the main reason for torching of nine tankers carrying crude oil from Kharsang in Changlang District.

Militants might have reportedly demanded ransom from transport companies which owned the tankers. Though the identity of the militants involved in the incident is yet to be ascertained, it is suspected that members of NSCN-IM incident as there were reports of movement of the cadres of the outfit in that area.

SFs arrested a NDFB-S militant identified as Mukta Bora from Chinakona-Khoirabari route in Udalguri. A pistol, a magazine and four rounds of live ammunition were recovered from him.

Former Union home secretary G.K. Pillai stated that ULFA-I was outdated. He stated that ‘the name of revolution the so called Ulfa (I) supremo Paresh Barua is just maintaining a network of dissidents and some youths of the region with a misguided concept’. He also added that ULFA-I was carrying out certain activities with the support of NSCN-K Upper Assam without any fruition. He also added that the arson incident in Arunachal Pradesh on January 16 was committed by NSCN-K.

Dimapur Police arrested a suspected extortionist identified as Atovi Aye for allegedly extorting from truck drivers from  Khushabill village in Dimapur.

Two HCC employees were abducted  from Kangchup in Imphal West District by KNF-MC.

January 19

Two bombs were recovered, following a small-sound explosion in the midst of stringent security measures for Dalai Lama’s stay at Both Gaya pilgrimage centre in Gaya District of Bihar. The bombs were recovered from the surrounding areas of the Kalachakra ground after an intense combing operation by the Police team led by DIG of Patna range Vinay Kumar, said IGP of Patna zone N.H. Khan. The small explosion caused panic among the devotees who were gathered to hear the Dalai Lama’s discourse. The explosion happened shortly after Dalai Lama completed his discourse and rested for the day at the Tibetan monastery. During the search operation, a burst thermal flask was found in the kitchen area which might have caused the sound, said N.H. Khan.

A Delhi court extended till February 5 the judicial custody of HM ‘chief’ Syed Salahuddin's son Syed Shahid, arrested in a six-year-old terror funding case. Special Judge O.P. Saini extended the custody after in-camera proceedings. Shahid (42) a Jammu and Kashmir Government employee, was arrested on October 24, 2017 after he was called for questioning at the NIA headquarters. The NIA alleged that Shahid was collecting funds from Aijaz Bhat, a Srinagar resident now based in Saudi Arabia and a HM militant, on the direction of his father Salahuddin, who is based in Pakistan. The money was meant to fund HM's activities in J&K. The 2011 terror funding case pertains to money sent through hawala (illegal money transfer) channels by militants based in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to Jammu and Kashmir. The NIA filed two charge sheets against six accused in 2011. Four of them - Ghulam Mohammed Bhat, one of the closest aides of Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mohammed Sidiq Ganai, Ghulam Jeelani Liloo and Farooq Ahmad Dagga - are currently in Delhi's Tihar Jail.

During a high-level UNSC meeting regarding Afghanistan, India’s permanent representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin said that Pakistan must change its ‘mindset’ that unleashes the terrorist activities in India and Afghanistan. “Terrorism and externally induced instability pose the gravest threat to Afghanistan’s peace, stability and prosperity,” he said. “And the growing arc of terrorist violence endangers our entire region.” said Akbaruddin.

During a press conference, Spokesperson of the MEA Raveesh Kumar stated that there is a need for Pakistan to realise the reality and take action against the mastermind of 2008 Mumbai attack Hafiz Saeed. If someone enlisted as a designated global terrorist, it has been done on the basis of concrete evidences which are available in public domain. Pakistan may ‘close the eyes’ and pretend like nothing happened but they must see what is in front of them and take appropriate action against such people, said Raveesh Kumar. Apart from India, the UN, the US, the UK, the EU, Russia and Australia have also proscribed Hafiz Saeed’s terror outfit—LeT.

The NIA has taken into custody five terror suspects, including a person who was intercepted at the Mangaluru International Airport in 2016, in connection with their attempts to join the IS in Syria. The accused are Midlaj (26), Abdul Rasak K V (34), Rashid M V (24), Manaf Rahman (42) and Hamza U K (57), all residents of Kannur, Kerala. Manaf Rahman was intercepted at Mangalore International Airport on December 23, 2016, when he attempted to travel along with his family to the UAE, allegedly with the intention of travelling to Syria to join ISIS. He was influenced by Hamza U K, who was also supposed to travel to the UAE on December 25, 2016, and had booked air ticket accordingly. But he dropped the plan after finding out that Manaf Rahman was intercepted at Mangalore airport. The investigation hitherto has revealed that Midlaj and Rashid had travelled along with one Shajahan V K to Turkey in October, 2016, with the intention of crossing over to Syria, but were apprehended by the Turkish authorities and deported to India in January, 2017. Further, Abdul Razak had travelled to Turkey through Tehran, Iran, along with one Abdul Khayoom of Kannur in mid-April, 2017. Shajahan had again reached Turkey in April/May, 2017, using a fake Indian passport as part of his second attempt to migrate to Syria and join the IS. Subsequently, Abdul Razak and Shajahan were apprehended by Turkish authorities when they attempted to cross over to Syria. They were deported to India on July 1, 2017. Abdul Khayoom managed to cross over to Syria and join the Islamic State.

The pro-Khalistan movement posters with the slogans of ‘Khalistan Zindawad’ (Long live Khalistan) and ‘Khalistan Referendum 2020’ were spotted in Banga town and its adjacent villages of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar District of Punjab (India). The Tribune. The ‘Khalistan Zindawad’ slogan was written in Punjabi language whereas ‘Khalistan Referendum 2020’ was in English language. The state Police has removed many such posters and reached-out to the CCTV footage of nearby areas to trace the persons involved in this activity.

Two civilians, including a woman, were killed when Pakistani troops opened fire along the IB in Jammu District. Three civilians were also injured in the heavy shelling. The ceasefire violation took place at RS Pura sector in Jammu District. According to sources, the deceased have been identified as Bachno Devi of Sai Khurd and Sunil Kumar alias Johny of Korotana in R S Pura sector.

Official sources said firing from across the border restarted at around 6.45 am and it was going on the entire border right from R S Pura in Jammu District to Basantar river in Samba District. The BSF personnel were retaliating strongly and effectively. Sources also said that apart from forward BOPs, the Rangers were targeting civilian areas, causing panic among villagers living near the IB.

Almost entire IB in Jammu, Samba and Kathua Districts and LoC in the twin border Districts of Rajouri and Poonch virtually faced war-like situation with intense shelling by Pakistani Rangers and Army, leaving four persons including an Army jawan (trooper), a BSF Head Constable and two civilians, one of them a woman, dead and 35 others - two BSF jawans and 33 civilians, injured, some of them seriously.

Three BSF jawans were injured when mortar shells fell around their posts in Ramgarh sector of Samba District. One of them identified as Jagpal Singh died while being treated in the hospital and two others including Adarsh SS and Sat Paul Singh were under treatment. The injured were responding to the treatment.

Another Army jawan Lance Naik Sam Abraham (34) was killed in Pakistan shelling and firing in Sunderbani sector, bordering Pallanwalla in Akhnoor, of Rajouri District.

Two civilians were killed when mortar shells exploded inside their houses at Arnia and RS Pura sectors, close to the IB in Jammu District. They have been identified as Bachno Devi (45) and Sahil Kumar (25). Twelve persons were injured in Arnia sector, eight in RS Pura, five in Samba, nine in Kathua and one in Mendhar. With four deaths on January 19, total number of killings in ceasefire violations by Pakistan during last two days has gone up to six. On January 18, a BSF jawan and a young girl were killed in shelling and firing in RS Pura and Arnia sectors.

As heavy shelling and firing continued for second consecutive day on January 19, large number of people in RS Pura, Arnia, Ramgarh, Hiranagar, Kanachak and Pargwal sectors left their houses for safer locations including the relief camps set up for them by the administration while educational institutions, falling within shelling and firing range, remained closed, report said. Authorities in Rajouri District ordered closure of all educational institutions within five kilometers of LoC in 72 villages for next three days.

Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti expressed grief and anguish over the killing of three persons during the cross border shelling in the RS Pura, Suchetgarh and Arnia sectors. The Chief Minister said that it is very unfortunate that the people of border areas in the State continue to bear the brunt of cross border fire power. She said today’s incidents of shelling are a proof of her assertion that the people of the State are the worst victims of acrimony between the two neighbouring countries while appealing for cessation of hostilities on the borders.

India summoned Pakistan Deputy High Commissioner Syed Haider Shah and conveyed ‘grave concerns’ at the continued ceasefire violations and deliberate targeting of innocent civilians by Pakistan forces. Shah was summoned by the Joint Secretary in Pakistan division. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has registered its ‘strong protest’ at the loss of three innocent civilian lives besides injuries to nine other civilians in ceasefire violations by Pakistan forces on 18 and 19 January 2018 in Hiranagar, Samba, Ramgarh, R S Pura and Arnia sectors, an official release said. More than 100 such violations have been carried out by the Pakistan forces on the LoC and the IB so far during 2018. “It was conveyed to the concerned authorities in Pakistan that deliberate targeting of innocent civilians was against all established humanitarian norms and practises,” the statement said.

Eight Police personnel were injured in a grenade blast at Pulwama area in Pulwama District. Militants lobbed a grenade towards Police Station Pulwama resulting in injuries to eight Police personnel. “Soon after the attack, cops opened some fire shots”, sources said. All the injured have been hospitalized and have been identified as Mohammad Ishaq Shah of Hari Parigam, Jagdish Raj of Kathua, Mushtaq Ahmad Mir of Tral, Mohammad Shafi Mir of Rajouri, Ghulam Nabi of Khaigam Pakherpora, Mushtaq Ahmad Bhat of Ganderbal, Bilal Ahmad Lone of Khansahab Budgam and Farooq Ahmad Lone of Tral. SFs have launched searches in the area against the militants for the attack.

A Delhi court extended till February 5 the judicial custody of HM ‘chief’ Syed Salahuddin's son Syed Shahid, arrested in a six-year-old terror funding case. Special Judge O.P. Saini extended the custody after in-camera proceedings. Shahid (42) a Jammu and Kashmir Government employee, was arrested on October 24, 2017 after he was called for questioning at the NIA headquarters.

The NIA alleged that Shahid was collecting funds from Aijaz Bhat, a Srinagar resident now based in Saudi Arabia and a HM militant, on the direction of his father Salahuddin, who is based in Pakistan. The money was meant to fund HM's activities in Jammu and Kashmir. The 2011 terror funding case pertains to money sent through hawala channels by militants based in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to Jammu and Kashmir. The NIA filed two charge sheets against six accused in 2011. Four of them - Ghulam Mohammed Bhat, one of the closest aides of Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mohammed Sidiq Ganai, Ghulam Jeelani Liloo and Farooq Ahmad Dagga - are currently in Delhi's Tihar Jail.

Two armed cadres of CPI-Maoist identified as Nelli Ram Kashyap and Munna Istia surrendered before the Police in Dantewada District of Chhattisgarh. Two Billfold Holster guns, tiffin bomb and ammunition were recovered from the surrendered CPI-Maoist cadres. The duo was fed up with the hollow ideology and partisan attitude of the CPI-Maoist. Nelli Ram Kashyap joined CPI-Maoist on the request of CPI-Maoist leaders, Ajay and Deepak, four years ago and worked as ‘Jan Militia’ cadre in Haandawada area. While, Munna Istia joined CPI-Maoist in 2013, said ASP, Gorakhnath Baghel.

Kuki Chiefs’ Association Tengnoupal District threatened to launch democratic forms of protest if the newly created District was not made fully functional as a full-fledged revenue District. Association’s general secretary LS Seikho Baite alleged that government is yet to depute officials in adequate strength for proper administration in the District

Two NSCN-IM militants were arrested near Aoyimiti village junction Dimapur for abducting a trader. The arrested militants have been identified as Toki Achumi and Khetoho Jakhalu. The militant abducted the trader identified as Subash Kumar Jain from MP road in Dimapur and he was later released on the same day at Purana Bazar in Dimapur.

The accused Abdul Subhan Qureshi—a most wanted terrorist who was accused of serial blasts in Gujarat and Delhi in 2008, has been arrested by the Delhi Police Special Cell officials after a brief gunfight in Ghazipur area of East Delhi District in Delhi.  Abdul Qureshi travelled to Nepal with forge documents and was living there for many years. He also went to Saudi Arabia between 2013 and 2015 and later, returned to India to revive the terror network. Upon his arrest, pistols and documents were recovered that depicts that he was trying to revive the banned terror organization—the SIMI and the IM, said Delhi’s DCP, Special Cell Pramod Kushwaha.

An Indian national Jitua Tongchongya who was severely injured by a landmine along Indo-Myanmar border on January 18 died

January 20

The designated teams of the Central Intelligence agencies and the NIA have reached the Bodh Gaya Pilgrimage Centre in Gaya District of Bihar after a low-density bomb exploded and two ‘alive’ bombs were recovered from the temple’s premises on the previous night. It will be too early to name any terror outfit that carried out this act but the characteristics of the explosives points to untrained Rohingyas that might be used by Pakistan-based terror groups to carry out attacks at the Buddhist temple complex in Bodh Gaya, said an unnamed senior officer of NIA.

The Central intelligence agencies has intercepted an encrypted message that meant to deliver to the sleeper cells linked with few madrasas and tanzeem (organizations) based in India, to carry out terrorist attack at immediate basis. Indian intelligence agencies has sent out an alert to all states to keep vigilant as sleeper cells are being pressurised by Pakistan’s ISI to carry out terror attack as the Republic Day celebration approaches, as per intelligence inputs. Inputs from the intelligence agencies also claimed the meetings between ISI and terror ‘commanders’ of LeT and JeM held at Rawalpindi of Pakistan, to express outfits’ concern over the grave loss of its cadre in J&K. Intelligence agencies are suspecting a fresh ‘evil’ design of the ISI to be unleashed in coming months.

Two civilians and an Army trooper were killed in cross border firing along IB and the LoC across Jammu region. The slain Army trooper has been identified as Mandeep Singh. Four people, including an Army personnel, a BSF Head Constable have been martyred, two civilians killed and 50 others including two BSF troopers and civilians, injured, some of them seriously while over 100 livestock has also been killed as a result of cross border firing. Report said that 32 BSF posts along IB have been retaliating to cross border firing from Pakistan. Cross border firing has been reported from Jammu Districts of Arnia, Suchetgarh, RS Pura, Pargwal, Kana Chak village, Gharkhal in Akhnoor.

Four people including a BSF jawan, were injured after Pakistan violated ceasefire for the third consecutive day. The BSF trooper was wounded in Pargwal sector in Jammu District. According to officials, Between 8,000 to 9,000 people living along the IB migrated to safer places.

An Assistant Constable, identified as Jagat Ram Karma, was injured after CPI-Maoist cadres triggered IED near a weekly market in Chhote Tumnar village under Geedam Police Station of Dantewada District of Chhattisgarh. Karma, posted at Nelasnar Police Station of Bijapur District, was rushed to a hospital in Bijapur and he is currently out of danger. The Police have launched combing operations to against the CPI-Maoist cadres, said Police official.

SFs recovered two pressure bombs and petrol bomb from a bridge in Kanker District of Chhattisgarh. The SFs conducted a search operation on the banks of Katari River in Bethia Police Station area.

Senior CPI-Maoist cadres in Gadchiroli District of Maharashtra seem to be taking their setbacks seriously, as they are now conducting analysis after every incident. It was said that the reds are also threatening villagers of adjoining hamlets of dire consequences if they are found leaking information to SFs. A District source claimed that senior cadres of Maoists had come to the forest of Palle in Aheri sub-division to conduct a ground-zero reality check, a couple of days ago. They were there to collect insight into the firing incident, in which one of their formations was cornered around a fortnight ago. Though there was no casualty on their side, the camp had to withdraw following mounting pressure of the C-60 personnel, leaving behind substantial material of daily use and also literature, which had information about their outfits and cadres involved in various activities.

The rebels had also ensured that a few villagers from adjacent hamlets, like Rahpalli, Kurumpalli and also Palle, were assembled at the forest where the firing on them had taken place. The Maoist cadres, through their supporters and militias, had ensured that none of the hamlets were left unrepresented. The villagers were thoroughly quizzed by senior cadres, who tried to collect every fine details of the incident, including movement of the SFs, position of the rebels' camp that was stormed, the directions from which the SF personnel had entered the forest and such details. The Maoists also tried to pressurize the villagers to share with them possible names of ‘Police informers’ or SPO who work as volunteers for an honorarium in each village. SP, Gadchiroli, Abhinav Deshmukh, said the Maoists are known to conduct such analysis and record them for future reference. "They mostly try to find out the police volunteers to choke our information system and also gauge our movements," he said

CPI-Maoist cadres assaulted eight villagers from Gagiaguda village under the Maithili Police Station limits in Malkangiri District of Odisha. The villagers, identified as Paradesi Durua, Sitaram Durua, Padia Kabasi, Musiki Durua, Misi Kabashi, Lasimdhar Durua, Adam Padiami and Pandu Madi, were abducted on January 17 by the Maoist rebels on the charge of being ‘Police Informers’ and assaulted them in a ‘Praja court’ at a Maoist camp in a forest. The abducted villagers were released (January 20), and warned the villagers not to provide information about the Maoists to Police.

A NDFB-S militant Toni Ram Narzary was arrested Mainaopur of Mazbat in Udalguri District.

January 21

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said India has shown it can attack its enemies not only on its soil, but also in a foreign territory, if need be. “A few months ago, Pakistan, in an act of cowardice, attacked and martyred 17 of our jawans. Prime Minister Narendra Modi consulted all of us on this serious issue, and the Indian Army entered the Pakistani area and killed the militants,” Singh said at a public meeting in Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh. “India’s image in the world has become that of a strong nation and we have given a strong message to the world that we can attack our enemies not only on our soil, but also in their territory. India has developed this power,” he said. Singh said India wants to maintain a friendly relationship with Pakistan. “But Pakistan is not mending its ways,” Singh said. “I want to assure you that our Government will not let India to bow its head,” he said. Singh’s remarks come almost a month after a group of five Army commandos crossed the LoC in Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir and killed three Pakistani soldiers and smashed a post, in a swift and daring operation.

The MEA strongly condemned the terrorist attack on the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul (Afghanistan) and said that it is an evidence of safe havens to terrorists in our ‘shared neighbourhood’ that need to deal with strongly. "India stands in solidarity with the Government and the people of Afghanistan in bringing the perpetrators of these terrorist attacks and their supporters to justice," reads the statement released by the MEA. The terror attack at the hotel in the Afghan capital killed at least 17 people.

Two civilians and an Army soldier were killed while two civilians injured as Pakistan in the night heavily shelled on the IB in Kanachak and Pargwal sectors in Jammu District and resumed intermittent shelling in RS Pura and Arnia sectors while nearly a dozen Pakistanis, majority of them Rangers, were reputedly killed in retaliatory shelling by the Indian side.

Pakistan Rangers resorted heavy shelling and firing in civilian areas of Gajansoo, Gole Pattan, New Kanachak, Old Kanachak and Pargwal, killing one civilian and injuring two others. They also started shelling border villages in RS Pura and Arnia sectors but intensity there was low as compared to Kanachak and Pargwal sectors. Two brothers Gopal Dass Bawa and Ram Dass Bawa sons of Bansi Dass Bawa, who were returning to their house, were hit by a mortar shell at Kanachak town around 8.30 pm and were seriously injured. They were rushed to the GMC, Jammu, where Gopal Dass was declared as dead while Ram Dass was admitted in critical condition. A woman Kanta Devi wife of Rattan Dass was also injured in Pakistan shelling in Kanachak.

Pakistan army initiated unprovoked and indiscriminate firing of mortar, small arms and automatics in Mendhar sector on the LoC in Poonch District last evening in which an Army soldier Signalman Chandan Kumar Rai (25) was grievously injured. He was evacuated from the spot and airlifted to Military Hospital, where he died this morning (January 21). With these killings, 12 persons including seven civilians, three Army personnel and two BSF jawans (troopers) were killed during last four days of ceasefire violations by Pakistan on LoC and IB.

Nowshera and Shahpur sectors on the LoC in Rajouri and Poonch Districts were also rocked by fresh intense shelling and firing by the Pakistani troops on January 21 evening.

Sources said that Pakistan has suffered more than dozen fatal casualties, majority of them Rangers, while large number of others were injured in Phookaliyaan-Bajwat, Chaprar, Harpal, Bajra Garhi, Charwah and Zafarwal-Shakargarh sectors of Sialkot District in very heavy retaliation given by the BSF to shelling and firing by the Rangers. More than 20 posts and bunkers of the Rangers have been completely destroyed in retaliation by the BSF, which, according to sources, was necessitated to teach Pakistan a lesson for directly targeting the civilian population. Sources said Pakistan suffered heavy casualties and infrastructural damage in Sialkot.Sialk ot Deputy Commissioner Dr Farrukh Naveed is reported to have confirmed to local media about more than dozen killings of Pakistani Rangers and others in heavy shelling and firing by the BSF. More than one lakh population of Sialkot in Pakistan opposite Jammu sector, has deserted their homes for safer areas, sources said.

Security along the IB in J&K was beefed up following an alert by intelligence agencies about possible infiltration attempts by Pakistan backed militants ahead of the Republic Day (January 26), Police said. A group of three to four terrorists were seen camping across the border at a village in Pakistan, near a BoP, intelligence agencies are learnt to have warned the Police and SFs. The agencies claimed that Pakistan's ISI was trying to infiltrate this group of terrorists to create disturbance and target SFs' camps, according to official sources.

The main reason behind ceasefire violations and Pakistan shelling is to help infiltrate militants from across the border, IG, Jammu Zone, SD Singh Jamwal said. After the inputs from intelligence agencies, Police have beefed up the security in border belts and increased round-the-clock vigilance, he said. The Jammu and Kashmir Police on January 20 had sounded a ‘red alert’ and asked border dwellers to move out of their areas as the situation was ‘sensitive’ in the wake of continuous shelling by Pakistani troops.

UHM Rajnath Singh said India has shown it can attack its enemies not only on its soil, but also in a foreign territory, if need be. “A few months ago, Pakistan, in an act of cowardice, attacked and martyred 17 of our jawans. Prime Minister Narendra Modi consulted all of us on this serious issue, and the Indian Army entered the Pakistani area and killed the militants,” Singh said at a public meeting in Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh. “India’s image in the world has become that of a strong nation and we have given a strong message to the world that we can attack our enemies not only on our soil, but also in their territory. India has developed this power,” he said. Singh said India wants to maintain a friendly relationship with Pakistan. “But Pakistan is not mending its ways,” Singh said. “I want to assure you that our Government will not let India to bow its head,” he said. Singh’s remarks come almost a month after a group of five Army commandos crossed the LoC in Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir and killed three Pakistani soldiers and smashed a post, in a swift and daring operation.

Unidentified persons abducted a school teacher identified as Etwilthon D Sangma from Megua Songma village in South Garo Hills District. The abductors are suspected to have crossed over to Bangladesh.

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs planned to look at the Singapore’s counter-radicalization policy to contain the growing threat of radicalization of the Indian youth and save them from the influence of IS. The UMHA has also directed the IB to prepare a ‘Standard Operative Procedure’ to tackle the radical content freely floating over the social media and other Internet-based platforms.

Telangana Police arrested three CPI-Maoist couriers identified as Madivi Sammaiah, Nanda and Mirgam Arjun from two different places of Bhadradri Kothagudem District of Telangana. The Police arrested Sammaiah and Nanda from at Devanagaram in Charla Mandal and Mirgam Arjun near Bhadrachalam town during regular vehicle-check and seized several gelatin sticks, detonators and bundles of electrical wire. Police registered cases against the trio at Charla and Bhadrachalam Police Stations, said SP, Amber Kishore Jha.

An ULFA-I militant identified as Ujjawal Baruah alias Dadul was arrested from Desangmukh Jailgaon  area of Sivasagar District.

Two unidentified ULFA-I linkmen were arrested from Charaideo District.  Indian Army, CRPF and Assam Police have increased security arrangements ahead of the Republic day celebrations to be held on January 26.

According to intelligence source a group of ULFA-I militants led by ULFA-I ‘zonal commandant’ Akoni Axom, has been taking shelter in some parts of Charaideo District and might carry out subversive activities ahead of Republic Day.

January 22

The Delhi Police filed a charge-sheet against Zeeshan Ali—al Qaeda’s terrorist who was accused of provocative speeches to recruit youth and establishing a base for the terror outfit. Zeeshan Ali was deported from the Saudi Arabia in August 2017. Zeeshan Ali and 11 other operatives were exposed by Syed Anzar Shah and other four members of the outfit who were arrested in the case in 2015. Delhi’s ADJ Sidharth Sharma has postponed the hearing till February 2.

Investigation has revealed the involvement of pro-Khalistan module in the target killings of religious-political leaders over the past two years in Punjab. The module had paid more than INR 40 lakh to the alleged killers—Hardeep Singh alias Shera and Ramandeep Singh alias Canadian, to carry out the killings.  When NRIs visits India, other NRIs from their country hand-over some money and other things to give to relatives or friends in India. In their modus-operandi, instead of using direct transfer to bank accounts, the handlers paid to killers through such NRIs. We are trying to reach the NRIs,” said an officer on the basis of anonymity. These handlers were supported by the KLF and used to communicate the addresses of those NRIs through a messaging application—Signal, said another unnamed senior officer.

Militants attacked the Police Station near Azad Jung area of the old town Baramulla in Baramulla District with a grenade at around 6.40 pm resulting in injuries to a policeman who was performing his duty as sentry of the Police Station. The injured sentry identified as Mohammad Rafiq has been hospitalized. In retaliation, Police fired several rounds. However, there was no immediate report of any casualty. A Police spokesman said that militants hurled a grenade on Police Station Baramulla this evening, resulting in minor injuries to a police constable. “Immediately after the attack, Police along with SFs cordoned off the area and search to nab the terrorists is going on”, the spokesman said.

Militants hurled a grenade on CRPF party near Khrew Chowk in Pampore area of Pulwama District which exploded on the road side in which a civilian identified as Mohammad Shafi Bhat (50) was injured. Soon after the attacks, Police, CRPF and Army launched searches to nab the attackers.

SFs have intensified their vigil in Srinagar and its outskirts after inputs about militant movement.

After eliminating more than dozen Pakistani Rangers during ongoing skirmishes on the IB, the BSF carried out pinpointed retaliatory actions against Pakistani Forces and destroyed their firing positions, ammunition and fuel dumps, in which the enemy suffered huge losses, which couldn’t be estimated from this side immediately. Heavy shelling and firing from Pakistan side on the IB in Kanachak, Pargwal, RS Pura, Arnia and Ramgarh sectors in Jammu and Samba Districts continued throughout last night (January 21) and stopped at 5.45 am on January 22. Official sources said the BSF gave suitable and pin pointed retaliation to unprovoked firing by Pakistani forces across IB in Jammu sector. “At several locations, the enemy’s firing positions, ammunition and fuel dumps have been destroyed by precision firing of the border guards,’’ they added. The BSF also released two videos in support of destruction of Pakistan’s firing posts, fuel and ammunition dumps, which clearly showed enemy’s posts and dumps going up in flames after the BSF action.

According to sources, the Pakistan side has suffered huge devastation in destruction of their ammunition and fuel dumps, apart from firing positions and there were reports of heavy casualties and infrastructural losses of the enemy troops in major offensive undertaken by the BSF. Sources said retaliation to the Rangers was necessitated as Pakistani forward posts were targeting Indian civilian areas in many locations on the IB. Already more than a dozen Pakistani Rangers have been killed during ongoing five-day long cross-border shelling and firing on the IB. Sources said number of casualties on Pakistan side could further go up following BSF’s fresh retaliatory action. Sources said the BSF has fired over 9,000 rounds of mortar shells across the IB in the past four days as part of “pinpointed” retaliatory action against Pakistan’s unprovoked firing to destroy firing positions and fuel dumps of the Pakistan Rangers at multiple places. Sources said the situation along the 190-km IB in the Jammu area was “very tense” as Pakistan had “opened” heavy fire in the entire stretch since last evening (January 21).

Pakistani Rangers continued heavy unprovoked shelling and firing on civilian areas in Pargwal, Kanachak, RS Pura, Arnia and Ramgarh sectors in Jammu and Samba Districts overnight. Shelling stopped at 5.45 am (January 22) and thereafter there was no report of any ceasefire violations on the IB as well as LoC. A BSF jawan (trooper), identified as Arun Verma was injured in Pakistan shelling in Ramgarh sector on January 21 night. He has been hospitalized. A total of 12 persons including seven civilians, three Army soldiers and two BSF jawans have been killed and nearly 60 others, majority of them civilians, left injured during last five days in Pakistan shelling and firing.

The LeT issued a diktat to Kashmiri women threatening them to be prepared for ‘consequences’ if they did not observe the ‘Islamic dress code’. The terror outfit circulated handwritten posters, asking women to follow the Taliban-type dress code and wear loose robes, which only leave the eyes exposed. "The Kashmiri women, particularly from Shopian district, are resorting to waywardness. So, they need to observe Islamic dress. Even the hands of the women should not be exposed," read the posters with LeT stamps. The poster threatens that if women do not observe complete 'purdah', they will be "responsible for the consequences." The Police have taken the surfacing of posters lightly, but we will keep an eye on any kind of mischief against the girls in south Kashmir, a senior Police officer said.

Since the rise of militancy in the 1990s, women have had to bear the brunt of Islamist militant groups that threatened them with violence if they refused to observe 'purdah'. In the early 2000s, DeM ‘chief’ Asiya Anderabi tried to impose burqa on Kashmiri women and the group attacked some non-veiled women with acid. The DeM even tried to prevent Kashmiri Muslim girls from visiting restaurants but had to abandon it due to the valley-wide resentment against the move.

Seven-seven kilograms of two Tiffin bombs suspected to have been planted by the CPI-Maoist cadres to harm the Police and ITBP's search parties were recovered in the forest of Jhansi Khaira of Dhur area in ​​Rajnandgaon District of Chhattisgarh. Acting on the information, the joint Police party of the District Police force and the ITBP had launched a search operation in the forest. During the search, the joint party saw the bomb and the electric wires kept hidden among the bushes. Police and ITBP team destroyed the bomb there in the forest.

Jharkhand Police arrested CPI-Maoist sympathizer, identified as Manoj Yadav, from Dumri Police Station area in Giridih District of Jharkhand. Police recovered INR 600,000 in ‘levy’ and CPI-Maoist pamphlets from Manoj Yadav, who is a resident of Nagar Keswari of Sariya and sent to jail, said DSP, Arvind Sinha.

UNLFW an umbrella group of rebel groups on January 22 called for a total boycott of Republic Day celebrations.  Khango Konyak, the newly appointed ‘chairman’ of UNLFW, in a statement said ‘(We want) a 24-hour total shutdown on January 26 and to engage concerted refusal by not attending or gathering at any governmental offices or public places within 24 hours of that day, except some emergency services

UNLFW an umbrella group of rebel groups on January 22 called for a total boycott of Republic Day celebrations.  Khango Konyak, the newly appointed ‘chairman’ of UNLFW, in a statement said ‘(We want) a 24-hour total shutdown on January 26 and to engage concerted refusal by not attending or gathering at any governmental offices or public places within 24 hours of that day, except some emergency services

UNLFW an umbrella group of rebel groups on January 22 called for a total boycott of Republic Day celebrations.  Khango Konyak, the newly appointed ‘chairman’ of UNLFW, in a statement said ‘(We want) a 24-hour total shutdown on January 26 and to engage concerted refusal by not attending or gathering at any governmental offices or public places within 24 hours of that day, except some emergency services.

An unidentified PREPAK-PRO female militant was arrested from Wangkhei Andro Parking in Imphal East.

UNLFW an umbrella group of rebel groups on January 22 called for a total boycott of Republic Day celebrations.  Khango Konyak, the newly appointed ‘chairman’ of UNLFW, in a statement said ‘(We want) a 24-hour total shutdown on January 26 and to engage concerted refusal by not attending or gathering at any governmental offices or public places within 24 hours of that day, except some emergency services

SP of Police Lawngtlai stated that over 1,400 Myanmarese nationals who took refuge in Mizoram’s Lawngtlai district following clash between Arakan militants and the Army in November 2017 have refused to return to Myanmar.

The refugees were mainly from the border villages of Varang, Paletwa, Pakangwa and Mulaw in Myanmar’s Chin state. On December 2017, authorities had stated that registration of 1,600 Myanmarese nationals have been undertaken to ascertain the number of refugees in Lawngtlai.

UNLFW an umbrella group of rebel groups on January 22 called for a total boycott of Republic Day celebrations.  Khango Konyak, the newly appointed ‘chairman’ of UNLFW, in a statement said ‘(We want) a 24-hour total shutdown on January 26 and to engage concerted refusal by not attending or gathering at any governmental offices or public places within 24 hours of that day, except some emergency services.

January 23

The alleged ex-member of the SIMI and co-founder of IM—Abdul Subhan Qureshi who was arrested by Delhi Police (Special cell) claimed his involvement in the Mumbai train blasts (2006) and serial blasts in Gujarat (2008), among other terror activities in India.  Abdul Subhan Qureshi was also wanted by the Police of Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Hyderabad and UP for his alleged involvement in various terror cases. On January 21, he appeared before the court and was sent to 14-days Police custody.

Investigations into the arrest of IM militant Abdul Subhan Qureshi have revealed that he had made several trips to Nepal during which he met senior operatives of Pakistan’s ISI. These ISI officers, intelligence sources said, directed Qureshi to revive IM operations in India and target important cities. For his stay in Nepal, Qureshi had also forged some documents. It is suspected that these meetings between Qureshi and ISI officials were facilitated by some staff members of the Pakistan embassy in Kathmandu and their role was being investigated. Senior intelligence officials claimed Qureshi’s arrest has confirmed what they were suspecting till now that ISI had been making desperate attempts to revive IM, which mainly comprised of local youth, for terror operations in the country.

The US’ Department of State (DoS) designated an Indian-origin British Hindu—Siddhartha Dhar who converted to Islam and joined IS, as ‘Specially Designated Global Terrorist’ (SDGT). Another Belgian-Moroccan citizen—Abdelatif Gaini was also designated as SDGT. Siddhartha Dhar was an ex-member of defunct organisation named Al-Muhajiroum and later in 2014, he left the UK and travelled to Syria to join IS. He is believed to replace the famous IS executioner Mohammad Emwazi aka ‘jihadi john’ and appeared in a January 2016 IS video of the execution of several prisoners of IS accused of spying for the UK, said a statement released by the DoS. As per the current designation in SDGT list Dhar and Gaini will be denied the resources they need to plan and carry out further terrorist attacks. Along with, all of Dhar's and Gaini's property or interests in property subject to US jurisdiction are blocked, and US citizens are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with both of them.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres ruled out any mediation to resolve the Kashmir issue unless all parties agree to it and asked India and Pakistan to address their outstanding issues through talks amidst heightened tensions along the border. The UN Secretary-General’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric said that in principle good offices of the UN chief are always available for mediation, but everyone needs to agree on involving the world body. Asked about escalating tensions between India and Pakistan due to ongoing skirmishes and firing along the border, Dujarric said, “We’re obviously aware. We’re following this… what’s been going on, really for the last 10 days.”

Asked why the Secretary-General is not so keen to involve himself in this crisis, Dujarric said, “In principle good offices of Guterres are always available for mediation, but everyone needs to agree on involving the UN.” “As a matter of principle I’m not talking specifically about this issue, but about any issue where there is conflict between parties, the Secretary-General’s good offices are always available,” he said. “As in any issue…If there are multiple parties, everyone needs to agree on involving the UN. That is true of any mediation effort,” Dujarric said. “The Secretary-General would encourage both sides to address any outstanding issues through dialogue,” he said.

There is likely to be an increase in militant attacks by Pakistan-based terror outfits such as JeM and LeT outfits, intelligence agencies have said in their briefing to the UMHA and the Jammu and Kashmir Government. UHM Rajnath Singh was informed by these agencies that the two militant outfits, especially the JeM, could take the lead in fomenting trouble in Kashmir, giving HM ‘time to regroup’, a senior UMHA functionary said. While JeM and LeT comprise foreign and Kashmiri militants, HM is mostly a Kashmiri outfit.

Quoting intelligence inputs, the official added that Pakistan-based militant outfits made the decision after the killings of senior commanders of HM in the last two years. This includes 21-year-old Burhan Wani, who was killed by SFs in July 2016, sparking off a five-month violent agitation in the Valley. “The home minister is personally monitoring the situation and has directed security agencies to take all necessary steps to fight off foreign militants coming from Pakistan,” said the official. Intelligence documents suggest that the LeT is ‘all set to campaign for growth in recruitment of militants’ inside Kashmir.

From just eight in January 2017, ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir in January this year (2018) are already up to 134 according to data with the Ministry of Defence. With 860 ceasefire violation recorded in 2017, January is likely to record the highest number of ceasefire violations along the LoC in 14 years. Of the 860 ceasefire violations in 2017, December accounted for 147, the highest ever so far. Pakistan has claimed there were more than 1,900 ceasefire violations last year and Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry has alleged there were over 75 ceasefire violations by India in January 2018, so far.

Sources in the Indian Army’s Northern Command headquartered in Udhampur (Udhampur District of J&K) said that they expect the number in January to go past the ceasefire violations in December, which will make it the month with the highest number of ceasefire violations since October 2003. India and Pakistan agreed to a formal ceasefire in 2003 along the LoC which, which lasted, with certain exceptions, till late 2016. There were 271 ceasefire violations on the LoC in 2016, a climb-down from 387 violations in 2015. Historically, Infiltration during the snow-bound winter months has been low and even the International Border (IB) in Jammu have witnessed increased ceasefire violations over the last few days.

Sources said that the increase in ceasefire violations is primarily due to two reasons: Pakistani violates the ceasefire to provide cover to help militants infiltrate across the LoC, which draws an Indian response and as part of India’s proactive counter-terror strategy to target Pakistan army posts on the LoC acting as terror launch-pads.

An encounter between the SFs and CPI-Maoist cadres took place in the forests of Atapalli of Basaguda Police Station in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh.  After the long encounter, the Maoists fled leaving behind their weapons and escaped. Police recovered a pipe bomb, bottle bomb, mobile and items of daily use from the encounter spot.

A joint team of the ITBP and the District Police arrested nine CPI-Maoist cadres, including two women cadres, from the forests near Becha and Kadenar villages under Chhotedongar Police Station limits in Narayanpur District of Chhattisgarh during an anti-Maoist operation. The arrestees, identified as Sitaram Watti, Munna alias Ravishankar, Shankar, Fagu alias Jaisingh, Sonadhar, Sukman Korram, Lchhuram Neta, Jaldai Watti and Budhmati alias Phulbati, are lower-rung cadres who are wanted for crimes like attempt to murder, attacking Police party and loot, Narayanpur SP, Jitendra Shukla, said.

Four CPI-Maoist ‘jan militia’ members, identified as Pohduram Korram (45), Sonu Netam (35), Sonsai Netam (45) and Kenvsi Kashyap (32), were arrested by a composite squad of the STF and ITBP during a combing operation at Rajadongri forests under Mardapal Police Station in Kondagaon District of Chhattisgarh. The Police combing operation was to ensure security to the road construction work in the area. The arrested CPI-Maoist cadres were active as ‘jan militia’ members and involved in loot, arson and attempt to murder, said Kondagaon ASP, Maheshwar Nag.

A joint squad of Telangana Police and the CRPF arrested four CPI-Maoist couriers identified as Muski Bheema (36), Y Iithu (19), Muski Unga (20), and M Bichem (28), from Lenin Colony village in Charla Mandal in Bhadradri Kothagudem District of Telangana. The SFs arrested Maoist couriers while they were proceeding towards Chhattisgarh to deliver a consignment of medicines to CPI-Maoist cadres based in Bastar Division of Chhattisgarh. SFs have seized two boxes containing various medicines, 28 saline bottles, more than 200 syringes and surgical spirit worth INR 10,000. All arrested Maoist couriers are from Kondapalli village in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh, said Police.

One cadre of the JJMP, a splinter group of the CPI-Maoist, identified as Binod Yadav, was arrested during a raid in the Bandua Teenmuhan area in Latehar District of Jharkhand. Acting on information, DSP, Santosh Kumar Mishra, arrested Binod, who was involved in a JJMP encounter with the Police in Barwaiya's Kumularhi.

CPI-Maoist cadres set ablaze a mixture machine and cement bags of a construction firm at Kaliaposh village of Tulsikani Gram Panchayat under Bisra area in Sundargarh District of Odisha. CPI-Maoist cadres were demanding ‘ransom’ of INR 300,000 from the construction firm which is building a check dam estimated at INR 3.5 million. They had warned of the firm of dire consequences against resuming work till their demands were met. A few days back, CPI-Maoist leader Anmolda had sent a letter to the contractor demanding the ransom.

SKDC of CPI-Maoist called for 48 hour bandh on January 25 and 26 in Odisha and demanded Koraput SP, District Collector and DIG S. Saini to immediately transferred after the Kunduli suicide incident. Aruna, ‘secretary’ of SKDC released the audio tape in Koraput District of Odisha, which urged the people to boycott the Republic Day celebrations across in Odisha and especially in Koraput District of Odisha on January 26.

SFs are conducting security operations into the dense jungles along the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border in Tinsukia, the Assam-Nagaland border in Sivasagar, the Assam-Bhutan borders in Baksa, Jorhat, Golaghat and BTAD. Vital installations like refineries, railway bridges, railway stations and airports are also under special attention. According to sources militant leaders of ULFA-I Udoy Asom and Drishtri Rajkhowa - may try to create disturbances on January 26. Last year, militants had triggered at least seven low-intensity blasts on Republic day in several areas in Charaideo, Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, and Sivasagar Districts.

SFs recovered a cache of ammunition from Kassom in Imphal East District. The recovered weapons include five pistols, two grenades and an assortment of ammunition.

In view of the Republic Day celebrations to be held on January 26, Imphal East Police on January 22 conducted combing operations in and around Hatta Golapati area and verified around 367 individuals including 87 women, reports Assam Tribune. Four people were detained during the operation.

A  UNLF militant from Wangjing Sorokhaibam Leikai in Thoubal District.

NSCN-IM opposed the Assembly elections in Nagaland slated for February 27, saying it will be a serious obstacle towards finding an early political solution to the Naga problem. NSCN-IM in a statement said that they are committed to an early negotiated political settlement, but the election is "bound to undermine" the progress of the ongoing talks between them and the Centre. They also said that ‘the decision taken by GoI Election Commission to hold election is bound to undermine the progress of the ongoing talks and become a serious obstacle towards finding an early political solution’. On January 18, the Election Commission announced that elections to the 60-member Assembly would be conducted on February 27.

NMA a civil society group urged political parties not to contest the February 27 Nagaland Assembly polls and demanded a solution to the insurgency problem first.

AR and NIA in a joint operation arrested three militants of NSCN-KN from Zubsa in Kohima District. The arrested militants were identified as ‘brigadier’ Aheto H Chophy, Witti Marak and Mughahoto Sumi.Aheto H Chophy was wanted in a case for clandestinely acquiring weapons and ammunition belonging to Nagaland Police and for insurgent violence.

Between 2000 and 2012 as ‘brigadier’ Aheto H Chophy had bought 75 weapons of various types, 62 magazines and 26,098 assorted ammunitions along with three bayonets from a Police official. Type-56 rifle, 2 pistols, 176 rounds of ammunition and INR 1,32,320 were recovered from the arrested militants.

January 24

The Kerala Police arrested two persons identified as Saleem alias Sallu (38)—resident of Vatakara of Kozhikode District and Abdul Latheef (42)—resident of Perinthalmanna, Malappuram District, for distributing the FICNs. The Police approached them on pretext to exchange currency and seized the FICN in denomination of INR 2,000 and INR 500 worth INR 49,000. After preliminary interrogation, the Police has recovered additional FICNs of worth INR 2,67,500 from their houses, said Rural SP M.K. Pushkaran. All the FICNs had threads and look like the original currency notes that were printed in Wayanad District of Kerala. The state Police is looking-out for another person involved in this case.

Acting upon specific Intelligence inputs on a Pune-based woman who entered Kashmir Valley to carry-out a suicide attack, the Security agencies in Kashmir Valley are elevated on alert. The woman is identified as Sadia Anwar Shaikh—a resident of Yerwada of Pune District in Maharashtra, was stopped by the Maharashtra ATS from joining the Islamic State (IS) in 2015 and efforts were placed to de-radicalise her. In 2015, Sadia was a minor and could not be charged or arrested. Therefore, she was counselled for de-radicalisation. Now, she is an adult and it seems that she is still under the influence of radical forces, hence she might have moved to Kashmir to plan some attack," said an unnamed official requesting anonymity.

The special court of the NIA has commenced the trial of IS member Areeb Majeed, who returned India in 2015. The court has recorded and examined the statement of first witness, Fahad Sayed—a CEO of Rahar Travels, whose services were used by Areeb Majeed and other three of his associates in pretext to going for pilgrimage. Majeed contacted Sayed on April 14, 2014 for a package tour of Haj for four persons and on the same day he and another youth—Saheem Tanki visited his office with the advance payment and all the relevant documents for the booking. The remaining balance was paid to Sayed on May 17, 2014 by Majeed. Sayed informed the court that all four went on tour on June 1, 2014 and later Sayed was informed by the tour operator that all four youth went missing and one of the boy’s relative had filed a missing report at Baghdad, Iraq. The prosecution alleged that Majeed and his three associates left India in May 2014 to join the IS under the guise of the pilgrimage.

The Aligarh Muslim University in Aligarh District of Uttar Pradesh (U.P.) has awarded a ‘brilliant student’ certificate to its research scholar—Mannan Wani, who alleged to have joined Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM). Although the University promptly expelled Mannan when his photo with AK-47 appeared on social media sites and the terror outfits ‘welcomed’ him to join its ranks. The inquiry report submitted by the AMU to the state Police described Mannan Wani as ‘brilliant student’ who had nothing ‘objectionable’ against him as the university is concerned. The ‘chief’ of HM—Syed Salahuddin had praised Mannan Wani and presented him as the new poster boy of the outfit. The joining of Wani exposed the Indian propaganda the youth of Kashmir is joining militant ranks due to unemployment and economic distress, said a statement by Salahuddin.

Acting upon an Intelligence input from the Military Intelligence unit in J&K, the Punjab Police in Batala of Gurdaspur District arrested a man identified as Gian Singh as a part of an espionage ring that supplied the sensitive Military information to Pakistan’s ISI. The Police have recovered a mobile phone and two SIM cards from Gian Singh and he is charged under various sections of India’s Official Secret Act (OSA).  The preliminary interrogation has revealed that Gian Singh was in contact with an ISI agent based in Pakistan and his task was to provide photos and videos of the Indian Army and the BSF deployment and movement along with India-Pakistan border. Gian Singh also revealed that Shamsher Singh alias Shera introduced him with an ISI agent. The Punjab Police of Batala is in close pursuit of Shamsher Singh.

Two HM militants, identified as Sameer Ahmad Wani alias Maviya and Firdous Ahmad alias Umar Bhai and a 17-year-old youth, identified as Shakir Ahmad Mir were killed and two girls critically injured during an encounter between militants and SFs in Chaigund village of Shopian District. A joint team of Army’s 44 RR, SOG of Jammu and Kashmir Police and CRPF laid a siege to Chaigund in Keegam area of Shopian District following specific inputs about the presence of militants in the village. As the SFs intensified the searches, the militants hiding in the house of one Ghulam Hassan Bhat opened fire triggering an encounter. Shakir Ahmad Mir, a resident of Qalampora village of Pulwama district, was killed and two teenage girls, identified as Sumi Jan and Sabreena were wounded during the initial gun fight. The encounter continued till evening and two militants of HM were killed. During the searches of the debris of the house one AK-47 and two magazines and one INSAS rifle and two magazines were recovered.

Clashes broke out in the village during the operation as protesters pelted stones at the SFs to disrupt the operation. The SFs fired teargas to disperse them. Meanwhile, Internet services were snapped in the twin districts of Shopian and Pulwama to prevent the spreading of rumours and violence.

A Police spokesman said that on a specific information, the SFs laid a cordon at Chaigund area of Shopian in South Kashmir. “The hiding militants under the clad of Burka tried to break cordon and fired indiscriminately on the search party. The security forces retaliated during which Burka-clad militants were forced to go back into hiding. During indiscriminate firing by the militants and the retaliatory fire one civilian Shakir Ahmad Mir resident of Kalampora Pulwama got killed and two ladies Sabreena Jan and Sumi Jan, both the residents of Keegam, Shopian received bullet injuries. The injured ladies were taken to SMHS hospital where from they were shifted to SKIMS Soura for specialised treatment”, the spokesman said. The spokesman said that Sumi Jan was a resident of the house in which the encounter took place and Sabreena Jan is a sister of HM militant Sameer Wani who was also hiding in the house and was later killed. “So far one AK 47, one INSAS and two dead bodies of militants have been recovered from the encounter site”, he said.

An IED planted by militants near Pampore Railway Station in Kandizal-Tangpora village in Pulwama District was defused by CRPF. The IED fitted inside a pressure cooker was recovered at new bypass near Kandizal-Tangpora village, opposite Pampore railway station, in the morning. A Bomb Disposal Squad of the CRPF defused the IED, without causing any damage. The IED was planted at a time when security has been heightened and patrols intensified to prevent any militant attacks around January 26 (Republic Day).

An Army jawan (trooper), identified as Naik Jagadish who was injured in unprovoked Pakistani firing on January 20 along LoC in Poonch District, succumbed to his injuries. “Pakistan had resorted to unprovoked firing on Indian Army posts in Krishna Ghati sector on January 20. During the exchange of fire, Naik Jagadish sustained grievous splinter injuries. He was immediately evacuated and provided intensive medical care in Military Hospital,” a Defence spokesman said. However, despite all efforts the gallant soldier succumbed to his injuries in the early hours on January 24. With this, death toll during past about one week of Pakistan shelling and firing on LoC and IB has gone up to 13 including seven civilians and six security personnel (2 BSF and 4 Army jawans) while over 65 others have been injured.

Two live mortar shells fired by Pakistani troops exploded in the premises of a Government school in Nowshera tehsil of Rajouri District. No loss of life or damage to property has been reported in explosion of the shells.

After a brief lull, Pakistan yet again violated the ceasefire agreement by firing on forward Indian posts on the LoC in Rajouri District. “Pakistani Army started unprovoked firing on Wednesday (January 24) evening along the Line of Control in Nowshera sector of Rajouri,” report said. “Ceasefire violation in Babakhori area of Nowshera in Rajouri was reported tonight. No loss reported yet,” reports added.

Two masked gunmen barged into the house of the principal of a high school in Pulwama and thrashed him for letting girls participate in the upcoming Republic Day (January 26) parade. In a video that went viral, the militants are seen entering the house of Ghulam Mohammad Sheikh at Pinglena village and asking him to apologise for ‘pressurizing the girl students’ to attend the January 26 parade in the District. "We have our agents in the police department who are keeping a close vigil on every movement. We will also identify the lady teacher who teaches dance to girls," the men are heard saying in the video.

The ‘warning’ comes just two days after LeT issued a diktat to Kashmiri women, threatening them to be prepared for ‘consequences’ if they did not observe the ‘Islamic dress code’. Pulwama SSP Mohammad Aslam Choudary said, "Militants are involved in issuing the threat and we have launched an inquiry to identify them."

Acting upon specific Intelligence inputs on a Pune-based woman who entered Kashmir Valley to carry-out a suicide attack, the Security agencies in Kashmir Valley are elevated on alert. The woman is identified as Sadia Anwar Shaikh—a resident of Yerwada of Pune District in Maharashtra, was stopped by the Maharashtra ATS from joining the Islamic State (IS) in 2015 and efforts were placed to de-radicalise her. In 2015, Sadia was a minor and could not be charged or arrested. Therefore, she was counselled for de-radicalisation. Now, she is an adult and it seems that she is still under the influence of radical forces, hence she might have moved to Kashmir to plan some attack," said an unnamed official requesting anonymity.

J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti said that as many as 25 civilians were killed and 152 injured in the past two years (2016 and 2017) in cross border firing in different parts of the State. “In the past two years, 25 people have been killed and 152 got injured due to cross border firing,” Mehbooba Mufti said in a written reply to the questions raised by the members Qaiser Jamsheed Lone, Pradeep Sharma and Yashpal Sharma jointly in the Legislative Council. She said that in 2016, two people were killed in Jammu, six in Samba, two in Rajouri and three in Poonch while in 2017, one civilian was killed in Jammu, three in Rajouri, seven in Poonch and one in Baramulla.

Giving details on injured civilians, she replied that in 2016, 40 were injured in Jammu, nine in Samba, four in Kathua, six in Rajouri, 20 in Poonch and four in Kupwara. In 2017, she said that 18 got injured in Jammu, 10 in Rajouri, 47 in Poonch and four in Baramulla.

On property damaged during this period due to shelling she said that in Jammu 80 houses were damaged, in Samba 28, Kathua 13, Rajouri 13 and Poonch 31. However, in Bandipora, 15 houses were damaged, two mosques and a school while in Baramulla and Kupwara, one and 40 houses were damaged due to firing, replied Ms Mufti, who is also in-charge Home.

On policy with the Government for rehabilitation of victims and compensation paid to the victims, she said, “as precautionary measures, people residing in the border districts are shifted to safer places temporarily in Government and private accommodations, where they are provided basic amenities like health care, drinking water, power, temporary toilet, sanitation, security. “Further security has been augmented in border areas in border area and anti-infiltration grid strengthened,” replied the Chief Minister adding that Police deployment was increased and adequate security provided in the border villages to ensure protection of property. “A committee has also been constituted by Government of India to monitor the problems being faced by the people residing near Line of Control,” said Mehbooba Mufti.

The J&K Government said 6,221 people suffered pellet-gun injuries during the unrest in Kashmir after the killing of HM militant Burhan Wani in 2016. Replying to a question in the Legislative Council, CM Mehbooba Mufti said 1,084 pellet-gun injuries were reported in Baramulla District, followed by 1,041 in Pulwama, 1,031 in Kulgam, 888 in Kupwara, 873 in Anantnag, 808 in Shopian, 183 in Bandipora, 167 in Budgam, 110 in Srinagar and 36 in Ganderbal District. As many 51 people were killed in Kashmir division from July 8, 2016 to February 27, 2017 in the unrest, she said.

The Chief Minister said 9,042 people were injured in firing of bullets, pellets, PAVA-shells and others during the period. Of these, 6,221 were injured due to pellets, 368 due to bullets, four due to PAVA shells and 2,449 suffered other injuries, she said. As many as 782 suffered injuries in the eyes, of which 510 were hospitalized, Mufti said, adding, 5,197 cases of pellet injuries were treated at district hospitals and the rest were referred to super specialty hospitals. Violent protests had rocked the Valley after the killing of HM ‘commander’ Burhan Wani on July 8 in 2016.

Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik, appealed to the people to observe January 26 (Republic Day), as ‘black day’ and boycott all the functions. “India has no right to celebrate its Republican Day as they have taken the control of state with its military might. We appeal to the people to observe 26th January as a black day and boycott all celebrations,” the resistance leaders, in a statement today, said. “We have no animosity with India or its people and they have every right to celebrate republican day within its states but despite their being rhetoric about democracy they have no ethical or constitutional right to celebrate this in Jammu and Kashmir as our democratic rights have been smashed and trampled,” they said.

CPI-Maoist cadres killed four Police personnel and severely injuring eight others in an attack in Abujhmaad area in Narayanpur District of Chhattisgarh. Special DGP, anti-Naxal operations, D M Awasthi said two sub-inspectors and two constables were killed when a joint team of STF and DRG was out on anti-Naxalite operations in the forests of Irpanar in Abujhmaad region of Narayanpur District. Over 60 jawans were out on an operation when they were attacked by the Maoist ‘6 Company’ around 11 am. The slain jawans were identified as sub-inspectors Vinod Kaushik and Moolchand Singh Kanwar and Constables Devnath Pujari, Raisingh Markam.

A STF constable was killed and a Policeman was injured when a pressure bomb planted by the Maoists went off in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh.  The incident occurred in the forest near Hidmapara village under Basaguda Police Station limits when a joint team of the STF and DF was returning after conducting an anti-Maoist operation, a senior Police official said. As per preliminary information, the explosion occurred after the STF constable, identified as Lakhan Gadbale, unknowingly stepped on the pressure IED connection near Hidmapara. "Gadbale succumbed to injuries while being airlifted to Jagdalpur for treatment," the official said. DF, constable Ashish Tiwari who was walking nearby Gadbale sustained minor injuries in the blast and was being airlifted to Raipur for better treatment, he said.

CPI-Maoist posters were recovered from Pottangi, Narayanpatna and Bandhugaon areas in Koraput District of Odisha. The posters urged the people to observe January 26 as ‘Black Day’ as a mark of protest against the Kunduli gang-rape incident and demanded to save the tribals from the clutches of moneylenders, liquor traders and contractors.

Two CPI-Maoist cadres identified as Ravindra Yadav and Musharu Yadav were awarded life sentence by a Court in Munger District of Bihar. They were convicted for the Kareli village massacre, which took place on July 02, 2011. The court acquitted three other accused identified as Dhirendra Yadav, Rakesh Yadav and Rajram Yadav due to lack of evidence. Kareli village was attacked by a group of around 80 armed CPI-Maoist cadres, who shot dead six villagers and abducted nearly a dozen others.

A redrawn counter-insurgency strategy, backed by real-time intelligence through use of modern technology like drones and involving coordinated day and night operations by SF personnel, to target CPI-Maoist cadres deep inside the jungles has brought down the number of districts afflicted by Naxal violence to 58. Latest data compiled by CRPF shows that the number of Districts under the grip of Maoist violence has dropped significantly since 2015, with over 90 per cent of attacks being reported from only four States — Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha. While 75 Districts across nine States reported violent attacks by Naxals in 2015, the number came down to 67 in 2016, and dropped to 58 in 2017, touted as the best year for the SFs engaged in anti-Maoist operations.

CRPF, DG, Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar said, "The past year, we have hit the Naxals in their den. Our coordination with state police, intelligence agencies and armed forces has been exceptional. The focus has been on leaders, over ground operatives and sympathisers. The Naxals are not able to move arms, funds and their senior leaders from one place to another." He also said the influence of Naxals is now restricted to only three pockets — Bastar-Sukma (having an area of around 1200 square kilometres), AOB (Andhra-Odisha Border — 2,000 square kilometres) and Abujhmaad forest area (4,500 square kilometres). "There is a security vacuum and administration has not been able to completely access these areas," CRPF, DG, Bhatnagar said. In terms of operations, with over 150 cadres of CPI-Maoist killed, 2017 was one of the most successful years for the SFs. The anti-Naxal strategy was revamped after UHM, Rajnath Singh met Chief Ministers of Naxal-affected States in May 2017 following the killing of 25 CRPF personnel in Sukma District of Chhattisgarh. UHM, Singh has said that Naxal violence has come down by 60 per cent.

In an internal policy document of Naxals — 'Action Plan 2017-2022' — recovered by intelligence agencies revealed that the Maoists themselves admitted that 140 of their comrades, including 30 women, were killed by SFs in 2017.

The UMHA has come out with an analysis saying that LWEs violence is taking place only in Kerala and not in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Though the three States- Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu (KKT) form the tri-junction where CPI-Maoist cadres have been establishing their strong presence, no LWE violence was reported in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu while 23 incidents were reported in Kerala between 2014 and 2017. The report on LWE violence in KKT was submitted by Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Gangaram Ahir in a written reply to a question raised by Kodikunnil Suresh in Parliament. 

As per the MHA, while no violence was reported in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu since 2014, violence data for Kerala was 2014 - eight, 2015 – ten, 2016 – five, 2017 - 0 (upto 15-12-2017).The MHA’s assessment of the LWE violence in Kerala cannot be taken lightly by the Kerala Government as the state has been witnessing heightened activities of the CPI-Maoist in the past two years. “We don’t want to comment on LWE violence data of the Union Government. But we have been taking necessary steps which included strengthening the combing operations to flush out Maoists holed up in forest regions in Wayanad, Kozhikode and Kannur,” said Kannur Range IGP, Mahipal Yadav.   Another senior Police officer said: “we have launched a detailed probe after armed suspected Maoists visited a house at Kodenchery in Kozhikode District last week (January 18) and took away all the rice from the house.”

An Army trooper was killed in a militant ambush on an Army convoy at Nangtaw Khamti area of Namsai. According to Army sources, a militant was also wounded in the incident. CorCom and ULFA-I were involved in the attack. Two Army vehicles were also damaged in the attack.

An IED was recovered by SFs from NH 2 between Wangjing and Kamjong towns in Thoubal District. Police bomb squad personnel removed it later and exploded it safely. Moreover SFs conducted CASO operations at the general area of Thangkangphai and Mata village in Churachandpur.

Police arrested ‘commander in chief’ of KNF-MC Sonkhogin Kipgen alias Hegin and his associate Ngamkholen Kipgen alias Lelen from Churachandpur District.

January 25

Putting forward ‘the facts’—a letter about the 1984 Sikh riots, the Indo-Canadians  formed a group in December 2017 named as the Harmony Committee to counter the propaganda disseminated by pro-Khalistan groups active in Canada and mailed that letter to every elected representatives of the Canada’s Parliament and members of Provincial Assemblies across Canada. The letter highlights that then-Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, who is a Sikh, had offered an apology on the issue in the Parliament. It also gives details of the different commissions of inquiry that examined the violence following the assassination of former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. “The total number of Police officers indicted by the two committees was 147. In all, 3170 people were arrested out of which 442 people were convicted for their participation in the riots in Delhi. In Haryana, 15 people were convicted, and in other states, 13 were convicted,” as stated in the letter.

Pakistan-based militant group, JeM declared India as its number one enemy. This declaration was made by Maulana Talha Siaf, the brother of JeM founder Maulana Masood Azhar at a rally in Larkana, Sindh in Pakistan, recently. "India is the number one enemy of the JeM. Modi (Indian PM) is the number one enemy of Maulana Masood Azhar. Al Qalam is being regularly read by Indian Muslims. Al Qalam has been published online on Tuesday/Wednesday, and while you may not be able to receive a copy of this paper, your relatives in India read Al Qalam of Maulana Masood Azhar regularly. Indian media has launched a campaign against Al Qalam, and by this way, our enemy is performing our duties in India," Maulana Talha Siaf said. He also incited Muslims to follow the path of `Jihad' to achieve something great in life. "India is a mini super power of the region that has created problems for Pakistan for the past sixty years, but India's six lakh forces are facing a tough time in the Kashmir Valley and are unable to announce their victory in Kashmir, said Siaf provocatively. Maulana Saif also said, "Mothers and daughters of Kashmir are calling us and we slaves are unable to cross the borders of infidels, but today, free Mujahideen can cross borders." He also raised the issue of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya city, saying, "The Indian government is using its machinery to attempt to build the Ram Mandir in place of the Babri Mosque. Maulana Masood Azhar had announced that the Ram Mandir would not be allowed to be constructed at the place of the Babri Mosque. Now, every year, the government announces that on such and such date the Ram Mandir will be built, and again from this side, there is an announcement that they will not allow the construction of the Ram Mandir in place of the Babri Mosque, and still the Ram Mandir is not built."

A minor boy identified as Musharraf Ahmad was injured when an unexploded shell went off at Chaigund village in Shopian District. SATP had earlier reported that it was at Chaigund village where two HM militants were killed during an encounter between militants and SFs on January 24.

A radicalised Pune-based teenage girl was detained by the Jammu and Kashmir Police night following an intelligence input that she wanted to join banned Islamic State (ISIS) terror group. The girl identified as Sadiya Anwar Shaikh (18), had come from Pune (Maharashtra) and was staying in Bijbehara in Anantnag District as a paying guest and planning to join the ISIS, the Police have claimed. However, during her extensive questioning, the school dropout turned out to be having radical thoughts who had fallen prey to false propaganda on social networking site about alleged suffering of the Kashmiri people at the hands of SFs, the officials said. The State Police has got in touch with her mother and aunt and she will be handed over to them as there is no case pending against the detained girl either in the Valley or Maharashtra, they said.

According to reports, it was a case of misinterpreting an intelligence input by the Jammu and Kashmir Police who were informed by central security agencies that a Pune-based girl, who was detained on various occasions by the ATS Pune, had shifted her base to the Valley and that surveillance needs to be mounted. However, ADGP Munir Khan, who is functioning as IGP Kashmir range, issued an alert to all districts naming her and claiming she was a suicide bomber planning to disrupt the Republic Day (January 26) function. The note signed by Khan said that ‘there is a strong input’ that an 18-year-old non-Kashmiri woman might ‘cause a suicide bomb explosion’ near or inside the Republic Day parade in Kashmir. "All are directed to please ensure that frisking of ladies at the (venues) is done meticulously and with utmost caution so as to thwart the designs of ANEs (anti-national elements)," the note, circulated on January 23, read. On January 26, after understanding the gravity of the faux pas, Khan refused to give any details and said, "We will be talking to her and we will be talking to our sister agencies. We will be covering every other lead to know what the facts are. After doing proper investigation, we will come to any conclusion."

Shaikh had been questioned by the Pune ATS in 2015, when it came to notice that she had been radicalised after coming in contact with ISIS supporters abroad. She was planning to travel to Syria, the ATS had then claimed. The woman, a Class 11 student at a Pune college, was subsequently sent for a de-radicalisation programme by the ATS.

After suffering heavy casualties and infrastructural damages on the IB, Pakistan called for Sector Commander-level flag meeting with the BSF, which was held in the afternoon in which the BSF conveyed stern message to the Pakistan Rangers that provocative acts by them were unacceptable and will not be tolerated. The meeting lasted half an hour in Suchetgarh sector in Jammu District and was attended by five officers of the BSF and 10 from the Pakistan Rangers.

Thirteen persons-seven civilians and six security personnel-were killed and 65 others injured in Pakistani shelling along IB and LoC in Jammu region during the last 10 days. However, losses on Pakistan side were very heavy, both in terms of casualties and infrastructure. Pakistan’s ammunition and fuel dumps and firing posts were destroyed by the BSF in retaliatory action. The meeting was the first between the two sides since “heavy shelling and firing was experienced on the IB during the last week”, sources said.

The Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court of Maharashtra rejected the bail pleas of Prashant Rahi alias Narayan Sanglikar, and Vijay Tirki, both close associates of Delhi University (DU) Assistant Professor G.N. Saibaba, charged under the UAPA for alleged CPI-Maoist links, who challenged their conviction by Gadchiroli sessions court on March 7 last year. A division bench comprising justices Ravi Deshpande and Murlidhar Giratkar relied on the prosecution theory that "there was sufficient evidence to prove their involvement in Maoist activities".

SFs arrested an NSCN-IM militant from Longpha village, in Changlang District. A single bore rifle and other incriminating documents were recovered from the arrested militant.

ULFA-I circulated a video of them burning the Indian national flag and calling for a boycott of the Republic Day. The video featured at least 10 ULFA-I militants.

Two HCC employees abducted on January 18 were rescued at Phailenkot range of Motbung area of Kangpokpi District.

AR BDS team has been deployed along Myanmar border after two landmine fatalities along the border area in January.

An NLFT militant identified as Uttam Debbarma alias Uphil surrendered at Dhalai District. He surrendered with an automatic rifle.

January 26

The Pakistan-origin member of the House of Lords, Nazir Ahmed organised an anti-India campaign outside the High Commission of India in London, UK with the slogans in support of Khalistan movement, ‘freedom for Jammu and Kashmir’ and separatist movements in India’s north-east region. The anti-India campaign group was countered by the pro-India group of people raising the slogans in support of Narendra Modi and ‘Vande Matram’. The local Police had tough time keeping these two groups apart. However, the High Commission of India in London did not release any official comment regarding the protests.

On the lines of the NIA that deals with counterterrorism, the Government of India would set up a National Cyber Investigation Agency (NCIA) to prevent, investigate and resolve the cyber crime cases in the country. According to the NCRB data, total 12, 317 cybercrime cases were registered in 2016 as compare to 9,622 in 2014 and 11,592 in 2015; but cyber experts believed that actual numbers are much higher than the NCRB data. In India, cybercrime incidents mainly include child pornography, cyberterrorism and breach of secured information systems. The NCIA will consist of skilled cyber experts to protect computer intrusions, theft of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and personal information, child pornography and exploitation, and online fraud. The agency will gather Intelligence and track online terror activities too.  "Almost every developed country is indulging in cyber espionage and Government data is the most vulnerable asset. There is a need to enhance our information systems to secure all critical information. The policy is being vetted by the NSA”, said an unnamed senior Government official.

Chennai Police busted a FICN racket and arrested two persons, identified as Kamal and Pradeep at Tiruvottiyur railway station in Chennai District of Tamil Nadu while they were smuggling FICN worth of INR 4 lakh from Assam in the Chennai Central-bound Guwahati Express train. Police also recovered five pistols and 20 rounds of ammunition from their possession. Preliminary inquiries revealed that the duo admitted to smuggling the counterfeit currencies and arms from Assam at the behest of racket's kingpin Rafiq, who is serving his term at Puzhal prison in Chennai District.

 JeM militants hurled a grenade towards Police station Pulwama in Pulwama District. Official sources said that militants threw the grenade which hit the roof of the building and exploded with a bang. SSP Pulwama Mohammad Aslam choudary said that a blast like sound was heard near Police station and the investigations have been launched to ascertain nature of the blast. The SSP, however, said that no one suffered injury in the incident. Police and CRPF launched searches in the whole area to trace those behind the incident. However, no one has been arrested when this report was filed. Later, JeM claimed responsibility for the grenade attack.

Pakistan-based militant group, JeM declared India as its number one enemy. This declaration was made by Maulana Talha Siaf, the brother of JeM founder Maulana Masood Azhar at a rally in Larkana, Sindh in Pakistan, recently. "India is the number one enemy of the JeM. Modi (Indian Prime Minister) is the number one enemy of Maulana Masood Azhar. Al Qalam is being regularly read by Indian Muslims. Al Qalam has been published online on Tuesday/Wednesday, and while you may not be able to receive a copy of this paper, your relatives in India read Al Qalam of Maulana Masood Azhar regularly. Indian media has launched a campaign against Al Qalam, and by this way, our enemy is performing our duties in India," Maulana Talha Siaf said. He also incited Muslims to follow the path of `Jihad' to achieve something great in life.

"India is a mini super power of the region that has created problems for Pakistan for the past sixty years, but India's six lakh forces are facing a tough time in the Kashmir Valley and are unable to announce their victory in Kashmir, said Siaf provocatively. Maulana Saif also said, "Mothers and daughters of Kashmir are calling us and we slaves are unable to cross the borders of infidels, but today, free Mujahideen can cross borders." He also raised the issue of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya city, saying, "The Indian government is using its machinery to attempt to build the Ram Mandir in place of the Babri Mosque. Maulana Masood Azhar had announced that the Ram Mandir would not be allowed to be constructed at the place of the Babri Mosque. Now, every year, the government announces that on such and such date the Ram Mandir will be built, and again from this side, there is an announcement that they will not allow the construction of the Ram Mandir in place of the Babri Mosque, and still the Ram Mandir is not built."

CPI-Maoist leaders from Bihar and Jharkhand have started concentrating in the region to strengthen their base and are hiring new faces and creating special committees in new areas to revive their network in the region after security forces inflicted a series of attacks on them in eastern Bihar Districts, says CRPF’s intelligence wing. The sources in the CRPF's intelligence wing said the Maoists have extended zonal and sub-zonal committees in eastern Bihar and areas in neighbouring Jharkhand. The source also said that under the aegis of ERB, several rebel wings, like Bihar-Jharkhand area committee, Eastern Bihar Committee and Eastern Jharkhand special area committee have started functioning. Bhagalpur divisional committee was formed recently and Prabesh alias Sahadev Soren, a native of Giridih District of Jharkhand, has been made in-charge of the ERB.

Three CPI-Maoist cadres identified as Manku Varda (25), Khunta Varda (23) and Tangru Padda (22) were arrested following an exchange of fire between SFs and CPI-Maoist cadres from Alparas village under Koyalibeda Police Station in Kanker District of Chhattisgarh. SFs recovered one muzzle loading gun, one Naxal uniform, two detonators; two small boxes of gun powder, couple of crackers and other Maoist-related materials were recovered from the arrested CPI-Maoist cadres, said Police official. In view of the Republic Day, separate composite squads of BSF, STF and local Police had launched the combing operation on January 24 towards Gattakal, Mindi, Kamteda, Kaknar, Irganar, Alparas and Panidobir villages of Koyalibeda. SFs managed to arrest three CPI-Maoist cadres, all natives of Kurushnar area of Narayanpur District, when they were trying to escape into forest.

CPI-Maoist memorial was dismantled by SFs in Gundul village of Koyalibeda Police Station in Kanker District of Chhattisgarh.

An encounter took place between SFs and CPI-Maoist cadres near Porhat forest in West Singhbhum District of Jharkhand. Chakradharpur SDPO, Sakaldeo Ram said that a CPI-Maoist squad led by its 'area commander' Jeevan Kandulana fired on Police and CRPF personnel around 9.40am. The SF personnel retaliated and the exchange of fire lasted for over half an hour, forcing the rebels to retreat, the officer said. During search of the encounter site, a .303 rifle, which was looted from the Police, was recovered along with 100 rounds of ammunition, six powerful bombs, over 20 detonators, cordex wire and explosive-attached arrows. The SFs, however, destroyed the CPI-Maoist camp after the rebels escaped from the spot. The combing operation was launched to hunt the CPI-Maoist leader Jeevan Kandulna, who was reportedly active in Dogebera and adjacent villages in Porahat forest. After 100 rounds of firing, the CPI-Maoist cadres along with their leader escaped from the site. Two CPI-Maoist cadres were reportedly injured and the SFs are trying to trace them. The Police recovered a rifle (looted from the Police earlier), a country-made pistol, several bullets, detonators, wire, CPI-Maoist literature, medicines, food and other daily use articles from the camp. The Police also seized a can bomb of low intensity and defused it, said West Singhbhum SP, Anish Gupta.

The cadres of the CPI-Maoist observed a ‘Black Day’ on Republic Day in Chitrakonda block in Malkangiri District of Odisha. The Maoists, as per their earlier declarations, hoisted black flags on various schools  and headquarters of Papulur, Kurmanur, Jodamba, Janti, Panasput, Andarapalli, Gajalmamudi, Valegada and Dhuliput Panchayats. They put up posters and banners asking people to join their ‘fresh struggle for democracy’. The posters were pasted on behalf of Kalimela Regional Committee (KRC) of CPI-Maoist, a report said.

The ultras managed to prevent people from celebrating Republic Day in various regions of Koraput District of Odisha and observed bandh. While the Republic Day was not observed in a project primary school of Sorisapadar panchayat, the upgraded Government High School in the District was also found locked. The students of Matiaguda primary school in the panchayat too stayed away from the celebration. The schools in Dekaguda and Bandaguda villages remained closed; the roads wore a deserted look. People of Bhitarakota, Khasuguda, Dumuriguda, Malimaula and Kotia supported the bandh call given by the Maoists, a report said. 

Three low intensity explosions were reported, suspected to have been triggered by ULFA-I in Tinsukia District. Two explosions were reported near Jagun Police station while the third one occurred at Tirap colliery near the Ledo Police station. No fatalities were reported from the explosions.

Three OGW of ULFA-I were arrested from Jagun in Tinsukia District. The militants have been identified as Ranjit Chutia, Bongday Sabuk Dora and Debemshor Gogoi.

A team of the NIA arrested one Mohammad Hakim, a resident of Malda (Malda District, West Bengal) in a case related to the seizure of FICNs worth INR 500,0000 that were recovered from another accused, identified as Saddam Hossain, in 2015 reports One India on January 30. The preliminary investigation has revealed that Hakim had acquired the ‘high quality’ FICNs from across the border, with intentions to distribute them through-out the country. In 2016, the NIA branch based in Hyderabad of Telangana had filed charge-sheet against two persons identified as Saddam Hossain and Amirul Hoque.

January 26-27

Pakistan army shelled forward posts and villages on January 26 and January 27 evenings on LoC in Nowshera sector of Rajouri District. According to reports, Pakistan army rained mortars and bullets in forward areas on the LoC in three sectors including Nowshera, Krishna Ghati and Mankote in Rajouri and Poonch Districts during last two days (January 26-27), causing injuries to an ex-serviceman while there were reports that Pakistan has suffered heavy damages during retaliatory shelling by the Indian troops.

January 27

SFs launched a cordon and search operation in Watnard village in Anantnag District official sources said. They said following specific information about presence of militants, a joint search operation was launched by SOG of State Police, 19 RR and 164 battalion of CRPF at village Watnard in Anantnag.

Two civilians were killed and one injured when Army fired on a group of violent protestors in Shopian District of South Kashmir. The protestors pelted stones on an Army Force convoy passing through Ganovpora village in Shopian District. Army fired few rounds to chase away the protestors in which several persons were injured. Two of the injured persons, identified as Javaid Ahmad Bhat and Suhail Javid Lone, succumbed to injuries. Another youth was rushed to a hospital in Srinagar in a critical condition for specialised treatment. A Police spokesman said that a convoy of 10 Gadwal of Army on its way from 12 Sector headquarters Balpora Shopian to Maspora, came under heavy stone pelting at village Ganowpora. “Pertinently, Ganowpora is the village of militant Firdous Ahmad, who was recently killed in an encounter on January 24, 2018 at Cheegund, Shopian”, said the spokesman. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti Sayeed directed the district administration to conduct a probe into the incident and come up with findings at the earliest.

The APHC condemned the killing of two youth and called for shutdown on January 28 against the killings. Separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik appealed for a complete shutdown on January 28 against the killings of two youth.

Militants fired two grenades at Police Post Warpora in Sopore area of Baramulla District in the evening. Two Police men were injured in the attack. SFs immediately cordoned off the area and conducted searches.

CPI-Maoist cadres killed a former Maoist cadre and injured another, suspecting them of being ‘Police informers’ in Bhadradri Kothagudem District of Telangana. Maoists shot dead P Jogaiah, who died on the spot in the attack in Veerapuram village, while they opened fire on M Ramesh at Suryanagar in Bhadrachalam town in the same District. However, Ramesh escaped with bullet injuries on his hand. Both Jogaiah and Ramesh were former Maoists. Police said they were attacked as Maoists suspected them to be acting as ‘informers’ for Police.

The Maoists set ablaze four trucks, two JCBs and a tractor of a construction camp at Bhupatiraopet in the Bhadradri Kothagudem District of Telangana. They also abducted two workers from one of the trucks but later released them. The Maoists left behind a letter saying their action was in protest against the illegal sand mining in the area. About 40 to 50 Maoists of the Odisha Special Zonal Committee, who had reportedly crossed over from Chhattisgarh, carried out the attacks after forming three teams. Following the attacks, Police sounded an alert in the area and launched combing operations.

A CPI-Maoist leader identified as Digambar Poddar alias Prahlad, surrendered before SP, Jagmohan Meena in Malkangiri District of Odisha. SP, Meena said Digambar had joined the Maoists in 2013. "He surrendered before the Police after seeing immoral activities of some Maoist leaders. He said he saw one senior cadre raping women in the cut-off area at gun point. The leader had been assaulting and killing people at will," the SP said. Digambar left the party opposing these activities, the SP said adding that he will given a lump sum, financial assistance to purchase homestead land, funds to pursue studies and for vocational training. Digambar carried a reward of INR 100,000 on his head for his involvement in several crimes including murder.

Two cadres of the CPI-Maoist, including one woman, were gunned down in an exchange of fire with SFs in the forests between Tadmetla and Morpalli villages under Chintalnar Police Station limits in Sukma District of Chhattisgarh."A joint team of CoBRA 201st battalion - a CRPF specialised unit, and local Police had launched the counter-insurgency operation in the jungles of Chintalnar, around 500 kilometres away from State Capital, Raipur”, said Sukma SP, Abhishek Meena said. The SFs were cordoning off the forests between Tadmetla and Morpalli, when they came under fire from a group of armed Maoists leading to an exchange of fire, SP, Meena said. After the encounter, the SFs searched the area and recovered the body of two Maoists including one woman, along with two weapons, he said. The SFs also recovered some detonators and other material from the encounter site. The identities of the slain Maoists are yet to be ascertained.

A team of highly trained 60 women commandos has been deployed by the CRPF to assist in the ongoing anti-Naxal operations being carried out in forest areas of the Maoist-infested Chhattisgarh. Armed with automatic weapons, these women commandos will guard one of most dangerous patches in south Sukma of Chhattisgarh where a road is being built from Dornapal to Jagargonda, reports said. The road where the women commandos have been deployed is about 56 kilometres and is under construction.

SFs killed an NDFB-S militant identified as Ricardo Hazuary alias Rekhai at Kokrajhar District. A 9mm pistol was recovered from him. The Army Spokesman stated that the militant was involved in the shooting of a local contractor in November 2017.

SFs arrested a militant of unspecified group from Borlangpher area in Karbi Anglong District. Two rifles and 10 rounds of ammunition were recovered from the arrested militant.

Unidentified militants detonated a remot controlled IED near the house of BJP MLA at Khurkhul Makha Leikai in Imphal West District. No group has claimed responsibility for the incident. While searching the area, the Police team found that the remote controlled IED was placed near the compound wall of the MLA’s residence.

A Police source said that in the Republic Day (January 26) serial blast, the ULFA-I militant used local people for planting bombs instead of their regular militant cadres. The Police source also claimed that they had already identified some of these people.

Darthang alias Nobar Sanat ‘financial secretary’ of  HPC-D faction led by H. Zosangbera was killed in an incident of fratricidal killing.

January 28

A 35-year-old woman, critically injured in Pakistani firing along the IB in Kanachak in Jammu District recently, succumbed to her injuries on January 28, raising to 14, the number of deaths due to cross-border shelling since January 18. Bimla Devi of Kana Chak was critically injured in Pakistani shelling on January 22 and was undergoing treatment at the Government Medical College hospital in Jammu. With the killing of Bimla Devi, death toll in Pakistan shelling and firing during past about 10 days, has gone up to 14 including eight civilians and six security personnel. Besides nearly 70 persons, mostly civilians, were injured.

Pakistan army again violated ceasefire in Nowshera sector of Rajouri District. Reports said an Army jawan (trooper) was injured in the firing. The Indian side retaliated effectively. SFs remained on high alert all along the LoC and IB to give befitting reply to any provocation by Pakistani troops.

The NIA has taken over from Delhi Police the case of absconding HM terrorist Nasir Safi Mir, who is accused of funding Hurriyat leaders and is believed to have fled the country after jumping bail, officials said in New Delhi. The officials said the case was re-registered by the NIA recently and it has initiated investigations into it. The NIA probe is likely to ascertain how Mir alias Babul, managed to secure a passport from a Southern State which he allegedly used in Nepal in October 2008 to leave for Europe.

Time has not come for any rethink on AFSPA or making some of its provisions milder, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said, asserting that the Army has been taking adequate precautions in protecting human rights while operating in disturb areas like Jammu and Kashmir. Rawat’s remarks assume significance as they come against the backdrop of reports that several rounds of high-level discussions have taken place between the defence and home ministries on the ‘need to remove or dilute at least some provisions’ of the AFSPA. The act gives the Security Forces special rights and immunity in carrying out various operations in disturbed areas. There has been a long-standing demand from various quarters in Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast to withdraw it. “I do not think time has come to even rethink on AFSPA at the moment,” General Rawat said in a recent interview when asked about reports that Government was re-examining the demand for a milder version of AFSPA in these states.

The Army chief said though AFSPA has certain strong provisions, the Army is concerned about collateral damages and ensuring that its operations under the law do not inconvenience the local people. “We have never been strong in applying the force the way it could be applied (under AFSPA). We are very concerned about human rights. We are absolutely concerned about collateral damage. So do not get too much concerned because we are taking adequate measures and precautions,” he said. General Rawat said the Army has rules of engagements for various operations at every level to ensure that no inconvenience is caused to the people while it is operating under AFSPA. “The AFSPA is an enabling provision which allows the Army in particular to operate in such difficult areas and let me assure you that the Army has got quite a good human rights record,” he said. Asked whether time has come to adopt a combined approach involving all three services to deal with Pakistan-sponsored terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, the Army Chief did not give a direct reply but added that the armed forces have ‘options available’ to conduct various kinds of operations.

Setting up dedicated cyber cells in all Police Stations in Delhi, the Delhi Police is ready to bid speedy investigations of cyber crimes in the virtual world. Delhi Police officers with academic qualifications at graduate level in technology or computer science will soon be selected and deployed in these cyber divisions. All such officers will undergo comprehensive trainings in cyber investigations and computer forensics. In recent years, the counts of cybercrime incidents are increasing and that further demands more Investigating Officers (IOs) and Police Stations equipped with Cybercrime divisions. Within a year, each Police Station in Delhi would have its own cyber cell for speedy investigation, said an unnamed senior Police official.

The Maharashtra ATS has revealed that over the last three years, 86 Indian youths were prevented from joining IS. Majority of these Indians were college-going students with some of them pursuing higher education and some of them were working professionals. With the implement of adequate measures including de-radicalisation process, the Maharashtra ATS not only stopped these people from joining the IS but also prevented the vulnerability of anti-India activities in the country, said an unnamed senior ATS official. "Our efforts are to prevent youths from joining terror outfits. De-radicalisation of youths under the influence of terror elements is one of the prime steps. We can say we have managed to achieve the desired results, but one must understand that de-radicalisation has its limitations too," said Maharashtra ATS Chief Atulchandra Kulkarni.

The Indian security agencies suspect the involvement of Bangladesh-based terror outfit JMB in planting three IEDs in Bodh Gaya to avenge the atrocities on Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar by the Buddhists, The Times of India reports on January 28. An officer involved in the investigation of the blast followed by recovery of two IEDs close to the Tibetan monastery on January 19, 2018 said it was the handiwork of JMB. The banned terror outfit backed by Pakistan's ISI has active cadres in West Bengal (WB) and Assam. It's several members are suspected to be hiding in West Bengal. The JMB has not been involved in any major terror attack in India. The officer said the evidence strongly indicates JMB's involvement in the failed terror attack, which had aimed to kill Buddhist monks and foreigners present in Bodh Gaya to listen to the sermons of Buddhist spiritual leader the Dalai Lama. "A series of calls were made to some locations in West Bengal from Bodh Gaya just before and after planting the three IEDs," the officer said, adding, "Calls were made to locations known to Indian security agencies as covert bases of JMB operating in WB for the past several years." He also said the technique used in making the three IEDs is far different from that by IM in Bodh Gaya and Patna in 2013 or other places in the country in the past.

Four suspected Maoists attacked a Police constable in Nakulnar town of Dantewada District of Chhattisgarh. Constable, Divykant Markam, working as a personal security guard of Chhattisgarh Congress leader Avdhesh Gautam, was attacked when he had gone to the local market along with other security guards of Gautam. The Maoists also snatched his AK-47 rifle and fled from the spot. The Congress leader was not present in Nakulnar when the incident took place.

One IED weighing at least eight kilograms was detected and defused by the 85 Battalion CRPF on Mahadev Ghati Bhopalpatnam road in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh.

A joint team of CRPF and District Police arrested CPI-Maoist cadre identified as Lato alias Shanti Soren from her house at Mahengaro village under Khaira Police Station area in Jamui District of Bihar. She was associated with ‘zonal commander ‘of CPI-Maoist, Sindhu Koda for the last three years. She had come to her residence on the occasion of a local festival. Police recovered Naxal literature, a rucksack and other incriminating objects from her.

In connection to the November 2015 terrorist attack in Paris (France), the French Police may question an IS operative from Kerala—Subahani Haja Moideen, as he had connections with two terrorist who conducted the Paris attack. At present, Subahani Moideen is lodged in the Central Prison at Viyyur in Thrissur District of Kerala and the French Police may approach the Kerala High Court seeking permission to interrogate him. The French Police would like to inquire if Subahani had any prior information related to the Paris attack concluded by IS operatives. The preliminary interrogation had revealed that Subahani Moideen who is a resident of Thodupuzha of Idukki District in Kerala, met two of the perpetrators of Paris Attack, identified as Abdelhamid Abaaoud and Salah Abdelslam. Subahani was arrested by the NIA team from Kadayanallur of Tirunelveli District in Tamil Nadu on October 5, 2016.

The Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju has asked the CISF personnel to be prepared for the new forms of terrorism and insurgency.  The occasion was of the graduation ceremony of the batch of 789 women cadets of the CISF at their Regional Training Centre at Arakkonam of Vellore District in Tamil Nadu. The Minister praised the CISF’s effective use of technology at Delhi airport and Delhi Metro facilities that not only improved the security, but also provided the satisfaction to the passengers. The 2017 was observed as a ‘year of training’ as more than 18,000 cadets graduated from regional centre across the country, said CISF ADG A.K. Pateria.

The Chintur Sub-Division Police arrested CPI-Maoist 1st Battalion courier, identified as Sanjith Mandal (37) at Pitchukalapadu T-Junction on Cherla–Bhadrachalam road near Yatapaka in the East Godavari agency area in East Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh. The CPI-Maoist courier was arrested while he was transporting kit material to Maoists on his motorcycle. The Police recovered six meters of Olive green cloth, 50 meters of Rexene cloth, four wall posters with CPI-Maoist literature besides INR 68,000 was seized him, said Chintoor, SDPO, Dilip Kiran. Sanjith was attracted to Maoism since 2006 and helping CPI-Maoist by supplying needful items. Sanjith also purchased a bike with collected money and transporting essentials to CPI-Maoist on his bike. He purchased green cloth and Rexene cloth at Vijayawada.

January 29

Addressing the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) in Jaipur (Rajasthan), CNN’s National Security and counterterrorism expert—Peter L. Bergen stated that even though after the death of al Qaeda’s leader Osama bin Laden over a half-decade ago, it will be very early to reject al Qaeda’s presenceAl Qaeda has its presence in Syria with around 10,000 followers and spanning towards North Africa and trying to place its strong hold in the South Asian Subcontinent. It has a long-term plan with a vision to avoid the mistakes that IS has done in Iraq and Syria, said Bergen. Osama bin Laden’s son Hamza bin Laden has a surname and followers of al Qaeda understand its importance. Soon, Hamza bin Laden may emerge as a new leader of the outfit, added Bergen. Speaking about a merger between al Qaeda and IS, Peter Bergen ruled out such possibility as there are too many differences between the two groups.

The Centre is to allocate special yearly funds to 35 different Districts across seven States in India, including six Districts in Bihar that are worst affected by LWE. The funds would be allocated under SCA for three consecutive financial years starting from 2017-2018. Aurangabad, Gaya, Jamui, Muzaffarpur, Banka and Nawada Districts in Bihar would get funds under the scheme. Jharkhand has maximum number of 16 highly LWE-affected Districts while Chhattisgarh has eight, Odisha two and Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana one each to be covered under the scheme. The UMHA would allocate INR 285.7 million to each of the 35 Districts annually for carrying out public-oriented development works on projects and proposals after getting them approved from UMHA. A letter was received on January 25, regarding formation of the approval committee headed by Special Secretary Rank Officer of MHA, who monitors CPI-Maoist activities across India, said State Home Department official. The committee would approve District-level projects following which funds would be allocated for carrying out construction works. DLC headed by DM, SP and DFO will come with proposals to be further looked into by a SLC headed by Chief Secretary. Finally, it will be submitted before UMHA’s committee for approval. Bihar will have to come up fast with development projects and proposals as under this scheme, if any District fails to pick up the annual fund, it will lapse and won't be adjusted in the next financial year. If officials of the six Bihar Districts show proper interest and act fast, the scenario in these Maoist-hit Districts will change, added State Home Department official.

Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire along the LoC in Uri sector in the Baramulla District by opening fire at Indian posts, defence sources said. The sources said the Pakistani troops fired towards Indian positions first in the afternoon, which was retaliated by the Indian Army. After a gap of nearly six hours, the Pakistani troops began fresh firing that lasted nearly 30 minutes, the sources said. There was no damage reported in the firing so far, the sources said.

Earlier in the day, Indian Army noticed some suspicious movement along the LoC in Uri sector and challenged the intruders. The alert jawans opened speculative firing, forcing the intruders to retreat, an army official said.

Police filed a charge sheet against LeT and 11 people for conspiring and carrying out the attack on a bus in which Amarnath Yatra pilgrims were travelling that left eight pilgrims dead on July 10, 2017. The 1,600-page charge sheet was filed under various Sections of RPC and the anti-terror UAPA before a sessions court at Anantnag. The probe into the incident was completed in a record six months by the SIT headed by Deputy Inspector General of Police (South Kashmir) S P Pani after the first arrest was made in the case.

The 11 people in the charge sheet include a juvenile. The charge sheet against the juvenile was filed before Chief Judicial Magistrate (Juvenile Court) at Anantnag in South Kashmir and he is on bail. The SIT during the course of investigation has established that LeT was involved in the attack. It on the basis of evidences collected during the course of investigation established involvement of 11 people, of which four persons including a juvenile were arrested while three are still at large.

The main accused Abu Ismail alias Haroon, a Pakistani National, was killed in an encounter in Arigam, Nowgam in Srinagar on September 14, 2017 and Yawar Bashir alias Ayaan Bashir Ahmad Wani of Habilsh Devsar and Maaviya and Furqaan of Pakistan were killed in an encounter at Qazigund. Three accused Khalid Muzafar Dar of Rehpora Khudwani, Tanveer Ahmad Dar of Rehpora Khudwani and Sarjeel Ahmad Shiekh of Khudwani are absconding. Three arrested persons including a juvenile are Aijaz Ahmad Wagay son of Ghulam Qadir Wagay of Poshkreri Srigufwara, Bilal Ahmad Reshi son of Mushtaq Ahmad Reshi of Iqbal Market Bijbehara and Zahoor Ahmad Sheikh son of Mohammad Maqbool Sheikh of Sheikh Mohalla Khudwani, Kulgam. Police said that the SIT during the investigation has found incontrovertible evidences and brought it on record establishing complicity of accused persons in the case.

The NIA charge sheet into stone pelting and terror financing in Jammu and Kashmir will include the role of a Pakistan High Commission official in funding separatists, and has estimated the flow of at least INR 200 crore into the Valley to fuel protests and stone pelting, it is learnt. The NIA on January 19 had filed a 12,794-page charge sheet against 12 people including Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed, HM chief Syed Salahuddin and top rung separatist leaders. The court is likely to take cognisance of the charge sheet on January 30.

Sources said the charge sheet has included evidence against the Pakistan High Commission. UMHA sources said that an officer of the rank of First Secretary has been identified. “The Pakistan High Commission official allegedly acted with Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Ahmed Watali to facilitate funds to top Hurriyat leadership,” sources said. Watali was arrested by the NIA and is among the 12 charge sheeted. He is presently in judicial custody.

According to an UMHA official, “Investigations have delved into secessionist activities in Jammu and Kashmir, the close nexus between Hurriyat and militant outfits such as LeT and HM and how Pakistan is using these militants groups and Hurriyat to create trouble in the valley. Evidence has also been collected from open sources and speeches of Hafiz Saeed, Salahuddin and Syed Ahmed Shah Geelani.” Investigators claimed a sum of nearly INR 200 crore was pumped into the valley to fund stone pelting and protests in 2016-17.

In a statement on January 19, the NIA claimed the investigation brought out that the secessionist and separatist leaders belonging to the APHC have established a network throughout the Kashmir Valley who incite youth to attack all symbols of Indian sovereignty, especially Indian security forces deployed for the maintenance of law and order. “Under the overall guidance and instructions from Hafiz Saeed, Salahuddin and their Pakistani handlers, the separatist leaders of Jammu and Kashmir and stone-pelters form strategies and action-plans to launch violent protests and communicate the same to the masses in the form of ‘protest calendars’ released through newspapers, social media and religious leaders, creating an atmosphere of terror and fear in the State of Jammu and Kashmir,” the agency stated.

Army destroyed unexploded mortar shells at village Bhour Jagir in Akhnoor tehsil of Jammu District. As per defence spokesman Colonel NN Joshi, two bombs of 82mm mortar fired by Pakistan Rangers were found by villagers in village Bhour Jagir. These unexploded bombs were found inside the village in proximity of houses and local population, he added. He informed that the information was conveyed by the villagers to the Indian Army. On receipt of information, Army’s expert bomb disposal team from the local formation was dispatched to the village. Colonel Joshi further stated that the team under great risk, dug out these unexploded live bombs from the village and destroyed them at a safe place.

Since 2014, the Maharashtra ATS has blocked 530 URLs or web pages that propagated IS propaganda. As one of the strategies to be used against the IS propaganda in the state of Maharashtra, this practice will be continued to use in the future, said Maharashtra ATS Chief Atulchandra Kulkarni. The threat from the URLs that propagate IS ideology is of immense level and has been used to radicalise the youths to join the terror outfit. These URLs are being blocked in coordination and inputs received from all Security agencies. Blocking the URLs helped use to control the terror activities of the terror outfit, said an unnamed senior ATS official. The ATS also initiating the plan to ensue the technical training on Intelligence gathering and monitoring of social media for their personnel, said another unnamed senior ATS official.

The MEA has received a communication from the authorities in Libya about Tabrez Tambe (30), a resident of Mumbra of Thane District in Greater Mumbai area of Maharashtra who left to join IS in January 2016, is alive as a ‘Prisoner of War’ in a jail of Libya. The MEA has shared the same communication with the UMHA that further directed the Maharashtra ATS to look into the matter. The ATS team had send an official ‘Letter Rogatory’ to the Libya authorities to bring-in Tabrez Tambe, but the LR is still unanswered. This could be a first case where an official request has been forward to the judiciary system of a foreign country to bring an IS operative for trial in India, said an unnamed senior official at UMHA. If there would be positive developments in bringing Tambe back to India, he will be the second Indian national, after Areeb Majeed, from Maharashtra to be prosecuted by Indian authorities for joining IS.

The NIA will be conducting a three-day workshop on ‘terror-funding’ with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.  Around 25-30 officials from both agencies will take part in the workshop where the Indian team will be led by the IG Anil Shukla. The NIA is investigating the terror cases that have links with Canada. One of the cases is of Tahawwur Rana—a Pakistan-origin Canadian citizen who conspired along with David C. Headley—a conspirator in 26/1 1 Mumbai attacks. Although Rana remains out of the clutches, the NIA has other cases related to the Sikh radical groups.

The BSF would deploy the speedboats to fill the security gaps, commonly termed in security establishments as “Achilles’ Heel”, on rivers in J&K and Punjab that borders with Pakistan. Earlier in January 2018, the Indian Army encountered and killed five terrorists of JeM when they were intercepted at the banks of the Jhelum River in Kashmir’s Uri sector. The BSF’s water wing has acquired 43 speedboats from Cleghorn Manufacturing Company Private Limited out of which 25 boats will be deployed in J&K and Punjab Rivers bordering Pakistan, whereas remaining will be used at the India-Bangladesh border.

The NIA is likely to interrogate the Kerala woman who was allegedly forced to ‘conversion to Islam’ by her husband—Mohamed Riyaz (26) and later ‘almost sold’ to IS in Syria. The unidentified woman who is resident of Pathanamthitta of Pathanamthitta District in Kerala had approached the Kerala High Court and claimed that her husband forced her to convert to Islam and conspired to sell her off to IS in Syria. In her plea in the court, the woman claimed that she is a ‘victim of forceful conversion, fraud marriage, and an attempt of sexual slavery’. Her father had filed an application seeking an investigation to be carried out by the Central Investigation Agency. Intelligence agencies are keeping an ‘eye’ over people from Kerala joining jihadi groups active in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.

Five persons including two former CPI-Maoist cadres, natives of Jharkhand were arrested by Bisra Police under Bisra Tehsil in Sundargarh District of Odisha, for allegedly running an extortion racket in the name of Maoists. Two out of five arrested were earlier associated with CPI-Maoist, but later they had left the outfit. A pistol has been seized from their possession. All the accused had vandalised a construction camp and set ablaze a mixer machine at Kaliaposh under Bisra Police limits after a failed extortion bid on January 23.

President of India, Ram Nath Kovind said that the Union Government was ready for a dialogue with anyone who shunned violence and reposed faith in the Constitution. In his maiden address to the joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament, He said security situation in Naxal -affected areas and insurgency-hit Northeastern States has improved significantly. "My government has kept open the path of dialogue with those who wish to shun violence and join the mainstream, while reposing faith in the Constitution of India," he stated. President Kovind also said due to regular efforts of the central and State Governments, there has been a significant improvement in internal security of the country. "The Northeast has also witnessed an improvement in the security situation. There has been a reduction in incidents of Naxal-Maoist [Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist)] violence. For this, the enlightened citizens of the region, our military, paramilitary and Police forces deserve to be congratulated," he said. President Kovind said in the past three years, maximum number of youth influenced by the Naxal-Maoist ideology, have surrendered and joined the main stream.

Lohardaga Police recovered parts of IED bomb during a joint operation of the District Police Force and CRPF in Kerar area under Peshrar block in Lohardaga District of Jharkhand. SP, Rajkumar Lakra said, “On January 27 the Police got information that a team of Naxal organization is wandering near the areas of Peshrar, Chainpur and Kerar. After that a team was set up including Police Inspectors Vivek Kumar, RV Philip, Girish Prasad of 158 battalion CRPF Lohardaga, Gyan, Ranjan Kumar, Thana-in-charge, Bagru thana and Jaiprakash Police-in-charge Peshrar picket.” SP, Lakra added the Police recovered electric line tester, automobile clock, battery, bolt, wires transistor, Naxal literature computerized printed and stainless steel box. The materials are to be used to build IED device.

January 30

Pakistan resumed heavy shelling along LoC in Nowshera sector of Rajouri District, prompting the district administration to make five relief camps again operational in the town in which 700 to 800 border dwellers were camping while the State Government on January 30 deputed a high-level team to the border town for on-spot assessment of the ‘tense situation’ after the issue echoed in the Assembly. Pakistan army suddenly started raining mortars and bullets with automatic and semi-automatic weapons targeting half a dozen villages and forward posts of the Army in Nowshera sector, forcing the Indian troops to retaliate effectively to silence the Pakistani guns. Heavy exchange of shelling continued for two hours.

Pakistan resorted to heavy mortar shelling and firing along LoC at Dharati, Sohala and Panjani areas of Balakote in Poonch District. The Indian side retaliated effectively, leading to heavy exchanges.

The NIA accused Pakistan-based terror outfits of ‘conspiring to wage war against Indian Government’ by providing funds to foment trouble in the Kashmir valley. NIA told Additional Sessions Judge Tarun Sherawat that Pakistan-based outfits have been passing on money through hawala channels and alleged that officials of country’s High Commission were also playing an active role. The NIA had on January 18 filed its 12,794-page charge sheet, along with annexures, against 12 people including LeT chief Hafiz Saeed and HM head Syed Salahuddin. Both Saeed and Salahuddin are absconding, it said.

“A conspiracy under the supervision of Pakistan-based organisations was hatched. The accused persons were working in connivance with Saeed and Salahuddin to raise funds for the terror activities,” special public prosecutor and senior advocate Sidharth Luthra, appearing for NIA, said. The submissions were made by the agency when the court asked what evidence they had gathered to try the accused. The agency alleged that High Commission officials were passing money through arrested businessman Zahoor Watali, who would hand it over to separatists after deducting his cut. He is currently in judicial custody. Besides Pakistan-based terrorists Saeed and Salahuddin, and Watali, the agency has also named hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s son-in-law Altaf Shah alias Altaf Fantoosh, Bashir Ahmad Bhat and photo journalist Kamran Yusuf, who has been identified along with Javed Ahmad Bhat as a stone pelter.

Hurriyat Conference leaders Nayeem Ahmad Khan, Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate, Mohammad Akbar Khanday and Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal have also been charged by the agency. It alleged that the arrested accused were associated with “Hurriyat Conference and were prominent members of the society and that they had conspired to generate funds for the terror activities to oppose the lawful government of Jammu and Kashmir”. The NIA also submitted that a calendar, allegedly issued by the Hurriyat Conference, was recovered from Altaf Ahmad Funtoosh, mentioned the activities they conduct. Luthra said the “people who get hurt or killed in action by the security forces were hailed as martyrs” and claim “freedom as their goal”. “It’s a misconceived cause,” he said. Letter heads of Hizbul Mujahideen were recovered from some of the arrested accused, the agency claimed, adding that Geelani had termed Afzal Guru a hero of Kashmir. The court posted the matter for consideration of the charge sheet on February 1.

UHM Rajnath Singh slammed Pakistan for continuously violating the ceasefire agreement with India despite giving assurance not to do so, saying Islamabad should not misinterpret ‘powerful’ India’s ‘decency’. Pakistani shelling along the border in Jammu and Kashmir has increased over the past two weeks. Fourteen people, including eight civilians, have been killed in the shelling since January 18, according to the State Police. “Three-four days ago, Pakistan Rangers held a flag meeting with our BSF DG. (The Rangers) assured that the ceasefire violation would not take place. But despite this, Pakistan has been violating ceasefire,” Singh said. “Not saying much, I just want to say our politeness and decency has a limit and we want to maintain good relations with all and also with our neighbours. But our decency should not be wrongly interpreted,” he said. “India is no more a weak country. India has now become a powerful country.” Singh said Pakistan, being a neighbour, should have a friendly attitude towards India, but added that the fencing of the Indo-Pak border was underway at a rapid pace.

Reports said Pakistani troops had also resorted to unprovoked firing and shelling for 15 minutes in Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch district in the evening. Besides Krishna Ghati sector, Pakistani troops had pounded half a dozen villages in Nowshera sector of Rajouri district.

The NIA accused Pakistan-based terror outfits of ‘conspiring to wage war against Indian Government’ by providing funds to foment trouble in the Kashmir valley. NIA told Additional Sessions Judge Tarun Sherawat that Pakistan-based outfits have been passing on money through hawala channels and alleged that officials of country’s High Commission were also playing an active role. The NIA had on January 18 filed its 12,794-page charge sheet, along with annexures, against 12 people including LeT ‘chief’ Hafiz Saeed and HM head Syed Salahuddin. Both Saeed and Salahuddin are absconding, it said. “A conspiracy under the supervision of Pakistan-based organisations was hatched. The accused persons were working in connivance with Saeed and Salahuddin to raise funds for the terror activities,” special public prosecutor and senior advocate Sidharth Luthra, appearing for NIA, said. The submissions were made by the agency when the court asked what evidence they had gathered to try the accused. The agency alleged that High Commission officials were passing money through arrested businessman Zahoor Watali, who would hand it over to separatists after deducting his cut. He is currently in judicial custody. Besides Pakistan-based terrorists Saeed and Salahuddin, and Watali, the agency has also named hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s son-in-law Altaf Shah alias Altaf Fantoosh, Bashir Ahmad Bhat and photo journalist Kamran Yusuf, who has been identified along with Javed Ahmad Bhat as a stone pelter. Hurriyat Conference leaders Nayeem Ahmad Khan, Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate, Mohammad Akbar Khanday and Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal have also been charged by the agency. It alleged that the arrested accused were associated with “Hurriyat Conference and were prominent members of the society and that they had conspired to generate funds for the terror activities to oppose the lawful government of Jammu and Kashmir”. The NIA also submitted that a calendar, allegedly issued by the Hurriyat Conference, was recovered from Altaf Ahmad Funtoosh, mentioned the activities they conduct. Luthra said the “people who get hurt or killed in action by the security forces were hailed as martyrs” and claim “freedom as their goal”. “It’s a misconceived cause,” he said. Letter heads of Hizbul Mujahideen were recovered from some of the arrested accused, the agency claimed, adding that Geelani had termed Afzal Guru a hero of Kashmir. The court posted the matter for consideration of the charge sheet on February 1.

The UHM Rajnath Singh slammed Pakistan for continuously violating the ceasefire agreement with India despite giving assurance not to do so, saying Islamabad should not misinterpret ‘powerful’ India’s ‘decency’. Pakistani shelling along the border in Jammu and Kashmir has increased over the past two weeks. Fourteen people, including eight civilians, have been killed in the shelling since January 18, according to the State Police. “Three-four days ago, Pakistan Rangers held a flag meeting with our BSF DG. (The Rangers) assured that the ceasefire violation would not take place. But despite this, Pakistan has been violating ceasefire,” Singh said. “Not saying much, I just want to say our politeness and decency has a limit and we want to maintain good relations with all and also with our neighbours. But our decency should not be wrongly interpreted,” he said. “India is no more a weak country. India has now become a powerful country.” Singh said Pakistan, being a neighbour, should have a friendly attitude towards India, but added that the fencing of the Indo-Pak border was underway at a rapid pace.

The Intelligence inputs suspects that JeM and LeT may execute a 2016 Pathankot attack style terrorist attack at Rajasansi airport of Amritsar, Punjab. In January 2016, a heavily armed group of terrorists attacked the Pathankot Air Force Station, part of the Western Air Command of the IAF. The gun battle resulted in five attackers and three SFs personnel death.

Chhattisgarh Police arrested four CPI-Maoist cadres including a woman leader in separate incidents from Kondagaon and Bijapur Districts of Chhattisgarh. In the first incident, SFs arrested Balmati Korram (21), an active member of Amdai LOS, who was associated in several cases of Naxal violence and ambush on Police parties, during a search operation in Chitpani forest under Mardapal Police Station limit in Kondagaon District of Chhattisgarh. She was carrying a reward of INR 300,000 on her head, announced by State Government, said SP, Abhishek Pallav. In the second incident, CRPF and District Force personnel arrested three CPI-Maoist cadres from Jangla forest from Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh. All the three arrested cadres, whose identities are yet to be ascertained, were carrying a reward ranging from INR 3,000 to INR 10,000.

A joint team of the CRPF’s CoBRA and District Police arrested CPI-Maoist cadre identified as Sonali Soren from her residence at Sukul Bathan village under Chakai Police Station area in Jamui District of Bihar. She visited her residence in connection with a tribal festival. Sonali Soren was an active member of the CPI-Maoist women squad and she was absconding. The Police recovered Naxal literature from her residence.

CPI-Maoist Sabari Area LOS ‘commander’ Ubba Mohan alias Sunil surrendered to the Police in Bhadrachalam in Bhadradri-Kothagudem District of Telangana. According to Police, Mohan, an active armed cadre of the outfit and was involved in several incidents of Maoist violence along the Telangana-Chhattisgarh border, gave himself up before Bhadrachalam, ASP, Sunil Dutt in the temple town. He quit the armed struggle due to deteriorating health condition.

The NIA filed a charge sheet against three CPI-Maoist cadres for allegedly threatening a Police Officer at Vellamunda in Kerala in 2014 for conducting anti-Maoist operations. The accused CPI-Maoist cadres are identified as Kanya (34), a native of Mavinakere village in Chikkamagaluru District in Karnataka, and two absconders--Mahesh and Geetha of Raichur and Dakshina Kannada Districts of Karnataka. The accused have been charged under IPC sections related to criminal conspiracy, sedition, provisions of the Arms Act and anti-terror law

The State Government decided to withhold counter insurgency operations by the SFs against the KPLT till April 20 this year (2017). The KPLT declared unilateral ceasefire for a period of six months with effect from October 20, 2016 till April 20, 2017, which they communicated through a letter signed by the militant group’s ‘general secretary’ Vojaru Hanjang. The militant group also expressed its desire to come to the mainstream in the interest of restoring peace and development in Karbi Anglong Districts. The State Government decided to withhold operations against KPLT as a ‘good gesture’ to the militant group’s peace initiative.

January 31

During the probe of the conversion case of an unidentified woman from Kerala, the NIA has found that she was forced to follow the preaching and become a disciple of an Islamic preacher Zakir Naik. Although, the NIA has registered the case against nine persons accused for conspiring a fraud marriage between Mohammad Riyaz/Riyas and the woman, and forcing her to convert to Islam. Originally, the woman is a resident of Gujarat.

One of the founding members of IM—Abdus Subhan Qureshi alias Tauqeer has confirmed that Riyaz Bhatkal and Iqbal Bhatkal went to Pakistan in 2008 and living in Karachi (Pakistan) under the ‘protection’ of Pakistan’s ISI since then. During the interrogation, Subhan claimed that he had gone to Pakistan in 2008 and recently travelled to Nepal. Upon his return to India, his intentions were to revive the Indian Mujahideen group. After the ban imposed on IM in 2002, the group was directionless and divided into two sub-categories—a moderate category believed in fighting a legal battle against the ban, led by Shahid Badr Falahi, and a violent category that was led by Safdar Nagori that believed in adopting violence to avenge the ban, said Abdus Subhan.

The Indian PM Narendra Modi had telephonic conversation with Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani and discussed the need to ‘end’ the terrorist safe havens in the neighbourhood nation—giving a clear reference of Pakistan. The 20-minute telephonic conversation between Modi and Ghani reflected the shared concern of terrorist attack in Kabul and assessment of Pakistan’s involvement in Afghanistan, said an unnamed source from the Cabinet Secretariat in New Delhi. In his tweet, the Afghan President Ghani has stated that— “PM Modi called me to offer condolences on the recent senseless killings of civilians across (sic) #AFG by the enemies of humanity. We discussed the need for an end to terrorist sanctuaries in our neighbourhood. India has always been a good friend of Afghans, sharing our pain and grief.”

In connection to the low-intensity blast at the Bodh Gaya temple in Gaya District of Bihar on January 19, the Kolkata Police on January 31 arrested two operatives of JMB, identified as Paigamber Sheikh (24) and Jamirul Sheikh (31). During the preliminary interrogation, both accused has revealed their connection with JMB and conspiracy of planting an IED at the Bodh Gaya temple during Dalai Lama’s visit, said the DCP of the STF Murlidhar Sharma. Both accused Paigamber Sheikh and Jamirul Sheikh are residents of Murshidabad of Malda Administrative Division in West Bengal. The Kolkata Police arrested Paigamber Sheikh from his residence in Kankuria Gram of Murshidabad in Malda District, whereas Jamirul Sheikh was arrested from Phanisdewa of Darjeeling District in West Bengal. The Central and State investigation agencies are probing the matter and the guilty persons will be given stringent punishment, said Bihar’s Chief Minister Nitish Kumar while inaugurating the ‘Bauddh Mahotsav’ at the Kaalchakra Maidan of the Bodh Gaya temple on February 01.

Five Pakistani nationals who were jailed for spying and other crimes have completed their respective jail terms but remained ‘stranded’ at Lampur Detention Centre in Delhi as their own country—Pakistan had disowned them. The FRRO has written numerous letters with their origins, to the High Commission of Pakistan in Delhi for their deportation over the past five years but these request have been rejected or unanswered by the High Commission of Pakistan in Delhi. These five Pakistani spies were arrested between 2007 and 2013, and are identified as Mohamad Hasan alias Mohamad Munir—resident of Khurd-Jhelum of Punjab Province in Pakistan, Abdul Jabbar—resident of Karachi-Sindh region, Mohamad Kamar alias Mohamad Kamil—resident of Lahore of Punjab Province (Pakistan), Mohamad Hanif alias Danis—resident of Karachi, and Mohamad Idrish—resident of Green town in Karachi. All of these spies highly trained by Pakistan’s ISI and used against India to execute covert operations, revive terrorist organisations like IM and SIMI, or recruitment for sleeper cells, said an unnamed senior official of Delhi Police.

A youth, identified as Rayees Ahmad Ganie (19) who was injured in Army firing in Shopian District on January 27, succumbed to his injuries at SKIMS hospital in Srinagar. As SATP reported earlier, two civilians were killed and several persons injured when Army fired on a group of violent protestors in Shopian District of South Kashmir on January 27. The protestors pelted stones on an Army Force convoy passing through Ganovpora village in Shopian District.

Thousands of people from Narpora and its adjoining villages took part in the funeral of the youth amid protests. A spontaneous strike was observed in Shopian District on 7th consecutive day on January 31 while as the neighbouring Pulwama returned to normal on January 31 after remaining shut for five days  but the District, however, observed shutdown again on January 31 after Rayees’s death. Shops and commercial establishments were closed in the twin districts while as transport was off the roads.

Soon after the funeral of Ganie was over, clashes erupted between youths and security forces at Shopian, Pulwama, Muran Chowk and Rajpora Chowk. Police fired teargas to disperse the protesters.

The Army has submitted its version of the January 27 incident, when its convoy was attacked in Shopian District, to the Jammu and Kashmir Police and explained its reasons for opening fire at the stone pelting mob, officials said. According to the Army’s narrative, submitted on January 30, the force’s convoy was attacked by a group of stone pelters and its personnel resorted to firing to save themselves, the officials said. The Army’s version comes after the State Police registered an FIR about the incident in Ganovpora area of Shopian in south Kashmir in which two youths were killed. One more person succumbed to his injuries on January 31, raising the toll to three. It has claimed it opened firing in self defence after seven of its personnel were injured. The Army has also submitted photographs of the vehicles damaged in the stone pelting. The State Government has ordered a magisterial probe into the incident.

Pakistani troops again violated the ceasefire along the LoC in Poonch and Rajouri Districts, prompting retaliation by Indian Army. The firing from across the border in Mankote sector of Poonch District began around 5 pm and was continuing intermittently from both sides, reports said. They added that Pakistani troops targeted forward posts and villages in Dabraj, Balnoi and Narh of Mankote with small and heavy weapons. There was no report of any casualty in the Pakistani firing. Pakistan again violated ceasefire in Nowshera in Rajauri District forward by resorting to small arms firing and mortar shelling.

Delhi’s Patiala House court dismissed the bail plea of Kashmiri separatist leader Shabir Shah in an alleged money laundering case related to terror funding, reports The Indian Express. The ED is probing a case of terror funding against Shah based on a case first registered by Delhi Police’s Special Cell after arrest of an alleged hawala dealer named Aslam Wani, who reportedly claimed that he passed on INR 2.25 crore to Shah. Wani was arrested in August 2005.

A three-member action team of the CPI-Maoist killed Irpa Usendi, cousin to DVCM and ‘commander’ of Perimili LGS Sainath, at a busy weekly market in Etapalli taluka in Gadchiroli District of Maharashtra. Usendi, who was one of the accused in the case of arson at the site of Surjagarh mining project of Lloyds’ Mining and Energy Limited when 80 vehicles were set ablaze by the Maoists on December 30, 2016. The rebels had strewn pamphlets over the body in which they had labelled him as 'Police informer'. Usendi, along with another person identified as Raja Rajasthani, worked as labour contractors at the mining site. He was initially quizzed by the Police for his role in the arson but was not arrested. In February in 2017 Usendi was arrested carrying cash INR 400,000 in a vehicle during a joint checking of Police and Revenue Department prior to the elections. After Usendi failed to explain the source of the cash, he was booked for being a conduit between the mining company representatives and the Maoists. He was later released on bail. Usendi had been under scanner of the SFs as a covert Maoist sympathizer as he had a habit of flaunting his connections to the top rebel leader.

Three CRPF personnel were injured during an exchange of fire with CPI-Maoist cadres in Madhuban Police Station area in Giridih District of Jharkhand. A joint team of State Police and the CRPF were conducting search operations in Parashnath Hills on the outskirts of Mohanpur village, 40 kilometres from Giridih District Headquarters and 200 kilometres from State capital, Ranchi. Around 5.30am, SFs spotted some CPI-Maoist cadres who opened fire as the team approached them, compelling SFs to retaliate. The encounter lasted for around 15 minutes, but the CPI-Maoist cadres managed to flee. Our preliminary inquiries suggest that Sunil Manjhi's squad was involved in it. Sunil is a SACM of the CPI-Maoist. There are 20-25 members in his squad and they have reportedly taken shelter in Madhuban forest, said CRPF Deputy Commandant cum Public Relations Officer, Prakash Chandra Badal. One of the injured personnel was identified as CRPF constable, Veer Singh, while the identities of the other two Police officers are yet to be ascertained.

February 1

A Delhi court ordered the release of nine persons arrested with a demonetized currency that was alleged to be used for funding terror in J&K. The NIA special judge Tarun Sahrawat directed their release with immediate effect, if not required in any other case, after the central agency submitted that the possession of the demonetized currency does not fall under the UA (P) Act or any scheduled offence handled by the NIA.  Of the nine persons, three hail from J&K, two from Delhi, two from Mumbai (Maharashtra), and one each from Uttar Pradesh and Nagpur (Maharashtra). The NIA said on scrutiny of material available on record, it appeared the nine were part of a conspiracy to commit offences under Section 7 of the Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liabilities) Act. "However, this conspiracy is found to be distinct from the conspiracy for which a charge sheet has been filed... in the court on 18 January against 12 other accused," the NIA said. On January18, the NIA filed the charge sheet under stringent anti-terror laws against seven jailed Kashmiri separatist leaders on charges of conspiring with Pakistan-based terrorist leaders Hafiz Saeed and Syed Salahuddin to wage a war against India to secede J&K.

In accordance to the Union Home Ministry’s budgetary provision for the next fiscal year, the UMHA has received INR 92,679.86 crores with 10.5 percent hike for 2018-2019. The special emphasis has been given on the improvements of the Police Forces. The Delhi Police that is responsible for maintaining the law and order in Delhi, has been allocated INR 6,946.28 crores, while INR 1,750 crores has been allocated for the development of border infrastructure midst of the ‘tension’ ongoing at the India-Pakistan and India-China International Borders. The CRPF which engaged in the anti-militancy operations in J&K and the sensitive regions of the North-East, and often deployed in internal security duties, has been allocated INR 20,268 crores for 2018-19. The BSF has been allocated INR 17,118.64 crores for this fiscal year. In total, the budgetary provisions allocated to the Central Armed Police Forces which includes CRPF, BSF, the ITBP, CISF, SSB, the Assam Rifles and the NSG, is Rs 62,741.31 crores for 2018-2019. In the down-side of the UMHA budgetary provision, the IB has been allocated INR 1,876.44 crores, which is INR 6.26 crores less than the amount allocated in 2017-2018 and the SPG, which is responsible for the Security of the Indian PM, former PMs and their close family members, has been allocated INR 385 crores, in comparison to INR 389.50 crores allocated in 2017-18.

Police arrested one Kerala youth, identified as Riyazur Rehman alias Riyad, a native of Kallai in Kozhikode District, for trying to join terror outfit IS in April 2015. Riyad, who was hiding in Ras Al Khaimah (UAE) for the past two years, was deported to India through Delhi airport (New Delhi) from where he was arrested by Kerala Police a few days ago (unspecified date). Earlier, in Karipur (Malappuram District) Police had registered a case against Riyad under Section 125 of the IPC and Section 20 and 38 of the UA (P) Act. It was the first IS-related case registered by Kerala Police. The Police said the 26-year-old man was indoctrinated while he was working in Ras Al Khaimah. Riyad, along with a Bangladesh national, left Ras Al Khaimah to join the IS in Yemen. He returned to Ras Al Khaimah after the Bangladesh national disappeared. By the time Riyad's disappearance became big news in the media; his brother was deported to India along with some others who were suspected to have IS links. Riyad was hiding in various locations in Ras Al Khaimah and was engaged in small-time criminal activities for livelihood, the Police said.

A witness in the 26/11 case has positively identified the voice of alleged Mumbai terror attacks mastermind and LeT operative Sayyed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal from an audio recorded during the attacks. The witness, a relative of Ansari, was made to hear a recording of an alleged conversation between one of the terrorists and their handler in Pakistan – Abu Jundal – taking instructions during the attack at Nariman House. Ansari’s main defence, so far, has been that he is being mistaken for Abu Jundal, one of the four handlers from Karachi, Pakistan who was giving instructions to 26/11 attackers. In special judge GA Sanap’s court, a 28-minute conversation between the terrorists in Nariman house and their handlers in Karachi, was played for the witness. After listening to the conversation, the witness, who had identified his cousin in court on January 31, recognised one of the voices (the handler) as that of Ansari’s.

For a person’s voice to be identified as per law, a forensic expert’s testimony is not considered conclusive proof. The court demands ratification by a person who has heard the subject’s voice several times. According to the chargesheet, in 2010 Ansari had visited this relative at a hotel in Madina, Saudi Arabia, where the latter had been worked as a receptionist in a hotel since February 2009. Ansari had reportedly gone there for Haj. The witness told the court that a few days before his return to India, Ansari allegedly gave him 4,000 riyals and a letter for a certain Kashif. However, when he visited the given address, he could not find any person named Kashif. So Ansari asked him to deliver the money to a common friend of theirs who would, in turn, deliver it to Kashif.

A 10-year-old boy, identified as Musharaf Fayaz who was seriously wounded at the site of an encounter in Chaigund village of Shopian District on January 25 was succumbed to injuries. Musharaf Fayaz son of Fayaz Ahmad Najar suffered critical injuries in his head and face on January 25 after a shell exploded at the encounter site while a group of people were clearing the debris of the house which was razed to ground by the SFs during the gun battle. On January 24, two local militants were killed in an encounter while civilian minor boy Shakir Ahmad Mir died and two girls were injured at Chaigund Audoo in Shopian District. Musharaf Fayaz succumbed to injuries in the wee hours on February 1 after battling for life for six days at the ICU of the SKIMS.

Pakistan army opened new front in Keri sector of Rajouri District on the LoC targeting villages, which were untouched from shelling so far, while continuing shelling in Nowshera sector. The Indian side retaliated firing and shelling effectively at all the places. Sources said Pakistani troops opened firing and shelling at Peer Badesar, Rattan and Basali villages in Keri sector of Rajouri District at 8.40 am. “The shelling was very intense and number of mortar shells fell in the civilian areas. However, there were no casualties,’’ they said, adding that the Indian side retaliated very effectively, leading to heavy exchanges that continued till 12.45 pm but again resumed at 5.10 pm and continued intermittently till night.

In Nowshera sector, Pakistan targeted Pukharni, Surla, Kanara, Lam, Janghar and Makri villages in the morning. The shelling was heavy in the morning but continued intermittently till the evening. There were reports that two BSF jawans have sustained minor injuries in Pakistan shelling. The Indian side retaliated Pakistani shelling at all the places.

Army foiled an infiltration attempt along the LoC in Tanghdar sector of Kupwara District. Sources said that a group of 3-4 militants tried to infiltrate in the general area of Shiv post manned by 6 Garh Rif at around 4:30 a.m. However, alert Army troops challenged them and fired at them forcing them to flee back. Army immediately launched an operation in the area. A Defence spokesman said that an attempted infiltration bid by militants was successfully repulsed by alert Army troops in Tangdhar Sector in North Kashmir during the early hours.

“A group of four terrorists attempted to infiltrate under the cover of darkness and thick jungles in the mountainous terrain in general area of Kalban in Tangdhar but were spotted by alert troops. They were engaged with heavy fire and terrorists were seen running away into the thick jungles towards the Line of Control”, said the spokesman. He added that search operations in the sector were launched. He said that the repeated attempts of infiltration in North Kashmir continue to be foiled by the alert and watchful Army units based on sound intelligence thus eliminating the nefarious designs of Pakistan troops to foment trouble in the Valley.

A Delhi court ordered the release of nine persons arrested with a demonetized currency that was alleged to be used for funding terror in Jammu and Kashmir. NIA special judge Tarun Sahrawat directed their release with immediate effect, if not required in any other case, after the central agency submitted that the possession of the demonetized currency does not fall under the UAPA or any scheduled offence handled by the NIA. Of the nine persons, three hail from Jammu and Kashmir, two from Delhi, two from Mumbai (Maharashtra), and one each from Uttar Pradesh and Nagpur (Maharashtra).

The NIA said on scrutiny of material available on record, it appeared the nine were part of a conspiracy to commit offences under Section 7 of the Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liabilities) Act. "However, this conspiracy is found to be distinct from the conspiracy for which a chargesheet has been filed... in the court on 18 January against 12 other accused," the NIA said. On January18, the NIA filed the chargesheet under stringent anti-terror laws against seven jailed Kashmiri separatist leaders on charges of conspiring with Pakistan-based terrorist leaders Hafiz Saeed and Syed Salahuddin to wage a war against India to secede Jammu and Kashmir.

BSF troops foiled an infiltration bid along the IB in Samba District. “Suspicious movement was seen close to the International Border in Samba sector late last night”, sources said. Alert BSF troops fired upon the infiltrators forcing them to return, they said, adding that no more movement was seen later.

A CPI-Maoist cadre, identified as Birbal Oraon, was killed in an encounter with SFs at Bhitar Pandra village in Latehar District of Jharkhand. "We had information that the squads have been active in the Garu area for past several days and an anti-Naxal operation was launched to apprehend them," SP, Prashant Anand said adding that the Maoists have started firing at the approaching security personnel, forcing them to retaliate. SP, Prashant Anand said a Maoist identified as Birbal Oraon was killed while some others have received bullet injuries in the cross firing. However, the Maoists managed to escape, he said.

The Palvancha Rural Police arrested underground ‘squad commander’ of the CPI-ML-New Democracy Chandranna faction, identified as Mora Ravi (35), at Reddygudem village in Palvancha Mandal in Bhadradri Kothagudem District of Telangana. Ravi returned from Srikalahasti in Andhra Pradesh after undergoing treatment for some illness, a Police team swooped on his house at Reddygudem, arrested him and seized a 12 bore tapancha with three live cartridges from his possession. Ravi had earlier worked in the CPI-Maoist for a brief period of less than one year, during which time he was allegedly involved in the killing of local Congress leader Venkat Reddy at Reddygudem in October 2012. He surrendered to the Police in February 2013, but a few years later joined hands with the CPI-ML-New Democracy Chandranna faction. He also allegedly killed Rayala Bhaskar, a farmer of Narsampeta in Palvancha Mandal, due to personal rivalry in August 2017 with others. Ravi was wanted in several cases including murders, attempt to kill and extortion registered in Palvancha Rural, Gundala and Bodu Police Stations, SP, Ambar Kishor Jha.

CPI-Maoist cadres attacked the base camp of a private construction company and set ablaze poclain hydraulic machine on Dobh-Dhangai road under Barachatti Police Station area in Gaya District of Bihar. A large number of CPI-Maoist cadres attacked the base camp of a private construction company engaged in construction of bridge over Harha River on Dobh-Dhangai road and took all labourers in their custody. They (Maoists) set ablaze the poclain machine of the company and also vandalised its property. They managed to escape from the spot after the incident and raids were being carried out to arrest them, said Police. "Eight people had been taken into custody for interrogation,” Police said and added that investigation was on to ascertain which outfit of the Naxalites was responsible for the attack.

An arms dealer identified as T Paominlen was arrested from Churachandpur District. Recovered items include 47 live rounds of 5.56mm, 12 rounds of 9mm calibre.

February 2

The Odisha Police arrested an unnamed man who alleged to be a part of counterfeit Indian currency notes racket, from Balasore District of Odisha and recovered 100 FICNs of denomination INR 2,000. The arrest was a lead from two unnamed students who purchased clothes from a store in Baripada of Mayurbhanj District in Odisha. Both students were detained by the locals of Baripada town and later handed-over to Rasagobindpur Police. During the interrogation, the accused has admitted to purchase 100 FICNs by paying INR 10,000 to an unnamed man in West Bengal, said ASP Dinanjan Nayak.

The NIA arrested Mohammed Riyaz/Riyas—a resident of Kannur in Kannur District of Kerala, from Chennai Airport in Chennai District of Tamil Nadu. Mohammed Riyaz was alleged to force his wife to convert to Islam and attempted to sell her to the IS operatives in Syria. We had prior information about Mohammad Riyaz travelling from Jeddah city (Saudi Arabia) via Colombo (Sri Lanka) and arrested upon his arrival at Chennai Airport. He has been interrogated at NIA office in Chennai and his arrest has not been officially recorded so far, said an unnamed NIA officer. Mohammed Riyaz is also accused of using Fake Indian Passport.

Authorities foiled the ‘Shopian march’ programme called by the separatist APHC by clamping restrictions in Srinagar’s old city and in south Kashmir’s Shopian District. Authorities imposed strict restrictions in twin districts of South Kashmir including Pulwama and Shopian and all roads leading to Shopian were sealed by SFs. Barricades were erected at multiple places to prevent movement of vehicles and people. Amid curfew, people in several parts of Pulwama tried to march towards Shopian but were stopped by Police. Strict restrictions were imposed in Srinagar’s old city and Maisuma.

Both Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq defied the house arrest to march towards Shopian but Police stopped Geelani and detained Mirwaiz outside his Nigeen residence. Mohammad Yasin Malik had gone into hiding since January 31 and he managed to reach Shopain where he addressed people at Jamia Masjid. He was arrested soon after he came out of Masjid.

A Police official said that overall the situation remained peaceful in the twin districts. “There were no reports of any untoward incident from anywhere in the Valley although some stray stone pelting incidents were reported from some places,” he said.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said that situation was not conducive for revocation of AFSPA in Jammu and Kashmir even as she described ‘Mufti Sayeed’s Vision’ of opening more cross-LoC roots and strengthening people-to-people contact between two parts of Kashmir as only viable solution to the Kashmir problem.

In her 47 minutes speech on the grants of her Departments in the Legislative Assembly, Mehbooba once again took on the separatists slamming frequent ‘Chalo calls’ given by them saying it leads to violence with youths becoming victims and also denounced them for using Mosques for holding meetings saying the people were fed up with such calls and want peace. She also referred to the taunt of NC leader Omar Abdullah and said she was ready to go to the hell if it helps the people of Kashmir. Responding to the demand made by CPM veteran MY Tarigami on revocation of AFSPA in Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba said: “we too want that this should end. Footprints of the security forces should be reduced. But is it realistic in a situation when large number of people are gathering at the sites of encounters and pelt stones on security forces?” She said she too wants that footprints of security forces should be reduced and AFSPA go but presently situation is not like that. “The more there will be use of guns and stones, there will be more footprints of security forces. Even when I was in Opposition, I too got many bunkers and camps of security forces removed but in 2017, people came to us saying they need camps as the militants won’t come in the areas where there will be camps. And when there will be no militants, there will be no searches,” she quoted people as saying.

Stone pelting incidents in Jammu and Kashmir is ‘not a law and order issue’, rather these are outcome of a cleverly drafted conspiracy by Hurriyat leaders, including Syed Ali Shah Geelani and terrorists like Hafiz Saeed and Syed Salahuddin, orchestrated with the covert and overt support and funding of Pakistan, the NIA claimed. "Stone pelting in Kashmir has become a full-fledged industry wherein the cadres of Hurriyat and its constituent groups have organised themselves at district, tehsil, wards and mohalla level, and leaders at appropriate stages have formed an armed wing represented by masked stone-pelters, consisting mainly of youth of Kashmir Valley," says NIA chargesheet. Terming separatists as the ‘political face of the terrorism in Kashmir’, NIA said that APHC and terrorists have devised strategies as part of their "larger plot to break Jammu and Kashmir away from India".

There are planners, strategists, fund raisers, cash couriers, logistic and support network, executors, publicity managers and political propagandists who continuously devise strategies and programmes by way of organising bandhs (strikes), forcible closure of roads, government establishments, damaging public property including burning of schools, arson, bank looting and directing mass violence against security forces, in general and at encounter sites, it said. The Hurriyat cadres — called 'Rukuns' — collect funds from shopkeepers, businessmen and residents of Kashmir, sometimes even threatening apple growers to pay INR 5 to INR 10 lakh. These professional stone pelters initiate violence in various urban, semi-urban and rural areas of Kashmir, by coercing innocent people to attack Army, CRPF or J&K Police, thereby using them as "cannon fodder". To control the engineered violence, SFS deployed for maintenance of law and order are "often compelled to use force, including pellet guns", NIA says, adding that youth injured by pellet guns are used as "trophies" by the separatists to highlight their agenda.

Asserting that violence has affected the economy of Kashmir, NIA said, "The long periods of shutdown and massive violence/stone pelting has brought Kashmir to the brink of economic collapse". NIA probe has further revealed that Kashmiri students who go to Pakistan universities are either relatives of former/active militants or known to Hurriyat leaders.

Over 40,000 personnel of the Central Paramilitary Forces will be deployed to provide security for the upcoming panchayat (village local administration) elections in J&K. The UMHA has decided to deploy 300 companies of CAPF of which 85 will be from the CRPF, 75 from the BSF, 55 from the CISF, 40 from the SSB and 45 from the ITBP. Apart from these, 101 training companies of these forces, already present in the State, will also be utilized for election purpose. The State Government has decided to hold the elections from February 15.

Jharkhand Police launched Long Range Patrolling (LRP) in Naxal affected areas in Pakur District of Jharkhand. The Police launched LRP campaign under the leadership of ASI, Satyendra Kumar Rai in the village of New Kathledi, Amjari, Vishanpur, Dudhjore, Bargo and Khandokanta in Pakur District of Jharkhand.

The C-60 personnel of Gadchiroli Police exchanged fire with CPI-Maoist cadres during an inspection of the area in Kumadpar forest area in Gadchiroli District of Maharashtra. The Police recovered one .303 rifle, two 12-bore rifles and other Naxal material after CPI-Maoist cadres fled into the jungle, said Police.

Assam Police registered a suo moto case of sedition against the filmmaker, Himangshu Prasad Das, who had openly sought help from ‘leader’ of the ULFA-I, Paresh Barua, to ask film distributors not to take his film (Shakira Ahibo Bokultolor Bihuloi) off screens to make way for the Hindi movies 'Raees' and 'Kaabil' last week. Police said that it was a very serious crime and they were waiting for an individual or organisation to file a FIR, but when that did not happen, they chose to take up the suo moto case.

February 3

Suspected JMB operatives Mohammad Paigambar Sheikh (24) and Jamirul Sheikh (31) told the West Bengal Police that they had planned eight serial blasts in Bodh Gaya to avenge the alleged atrocities on Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. Indian passport, cellphone, laptop, electrical tapes, wires and switches, gloves, incriminating documents and 50kg of ammonium nitrate were recovered from their possession. Plastic lunch boxes similar to that found in Bodh Gaya were also recovered. An officer said the JMB members could not plant the other five IEDs as the first one exploded near the Kalchakra Maidan in Bodh Gaya on January 19. One IED planted below a generator set near Kalchakra Maidan had partially exploded leading to the recovery of two others just a few metres from the entrance of a Tibetan monastery where Buddhist spiritual leader the Dalai Lama was staying during that period. The intelligence agencies had tracked several calls in West Bengal before and after the January 19 incident, he said. "Ammonium nitrate granules were also recovered from partially exploded IED. It was perhaps to increase the destructive power of the bomb," the officer said. "Mohammad Sheikh had studied at several madrassas in Bihar, including Gaya and Katihar. He was trained in making bombs and explosions at a terror camp organized by JMB at Bardhaman in West Bengal between 2012 and 2013," a Bihar Police officer said. He also said Jamirul was an Arabic language teacher at a madrassa in Darjeeling. "Mohammad Sheikh had smuggled the explosives used in the three IEDs from Bangladesh. Jamirul's role was to arrange human resource and transport for carrying the explosion," he said and added that JMB, a banned outfit in Bangladesh, was also linked with a couple of international terror organizations. Sources said JMB has very active cadres in West Bengal and Assam. Some of its members, wanted in Bangladesh, are suspected to be hiding in Bengal.

The BSF recovered seven kilograms of heroin from an unidentified area near the border outpost New Dona Rai Dina Nath (DRDN) at the India-Pakistan border in Forezepur Sector, Ferozepur District in Punjab, reports The Tribune. The heroin was wrapped in seven packets, each of a kilogram, of polythene and was concealed under the grass near the International border. The international market value of the recovered heroin is worth INR 35 crores, said an unnamed BSF official.

The NIA arrested Mahfuz/Mahfooz Alam (22), a Gopalganj (Bihar) based man who had arranged accommodation for LeT terrorist Abu Naeem Sheikh alias Sohail Khan alias Zabbar Khan who had lived covertly in Gopalganj from December 2014 to March 2017, The Times of India reports on February 4. Earlier, Sheikh was arrested from Varanasi on November 29, 2017and on his indication later the NIA arrested Bedar Bakht alias Dhannu Raja from Gopalganj on December 3, 2017. Earlier, Bakht was also associated with NSUI. Later, the agency arrested Tausif Ahmed Mallik from Pulwama in South Kashmir on December 9, 2017.

Sheikh, originally a native of Aurangabad in Maharashtra, was on a covert reconnaissance mission in India for LeT to identify potential targets for a terror attack. He had conducted recce of hydropower projects and Israeli tourist attraction spots in Himachal Pradesh, Gorakhnath Temple in Uttar Pradesh, Patna airport, Bihar Regimental Centre, army and para-military installations in South Kashmir and several other places across India on commands of his Pakistan based LeT handler Amzad alias Rehan who is in-charge of terror operations in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Maldives. Photographs of several vital installations were recovered from Sheikh after his arrest.

It was on Mahfuz's indication that NIA conducted raids at Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh on February 3, and arrested two hawala (illegal money transaction) operators Dinesh Garg and Adesh Kumar Jain who were pumping money for Sheikh's terror operation after receiving it from UAE. Indian currency of INR 42.84 lakh along with currencies of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, USA, Japan, Thailand and Oman were seized from shops and residence of the duo. Apart from them, two currency counting machines, laptops, cellphones, firearms including a Chinese pistol, three laptops, seven cellphones and some document. NIA also got some cell phone number of suspects during the raids.

The NIA has been surveillance over Tasleem alias Rocky—a resident of Kannur (Kerala) but staying in the UAE, for allegedly financing the travel of IS sympathisers from Kannur (Kerala) to Syria. Tasleem provided financial support of 4,000 US dollars (approx. INR 2.5 Lakh) to Mohammad Shajil alias Abu Dhain—a resident of Kannur (Kerala) for meeting his travel expenses to Syria and stay-over in Turkey. So far, Tasleem has not been charged as an accused but there is a need to make sure if Tasleem has any links with IS and its active module in Kerala, said an unnamed NIA officer. The NIA teams of Delhi and Kochi are questioning other two cases related to the migration of Kannur residents to Syria.

Four people were wounded as militants lobbed grenades at a CRPF patrol in Batagund village in Pulwama District. The wounded include two CRPF troopers and two civilians.

SFs arrested two Pakistan-trained LeT militants in North Kashmir’s Baramulla District soon after they returned. The militants, who had gone to Pakistan on valid Pakistani visa to obtain arms training to undertake militant activities in the Valley, were arrested during a joint operation by the Baramulla Police, 52 RR of Army and CRPF. SF official said the militants had obtained their passports specifically for the purpose of arms training. “These militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba were nabbed immediately after returning via the Wagah-Attari border before they could formally join the militant ranks here in Kashmir,” said a Police officer.  He identified the arrested militants as Abdul Majeed Bhat, resident of Kreeri, and Mohammad Ashraf Mir, from Pattan.

The officer said that on questioning, the duo revealed that they underwent training in Pakistan along with a large number of Pakistani boys, most of whom were from Balochistan and as young as 10 years. “The said terrorist training camps are located near Burma Town in Islamabad, and being run by a terrorist commander operating under code names Hanzala, Adanan and Omar. Other terrorists imparting training to young boys are operating with code names Osama, Naveed and Hataf,” he said.

He said that the arrested militants were given Pakistani visas by the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi. “It is pertinent to mention here that in the past couple of years, police have unearthed several such modules that lure young boys to Pakistan to get trained and join militancy. In the past, several such boys have been arrested, while some of them were killed in encounters,” he added. A case was registered and an investigation is underway. “Parents are requested to keep watch on their wards. Their prolonged absence from home should be immediately reported to police so that lives of these boys can be saved,” he added.

One Policeman was seriously injured as Maoists opened fire on a Police team in the forest area of Tippapuram village in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh. A composite squad of security personnel, including the STF, DRG, District Police, was out on patrol when the ultras opened fire, Police said. The Policeman, identified as Constable Arvind Salaam, sustained serious injuries in the attack. "After the naxal firing, Police launched a retaliatory attack. The exchange of fire lasted for around one-and-a-half hour following which the naxals fled from the spot," Police said. There is a possibility that some Maoists died in the Police firing, they said.

Maoists set on fire 10 vehicles near Bhattiguda village under Modakpal Police Station limits in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh. Police officials said that construction of road was in progress between Kongupalli to Bhattiguda. "This morning, Naxals came to the spot and asked the labourers involved in road construction to stop the work and then torched the vehicles," an official said.

An unidentified militant belonging to the NSCN-K was killed and another injured during an exchange of fire with the AR at Ozakho village in Longding District.

AR arrested a militant of NSCN-R, identified as Kamsing Ngemu, from Miao town in Changlang District. According to the sources the arrested militant was involved in several extortion cases in Miao town in the name of ‘SS Captain Jimmy’.

SFs arrested a linkman of the ULFA-I, identified as Bubul Das alias Bubul Barman, at Sarupathar in Golaghat District. According to Police sources, the ULFA-I had appointed some persons for abduction and extortion and the arrested linkman was one of them.   

In a statement, the PDCK militant strongly opposed the move of the Government of India to give citizenship rights to the Hindu Bangladeshis in Assam and said that the organization would resist the move.

Anti- Naxal Force from Kodagu, Mangaluru and Heggadadevanakote, along with Kodagu Police team, began combing operations, at Sampaje forest area in Kodagu District of Karnataka, after CPI-Maoist cadres were allegedly spotted in the vicinity on February 2. The CPI-Maoist cadres turned up in Guddagadde village near Sampaje (Kodagu-Dakshina Kannada border) were clad in uniform that resembled the attire of army men and introduced themselves as Maoists. According to Shankappa, a resident of Guddagadde village, three CPI-Maoist cadres came to his house and asked his family to prepare dinner. The trio could be Maoist Vikram Gowda and his associates, One of them could be aged around 60, said a villager. The combing operation in Chadavu, Arekallu, Subramanya and other reserved forest areas continued till late in the evening, said Kodagu SP, Rajendra Prasad and DSP, Sunder Raj.

Prasanta Tapadhar Dikagre, a manager of a firm was abducted from his home at Rongsa Awe in South Garo Hills. Police stated that the abduction gang comprised of ex- militants of GNLA.

February 4

Nudging out WhatsApp that has been one of the most popular mobile applications among terrorist outfits, private chat rooms available on Google Play Store that do not leave any trail even for a single day are now becoming the top picks of jihadis. Sources in intelligence agencies say in the past few years many Android-based applications have come up in the market that draw users by promoting the unique selling proposition of end-to-end encryption. "Apps such as ICQ, Wickr and Jabber are the most popular private messengers available on Google Play Store. The terror outfits have been using these apps for internal communication that includes radicalisation of youths and for spreading motivational speeches. These apps are now officially being used by the terror organisations for plotting strikes," according to intelligence agency. Experts say jihadi fanatics can now instantly talk to each other using software that scrambles their messages so no one else can read them. IS extremists were till recently using Viber, which also offers the ability to encrypt messages, but have now ditched it because it allegedly keeps a record of the messages users have sent.

Mumbai-bred terror suspect Abdul Subhan Qureshi had allegedly approached the IM’s absconding ‘chief’ Riyaz Bhatkal for help, including weapons, to organise targeted attacks on members of a political party in Gujarat after the arrest of 13 senior SIMI leaders in March 2008. A then BJP MLA and a party office-bearer were on the terror hit list, according to counter-terror sources associated with the probe against Qureshi, who was arrested in Delhi recently. But Bhatkal allegedly convinced him instead to help in terms of manpower for his conspiracy to conduct blasts, on the ground that target attacks were ‘small work.’ Qureshi is being questioned for his alleged role in terror activities, including the July 2008 Gujarat blasts conspiracy. After the arrest of the SIMI leaders, including the then chief Safdar Nagori at their safe house in Indore, Qureshi, alias ‘Touqeer’, took over the mantle of the banned outfit and allegedly began re-organising, exhorting trusted operatives for ‘action’ as a retaliation against the arrests and the loss of Muslim lives in the Gujarat riots of 2002, said a source. He allegedly arrived in Ahmedabad in April and met SIMI members, he said.

An Army Captain and three soldiers were killed and four persons including two Army and BSF jawans and two teenage civilians were injured in heavy ceasefire violations by Pakistan army almost across all major Sectors on the LoC in the twin border Districts of Poonch and Rajouri in which Pakistani troops also used missiles. Official sources said that Pakistan army initiated unprovoked and indiscriminate firing of small arms, automatic, mortars and missiles on the LoC in Bhimber Gali sector of Rajouri District. In the firing and shelling, four Army soldiers including a Captain were martyred and another jawan was injured in Tarkundi area in BG sector of Poonch District. The Indian side retaliated effectively, leading to heavy exchanges that continued till late night. The killed soldiers were identified as Captian Kapil Kundu (23), Rifleman Ramavatar (28), Rifleman Subham Singh (23), and Havaldar Roshan Lal (43).

Pakistan activated almost all major Sectors on the LoC in Rajouri and Poonch Districts including Sunderbani, Nowshera, Manjakote, Poonch, Mendhar and Balakote by resorting to heavy mortar shelling and firing in some of the forward areas targeting Army posts and civilian areas. The Indian side retaliated at all places. Two teenagers, Shahnaz Bano (15) and Yasin (14), were injured when a mortar shell exploded close to their house in Shahpur sub sector of Poonch District in the afternoon. They were evacuated from the site of firing and shifted to hospital, where they were responding to the treatment. A BSF ASI was injured in Sunderbani sector in Rajouri District. Sources said Pakistan side was also reported to have suffered heavy losses in retaliatory shelling by the Indian troops at all the places.

Since January 18, death toll in ceasefire violations by Pakistan on the LoC and IB has gone up to 18 as 14 persons including eight civilians and six security personnel were killed during past fortnight. However, there has been no ceasefire violation on the IB in Jammu, Samba and Kathua Districts since January 22. Firing and shelling by Pakistan on the LoC has become a regular feature. There was panic among the border dwellers along LoC as Pakistan continued to target civilian areas in both Rajouri and Poonch districts. During the past several days, people were mostly confining themselves to their houses. Schools also remained closed for past several days in shelling hit areas on the LoC.

CPI-Maoist cadres killed Manoj Podiyam (24), an employee of a road contractor, at Gatam village under Katekalyan Police Station limits in Dantewada District of Chhattisgarh. Podiyam, the deceased, was working as an accountant with a private contractor engaged in road construction work in the area. Maoists stormed into Podiyam's house at Gatam, around 400 kilometres from State capital, Raipur, and shot him in front of his wife, the Police said. Podiyam's sister-in-law Muskan Mandavi (10) was hit in the leg by a ricocheting bullet.

A Police Constable was allegedly abducted and killed by the Maoists in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh. “Assistant constable Sitaram Bagde, abducted last night, was found dead near Kachlaram village under Farsegarh police station limits on February 5,” DIG, south Bastar range, Sundarraj P said. The Maoists set ablaze a passenger bus near Kachlaram between Farsegarh and Toynar late on February 3, after asking its occupants to get down, the officer said. Subsequently, they stopped some passersby, including Bagde, who was on his motorcycle, at the spot. “When Naxals discovered his identity, they took him to forest along with them,” he said. Bagde’s body with his throat slit was spotted by some locals this morning, the DIG said.

Two Maoists, who were carrying a total reward of INR 1.1 million on their heads, surrendered before Kondagaon, SP, Abhishek Pallava in Kondagaon District of Chhattisgarh. The surrendered Maoists included ‘East Bastar Division company number 6’ member Umesh Kumeti (18) and Bayanar LOS member Sampo Korram (17), Police said. The State Government had announced a reward of INR 800,000 on the head of Kumeti, while Korram was carrying a reward of INR 300,000. Both rebels were wanted in connection with the Tetam, Tushpal and Irpanar Maoist attacks on SFs during 2016 and 2017, Police said.

Police arrested Mahesh Singh Kharwar alias Aditya ji, a ‘zonal commander’ of the CPI-Maoist, from Taal village under Panki Police Station area in Daltonganj City in Palamu District of Jharkhand. Palamu, SP, Inderjeet Mahtha said “This is a big catch for us. We nabbed him while he was returning from Patna in Bihar after medical treatment. He has confessed to his involvement in encounters with the security forces at Burha Pahar last January.” Acting on the inputs provided by Kharwar, Police conducted raids at the house of one Umesh Yadav in Andag village under Panki Tehsil of Palamu District during which a desi katta, five live cartridges, a bundle of codex wire was recovered. The SP said that Kharwar, brother-in-law of Maoist ‘commander’ Chhotu Singh Kharwar, had joined the Maoists ranks in the age of 14 and had been working for them since then.

Over 30 percent of the 4,600 bulletproof jackets received by Maharashtra Police failed the AK-47 bullet test during trials. The jackets returned to a Kanpur-based manufacturing firm were from three different batches. The jackets are primarily meant to be used by Police Personnel during anti-Maoist operations in Gadchiroli District of Maharashtra and in other areas, the QRT of Mumbai Police and the Force One, the elite commando force raised after the 2008 terror strikes. The State Police started receiving the jacket consignments in the last quarter of 2017. “We have sent back 1,430 bulletproof jackets to the manufacturer as they did not pass our test with AK-47 bullets," said ADGP, Procurement and Coordination, V V Laxminarayana.

The Maoists have given a call for ‘Dandakaranya-Telangana’ bandh against State and Central Governments for implementing anti-people policies, detaining innocent tribal people and “killing Maoists in fake encounters”. The Police beefed up security in all the Bhadrachalam agency areas in Bhadradri-Kothagudem District of Telangana along the Telangana-Chhattisgarh border and conducted vehicle checks extensively.

Tension has mounted on the AP-Telangana border with the CPI-Maoist cadres resorting to violence during the last few days. The Central Forces taking up anti-Maoist operations in the border forests have sounded an alert. CPI-Maoist cadres have restricted the Paramilitary forces from gaining entry into Maoist strongholds by digging trenches and felling trees on the roads. The CPI-Maoist leaders are holding meetings with the villagers in tribal pockets. With the CPI-Maoist cadres intensifying their movements in Chhattisgarh and Odisha, the Greyhounds parties have been alerted and combing operations stepped up. PLGA cadres damaged the roads, blasted a bridge and injured three persons including a CoBRA of the CRPF personnel and two civilians in the last few days. The AP Police recently stressed on deployment of more police forces to curb Naxal activities. The Maoist problem is an inter-State issue; we are holding discussions with our counterparts in the Naxal -dominated States. The cooperation from the officers is good. The Police are conducting medical camps and sports activities to win the hearts of the public in tribal pockets, said Police official.

In some declassified reports of CIA of the United States of America, it was revealed that the North Eastern militant groups had been receiving Chinese assistance in terms of arms and training since 1960s. The CIA report was submitted on July 26, 1968 and from the report it is evident that the militant groups of the Northeast were receiving help from China even during that time. The report said that the Naga militants first established contacts with China in December, 1966. The report revealed that the first batch of approximately 200 militants crossed over to Northern Burma (now Myanmar) to obtain arms training in Yunnan.

According to the security sources, Assam is a vulnerable place in the North East for the increasing Jihadi threat. Potential risk according to the sources includes existence of sleeper cells in the State. The source also said that in recent promotional videos, jihadi groups mentioned about the ethnic cleansing of Muslims in BTAD area for several times. Sources also pointed out that growing presence of the jihadi elements in Bangladesh like JMB, which has affiliation with Islamic State is also a serious matter of concern for India, particularly for the Northeast.

In some declassified reports of CIA of the United States of America, it was revealed that the North Eastern militant groups had been receiving Chinese assistance in terms of arms and training since 1960s. The CIA report was submitted on July 26, 1968 and from the report it is evident that the militant groups of the Northeast were receiving help from China even during that time. The report said that the Naga militants first established contacts with China in December, 1966. The report revealed that the first batch of approximately 200 militants crossed over to Northern Burma (now Myanmar) to obtain arms training in Yunnan.

The West Bengal Police arrested Azhar Hossain (22)—a suspected militant of JMB, and recovered huge collection of ammunition and IED explosives from his possession in Ratnapur village in Samserganj Tehsil of Murshidabad District of West BengalThe Police presented Azhar Hossain before a court in Jangipur in Murshidabad District (West Bengal) and sought 14-days Police custody. The Police charged Azhar Hossain under Sections 120, 121, 122, and 123 of the IPC, 1860. The Police team raided his house and recovered 75 rounds of ammunition, a loaded magazine, 25 kilograms of explosives and jihadi literature, said an unnamed officer of the District Intelligence wing. “Interrogations of the arrested accused have revealed that several modules and sleeper cells of the JMB are now active in Murshidabad and neighbouring Districts of West Bengal. They have recruited several youngsters so far,” said an unnamed Police officer.

The BSF South Bengal Frontier recovered 97 FICNs in denomination of INR 2,000 which worth INR 1.94 lakh from nearby of India-Bangladesh border in Baishnabghata of Malda District, West Bengal. Meanwhile, the courier carrying the bundle of these FICNs took the advantage of fog and darkness and managed to escape. Acting upon the Intelligence inputs, the BSF troops laid an ambush around 11:30 pm (IST) as they spot a man boarding a motorcycle approaching from the Kamat Bandi village in Haldibari Tehsil of Koch Bihar District (West Bengal) and challenged him to stop. The man turned his motorcycle and fled but a bundle of FICNs fell from his possession, said an unnamed senior BSF official.

Bihar’s Economic Offence Unit (EOU) plans to formed Cyber Crime and Social Media Unit (CCSMU) to tackle the cyber incidents in the state. The CCSMU will be established in all 40 Districts including Bettiah and Naugacchia and would function with skilled gadgets and experts to support the local Police Force as they lack the skills and expertise in tackling the cybercrime incidents. The EOU had received 333 cases of cybercrime incidents in 2017 and it raised the need to establish a CCSMU in all Districts to handle such incidents. The Central Government has released around INR 82 crores out of which INR 3 crores have been used to form the CCSMU, said EOU’s ASP Sushil Kumar. The money for this project would be coming out of the Nirbhaya Fund that was implemented as an initiative to enhance the safety of women and girls. The fund stands to INR 3,100 crores.

Five members of a FICNs gang with links to a group based in Afghanistan in Cumbum town in Theni District of Tamil Nadu, along with FICNs in denomination of INR 2,000 worth INR 2.61 Lakhs. During the interrogation, one of the members identified as J. Ajmal Khan claimed that the gang was involved in distribution of the counterfeit currency notes and the notes were printed by his father in the same town. Based on his claim, the Police raided his house and recovered the FICNs. His father and other unidentified gang members were also arrested said unnamed source of Tamil Nadu Police.

Around 100 armed CPI-Maoist cadres blew up BSNL tower at Edira village in Venkatapur Mandal in Jayashankar-Bhupalapally District of Telangana. CPI-Maoist cadres arrived at the Edira BSNL tower spot and stopped vehicular traffic on the Venkatapur-Vajedu road for about two hours. They planted bombs in the cabin and solar system and blasted the tower. The BSNL tower was 35km away from the Mandal headquarters and 15km from the Chhattisgarh border.

Bihar Police arrested Eight CPI-Maoist cadres, including one ‘commander’ of CPI-Maoist, from three different places in Gaya District of Bihar. In the first incident, five CPI-Maoist cadres identified as Shankar Dayal, Sanjay Reddy, Siddhesh Kumar, Gopal Prasad of Padumachchak village and Dilip Ravidas of the Mohanpur village, associated with RCC, is a splinter group of the former MCC now CPI-Maoist,  were arrested by Barachatti Police. The arrested CPI-Maoist cadres have confessed of their involvement in set ablaze of poclain hydraulic machine on Dobh-Dhangai road under Barachatti Police Station area in Gaya District on February 1. The Police recovered two pieces of detonator, five gelatin, one kilo phosphorus, sutar, Aadhaar card, mobile and globes. These five Maoists were produced in court and sent to jail. In the second incident, STF arrested two CPI-Maoist cadres identified as CPI-Maoist commander Sunil Yadav and his partner Dhananjay Ravidas in Gaya District of Bihar. The duo have admitted of their involvement in burning of set ablaze of poclain hydraulic machine on the Harrah river and also in Amas and Gurua, said Barachatti Police Chief, Chetnanand Jha and  CRPF Inspector, Ajay Kumar Sahu. In the third incident, Police arrested CPI-Maoist cadre identified as Shrikant Manjhi, who is absconding  for the last 11 years from Jarlahi village, said Mohanpur Police Station In-Charge, Neeraj Kumar.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh stated that militant activities in northeast India have been checked due to Bangladesh’s great help and support. The Minister stated that ‘Bangladesh’s immense help and support facilitated India to tame the terrorist activities in northeastern states. Our relation with Bangladesh now at best place’.

Suspected NSCN-K militant, identified as ‘captain’ Phuto Konyak was arrested from Aboi town in Mon District.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on February 4 stated that militant activities in northeast India have been checked due to Bangladesh’s great help and support. The Minister stated that ‘Bangladesh’s immense help and support facilitated India to tame the terrorist activities in northeastern states. Our relation with Bangladesh now at best place’.

February 4-5

SFs killed an NDFB-S militant at Belguri village in Chirang District. .  A 7.62mm pistol, one 7.62 mm magazine and two rounds of 7.62 mm pistol live ammunition were recovered from the militant.

February 5

DGP of Assam, Mukesh Sahay, said that the peace talk with KPLT militant would be started soon. Earlier on January 30, the Assam Government announced to withhold counter-insurgency operations against KPLT till April 20. This followed the declaration of a six-month unilateral ceasefire from October 20, 2016, by the KPLT.

The Uttar Pradesh ATS has arrested Sheikh Ali Akbar—a resident of Ghazipur District of Uttar Pradesh, who had close connection with terrorist groups operating in Kashmir Valley, reports The Times of India. Sheikh Ali Akbar was arrested from Lohia Path (Road) in Lucknow, Lucknow District (Uttar Pradesh). The four terrorist that were arrested from Bandipora District in J&K on February 4 had informed Police that Akbar was an associated with them and had taken INR 40,000 for supplying them weapons. Akbar’s mobile phone had several ‘terror videos’ and he was an active member of nine groups created on social media sympathising terrorism, said ATS’ IG Aseem Arun.

The Kashmiri militant group affiliated to al Qaeda—Ansar Ghazwat ul-Hind (AGuH) released a video which claims to highlight the last will of Afzal Guru from Tihar Jail in Delhi. The ten-minute video released by AGuH’s media wing al-Hurr has images of Indian PM Narendra Modi, Pakistan’s former PM Nawaz Sharif, former US President Barack Obama and slain HM militant Burhan Wani. The narrator in the video repeatedly provoked the youngsters from the Kashmir Valley to jihad against the Indian SFs and considered Kashmir as a ‘jail’ surrounded by the Indian SFs till it gets free from India.

A civilian, identified as Arif Lone was injured after the Army allegedly opened fire on protesters in South Kashmir’s Kulgam District. The incident occurred after few youth pelted stones on an Army patrol in Hawoora-Mishpora village of Qoimoh in Kulgam. The injured youth was hit by a bullet in his mouth.

Militants attacked an Army camp with a grenade at Kakapora area of Pulwama District. Militants attacked the army’s 50 RR camp in Kakpora with a grenade at around 8.30 pm. In retaliation, Army fired several aerial rounds. However, there was no immediate report of any casualty so far. The area has been cordoned off and searches are being conducted to find out militants responsible for the attack.

Police filed a charge sheet against four militants of LeT for the killing of SHO Achhabal and his five security guards in June 16, 2017. The SIT headed by Tahir Ashraf Bhatti, SP, carried investigation and during the course of investigation it was established that LeT headed by Bashir Lashkari were involved in the attack. On the basis of evidences collected during the course of investigation involvement of eight persons was established, of which two have been arrested. The arrested include Sandeep Kumar son of Ramesh Kumar of Muzaffar Nagar (UP) and Mohammad Ashraf Wani alias Molvi son of Ghulam Nabi Wani of Branti Anantnag. The two main accused Bashir Ahmad Wani alias Bashir Lashkari son of Ghulam Ahmad of Soaf Shali Kokernag and Abu Maz of Pakistan were killed. The four others involved in the killings Khurshid Ahmad Ganie of Branti Dialgam, Mehraj- ud-din Bangroo of Narparistan Feteh Kadal Srinagar, Sahir Ahmad Makroo of Arwani Bijbehara and Zeenatull Islam Shah of Malnard Sugan Shopian are absconding.

Police busted an OGW module of JeM by arresting five OGWs in Awantipora area in Pulwama District. Police said that on the basis of a specific input, Awantipora Police along with CRPF and 50 RR arrested a former Pakistan trained militant, Sajad Ahmad Bhat son of Ali Mohammad Bhat of Hergam Wuyan and after questioning he disclosed that he along with other OGWs of the JeM outfit were involved in the grenade throwing incidents in Pampore and Khrew areas. Police said that upon his disclosure four OGWs were arrested and arms and ammunition were recovered from them. They were identified as Umar Gani Sheikh son of Abdul Gani Sheikh resident of Drangbal Pampore, Jan Mohammad Khanday alias Jehangir son of Abdul Rashid Khanday resident of Meech Pampore, Owais Ahmad Bhat son of Abdul Rashid of Danak Mohalla Khrew and Muzaffar Hussain Bhat son of Ghulam Mohammad of Tulibagh Pampore.

Police said that the JeM which was earlier having strong basis in Tral had been dislodged from the area by conducting intelligence based operations in which some of the top commanders were eliminated and large number of hideouts were busted. Police added that after continuous operations in Tral they shifted their focus in Khrew and Pampore belts. They said JeM ‘commander’ Noor Mohammad Tantray alias Noor Trali, who was killed last year, was the key in creating this network of OGWs. “After his elimination, the OGWs were operating under the command/instructions of Mufti Waqas of Pakistan who replaced Noor Trali as ‘commander’ of JeM in South Kashmir.

The Indian Army clearly indicated it would take retaliatory action against the killing of four army men in heavy shelling by Pakistani forces along the LoC in the Rajouri District of Jammu and Kashmir, saying that its action would speak for itself. Vice Chief Lieutenant General Sarath Chand said the Army has been responding appropriately to Pakistan shelling, asserting that India will continue to give a ‘befitting reply’ to such acts. “That (retaliation) goes without saying, I think I don’t have to say that. (Our) action will speak for itself,” he said when asked about the killing of a Captain and three other Army men in the Rajouri sector.

Chand also accused the Pakistani army of supporting the infiltration of terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir. “We will continue with our process of giving a befitting reply (to such acts),” he told reporters on the sidelines of an event here, adding that there were even incidents of mutilation of bodies of jawans last year. “We have been responding appropriately,” he said. “There has been cross-border shelling from their (Pakistan’s) side. And one of the shells landed near the officer and his men, leading to the casualties,” he said when asked about yesterday’s (February 4) shelling. Army sources said the Pakistan army had used 120mm mortars and Anti-Tank-Guided Missiles on February 4 in the attack in which the four Army men were killed. Usually the Pakistan army uses 80mm mortars.

The Kashmiri militant group affiliated to al Qaeda—Ansar Ghazwat ul-Hind (AGuH) released a video which claims to highlight the last will of Afzal Guru from Tihar Jail in Delhi. The ten-minute video released by AGuH’s media wing al-Hurr has images of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, former US President Barack Obama and slain HM militant Burhan Wani. The narrator in the video repeatedly provoked the youngsters from the Kashmir Valley to jihad against the Indian SFs and considered Kashmir as a ‘jail’ surrounded by the Indian SFs till it gets free from India.

A CPI-Maoist cadre was killed in an encounter with the Police in a forest area under Etapalli area in Gadchiroli District of Maharashtra, during the day-long bandh called by Maoists in the Dandakaranya region. The incident occurred in Etapalli area at around 3 PM when the Maoists opened fire at a patrolling team of C-60 commandos, the Gadchiroli Police said in a release. "After the gun battle, the Maoists fled while leaving the body of a male ultra behind," it said. An 8 mm rifle and articles of daily use of Maoists were recovered from the spot, according to the release. Police are trying to identify the slain Maoist.

Maharashtra ATS arrested Saidul Singapanga (36), for ‘Maoist links’ and produced in a sessions court of Mumbai. Chief Public Prosecutor Lata Chheda told the court that the interrogation of the seven others arrested earlier had led them to Singapanga. “The current accused’s name had reflected in the statements of other witnesses. Along with one of the accused, he had gone to collect funds for the party,” Chheda submitted before the court. “At the time of the arrest of the other men, he was not at his house,” the investigating officer of the ATS told the court. Earlier, SATP had reported that the seven other persons, identified as Ajay Dosri alias Krishna Lingaya alias Venugopal (40), Shankarayya, Babushankar Banguri, Narsayya, Ravi Marpalli, Ramesh Golala and Satyanarayan alias Sataya, were arrested from various places in Thane District of Maharashtra. The Police claimed that the arrested persons working as labourers and members of trade unions, were looking to recruit members for the Maoist organisation. The court sent Singapanga to Police custody till February 12.

The Bandh called by CPI-Maoist in protest against repression by Centre and State Government was peaceful and total in the forest Mandals, Charla of Bhadradri Kothagudem District of Telangana and Venkatapur in Jayashankar-Bhupalapally District of Telangana. Shops and establishments, including cinema theatres, petrol bunks and educational institutions, remained closed.

Six wagons and the locomotive of a goods train derailed on the Kirandul-Visakhapatnam railway section in Dantewada District of Chhattisgarh, after  CPI-Maoist cadres  uprooted the rail tracks to disrupt train traffic during a Bandh called by them. The CPI-Maoist cadres uprooted the tracks between Bhansi and Bacheli, leading to the derailment of six wagons and the engine of the goods train. The train, loaded with iron ore, was on its way to Visakhapatnam from Kirandul, derailed around 7 pm in the forests under Bacheli Police Station limits and there were no casualties reported.

CPI-Maoist ‘(CC) member’, Vijay Arya, allegedly involved in nearly two dozen cases of Naxalite violence in different states including Bihar, Jharkhand and undivided Andhra Pradesh will be soon presented in a Sub-Divisional Court in Punjab in connection with a case registered against him. The case against Arya was registered in Kharar Sub-Divisional town of Punjab. Arya is currently lodged in Gaya Central jail. Jail authorities have already received the production warrant from the Punjab court. He has also been granted bail in all the three cases registered against him in Gaya District. The other ongoing cases are in various stages of trial. Being a high security prisoner, Arya needs proper and well-trained escort. "I have requested the SSP to depute Police personnel for taking Arya to the Punjab court," said Jail Superintendent, Rajiv Kumar.

The total length of roads sanctioned under RRP for development of roads in LWE affected areas in 34 Districts is 5422 kilometres. The total length awarded and constructed so far is 5419 kilometres and 4486 kilometres respectively. The total expenditure incurred since the inception under the scheme upto March 31, 2017 is INR 62.1 billion. During the current Financial Year 2017-18, an allocation of INR 7 billion has been made.

The ED has attached movable and immovable properties valued at INR 8.6 million of a CPI-Maoist leader, identified as Sandeep Yadav alias Vijay Yadav, in-charge of Madhya Zone of BJSAC. This is the first ever attachment of properties of CPI-Maoist leader by any agency in India.

The attached properties include three plots in the name of his wife Rajanti Devi in Aurangabad District of Bihar, two similar plots in Gaya District of Bihar and an advance payment amount of INR 1.43 million made by Yadav's son-in-law for a flat in Dwarka area of Delhi. A few vehicles and bank deposits have also been attached as part of the order issued by the agency. The ED said it took cognisance of Yadav's alleged criminal activities after going through over 100 FIRs and charge-sheets filed by Bihar Police against him, his brother Dhanik Lal Mandal and other family members, including his wife and son. During investigation, it has been revealed that cash to the tune of more than INR 10.50 million was infused in several bank accounts and immovable assets held in the name of family members of Sandeep Yadav out of which properties valued at INR 8.6 million have been detected and attached, said ED.

Police arrested an arms dealer identified as Sabirul Ali alias Bhagin from Khundigarh in Goreswar area of Baksa District.  One 7.65mm pistol (factory made) with one magazine and five 7.65mm live rounds were recovered from him.

Unidentified militant of unknown militant affiliation from Karbi Anglong District. An IED was recovered from the militant.

NIA chargesheeted  ‘military chief’ and ‘deputy chief’ of  NDFB-S G Bidai alias Bishnu and M Batha alias Binod, in connection to the killing of five Adivasi at Pakriguri in Kokrajhar District in December 2014.

NIA had earlier filed charge sheets against a total of 14 persons in the case. According to the investigation, at least 14 heavily armed NDFB-S militants of 'Serfanguri platoon' attacked Pakriguri village in Kokrajhar District on December 23, 2014, following orders issued by Bidai and Batha.

On December 23, 2014, NDFB-S killed over 70 people in several areas of the State in a series of attacks upon the Adivasi community.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on February 4 stated that militant activities in northeast India have been checked due to Bangladesh’s great help and support. The Minister stated that ‘Bangladesh’s immense help and support facilitated India to tame the terrorist activities in northeastern states. Our relation with Bangladesh now at best place’.

ULFA-I militants opened fire at Borhat tea estate in Charaideo District. According to the Charaideo SP militants came from reserve forest adjoining the tea estate and went back there. They targeted the factory and office and opened fire and hurled a grenade from the road in front of the factory. The attack comes within 10 days of a similar attack at Kanubari tea estate, 25km from Borhat tea garden, in the same District. Two employees received minor wounds in the incident.

SFs have launched joint operation from February 6 night in and around Kanubari Tea Estate area. According to SFs group of about 20-25 militants have been seen moving in the area.

Two AR troopers were wounded when unidentified militants hurled two grenades at the Polo Ground in Imphal West District which was hosting equestrian championship. The wounded troopers have been identified as Uttam Kumar and Bahadur Limbu. No militant group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

All missionary schools including the 72 Catholic schools, 17 higher secondary schools and three colleges in the state in and around Imphal have been closed for indefinite period following threats from the KCP-MC.

A school teacher identified as Ethwilton D Sangma who was abducted by a gang of Bangladeshi criminal gang from the border village of Dimapara in West Garo Hills on January 21 was released at the Indo-Bangla border near Jatrakona under Gasuapara police station in South Garo Hills District.

Mizoram Home minister R. Lalzirliana said that State Government would hold peace talks stated with  H. Zosangbera led HPC-D on March 5. However the minister cautioned that ‘The next round of peace talks will be on a political level but we are not sure whether we will be able to settle all issues within March [2018]. But we are desirous of solving the Hmar problems and sign an agreement as soon as possible.’

February 6

The Delhi Court has framed terror charges including conspiracy against IM operative Yasin Bhatkal and other eight associates in a case of allegedly establishing an ‘illicit’ arms factory. The Additional Sessions Judge Sidharth Sharma framed the charges under Section 18, 20 of the UA(P) Act,1967. Along with Yasin Bhatkal, other IM members including Zia-Ur- Rehman, Tehsin Akhtar, Mohd Waqar Azhar, Mohd Maroof, Mohd Saquib Ansari, Imteyaz Alam and Aijaz Shaikh, were also charged. The next hearing is schedule on March 7.

The Union Minister of State for Home Affairs (UMoSHA) Hansraj Gangaram Ahir addressed the Lok Sabha (the Lower House of the Indian Parliament) and stated that UMHA has approved INR 33 crores for ‘E-Prisons’ project for 2018-2019, which aims to modernise the prisons with efficiency in prison management through digitisationThe e-Prison project would assist the Prisoner Information Management System (PIMS) meant for centralised access for recording and maintaining prisoner information and other essential details.

The Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan and Afghanistan Government officials on signed an agreement through which India would provide a financial assistance of USD 100 million for 108 small development centric projects in AfghanistanIndia’s assistance will certainly have a positive impact on the lives of the people of the Afghanistan and there will be expected delays in the implementation of the projects, said Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah at the signing ceremony. Pointing to the intervention of Pakistan, Abdullah Abdullah has said that some countries in the region could not achieve anything by firing missiles and suicide attacks.

The Union Minister of State for Home Affairs (UMoSHA) Hansraj Ahir told the Lok Sabha (the Lower House of the Indian Parliament) that in past three years, 400 Security Personnel were martyred while fighting terrorism in J&K and counter-CPI-Maoist operations across L-WE affected states. Between 2015 and 2017, 572 civilians and 199 Security Personnel had lost their lives, while in J&K 72 civilians were killed and 201 Security Personnel were martyred in terror-related incidents. In 2017, there were 342 violent incidents were registered in J&K, in which 80 Security Personnel were martyred. With a rise in killing of 150 terrorists in 2016, 213 terrorists were killed in 2017. In January 2018, 28 violent incidents were recorded in J&K in which four Security Personnel were martyred and eight terrorists were killed, said Hansraj Ahir. Replying to the separate question about insurgency in North-East states, Ahir replied that in 2017, 308 incidents were recorded, which is a decline from 484 incidents in 2016, 574 incidents in 2015, and 824 incidents in 2014. The fatalities of civilians decreased to 37 in 2017 in comparison to 87 in 2016; 12 Security Personnel were martyred in comparison to 17 counts of the same in 2016. In total, 57 extremists were killed in 2017 as compared to 87 in 2016, said Ahir.

The NIA team arrested a hawala (illegal money transfers) operative named Abdul Samad in connection to the LeT activities in India from Haridwar in Haridwar District of Uttarakhand. Abdul Samad was produced before the designated court. The court sends him to the NIA custody of six days, said an unnamed NIA official. Allegedly, Abdul Samad is a prominent hawala operative whose activities area included Muzaffarnagar, Deoband, in Uttar Pradesh and Roorkee in Uttarakhand. He also acted as a channel for a LeT financer based in Saudi Arabia, said an unnamed NIA Spokesperson. In November 2017, Abdul Samad collected INR 5.50 Lakh from hawala operators in Muzaffarnagar (Uttar Pradesh) to deliver it to Shaikh/Sheikh Abdul Naeem/Nayeem, an active LeT member. Shaikh visited and established bases in Bihar, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and J&K on the directions of his handler Abdul alias Rehan based in Pakistan, said an unnamed NIA official.

The Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir informed the Lok Sabha (the Lower House of the Indian Parliament) that post-demonetisation, in total INR 21.54 crores of the FICNs in denomination of INR 100, INR 200, INR 500, INR 1,000 and INR 2,000 has been recovered between November 9, 2016 and December 31, 2017 by various Security agencies. In total, 39,604 FICNs in denomination of INR 2,000 and 74,155 FICNs in denomination of INR 500 were recovered. Information received from Security and Intelligence agencies also indicates the involvement of Pakistan in manufacturing and smuggling of FICNs into India, said Ahir.

The representatives of India and the EU pledged to cooperate to deal with terrorism as both [India and EU] seeks to share information and Intelligence on terrorist outfits and their respective safe havens. India and EU have a lot in common interests and EU is in close contacts with the Indian authorities and organisations on counterterrorism measures. EU is in favour to a rules-based International order, said the Ambassador of the EU to India Tomasz Kozlowski during a press conference. In a statement, both India and EU representatives mutually agreed to strengthen the partnership for decisive actions against the terrorists and terror outfits that are proscribed globally, including Hafeez Saeed, Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, Dawood Ibrahim, LeT, JeM, HM, Haqqani Network, al Qaeda, IS and their affiliates. The cooperation would also focused on sharing information on countering the online radicalisation, and to further enhance the skills through trainings and workshops.

Two Police personnel were killed in a daring attack by LeT operatives to free a Pakistani terrorist from Police custody when he was taken to SMHS hospital in Srinagar. Naveed Jat alias Abu Hanzullah (22) resident of Sahiwala in Multan Punjab in Pakistan who was arrested on June 21, 2014 from Kulgam District of South Kashmir, fled from Police custody when he was taken to SMHS hospital in Srinagar in the morning from Central Jail Srinagar for medical checkup. Naveed along with five other jail inmates were taken to hospital for treatment in the morning. Sources said that two militants handed him a pistol inside the hospital and in no time, he fired at the Police guarding him, who were injured critically. The two militants and LeT ‘commander’ took the advantage of panic that gripped the hospital and fled away. The two Police Personnel, identified as Head-Constable Mushtaq Ahmad and Constable Babar Ahmad Khan who were being treated in the SMHS hospital, later succumbed to injuries.

SSP Srinagar, Imtiyaz Ismail Parray said that Naveed was brought from Central Jail Srinagar for medical checkup. He had a scuffle with escorting Police party and suddenly two persons appeared and opened fire. In the incident, two Policemen suffered injuries, who later succumbed. Police and SoG of Jammu and Kashmir Police immediately laid a cordon and conducted searches in the area but the LeT commander and his associates had already fled. An alert was sounded in Srinagar district to intensify the searches to trace out the fleeing inmate and his associates. However, no traces of the LeT commander and his associates were found.

Naveed was ‘district commander’ of LeT for Shopian district and close associate of LeT ‘chief’ Abu Qasim, killed in 2015. Naveed was operating in South Kashmir since July 2012 and before this he was operating in Lolab in Kupwara District, for one year.  He was involved in the killing of an ASI in Pulwama in 2013 and a CRPF man in Shopian besides snatching of two weapons from them, killing of two Policemen near the District Court complex, Pulwama in 2014. A Police officer, who interrogated him at the time of his arrest, said that Naveed is mentally tough and was most dreaded militant when he was operating in South Kashmir. He said that the LeT was planning to get him out of Jail for last few months with an aim to rejuvenate the outfit. The officer said that if not tackled immediately, Naveed has the potential to re-organize the LeT which has been shattered due to successful operations.

Pakistani troops again resorted to heavy shelling along the LoC in Rajouri and Poonch Districts. “There was heavy shelling by Pakistan troops along LoC in Tarkundi and Manjakote sectors this evening [February 6],” sources. The tension along the LoC has increased after a young Army Captain and three jawans (troopers) were killed in Pakistani shelling on February 4. However, there were no casualties or damage in the shelling on Indian side. Indian troops retaliated shelling at all places effectively.

Reports said that in the absence of any diplomatic detente, the deadly war of attrition between India and Pakistan along the 778-kilometers LoC and 198- kilometers IB in Jammu and Kashmir has taken a sharp turn for the worse ever since the ‘surgical strikes’ of September, 2016. There were as many as 860 ceasefire violations (CFVs) along the LoC and another 120 along the IB in 2017, the highest-ever such tally in over 15 years. The number of CFVs has already touched 241 across the LoC in the first 36 days of this year, claiming the lives of nine Indian soldiers, as per Army statistics.

Army chief General Bipin Rawat said the Pakistan Army is "suffering three to four times the number of casualties compared to us" in the CFVs. Given the current mood, these long and bloody tit-for-tat fire assaults across the border, with even light artillery guns, heavy mortars and anti-tank guided missiles often coming into play from both the sides, are not going to ebb anytime soon. A day after a young captain and three soldiers were killed in heavy shelling by Pakistani forces in Rajouri district, Army vice-chief Lieutenant General Sarath Chand on February 5 warned of strong retaliatory action to avenge the losses. "That (retaliation) goes without saying. I think I don't have to say that. (Our) action will speak for itself," he said. Added another senior officer, "Pakistan is hurt more than us...that's why the Pak Army refuses to give its casualty figures to its own Parliament. We estimate 130-140 Pak soldiers were killed in our cross-border firings and tactical operations last year." But Indian soldiers have also paid a heavy price. Of the 62 who laid down their lives in J&K last year, 15 were killed in CFVs, 17 in infiltration and other incidents along the LoC and 30 in counter-terrorism operations in the hinterland.

As many as 515 infiltration cases from across the border in Jammu and Kashmir have been reported in 2017 in which 75 militants were killed, the Lok Sabha was informed. Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju said that 515 infiltration cases were reported in 2017 in which 75 militants were killed in comparison to 454 cases in 2016 in which 45 militants were killed. In 2015, altogether 223 infiltration cases were reported in which 64 militants were killed, he said replying to a written question. Rijiju said that SFs have taken appropriate measures by strengthening over-all security, including operational grid with enhanced human intelligence and use of technical intelligence grid, at the borders as well as in hinterlands to deal with such insurgency activities.

As many as 11,566 SFs personnel were injured in 4,736 stone-pelting incidents in the Jammu and Kashmir during the last three years, the Jammu and Kashmir Government said. As many as 110 civilians and two Policemen also lost their lives during these incidents, it added. In a written reply to a question by Congress MLC Naresh Kumar Gupta in the Legislative Council, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said that as many as 9,670 Police personnel and 1,896 SFs personnel were injured in 4,736 incidents of stone-pelting during 2015, 2016 and 2017.

The year 2016 saw 9,235 personnel getting injured in stone-pelting, the highest figure for these three years. There were 1,198 such incidents in 2017 and 1,690 SFs personnel were injured. In 2015, 641 SFs personnel were injured in 730 incidents in 2015, the Chief Minister said. As many as 110 civilians and two Policemen were killed during these incidents in 2015, 2016 and 2017, she said.

The number of local youths joining militancy in Jammu and Kashmir went up to 126 in 2017, a sharp increase from 88 the year before, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti informed the Assembly in Jammu. “As many as 66 youths joined militancy in 2015, 88 in 2016 and 126 in 2017,” the Chief Minister said while replying to a written question by NC leader Ali Mohammed Sagar.

A report in December last year (2017) said that 2017 had seen the highest number of local recruitments to various militant groups in seven years. This was denied by DGP S P Vaid.

Data for the number of youths recruited is available from 2010. According to data placed before Parliament in March 2017, there has been a steady increase in the number of youths taking up arms in the Kashmir Valley from 2014 onwards, as compared to 2011, 2012 and 2013. In 2010, 54 youths joined militancy. This dipped to 23 in 2011 and slipped further to 21 in 2012 and 16 in 2013. In 2014, the number shot up to 53 and went up to 66 in 2015 before touching 88 in 2016, according to the data.

The spurt in locals joining militancy began after the killing of HM)s poster boy Burhan Wani in an encounter in south Kashmir on July 8, 2016. Security officials feel there is a difference between present day militants and those of the early 1990s. The ideological conviction of the present lot is stronger than that of the terror groups during the early days, they said. There is concern that the Valley is witnessing a trend of ‘pan-Islamisation’, where young boys are opting for terrorism knowing full well that they are at the risk of being killed, the officials said.

NC leader Ali Mohammed Sagar’s question in the Assembly also related to separatists detained in the past three years. According to Mehbooba, certain separatist leaders, including two women, were detained under provisions of the PSA to prevent them from acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of the state or maintenance of the public order. The Chief Minister, who also holds the portfolio of the Home Department, said 2,694 people, including 96 women, are lodged in different jails of the State. The 228 convicted prisoners include eight women. Besides, there are 2,156 under trials, including 88 women. Of the 213 detained under the PSA and NDPS Acts, one is a woman, she said. She said details of prisoners (state subjects) lodged in various jails outside the state are not maintained by the Home Department. No person affiliated with any recognised political party is under preventive detention as on date, she added

GoI’s Special Representative on Jammu and Kashmir, Dineshwar Sharma visited border town of Poonch and met a large number of delegations from all sections of society including the people living on the LoC, which was tense for past several months in view of continued ceasefire violations by Pakistan. Sharma received memorandums and inter-acted personally with the delegation members to know their problems and grievances and assured them that the Centre and State Governments were committed to resolve all issues including problems faced by the border dwellers. The border people raised the demands like construction of bunkers, increase in compensation for casualties and damages due to Pakistan shelling and firing and some other issues. A number of local organizations raised the issues of development in Poonch District, which, they said, has been neglected. On February 7 (today), Sharma will meet delegations in border district of Rajouri.

In what may well be a significant achievement for security and intelligence agencies, terror outfit Islamic State (IS) has not been made to make any significant inroads into the Kashmir Valley, said Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir. Hansraj Ahir informed the Lok Sabha that last year, one incident related to ISIS was reported from the Valley where slogans were shouted in support of the terror outfit. The incident was reported last November from Srinagar.

Top intelligence sources claimed that ISIS has been making sustained efforts to increase its footprint in the country specially with increasing use of the social media. However, Indian security agencies have been able to successfully neutralise ISIS’ efforts, especially in the Valley due to which it has not been able to make any presence in terror activities in the region. “Our agencies which is closely monitoring ISIS activities on social media have managed to either block or delete a lot of material on these platforms which are aimed at attracting the youth in the Valley”. “The trend continues in other parts of the country also due to which apart from the Valley also ISIS does not have significant presence despite sustained efforts in the country,” a senior intelligence official said

The ‘Operation All Out’ - the joint offensive launched by Army, CRPF, Jammu and Kashmir Police, BSF and IB to neutralise terrorists in Kashmir has 'triggered' infighting among the top three Pakistani Army and ISI-funded terror outfits in the State. According to an exclusive report of the Multi-Agency Centre (MAC) of the IB, Hafiz Saeed-headed LeT and Masood Azhar-led JeM have requested the ISI to replace HM ‘chief’ Sayeed Salahudeen with top HM ‘commanders’ like Aamir Khan or Imtiaz Alam as ‘Operation All-Out’ continues to kill more militants.

In fact, according to the MAC report, Salahuddin himself has expressed willingness to step down with Khan, Alam and few others lobbying against him. Salahudeen also heads the UJC, which was formed by the Pakistan Army and maintains unified command and control over anti-Indian militant groups operating in Jammu and Kashmir. Salahudeen has been the Council's head with the approval of Saeed and Azhar. The UJC comprises 13 terror outfits like Harakat-ul-Ansar, Al-Badr and Tehrik-ul-Mujahideen besides LeT and JeM.

Former Director General of Military Operations Lieutenant General Vinod Bhatia said, "Yes, LeT and JeM have asked the ISI to replace Salahudeen because of operations like Operation All-Out which are conducted on specific and right intelligence provided by locals. Kashmiris are fed up of terrorist organisations. LeT and JeM want to remove the breathing space creating by Operation All-Out." "The Pakistani Army and the ISI want to fuel violence in Kashmir. We should ensure that there is no vacuum in the state, especially in South Kashmir," Bhatia said when asked that is it ISI's plan to get a new HM commander to infiltrate more terrorists. "ISI will try to control the infighting because it provides money and weapons to these outfits," he added.

Defence expert Shankar Prasad said that the report is good news for India. "If the top three or four terror outfits in Kashmir are fighting among themselves, it is good news for India. It should be encouraged; it is part of tactics," he said. Prasad also said that the ISI also wants to control the outfits. "In the last four to five years, these outfits have become like unguided missiles. They are becoming increasingly independent and getting out of ISI's control. The Pakistani Army and the ISI want to rein in these outfits under pressure from America, which has squarely asked Islamabad to tackle terrorism," he said.

Three CAF personnel were injured in an IED blast triggered by CPI-Maoist cadres in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh. Injured constables, Nitesh Dewangan, Anil Dhruv and Bhaluram Toppo, were returning to their base camp after conducting search operation in Kutru-Farshegarh area, DSP, Khoman Singh, said. The SF personnel were returning after carrying out an anti-Maoist operation when the blast occurred in a forest near Ranibodli village, around 450 kilometres from State capital, Raipur.

A jawan of the BSF sustained bullet injury in an early morning encounter on February 6, between SFs and armed Maoists in Gome Pahadi under Koyelibeda Police Station area in Kanker District of Chhattisgarh. The exchange of fire took place in a forest when a joint team of the BSF’s 35th battalion and the District Force was out on an anti-Maoist operation, SP, K L Dhruv said. When the SFs were advancing through the forest between Gome and Gattakal villages, when a group of Maoists fired on them leading to the gun battle, Dhruv said. However, the rebels soon escaped from the spot, while Constable Virappa KB, belonging to BSF’s 35th battalion had sustained injuries in his leg below the knee in the encounter.

The CRPF deployed to combat CPI-Maoist in Chhattisgarh has taken up the responsibility of educating the children in the Maoist-affected villages, by providing free coaching. In Cherpal village under Bijapur Tehsil of Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh, where a group of 30 to 40 children of age not more than 15 years can be seen sitting on a bench under a tree and a CRPF jawan (trooper) of 85 Battalion teaching them with the help of a board. Through this, the CRPF is not only trying to improve the future prospects of these children but also protecting them from getting recruited by Maoists who are known for training young children for combat operations.

SFs recovered couple of IEDs from a school toilet at Kukukala under Naudiha Police Station area of the Palamu District of Jharkhand. The incident was planned by CPI-Maoist squad led by Abhijeet Yadav and Sanjay Bodra to inflict damage on the SFs but would have changed their plans at the last moment as Security Personnel no longer stay there, said Palamu SP, Inderjeet Mahtha. The SFs recovered the IEDs with 10 pieces of detonators, 30 meter of codex wire, batteries and bombs were defused, added Chattarpur, SDPO, Shambhu Kumar Singh.

The Odisha Government has sought deployment of two additional battalions of CAPF in LWE-affected Districts in the State, MoS for Home Affairs, Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said. The MoS for Home Affairs also said the “level of violence” in Kalahandi District of Odisha does not warrant it to be included under the category of ‘Worst Affected LWE Districts’. The Odisha Government has requested the Centre to include the District in this category. “The Government of Odisha has requested for two additional battalions of CAPF for deployment in LWE affected areas,” Ahir said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha. Further, the MoS said deployment of CAPF in LWE-affected States is a dynamic process based on the situation, availability of forces and other ground realities.

Currently, eight battalions each of CRPF and BSF, as well as one battalion of CoBRA are deployed in Odisha to assist the State Police in anti-LWE operations, he added. To a query on whether the Odisha Government has requested enhancement of bandwidth of mobile towers under LWE scheme, Ahir said that in December 2017 the DoT approved enhancing bandwidth from 512 kbps to 2 Mbps at all VSAT sites under the first phase. “This includes all 144 VSAT sites of Odisha,” he said.

Andhra Pradesh Police neutralised a CPI-Maoist dump at Amtakuru in Kurnool District of Andhra Pradesh. The Police found a plastic drum hidden underground and recovered one live grenade, one wireless set, 35 grenades and explosive materials during a search operation in Nallamalla forests.

Two militants of NSCN-R arrested from Songking in Changlang District. A pistol and ammunition were recovered from the militants who were identified as Channong Matcha and Jimreves Kimsing.

Two grenades exploded inside the Transit Camp of AR located near Minuthong bridge in Imphal West District. The wounded men have been identified as Amar Sargari, Raj Kishore, Pradeep Sharma, S. Pradhan, Dependra Subardi, Rajesh Kumar, Umesh Kumar, H. Konyak and Sanju Lambu.

Manipur Chief Minister Biren Singh stated that a SIT will be constituted to investigate the February 5 grenade attacks in which two AR troopers were wounded.

SFs arrested a PLA militant rom Khurkhul Junction in Imphal West District. The arrested militant has been identified as Naurem John Mark alias Kangleicha.

South Garo Hills Police commandos of the SF-10 unit rescued an abduction victim identified as Prasanta Tapadhar Dikagre forests near Rongsa Awe in South Garo Hills.

MBDPF the apex body of Bru refugees lodged in six relief camps in Tripura has recently submitted a memorandum to Indian Prime Minister and Union Minister for Home Affairs. The memorandum stated that refugees had not received cash assistance from the Government since July 2017. The MBDPF also made several demands including allotment of minimum five acres to each family after repatriation to Mizoram and enhancement of rehabilitation and resettlement package.

Police arrested an extortionist identified as Lalan Sharma from Kohima. Documents of FGN, NSCN-IM, NSCN-K were recovered from him.

February 7

The NIA special court in Mumbai found guilty an IM operative—Haroon Naik in a case related to the FICNs and sends him for a six-year imprisonment.  Another accused of the same case—Asrar Tailor alias Sagari received the similar punishment. Whereas the NIA court acquitted Azhar ul-Islam Siddiqui alias Munna of all charges imposed on him in the same case. In 2011, the Maharashtra ATS raided a guest house in Wadala in Mumbai city District, Maharashtra and arrested Haroon Naik with Indian currency notes in denomination of INR 1,000 and INR 500 worth INR 9.75 Lakh.

JMB terrorists, who had suspected of planting three IEDs in Bodh Gaya on January 19, aimed for maximum casualty of Buddhist monks by triggering blasts with the help of three different techniques, according to intelligence sources. Intelligence sources said these techniques were different from the ones adopted in 2013 blasts at Bodh Gaya and Gandhi Maidan in Patna. In those blasts, IM terrorists had used the techniques suggested in an al-Qaida magazine. At Gandhi Maidan, water supply pipes and household light bulbs were used along with analogue timer, while at Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya, mini cooking cylinder and timers were used for detonation. In the recent low-intensity blast near the Mahabodhi Temple, the IED was kept in a plastic lunch box placed below a generator set near Kalachakra ground. Sources said the first IED exploded due to timer mechanism. "It had an analogue watch as timer. Another mechanism - pressure release technique - was also used. Had anyone opened the box before pre-set time, it would have exploded," sources said, adding the IED exploded only partially due to malfunctioning. "Ammonium nitrate-based explosives and mining detonators were used," sources said. The remaining two IEDs were concealed in bags in styrofoam plates and placed near gate number four of the Mahabodhi Temple and below a tree near the Tibetan monastery, where Buddhist spiritual leader Dalai Lama was staying.

Reacting to the recent edition of the Outlook India that featured a photo of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with the headline ‘Khalistan-II: Made in Canada’, the Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and a fellow Minister Amarjit Sohi—called the magazine’s heading ‘ridiculous’ and ‘offensive’ for accusing Canada for its involvement in the rise of Sikh terrorism. The published article depicts several alleged connections between the Canada and Khalistan movement along with accusing Sikh-Canadians exploiting Canada’s political system. “I have been a Police Officer and served my country [Canada] and such allegations are absolutely ridiculous and extremely offensive, said Harjit Sajjan.

The Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju informed the Rajya Sabha (the Upper House of the Indian Parliament) that two new Divisions—Counter Terrorism and Counter Radicalisation (CTCR) and the Cyber and Information Security (CIS), have been established on November 13, 2017 within the UMHA to tackle issues related to terrorism, radicalisation, cyber Security. At present, there are 20 Divisions in the UMHA, added Rijiju.

The Mukkom Police arrested two persons, both natives of Tamil Nadu, and seized FICNs worth INR 1 million, following a secret operation. One of the accused Suresh Kumar, resident of Salem District in Tamil Nadu, was arrested from a lodge room at Mukkom in Kozhikode District, along with FICNs to the tune of INR 50,000, following a tip off received by the Police. "On interrogation, we received information that a woman named Nirmala from Salem also is involved in the fake currency racket. Nirmala was arrested by a Police team from Salem and counterfeit currencies to the tune of Rs 9.5 lakh and equipment used for printing fake currency," said K P Abhilash SI of Mukkom Police Station. The Police have seized FICNs in the denomination of INR 2,000, INR 500, INR 200 and INR 100 from both the arrestees. Investigation is on to identify the remaining members of the network. According to Police, the some of the gang members of the same group were arrested by Thrissur Police in May 2017, with FICN to the tune of INR 300,000. The racket was trying to distribute the FICNs in different parts of Kozhikode District, Police said.

Three Army personnel were among six people injured in a mine explosion along the LoC in Rajouri District. An Army team was engaged in a security clearance operation along the LoC in the Sundarbani sector when a mine exploded, sources said. In the blast, three Army personnel and three porters were injured. They were hospitalised, sources added.

The Jammu and Kashmir Police claimed that they have arrested four members of a suspected Islamic State (IS) or Daesh module in the Valley. They have been identified as Waqar and Ashiq Hussain, both residents of Bandipora, Rizwan from Handwara and Zeeshan, a resident of Raniwari in Srinagar. A top Police official said that the arrested were under Police surveillance for sometime on the basis of information provided by Central intelligences agencies to Police. "They were in touch with the Kashmir chief of Daesh in Afghanistan, Huzaifa, who is a Kashmiri from Srinagar," the official said.

He said the youths had formed a social media group to be in touch with other Daesh recruits, radicalise youths and lure them to the terror outfit. "During interrogation, they said that they used to talk via an application on Internet and that Huzafia was their ideologue," the Police official said. It was alleged that Daesh handlers in Afghanistan had come in contact with them.

HM has claimed responsibility for February 6’s attack on a Srinagar hospital during which gunmen shot dead two Policemen and freed a Pakistani LeT militant brought for treatment in custody. In a nearly eight-minute audio released, Kashmir’s HM ‘commander’ Riyaz Naikoo claimed it was his men who raided the SMHS Hospital to free LeT terrorist Naveed Jhatt. Naikoo said Jhatt had ‘reached south Kashmir’ safely. On the killing of the two Policemen guarding Jhatt, Naikoo said, ‘They were forced to kill Kashmiris to free their Pakistani brother.’ Naikoo, who took over as HM ‘commander’ after Yasin Itoo’s death, added, “When we saw the children of the two policemen, we were heartbroken because we don’t want to kill any Kashmiri, but people who are aligning with India are forcing us to kill them.”

The HM message pointing to collaboration between militant groups did not surprise the security establishment. Jammu and Kashmir DGP SP Vaid said such coordination was seen in many other attacks. “All the militants groups are now working together. It’s not just this incident. Lately, we have been seeing many joint attacks by various groups,” he added. The HM is primarily an indigenous group, while the LeT comprises Pakistani nationals who infiltrate into India. The HM mostly trains cadre in forests across Kashmir, while Lashkar terrorists get commando training across the border. LeT spokesperson Abdullah Ghazanwi acknowledged militant outfits were coordinating at all levels and commended Kashmiri militants for the hospital raid to free Jhatt and described it as a “historic” feat. “The incident was an outcome of close coordination and cooperation among various Mujahideen organisations,” Ghazanwi said in a WhatsApp text to the local media. Such collaboration is a departure from the earlier strategy of Pakistan-based outfits to claim credit for attacks, according to a police officer tracking militancy in the Valley. “Now, there is a concerted effort to give attacks on security forces a more local name. Pakistan-based outfits are also trying recruit more locals,” the officer added.

LeT claimed responsibility for the attack at the SMHS hospital. LeT ‘chief’ Mahmood Shah owned up the attack in an emailed statement.

CM Mehbooba Mufti said in the state Legislative Council that 12 militants in Jammu and Kashmir had shunned the path of violence and returned to the mainstream in the last three years. From 2015 to 2017, 12 militants shunned the path of violence, but none of them gave representations for their rehabilitation under the Rehabilitation Policy 2004, the Chief Minister said. The number of local youths joining militancy in Kashmir went up to 126 in 2017, a sharp increase from 88 in 2016, Mehbooba informed the House on February 6. “As many as 66 youths joined militancy in 2015, 88 in 2016 and 126 in 2017,” she said replying to a question by NC’s Ali Mohammed Sagar.

Stone-pelting incidents in Jammu and Kashmir declined to 1,261 last year from 2,808 in 2016, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir informed the Rajya Sabha. The unusually high cases of stone-pelting incidents in 2016 were largely on account of violent protests that broke out after the killing of HM terrorist Burhan Wani in an encounter in July of that year. The total stone-pelting incidents recorded in 2015 were 730.

Hansraj Ahir, in written reply to another question in the Rajya Sabha, said 13 protesters were killed in 2016 due to pellets fired at them, while there were four fatalities from pellets last year (2017). All the 13 killings in 2016 pertained to the four months of unrest following Wani's killing. Ahir said the central Government had constituted an expert committee in July 26, 2016 to explore possible alternatives to pellet guns as non-lethal weapons. The recommendations of the committee were taken into account by the Government for appropriate implementation and accordingly, various measures, including the use of such as using PAVA-Chilli (shells and grenades) and STUN-LAC (shells and grenades) and tear smoke shells were used to disperse the unlawful violent protesters before the use of pellet guns, he said.

An ITBP Head constable, identified as Yelappa Koppad was injured in an IED explosion triggered by CPI-Maoist cadres in Narayanpur District of Chhattisgarh. The IED blast occurred two kilometres from Dhanora Police Station on Dhanora-Orchha road, when SFs were carrying out the road opening duty. Koppad was injured and taken to Narayanpur for treatment, said Police official.

SFs arrested a CPI-Maoist cadre from forest area of Basaguda in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh. SFs recovered detonator, wires and other equipment from him. The identity of the arrested CPI-Maoist cadre is yet to be asserted.

Two CPI-Maoist cadres identified as Jaya alias Shanti Masu Mattami and Ranita alias Sunita Namdev Kodape surrendered to the Police in Gadchiroli District of Maharashtra. The duo surrendered in the presence of SP, Abhinav Deshmukh. Mattami joined the military wing of the PLGA, in 2012 as a cadre of Bhamaragad Dalam. In 2013, she was shifted to the PLGA Platoon No.14, and in 2017, she was made the ‘deputy commander’ of the platoon. She was wanted in 29 cases including 11 murder cases, six cases of arson, and 12 cases of attack on Police teams. She carried a reward of INR 400,000 on her head. Kodape joined Aheri Dalam in 2013, and was transferred to Sironcha Dalam in 2016. She was an accused in eight cases of murder, four cases of arson, and 11 cases of attack on Police teams in the District. She carried a reward of INR 200,000 on her head. CPI-Maoist cadres had forcibly taken away Kodape from her parents when she was 13 years old. We hope these two surrenders will encourage others to shun the path of violence, said Police statement

SFs arrested two NSCN-K OGWs from Kherang Bisa village in West Siang District. The arrested militants have been identified as Dumai Singpho and Chojagam Singpho. The OGWs were involved in providing administrative support, covertly carrying out extortion and also peddling drugs for the group

SFs busted an arms and drug racket operating at Lilong in Thoubal District. A female member of the racket was arrested. SFs recovered three live rounds of ammunition.

Manipur CM formed the State Assembly that the NIA will probe the three explosions which took place on January 15, February 5 and 7 in Imphal’s high security areas.

UNLF claimed responsibility for February 7 grenade attack in AR transit camp. UNLF in a statement claimed that the attack was carried out by a special team of MPA carried out the attack.

UNLF statement also claimed responsibility for the February 5 grenade attack in which two AR men were wounded as well as the explosions on January 15 in M-Sector in Imphal East.

KCP-MC progressive issued a statement claiming that the ban imposed on Catholic Educational Society was ‘for the sake of the people’. The statement also claimed that they had not put the ban for making gains, demands or admission quota.

An arms smuggler identified as Thongkhansang alias Sang Suite was arrested at Khomintang in Churachandpur District. An M-16 rifle was recovered from him.

Mizo Zirlai Pawl lodged a complaint with Kawnpui Police against six Chakma families allegedly residing illegally in an area under Hortoki village council in Kolasib District. The students union claimed that the six Chakma families who came from neighbouring Assam were illegally residing in makeshift huts at Hrangakai Suar and Rawthla Li Zawn in Hortoki in Kolasib District.

One individual was arrested with arms from Tenning in Peren District.  One pistol and eight live rounds were recovered from the arrested individual, identified as Gaubeu Zeliang.

AR arrested three extortionists from GS Road and Kalibari in Dimapur. The arrested individuals have been identified as Rajendra Prasad Yadav, Suraj Jain and Paras Jain. Incriminating documents including extortion notes and INR 553,710 were recovered from the arrestees.

February 8

The NIA arrested two persons—Dinesh Garg alias Ankit Garg (34) and Adish/Adesh Kumar Jain (57) from Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh in connection to the ongoing probe of terror-funding to LeT for its activities in India. Including the arrest of Dinesh Garg and Adish Kumar Jain, the total number of people arrested in Hawala (illegal money transfer) risen to seven. Both, Dinesh and Adish were working as Hawala operators and were associated with some Indian gold smugglers based in Saudi Arabia. One of their channels was Abdul Samad who was also a Hawala operator and got arrested on February 6. The NIA team had raided Dinesh and Adish’s shop and house premises in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh regarding the same matter on February 3, said an unnamed NIA Spokesperson.

The Delhi Police arrested IAF officer Group Captain Arun Marwaha (51), for passing on the confidential IAF documents to Pakistan’s ISI agents who were masquerading as ‘models’ in two profiles on Facebook during mid-December 2017.  Allegedly, Arun Marwaha had been lured through seductive conversation through Whatsapp for a week or longer and used to click the pictures of classified documents related to IAF’s combat exercises including ‘Gagan Shakti’, placed at the IAF Headquarters, said DCP Special Cell Pramod Khushwah. Marwaha was produced before the court of Judge Deepak Sehrawat at Patiala House Court in Delhi and taken on five days of police remand by the special cell of Delhi Police. Marwaha's mobile phone has been seized and sends for a forensic examination. He also confessed to have had access to many secret documents and plans to leak them to ISI during his posting at the IAF Headquarters. A FIR has been filed against Arun Marwaha under Section 3 and 5 of the Officials Secret Act (OSA) on the complaint from an unnamed senior IAF official.

In a joint operation based on Intelligence inputs, the BSF and Punjab Police arrested Hans Singh—resident of Gajniwala Village, with two Kilograms of heroin, packed in four packets, worth INR 10 crores in international market, from nearby of India-Pakistan border outpost of Dona Raja Dina Nath, Amritsar Sector of Amritsar District in Punjab. The SFs also recovered a Pakistani mobile SIM card along with heroin buried under the soil.

The alleged IS operative Areeb Majeed forwarded his request seeking permission to ‘fight’ his case himself before the NIA Special Court and to discontinue the services of his appointed lawyer.  Areeb Majeed is under judicial trial facing the various charges of the UA (P) A 1967 and Section 125 of the IPC for joining the banned terrorist organisation—IS. He had been appointed former Chief Public Prosecutor and NIA’s Special Public Prosecutor Rohini Salian to defend his case in the court of law. The Prosecution was schedule to start the proceedings of the case but, Majeed forwarded his application before the designated Court. The court has adjourned the case for hearing on the application and Majeed have to obtain a ‘No Objection Certificate’ or NOC from his lawyer as per the legal procedure.

During a meeting the UMHA Rajnath Singh reviewed the measures taken to counter terrorism and FICNsRajnath Singh suggested the assessment of State’s Special Forces’ capabilities as they are the first responders to the incidents of terrorism. The Minister also emphasised on the ‘zero tolerance’ for terrorism and stated that all efforts must be synchronised to curb this evil from its root

A woman, identified as Zainab Bi was killed in fresh spell of heavy mortar shelling and firing by Pakistan army on the LoC in Poonch District. The Indian side retaliated shelling and firing effectively. Official sources said Pakistan started heavy mortar shelling and firing with automatic and small fire arms at Krishna Ghati, Mankote and Balakote sectors in Poonch District at 4.20 pm. The shelling and firing continued till 6.30 pm. The Indian side retaliated very effectively at all three places. Zainab Bi was hit by splinters or mortar shell, which exploded near her house in Balnoi and died on spot. Sources said fresh spell of shelling and firing left the people panicked as they again confined themselves to their houses and bunkers.

Police achieved a major breakthrough by unearthing the escape plot of LeT ‘commander’ Naveed Jhat and arrested 16 militants and their OGWs in this connection. The SIT investigating the escape of LeT commander from SMHS Hospital, picked up 16 militants and OGWs from South Kashmir and Budgam. Ten militants and OGWs were picked up from South Kashmir while six suspected were rounded up from Budgam. However, ADGP and IG Kashmir, Muneer Khan told a press conference in Srinagar that four persons including militants and OGWs were arrested in connection with the escape of Naveed. “To expedite the investigations, a SIT has been constituted by DIG CKR, Srinagar. The SIT so constituted conducted initial investigation and during investigation names of the following terrorists and OGWs involved in the commission of this act of terror, have surfaced”, he said. He said Shakeel Ahmad Bhat son of Mohammad Ramzan Bhat of Lelhar Kakapora Pulwama, Tika Khan son of Abdul Ahad Khan of Singu Narbal Pulwama, Syed Tajamul son of Syed Mohd Syed of Pahu Pulwama and Mohammad Shafi Wani son of Ghulam Mohi-ud-Din Wani of Singu Narbal Pulwama were arrested while Hilal Ahmad Rather son of Ghulam Rather of Begam Bagh Khan Mohalla Kakapora, Pulwama is still at large. However, sources said that Rather has joined HM.

Khan said that from the possession of Shakeel Ahmad Bhat and Tika Khan a pistol each with ammunitions has been recovered. “During the course of investigation it was established that Hilal, Shakeel, Tika Khan were masterminds in the whole conspiracy. Tika Khan has also been a frequent visitor to Central Jail Srinagar and was in contact with Naveed Jhat. He visited Central Jail on different pretexts. Moreover, Naveed and rest of the gang were in communication using mobile devices during the conspiring stage”, he said. He said that the escape of Naveed was hatched some months back from Central Jail and LeT and HM were actively involved in it. “However, the final planning to effect the conspiracy was done few weeks back at the residence of Tika Khan along with Hilal Ahmad Rather, Syed Tajamul, Shakeel Ahmad Bhat and Mohammad Shafi Wani”, he said.

A picture of Naveed Jhat has surfaced on the social media in which he is seen with HM ‘commander’, Saddam Padder from Shopian posing for a picture and carrying AK-47 rifles. After escape of Naveed, Police on February 8 raided the Central Jail Srinagar and recovered mobile phones and laptops from jail imitates. Police also shifted five detainees to various jails in Jammu division.

Government suspended Superintendent of Central Jail Srinagar, Hilal Ahmed Rather, two days after LeT ‘commander’ escaped from SMHS Hospital after a shootout in which two Police personnel were killed.

Three Army personnel, identified as Havaldar Lakhvinder Singh, Havaldar Balvir Singh and Lance Naik Charandeep Singh, were injured in Pakistani firing on the LoC in Poonch District. Earlier, SATP reported that a woman, identified as Zainab Bi was killed in Pakistan army firing on the LoC in Poonch District. Firing was also reported from Gulpur and Balakote sectors, however, there were no reports of loss of life.

A CPI-Maoist ‘jan militia commander’ was killed in an encounter with Security Forces (SFs) near Hiroli village in Dantewada District of Chhattisgarh. The exchange of fire took place late on February 7 evening in Dokapara forest under Kirandul Police Station limits when a joint team of SFs was out on an anti-Naxal operation, ASP, Gorakhnath Baghel said. "The composite squad of STF and DRG was cordoning off the forest area on the border of Dantewada and Bijapur districts, around 450 kilometres away from the capital, Raipur, when it came under heavy fire from ultras in Dokapara, leading to the gun-battle," he said. After the guns fell silent, the SFs recovered the body of a Maoist along with one 315 bore gun from the spot, the ASP said, adding that the Maoist has been identified as Ungami alias Chakra, who was active as a ‘jan militia commander’.

An exchange of fire took place between the Maoists and a CISF team, when a group of around 40-50 armed Maoists was spotted near a depot of the NMDC plant in Bacheli area of the Bailadila Mines in Dantewada District of Chhattisgarh. “The CISF neutralised the Maoists [who] ran towards Bijapur District … normal operations at the mining area have resumed,” a Police officer said.

The Police arrested three Maoists from Ketulnar village forest under Kutru Police Station limits in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh. The cadres, identified as Hadmo Podiyami (35) was active as a ‘militia commander’, while Raju Tati (30) and Budhram Podiyam (35) as a militia member and DAKMS member, were arrested from Ketulnar village forest under Kutru Police limits when a joint team of the DRG and local Police was out on a search operation, a senior Police official said. All three were wanted for the killing of a Police Constable, Suklu Gota, in Farsegarh area of the District in 2017. They were also wanted in cases related to loot, arson and the Arms Act.

The Police arrested CPI-ML-New Democracy’s Mahabubabad Division ‘secretary’ Bandaru Ilaiah alias Veeranna (50), in Mahabubabad District of Telangana. Police seized a 9mm carbine, a 9mm revolver and 28 rounds of ammunition and Rs. 33,000 from his possession. SP, N. Koti Reddy said they also arrested one Bhanot Ramu alias Bheemudu. Ilaiah belonged to Irusulapuram of Bayyaram mandal and joined the Naxal party three years ago after doing petty works. He was involved in shooting of S. Satyanarayana, another Naxal leader. He was also involved in eliminating three others M. Biksham, S. Veerabrahmam and Raghu belonging to Praja Pratighatana group.

The CPI-Maoist dalam member of Malkangiri District of Odisha, in the AOBSZC region, Muttha Rayi alias Beerayya (29), surrendered before SP, Vishal Gunni, along with wife and children, in East Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh. SP, Gunni said Rayi, who belongs to Penkurayi village of Kalimela mandal in Malkangiri District of Odisha joined the RPC dalam in 2004 and continued till 2012. He was elevated as ‘member of action team’ in 2005 and was armed with a SLR rifle and a pistol. After being elevated to the post of ACM in 2012, he left the movement and was reportedly hiding in Chennai, State capital of Tamil Nadu, fearing arrest by the Police. Rayi was allegedly involved in the killing of ‘Police informer’, Kimudu Harinath of Marriguda village under Donkarayi Police Station limits in East Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh, killing of a Constable of Odisha Police in Rajakonda village of Kalimela area in Malkangiri District in 2007, and was also involved in killing of two CRPF  jawans (troopers) in 2007. The SP said that Muttha Rayi was also allegedly involved in the killing of 21-personnel of the SOG team of Odisha that was travelling in landmine proof vehicle in 2008, and in killing of several persons branding them as ‘informers’.

KCP militant was arrested from Imphal East. The arrested militant has been identified as Nandeibam Saratjoy Singh. A pistol, two live rounds and an IED were recovered from the militant. This is part of the security measure taken up by Imphal East Police personnel in connection with the ban imposed against Catholic Schools.

Few missionary schools reopened in Imphal amidst tight security after reports of threats from militant groups forced them to remain shut for two days.

NSCN-IM has clarified that they will not use ‘force or coercion’ to make people boycott the upcoming election.  NSCN-IM was first to announce its call for ‘solution before election’, which was later picked up by the larger Naga civil society.

An individual identified as Naresh Chakma , was arrested with three .22 caliber pistols and 500 rounds of live ammunition at the railway station in the Badharghat area of Agartala in West Tripura District. According to authorities, the arrested individual stated that he was about to sell the weapons across the border in Bangladesh.

A local Court in Karnataka convicted Bilal Ahmed Quta alias Imran Jalal—an operative of LeT, to seven years of Rigorous Imprisonment (RI) in a case related to terror financing and money laundering. Bilal who mainly operated in Karnataka, was also subjected with fine of INR 50,000 by the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA)’s Special Court Judge Shivshankar Amarannavar. Bilal was arrested in January 2007 and the Karnataka Police had recovered an AK-series rifle, 200 bullets, five hand-grenades and a satellite phone from his possession.

February 9

The Murshidabad Police arrested three unidentified person and recovered FICNs worth INR six Lakhs in Murshidabad town in Murshidabad District of West Bengal. All three accused are residents of Malda District in West Bengal. Total of 388 FICNs in denomination of INR 500 and 203 FICNs in denomination of INR 1,000 were recovered.

 Meanwhile, the BSF has recovered FICNs worth INR 8.98 Lakhs nearby Daulatpur border outpost in Malda District of West Bengal. The joint operation conducted by the Special Operations team and representatives of the NIA had suspected some movement inside a house in Daulatpur village in Malda District (West Bengal) and arrested an unnamed man in this case, read a statement released by the BSF. Upon thorough search of arrested man’s house, total of worth INR 8.98 Lakhs of FICNs in denomination of INR 500 and INR 2,000 were recovered. The seized FICNs have been handed-over to the Police of Baishanbnagar Police Station for further action in the matter.

Three persons identified as Palle Raghava Reddy alias Raghunath Reddy, Bandi Raju and Adabala Anjaneya Murthy, arrested for the printing and circulating the FICN at Pundit Nehru Bus Station in Vijayawada in Krishna District of Andhra PradeshA total worth of INR 12 Lakhs FICNs, INR 53,500 genuine Indian currency, a printing machine and papers used for FICNs were also recovered from their possession, said an unnamed source in the Police. To make ‘quick’ money, they chose this path and procured the counterfeit currency in denomination of INR 500 from Adabala Murthy in Tuni Mandal of East Godavari District (Andhra Pradesh). For INR 30,000 of genuine currency notes for FICNs worth a Lakh, Palle Reddy took five Lakhs and exchanged few FICNs in Tuni in East Godavari District and Vijaywada in Krishna District, said ACP of South Division Kanche Srinivas.

Once again in a fresh plea, Abu Salem plead to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to cancel his extradition to India as he is convicted by Indian Government for 1993 Mumbai blasts. Abu Salem raised doubts over the verdict of the TADA court dated June 16 and September 7, 2017 that he has been convicted for the charges imposed and exceed the ‘Order of Extradition’ given by the Portuguese Government. Salem requested that Portuguese Government must take immediate action against the Indian Government as the Indian Government failed to meet the commitment and asked for his extradition in the matter, read a plea written by Abu Salem. Earlier in its order dated July 5, 2012, the Constitutional Court of Lisbon in Portugal had observed that the criminal court of India is not empowered to judge the offences mentioned in the extradition order of Abu Salem.

The Minister of Electronics and Information Technology (ME&IT) Ravi Shankar Prasad on February 9 informed the Rajya Sabha (the Upper House of the Indian Parliament) that over 53,000 incidents related to cyber security were observed in India during 2017. As per the data of CERT-In, in 2017 total 53, 081 cyber security incidents including phishing, web-intrusions and defacements, virus and ransomware attacks were reported whereas, 50,362 incidents in 2016, 49,455 incidents in 2015 and, 44,679 incidents in 2014 were observed. With the emergence and expansion of IT enabled-services, there has been a rise in cyber crimes in India likewise any other country in the world, said Prasad. According to the data from the NCRB, in 2016 total 12,317 cybercrime cases, 11,592 in 2015, and 9,622 in 2014 cybercrime incidents were registered.

Security agencies are on high alert across Jammu and Kashmir concerned about the possibility of a strike by JeM to mark the fifth anniversary of the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru on February 9. “We are always on alert but February 9 and 11 are important days in Kashmir so we are taking extra precautions,’’ DGP S P Vaid said. While the anniversary of Guru’s hanging is on February 9, JKLF founder Maqbool Bhat was hanged in Tihar jail on February 11, 1984.

A SSP in north Kashmir said that though they (JeM cadres) are mostly concentrated in south Kashmir, the latest alert is that they may try and strike in north — particularly Sopore and Handwara. “There is no doubt that if we lower our guard even a bit, they will strike’, said ADGP, Kashmir zone, Muneer Khan. He said that there are around 22 JeM militants active in the Valley of whom 15 are in South Kashmir while the rest in the north. “Though Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar are still bigger in numbers, Jaish has come to the forefront. After we killed Dujana and Ismail, Lashkar has become leaderless… that helped Jaish to take centre stage. All fidayeen attacks carried out over the last year were done by Jaish.” Khan said that Jaish’s revival in Kashmir took place after two of their groups infiltrated through Kupwara. “One big group infiltrated via Poonch (in Jammu province) too. This happened last August,’’ he said. “We have killed around 13 from those groups. The rest are still around”.

Life in Kashmir valley was disrupted due a shutdown called by separatists and restrictions imposed by authorities in parts of Valley on the occasion of fifth anniversary of Afzal Guru’s hanging. Separatist leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and Yasin Malik had called for shutdown and protests to observe the anniversary of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat, a JKLF founder who were hanged in Tihar Jail in 2013 and 1984 respectively. Despite restrictions, the separatist leaders visited the residence of Afzal Guru in Jageer Ghat, Dubgav village of Sopore in North Kashmir. However, chairmen of both factions of Hurriyat Conference, Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq continued to remain under house arrest while Mohammad Yasin Malik has been lodged in Srinagar Central Jail.

Clashes were reported from Sopore, HMT Srinagar, Machowa-Nowgam railway track, and Memander in Shopian. At least five persons are said to have received pellet injuries in Machowa-Nowagam railway track and Memander, Shopian. The injured youth have been hospitalised. A Police spokesperson, however, said that the overall situation remained peaceful barring few “stray incidents” of stone pelting.

SFs achieved a major success when a top terrorist, who had travelled to Pakistan on valid visa for arms training in LeT camps, surrendered before a joint team of Police and Indian Army in Jammu and Kashmir.  "He was motivated to join terrorist ranks and moved to Pakistan on Visa through the Wagah Border for getting weapons training", said an army spokesman at South Kashmir based Victor Force headquarters. Sources said Pakistani agencies have embarked on a new strategy to grant valid visas to gullible youth to travel to Islamabad where they are imparted terror training and sent back to replenish the terrorist cadres in Kashmir. The new strategy has been prompted after Indian army strengthened the anti infiltration grid making it difficult for the terrorists to sneak-in through the LoC. 

The youth, whose identity has not been revealed due to security reasons, was trained in handling small arms and making IEDs. The training was imparted by Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists code named Hanzallah Adnan and Malik Sahab. Two other groups comprising few youths from Kashmir code named Abu Hatf, Noor Gul and Abdullah Bhai were also involved in the training. "His decision to come back is of great significance as it sends out a clear message  regarding the commitment of security forces to encourage youth to shun path of violence", said the spokesman. The surrender of Pakistan trained terrorist comes six days after Jammu and Kashmir Police arrested two terrorists who had traveled to Islamabad on a valid visa to undergo arms training in Lashkar-e-Toiba camps before returning from Wagah.

Minister for Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction and Floriculture Javid Mustafa Mir informed the Legislative Assembly that Government has so far paid  INR 436.11 crore to 8851 displaced families of Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir (PoJK). Responding to a Calling Attention Notice of Sat Paul Sharma, the Minister said till January 31, 2018, no case was pending with the Relief and Rehabilitation Department. However, 847 new cases were received by the department on February 4, 2018 and these will be uploaded and approved within a week’s time.

The Minister further informed that 2699 cases are pending with the Ministry of Home Affairs as on January 31, 2017. He said the department is processing these cases on top priority and the details are shared with the Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, the Nodal Officer for the scheme- for hosting the same on his official website for the information of general public and beneficiaries. He also informed the House that department has recently shared all the details of the beneficiaries both in hard and soft copies with the Divisional Commissioner, Jammu for the information of the general public and the beneficiaries also.

The CPI-Maoist cadres killed a former colleague, branding him a ‘Police informer’, at his native Phulpar village under Baikunthpur Tehsil in Koriya District of Chhattisgarh. Hinga Madkami, who had surrendered in June last year (2017), was shot dead by rebels at his native Phulpar village under Kuakonda Police Station limits, a senior Police official said. After quitting the CPI-Maoist outfit, Madkami was working as an informer for the STF in the area, the Police official said. On February 8, Madkami had gone to Phulpar, located around 450 kilometres away from the State capital, Raipur, to take part in rituals being performed at his house following the death of his mother, the official said. The rebels stormed his home, attacked him with sharp weapons before shooting him, the official informed.

Two CPI-Maoist cadres, including a ‘deputy commander’, were killed in an exchange of fire with SFs in the forest of Bodla village under Gatapar Police Station limits in Rajnandgaon District of Chhattisgarh. The encounter took place at around 12.30 pm in the forest when a joint team of ITBP, DRG, District Force and Hawk Force of Madhya Pradesh Police was out on a counter-insurgency operation in Gatapar, located around 160 kilometres away from the State capital, Raipur, SP, Prashant Agrawal said. "After the guns fell silent, security forces searched the area and recovered bodies of two naxals along with two weapons," Agrawal said. The slain Maoists were later identified as Vinod alias Daven Sherku Ram, ‘deputy commander’ of military platoon no. 55 of Maoists, who was a native of Gadchiroli in Maharashtra, and Sagar, who hailed from south Bastar and was a member of the platoon, he said. Vinod and Sagar were carrying cash reward of INR 800,000 and INR 200,000 on their heads respectively. Arms and ammunition and some other items of daily use were recovered from the encounter site.

A CPI-Maoist cadre was killed and another injured during an encounter with the SFs in Palamau District of Jharkhand. The encounter took place in Jhunjhuna jungle under Naodiha Police Station, the Police said, adding, four firearms and a large quantity of ammunition were recovered from the spot. Another Maoist, a 15-year-old girl, suffered splinter injuries, said SP, Indrajeet Mahatha. The girl who was later taken into custody told Police that she had joined the Naxal outfit out of poverty, Mahatha said, adding, she would be rehabilitated. She also told police that three to four other Naxals fled after they received bullet injuries, the SP said.

Maharashtra Police arrested  CPI-Maoist leader identified as Rammana alias Shrinivas Vitthalanna Madru alias Ravi alias Suresh (65), along with his wife Padma Kodape alias Sammakka alias Lata(55)  from Ballarshah town of Chandrapur District of Maharashtra. Rammana headed the technical department of the CPI-Maoist in Chhattisgarh. He was working in the Maoist movement since 1976-77. He was given the responsibility of the CPI-Maoist technical wing in 1995. He worked for the Maoists in Kondagaon, Maad, Tipagarh, Aheri and Bastar area after 1996. He was involved in the manufacture of weapons for the CPI-Maoist. He also worked as a trainer to the young CPI-Maoist cadres in weapon training. He carried a reward of INR 2.5 million on his head. Ramanna’s wife Padma Kodape was working for the CPI-Maoist since 1992 and carried a reward of INR 600,000 and was believed to be involved in violent incidents in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Maharashtra, said Police statement.  The Maoist couple are associated with DKSZC, presently the most powerful entity within the CPI-Maoist operational setup as members, were going from Allapalli to Hyderabad on February 9. The Police recovered INR 50,000 and two pen drives from them which revealed that Maoist couple used to allegedly give technical support like assembling and disassembling of weapons and wireless support, said SP, Niyati Thaker.

Anti-Naxal QRT team, constituted by ADG, Varanasi Zone launched anti- CPI-Maoist campaign in the forests of Mau Kala and Louva in the ​​Rampur Barkoniya Police Station area in Sonbhadra District of Uttar Pradesh. The QRT team also discussed with villagers about their problems after the search operation at Jan Choupal program.

SP, Laxman Nimbargi said that there is no Naxal activity in Udupi District of Karnataka. The Police had been holding regular meetings with people in areas that were considered Naxal-affected in the District. There were four camps of the Anti-Naxal Force in Jeddinagadde, Shankarnaryana, Hebri and Karkala Rural Police Station limits in the District and there was also the Anti Naxal squad of the Police

A national highway contractor was abducted from Bordumsa in Changlang District. NSCN-IM had reportedly demanded INR 100 million, of which a partial payment was made by the victim.

Unidentified militants and Police exchanged fire near the village of Era Aning in South Garo Hills. Although the group affiliation of the militants has not been established, Police suspect the militants belonged to GNLA. 

SFs arrested an NSCN-KN militant identified as  Neingumelie  from Themazie Colony in Kohima District.

GoI is learnt to have assured Naga groups, political parties and armed organisations that all options are open, including re-elections in Nagaland, whenever an accord is finalized with NSCN-IM and other naga groups.  Elections are expected to be held on February 27 in the state and results will be declared on March 3.

GoI has also reportedly assured that militant cadres may be absorbed after arriving at a solution. According to an official, ‘There are a few options that we are looking at and we have sought an opinion from the rebel groups. One of them is to raise an All Naga IrBN. at the disposal of the state but the Centre can help fund and train them.

Chhattisgarh State Government allotted INR 43.09 billion in the budget of 2018-19.The outlay includes creation of SOG to strengthen anti-terror activities, new Police Stations, Outposts, 225 posts of traffic management, special women crime cell in six Districts, installation of CCTVs in 232 Police Stations, C & D category fire-stations in 17 Districts, 30 barracks to reduce congestion in jails apart from INR 2.3 billion for SCS for LWE affected districts.

State Home Minister R. Lalzirliana said that first political level talks between HPC-D Mizoram Government is optimistic about the outcome of the ongoing peace talks between Government and Hmar militants as it is nearing the final stage with good prospects” said State Home Minister R. Lalzirliana.

February 10

The teams of Intelligence agencies, including the NIA, the IB and the Gaya Police, arrested three IS suspects—Mohammad Anwar Hussain (24), Mohammad Shammi (22) and Mohammad Shaad (22) along with arms and ammunition from different locations in Gaya District of Bihar. All three suspects had associates in J&K, Maharashtra, Kerala and Uttar Pradesh. Based on the specific intelligence inputs, the trio were under surveillance for many weeks. Anwar had a marble-cutting business but behind the scenes he and other were involved in covert operations of IS to build its network for terror attacks across India, said an unnamed senior Intelligence officer.

Salahuddin Salehin and Jahidul Islam alias Bomaru Mizan—Bangladesh’s ‘Most-Wanted’ terrorists had launched an Indian Chapter of banned terror outfit JMB. In an interval interview given by Salehin to JMB’s media wing Sahm al-Hind, he mentioned that the Indian chapter is named as Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen India (JMI) and the module would ensure that Hindustan turned into the centric point of Hijra (Migration for religious battle) and Jihad so that Indians could play an important role in the foundation of next Caliphate. “We are unaware of any interview given by Salehin, said DCP of STF Kolkata Police Muralidhar Sharma. In connection to Khagragarh blast in Burdwan District of West Bengal, the NIA had declared rewards of INR 5 lakhs for any inputs on the duo—Salahuddin Salehin and Jahidul Islam. Bangladesh’s Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime Unit (CTTCU) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police also had announced rewards of 5 lakhs Bangladeshi Taka on both.

The Central Government would aid in the security infrastructure of 973-kilometres coastline in Andhra Pradesh to ensure the better coastal security measures. The Central Government would provide special assistance so that the coastal security is ensured. Under the aid, the Centre agreed to deliver some boats and cost of fuel would be borne by the Centre only, said the Principal Secretary, Home Department of the Government of Andhra Pradesh A.R. Anuradha. Few years ago, the state Police had alerts about the entry of the Students of SIMI terrorists along the state’s coastline, including the coastline of Nellore District. With more boats and rigid security measures, the Police would be in better position to ensure the Coastal Security, said Anuradha. 

A woman was killed in Pakistan shelling on the LoC in Nowshera sector of Rajouri District. The deceased woman has been identified as Parveen Akhter, wife of Mohammad Mushtaq, a resident of village Lairan in Pukharni area of Nowshera sector. According to reports a mortar shell exploded close to the house of Parveen Akhter, in which she sustained splinter injuries and later died succumbing to her injuries.

Pakistani troops launched mortars shells at civilian areas along the LoC in Poonch District. However, there was no loss of life or injury reported in the shelling. “The Pakistan Army launched mortar shells in Khadi Karmara forward areas in Poonch around 1100 hours today (February 10),” the official said. The Pakistan troops also launched shells along the LoC in Chakan Da Bagh forward area in Poonch, the official added.

A teenage girl, identified as Saima Wani (18), daughter of Hilal Ahmad Wani of Shopian village, who was injured in an encounter in January at Chaigund village of Shopian District and admitted in the SKIMS hospital for 18 days, succumbed to injuries. Earlier, SATP had reported on January 24, two HM militants, identified as Sameer Ahmad Wani alias Maviya and Firdous Ahmad alias Umar Bhai were killed in an encounter while civilian minor boy Shakir Ahmad Mir died and two girls including the Saima Wani, sister of the deceased militant Sameer Ahmad Wani were injured at Chaigund village of Shopian District. Police said that Shakir and the girls were caught in cross firing.

Two CPI-Maoist cadres, identified as Bodki Kowasi alias Sukhram (33) and his wife Ganga Madkami alias Manila (30), surrendered before the Senior Police officials in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh. Kowasi, was active as LGS, ‘deputy commander’ under KAC of CPI-Maoist and carrying a reward of INR 300,000 on his head. His wife, Madkami was working as a member of Matwada LOS and carrying a reward of INR 100,000 on her head. The CPI-Maoist duo expressed disappointment over the hollow ideology of the Naxal movement and violence. A cash of INR 10,000 each was given to them as encouragement amount, said Police official.

A joint operation by Tiruvallur Police and the ‘Q’ Branch of the State Police arrested three CPI-Maoist cadres identified as D Dasarathan and his wife, Kanimozhi and Dasarathan’s brother Vetriveerapandiyan in Pullarambakkam, near Pondicherry in Tiruvallur District of Tamil Nadu. Dasarathan, Maoist leader has been hiding since 2003, while his wife, Kanimozhi was underground since 2008. They were booked under various sections of the IPC and the UAPA for offences including criminal conspiracy and starting a war. They were produced before the magistrate and sent to judicial custody on February 11, said Senior Police Officer.

MoS for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju stated that GoI has revised stipend amount and fixed deposit for the surrendered militants in Northeast. The new surrender scheme will come into effect from April 2018. The monthly allowance would be increased from INR 3,000 to INR 6,000. Moreover, the militants will be given a relief amount of INR 400,000 which was earlier INR 1, 50,000.

MoS for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju stated that GoI has revised stipend amount and fixed deposit for the surrendered militants in Northeast. The new surrender scheme will come into effect from April 2018. The monthly allowance would be increased from INR 3,000 to INR 6,000. Moreover, the militants will be given a relief amount of INR 400,000 which was earlier INR 1, 50,000.

NIA filed a charge sheet against three militants of KCP for conspiring and raising funds for terror activities. One of the charge sheeted militants has been identified as Laishram Ranjit Singh Meitei alias Tamnganba, the ‘commander in chief’ of KCP-PWG. Other militants were identified as Khumanthem Naobicha Singh who is the ‘finance secretary’ of KCP- Lamjanba Khuman faction and Thoudam Chaothoi Singh a militant of Lamjanba Khuman faction. The three militants were arrested in New Delhi in 2017.

MoS for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju stated that GoI has revised stipend amount and fixed deposit for the surrendered militants in Northeast. The new surrender scheme will come into effect from April 2018. The monthly allowance would be increased from INR 3,000 to INR 6,000. Moreover, the militants will be given a relief amount of INR 400,000 which was earlier INR 1, 50,000.

BSF has increased its manpower along the Indo-Bangla border in view of the forthcoming Assembly polls. An official stated that BSF will also launch special operations a few days before the polls to ensure that there is no smuggling of any contraband items in the border areas of the State during the polls.

80 companies of CAPFs presently deputed in Tripura will add to the security apparatus in the Meghalaya process of electioneering by the third week of February. CAPF deployment includes 16 companies of the BSF of which five have been deployed, 14 companies of CRPF, 10 Companies of CISF, and five companies of SSB and five ITBP and SSB companies.Already 20 additional companies of the CAPF are in place to assist the existing force strength.

MoS for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju stated that GoI has revised stipend amount and fixed deposit for the surrendered militants in Northeast. The new surrender scheme will come into effect from April 2018. The monthly allowance would be increased from INR 3,000 to INR 6,000. Moreover, the militants will be given a relief amount of INR 400,000 which was earlier INR 1, 50,000.

HPC-D expressed optimism that political-level talks with the Mizoram government in March would yield a solution to the Hmar problem. The militant leaders, based in Manipur, said that they were yet to decide on the members of the delegation while confirming that the ‘working president’ of the insurgent group, Lalthalien Hmar, would be in the delegation and would continue to be the spokesperson. The first round of political level talks is scheduled for March 5 in Aizawl.  The talks, initially proposed to be held before Christmas last year, got delayed as Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawala constituted a three-member committee of legislators to examine the draft legislation on the formation of Sinlung Hills Council. The talks held in August 2016 and September 2017 mainly revolved around giving more autonomy to the existing Sinlung Hills Development Council.

MoS for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju stated that GoI has revised stipend amount and fixed deposit for the surrendered militants in Northeast. The new surrender scheme will come into effect from April 2018. The monthly allowance would be increased from INR 3,000 to INR 6,000. Moreover, the militants will be given a relief amount of INR 400,000 which was earlier INR 1, 50,000.

MoS for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju stated that GoI has revised stipend amount and fixed deposit for the surrendered militants in Northeast. The new surrender scheme will come into effect from April 2018. The monthly allowance would be increased from INR 3,000 to INR 6,000. Moreover, the militants will be given a relief amount of INR 400,000 which was earlier INR 1, 50,000.

MoS for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju stated that GoI has revised stipend amount and fixed deposit for the surrendered militants in Northeast. The new surrender scheme will come into effect from April 2018. The monthly allowance would be increased from INR 3,000 to INR 6,000. Moreover, the militants will be given a relief amount of INR 400,000 which was earlier INR 1, 50,000.

An exchange of fire took place between CPI-Maoist cadres and Police at Toogudem Police base camp under Pamed Police Station limits in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh. The temporary Police base camp was recently established to facilitate construction of roads in Naxal affected areas of Telangana-Chhattisgarh border. CPI-Maoist cadres have tried to attack this Police base camp thrice in a span of seven days and fled from the encounter site after Police retailed fire.

SFs rescued four abducted civilians from Sugnu in Thoubal District. A Police press release stated that two people were abducted on February 8 from Pallel area in Thoubal District. During the investigation it was revealed that same abductors had abducted two more people separately from an unspecified location. Moreover, one of the abductors identified as R. Pritam Chothe was arrested from Jiontlang in Chandel District in the intervening night of February 19 and 20.

February 10-11

A total of nine persons, including five Army personnel, a civilian and three militants were killed and another 10 persons were injured in the JeM’s fidayeen attack which started on the early hours of February 10 at the Sunjuwan Military Station, close to Jammu City in Jammu District. Of five Army fatal casualties, four soldiers, including a JCO, belonged to Kashmir Valley, while another JCO hailed from Hiranagar tehsil of Kathua District in Jammu region. A dead civilian, who happened to be father of one of the soldiers, was also a resident of Kashmir. Official sources said that since 1st JAKLI had been deployed inside Sunjuwan Military Station, majority of casualties (both dead and injured) hailed from the State. All Army and civilian casualties took place during initial round of firing by the militants, in the morning of February 10. Two soldiers, including one JCO, were killed on February 10, four others, three of them jawans and a civilian, succumbed to their injuries in the hospital overnight.

While two fidayeens were eliminated on February 10, the third one was killed in wee hours of February 11 morning and since then no gun shots have been heard from any area of Sunjuwan Military Station. However, the Army hasn’t declared the operation as formally over and Para Commandos remained deployed inside the Station, report said. Late in the night (February 11), Army fired mortar shells towards family quarters and surrounding isolated areas to ensure that militants, if any, are neutralized. Operation will be declared as complete only after entire area is sanitized and no further movement of militant(s) is observed. “Sanitization and clearance operations were now in progress. Entire complex was being sanitized to ensure that the militants hadn’t laid any booby trap inside the complex to target Army soldiers and their family members. The movement of the families of jawans and others inside the Military Station would be allowed only when the area is completely sanitized by the Bomb Disposal Squad,” sources said.

Report said that the attackers were all Pakistani citizens who had been operating in the Kashmir valley since last year, and had travelled to Jammu just days before the attack, an official said on February 11. “The militants were wearing army combat fatigues and were heavily armed. AK-56 rifles, grenade launchers, grenades and other ammo were recovered from them,” said a security official familiar with the initial probe into the attack. An initial probe suggested the attackers had entered from a spot at the rear of the camp where the boundary was secured only with metal sheets. “One of the attackers, Qari Mushtaq alias Chotu, was active in Tral in south Kashmir. The two others have been identified as Mohammed Adil alias Irfan Bhai, who was operating in Sopore and Pulwama sectors, and Mohammed Khalid Khan alias Rashid Bhai, who was also active in Pulwama,” said the central security official, who asked not to be named. Investigators have found syringes where the militants hid in the camp’s residential quarters before the attack. Suicide attackers have been known to take shots of morphine before launching attacks.

The UMHA has decided to hand over investigations of the terror attack to NIA.

February 11

Pakistani troops launched heavy mortar shells and fired at civilian areas along the LoC in Rajouri and Poonch Districts for the fourth consecutive day while an Army jawan, injured in Pakistan shelling at Shahpur, Poonch on February 4, succumbed to his injuries in the Military Hospital. The slain jawan has been identified as Gunner Kishore Kumar Munna resident of Barmaha in Chautham in Bihar. Sources said Pakistani troops launched heavy shells in Tarkundi, Naika, Panjgrain, Khorinar and Rajdhani villages of Manjakot in Rajouri and nearly half a dozen villages in Balakote sector of Poonch on February 11 morning. There was no casualty in the firing in Manjakote and Balakote sectors on February 11, sources said. They said Indian troops guarding the LoC also fired in retaliation and the firing stopped from both sides around 1 pm.

The CRPF is expected to get at least 7,000 AK-47 rifles out of the 39,000 AK-47 rifles procured from Bulgaria for the Central Armed Police Forces and State Police. Of the 7,000 AK-47 rifles to be allocated for the CRPF, huge lot will be sent to Jammu and Kashmir while the rest of the weapons will be sent to fight Naxals (Left Wing Extremism) and insurgency in the Northeast. DG of the CRPF, RR Bhatnagar said, "We will soon be getting the procurement of the AKs and we will be sending it to fill vacancies (of weapon) against authorised strength." He, however, confirmed that majority of it will be sent to Kashmir Valley.

A DRG jawan, identified Sondhar Hemla, was killed in a IED blast, suspected to be planted by the CPI-Maoist cadres in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh. The incident took place when the DRG team was out for an area domination operation in the forest near Tippapuram, nearly 500 kilometres south of Raipur. DRG Assistant Constable, Sondhar Hemla, unknowingly stepped on IED and died on spot. The Police launched combing operation in the area against CPI-Maoist cadres.

A joint team of CRPF and District Police arrested a CPI-Maoist cadre identified as from Sanjay Hansda from Hasikol forest in Jamui District of Bihar. The arrested CPI-Maoist cadre is an associate of ‘area commander’ of CPI-Maoist, Siddhu Koda. He was involved in demanding levy (ransom money) from private companies and accused in various cases of loot, kidnapping and murder registered at various Police Stations in the District. He is also wanted by Jharkhand Police, said SP, Jagannath Reddy.

According to Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, Arunachal Pradesh recorded 61 insurgency related incidents in 2017. State also recorded three civilian fatalities in 2017.

According to UMHA insurgency incidents in north-east declined by 63 per cent as compared to 2014 in and 36 per cent compared to 2016 as the year 2017 witnessed the lowest number of insurgency related incidents since 1997. There were 824 insurgency related incidents in 2014, 574 incidents in 2015, 484 in 2016, 308 in 2017. Civilian casualties has also recorded a decrease by 83 percent, from 212 in 2014 to 37 in 2017 while casualty rate of SFs declined by 40 percent, from 20 in 2014 to 12 in 2017.

Minister for State Kiren Rijiju stated that Assam recorded 33 insurgency related incidents in 2017. The state also recorded six civilian deaths and three SFs death in the same year.

According to UMHA insurgency incidents in north-east declined by 63 per cent as compared to 2014 in and 36 per cent compared to 2016 as the year 2017 witnessed the lowest number of insurgency related incidents since 1997. There were 824 insurgency related incidents in 2014, 574 incidents in 2015, 484 in 2016, 308 in 2017. Civilian casualties has also recorded a decrease by 83 percent, from 212 in 2014 to 37 in 2017 while casualty rate of SFs declined by 40 percent, from 20 in 2014 to 12 in 2017.

SFs three arms and weapon smugglers from Khongjom in Thoubal District. A double barrel shotgun and live rounds were recovered from the arrestees.

Kiren Rijiu stated in the parliament that Manipur had the highest number of insurgency related incidents amongst northeastern states in 2017 with 167 insurgency related incidents.

According to UMHA insurgency incidents in north-east declined by 63 per cent as compared to 2014 in and 36 per cent compared to 2016 as the year 2017 witnessed the lowest number of insurgency related incidents since 1997. There were 824 insurgency related incidents in 2014, 574 incidents in 2015, 484 in 2016, 308 in 2017. Civilian casualties has also recorded a decrease by 83 percent, from 212 in 2014 to 37 in 2017 while casualty rate of SFs declined by 40 percent, from 20 in 2014 to 12 in 2017.

MoS for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju stated that Meghalaya recorded 28 insurgency related incidents where two civilians were killed.

According to UMHA insurgency incidents in north-east declined by 63 per cent as compared to 2014 in and 36 per cent compared to 2016 as the year 2017 witnessed the lowest number of insurgency related incidents since 1997. There were 824 insurgency related incidents in 2014, 574 incidents in 2015, 484 in 2016, 308 in 2017. Civilian casualties has also recorded a decrease by 83 percent, from 212 in 2014 to 37 in 2017 while casualty rate of SFs declined by 40 percent, from 20 in 2014 to 12 in 2017.

MoS for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju stated that Nagaland recorded 19 insurgency related incidents in 2017 in which three civilians were killed.

According to UMHA insurgency incidents in north-east declined by 63 per cent as compared to 2014 in and 36 per cent compared to 2016 as the year 2017 witnessed the lowest number of insurgency related incidents since 1997. There were 824 insurgency related incidents in 2014, 574 incidents in 2015, 484 in 2016, 308 in 2017. Civilian casualties has also recorded a decrease by 83 percent, from 212 in 2014 to 37 in 2017 while casualty rate of SFs declined by 40 percent, from 20 in 2014 to 12 in 2017.

Delhi Police’s Special cell arrested a man—Mohammad Mumtaz Ansari alias Mumtaz (48) along with the FICNs worth INR 200,000, from Jahangir Road area nearby Central Government Quarters at Minto Road of Central New Delhi District in Delhi. As per specific Intelligence inputs, Mumtaz had arrived to deliver 100 FICNs in denomination of INR 2,000. He was linked to Malda District (West Bengal) FICNs network which circulates the FICNs allegedly printed in Pakistan and smuggled into via India-Bangladesh border, said DCP Special Cell Pramod Singh Kushwah.

SFs arrested two KYKL militants NH 102 in Imphal West District. Two pistols and ammunitions were recovered from them.

Grenade was lobbed into the house of an individual identified as Than Khonglah at Dawki in West Jaintia Hills District.

February 12

Mizoram CM Lal Thanhawla asked GoI to tighten security along the border with Myanmar as the state could face threats from the armed conflict between the Myanmar army and militants in Arakan state. The CM informed the Union Home Minister that Mizoram could face a security threat owing to the entry of refugees from Myanmar. CM also asked the Home Minister to deploy more security personnel along the border with Myanmar to avoid any untoward incident. Mizoram saw an influx of over 1,400 refugees from Chin state in Myanmar, who are taking shelter at Hmawngbuchhuah village in Lawngtlai district.

The displaced people fled their country following a crackdown launched by Myanmar army on Arakan Army militants. Although some families have returned to their villages, over 1,000 people are reluctant to return to Myanmar fearing the armed struggle between the Myanmar army and militants may begin again.

Chinese grenade was recovered from a vehicle of a congress supporter identified as Mike Pakyntein in West Shillong in East Khasi Hills. The owner of the vehicle called the Police after seeing the grenade in his vehicle. Pakyntein is a former supporter of UDP who shifted his allegiance to Congress.

The Police and CPI-Maoist cadres exchanged fire during a raid on a camp of the Maoists near Tikarpadu under Jodamba Panchayat of Chitrakonda Police limits in Malkangiri District of Odisha. The heavy exchange of fire took place inside the jungle near Tikarpadu when a joint squad of Greyhounds of Andhra Pradesh and SOG of Odisha Police Forces swooped down a Maoist camp during a joint combing operation. However, No casualties have been reported during the exchange of fire. Malkangiri SP, Jagmohan Meena said there were around 50 Maoists, including some leaders, at the camp at the time of firing. "Specifically, we can't divulge as which Maoist leader was present at the camp, but there were a few Maoist leaders. Unable to face heavy firing from our side, the Maoists fled the spot," Meena said. According to reports, taking advantage of the difficult terrain and dense jungle as many as 50 Maoists, including their top leader Akkiraju Haragopal aka Ramakrishna aka RK managed to escape. Police suspect that top rebel leaders had congregated at the camp to chalk out their strategy to carry out a major attack. At least 45 Maoist kit bags, six AK fire ammunition, two INSAS assault rifle rounds, six live 303, wire bundles, gas cutters 9 mm carbine magazine, explosive slurry and detonators were recovered from the camp.

The work on the Gurupriya River Bridge, which aims to connect about 151 villages of seven panchayats with Malkangiri District of Odisha, has been extended for the fourth time after missing three deadlines. An official said the bridge was expected to be operational by March end. "Out of the 22 concrete slabs, work on 19 has been completed. We hope to complete the work before the March end," said the Malkangiri PWD's Executive Engineer, Arun Kumar Sahu.

Four CPI-Maoist cadres were arrested in two different incidents in Giridih District of Jharkhand. In the first incident, two CPI-Maoist cadres identified as Sanjay Hansda, and Sukhdeo Murmu, who are associated with Sidhu Koda’s squad were arrested by SFs at Barkhutia forest from Chakai Police Station limits in the District. One 315 loaded rifle,170 live cartridges, one local made pistol,315 cartridges, and a cache of Maoist-related items, including material used in making explosives were recovered from them. The SFs chased the CPI-Maoist cadres between Tetaria and Bhatuakura forest and arrested them, SP, Surendra Kumar Jha. In the second incident, two armed CPI-Maoist cadres identified as Prakash Murmu, and Ambu Marandi were arrested in Barkhutia forest of the District. The CPI-Maoist cadres were armed with explosives and arms and part of Sidhu Koda’s squad, added SP, SK Jha.

CPI-Maoist cadres attacked forest guards at two outposts inside Kanha National Park in Mandla District of Madhya Pradesh. Around 20 CPI-Maoist cadres snatched wireless set and mobiles, and set fire to the maps and topography sheets during the attack. This is the first time CPI-Maoist attacked forest officials in the tribal District of Mandla, situated some 400 kilometres east of Bhopal. The CPI-Maoist cadres were part of Vistaar Dalam, with its presence in Balaghat. The Vistaar Dalam is believed to have between 70 and 100 CPI-Maoist cadres. The CPI-Maoist attack was confirmed by Additional Director General of Balaghat zone, J Janardhan.

A KLF militant was arrested from Sungjang in Karbi Anglong District. A .22 mm factory made rifle, few.22 mm bullets and one olive green combat dress were recovered from him.

February 13

In a case of 2008 serial blasts in Delhi, the Delhi Court framed charges against co-founder of IM Yasin Bhatkal and his associate—Asadullah Akhtar, for the conspiracy and other terror activities. The ASJ Siddharth Sharma charged Bhatkal and Akhtar for various offences punishable under the UA(P) Act 1967, IPC and ES Act. Both, Bhatkal and Akhtar, along with others, were part of terror activities and carried out the blasts at several places in Delhi on September 13, 2008, said an unnamed Police official. The court scheduled further proceedings on February 28, 2018.

During the visit of Indian PM Narendra Modi to the UAE on February 10 and 11, India and the UAE would sign the MoU regarding sharing and exchange of Intelligence on money laundering and terror funding. “This MoU is a significant development over the matter related to money laundering and financial crimes with a bearing on National Security. This pact would go a long way in addressing our mutual concerns on the issue of terrorist financing as terrorism is an issue of mutual concern for both countries [India and UAE],” said India’s Ambassador to the UAE Navdeep Suri.

In his testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the US’ Director of National Intelligence Daniel Ray Coats warned that Pakistan-backed terror organisations would continue their terror operations against India that further escalate the tensions between India and Pakistan. Coats’ statement came a day after JeM terrorists attacked the Indian Army camp in Sunjuwan in J&K. “Militant groups supported by Islamabad [Pakistan] would continue to take advantage of their safe haven in Pakistan to plan and conduct attacks against and in India and Afghanistan, including US interests,” said Coats said during the hearing on ‘Worldwide Threat Assessment’ of the US Intelligence Community.

The Delhi Police’s special cell arrested Ariz Khan alias Junaid (32)—a ‘bomb-maker’ in IM, from Nepal. Ariz Khan was a core-member of IM’s Azamgarh (Uttar Pradesh) module and masterminded the serial bomb blasts in Delhi, Jaipur (Rajasthan), Uttar Pradesh and Ahmedabad (Gujarat) in 2007 and 2008, said DCP P.S. Kushwah. According to Intelligence inputs, Ariz Khan was coming to Uttar Pradesh from Banbasa at India-Nepal border to meet his associate. Acting on the input, a trap was made and successful operation of his arrest was carried out, said Kushwah. In 2008, following the serial blasts in Delhi, a team of Delhi Police’s special cell raided the hideouts of IM suspects in Batla house in Delhi and two IM members were arrested whereas Ariz Khan and Shehzad managed to escape the raid.

Assam Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary informed the State Assembly that no part of the State would be allowed to be included in any proposed ‘Nagalim’. He also stated that the government would strongly oppose any move to do so in the future also.

NIA summoned OSD to CM and two of his office staff for questioning in connection with a case of alleged terror funding. The case pertains to extortion attempts by NSCN-K, NSCN-IM and NNC from 14 different government departments. Earlier on January 18, 2017, the NIA conducted searches in various government departments in Nagaland and seized receipts that showed payments.

NIA stated that these seizures prima facie indicate the connivance of these government organisations in funding various underground organisations operating in Nagaland.’ The departments include Directorate of Information Technology, Directorate of Soil and Water Conservation, Directorate of Irrigation, Directorate of Rural Development, Directorate of Urban Development, PWD, Roads and Buildings, and Directorate of Information and Public Relations. In November, massive protests rocked Kohima after seven government officials were reportedly arrested for funding underground groups, called Naga National Political Groups, through taxation.

Spokesperson of MEA stated that it will continue to support the peace process and that national reconciliation in Myanmar will also benefit the north-eastern states. The spokesperson stated that comprehensive peace and national reconciliation in Myanmar will also be conducive for peace and prosperity in India’s north-eastern region. The statement came after two militant groups in Myanmar MNSP and LDU signed the NCA and joined the peace process.

Road contractor who was abducted on February 9 was released by NSCN-IM at Kharsang in Changlang District.

Spokesperson of MEA stated that it will continue to support the peace process and that national reconciliation in Myanmar will also benefit the north-eastern states. The spokesperson stated that comprehensive peace and national reconciliation in Myanmar will also be conducive for peace and prosperity in India’s north-eastern region. The statement came after two militant groups in Myanmar MNSP and LDU signed the NCA and joined the peace process.

CM Biren Singh announced that a new and ‘attractive’ surrender and rehabilitation policy for militants in the state would be in place in a couple of months. The CM stated that ‘the Centre is examining a proposal sent by the state government and the new revised comprehensive policy is likely to be implemented by April this year’. Following a cabinet decision taken in May 2017, state Government proposed to hike the monthly stipend of surrendered insurgents from INR 4,000 to INR 8,000 for three years. Of the INR 8,000, INR 2,000 will be counted as ration money. Additionally, one-time financial grant provided by the government to surrendered militants will be increased from INR 2, 50,000 to INR 4, 00,000.

Spokesperson of MEA stated that it will continue to support the peace process and that national reconciliation in Myanmar will also benefit the north-eastern states. The spokesperson stated that comprehensive peace and national reconciliation in Myanmar will also be conducive for peace and prosperity in India’s north-eastern region. The statement came after two militant groups in Myanmar MNSP and LDU signed the NCA and joined the peace process.

Spokesperson for MEA stated that it will continue to support the peace process and that national reconciliation in Myanmar will also benefit the north-eastern states. The spokesperson stated that comprehensive peace and national reconciliation in Myanmar will also be conducive for peace and prosperity in India’s north-eastern region. The statement came after two militant groups in Myanmar, the MNSP and LDU signed the NCA and joined peace process in Myanmar.

HNLC claimed responsibility for the grenade attack in Dawki in West Jaintia Hills District.

HNLC criticized Chief Minister Mukul Sangma for contesting the ensuing assembly elections from two seats Ampati and Songsak.

Three CPI-Maoist cadres identified as Nildhar alias Guddu (25), LOS member, Ginnu (25) and Ghassuram (30) ‘Jan Militia’ cadres were arrested near Ehakli rivulet in forest under Mardapal Police Station in Kondagaon District of Chhattisgarh. SFs arrested the trio during a search operation. Guddu was carrying a reward of INR 300,000 over his head. An 8-kilogram tiffin bomb, CPI-Maoist banners and literature were recovered from the possession of the two ‘Jan Militia’ members. They admitted that the explosive was meant to target the SFs during their operation in the region. The trio was allegedly involved in several incidents, including planting of IED and attacks on Police parties, said ASP, Maheshwar Nag.

The NIA files a 35 page main chargesheet with a 1,000 page annexure in a Naxal funding case against CPI-Maoist top ‘central committee (CC) member’ Sudhakar as the main accused along with four others. The agency has sought prosecution sanction from the MHA against the five accused. The case related to August 2017, where Ranchi Police had arrested Sudhakar's brother, B Narayan and business partner Satyanarayan Reddy at Ranchi station with INR 2.515 million in cash and over half a kilogram of gold biscuits worth about INR1.2 million. The delivery of cash and gold was meant for Sudhakar's family in Telangana. The NIA has been able to unearth the conspiracy of the inter-state module involving Jharkhand and Telangana. Though scientific evidence has been put forth in the chargesheet, the agency has mentioned details of a conspiracy from open sources like the web. Sudhakar has been extorting money from businessmen involved in mining, road construction and others in Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Odisha's forested areas. Sudhakar has also allegedly collected levies from Jharkhand's Koyal Sankh Zone of the CPI-Maoist.

A CRPF trooper, identified as Mujahid Khan was killed and a Police man, identified as Javid Ahmed was injured as they foiled an attempt by LeT fidayeen (suicide squad) to storm into their 23rd battalion camp at Karan Nagar area of Srinagar early on February 12. A CRPF spokesman said that in the wee hours on February 12, fidayeen, carrying bags and armed with AK 47s, were seen approaching towards the CRPF camp.

On February 13, two fidayeens of LeT were killed in a 32-hour long gun battle by SFs in Karan Nagar area of Srinagar. The SFs operation to flush out the Fidayeen from the under-construction building in the heart of the city was carried out by a SOG of the Jammu and Kashmir Police and the CRPF. The fidayeen after failing to storm the camp were trapped in an adjacent under-construction building. Huge explosions continued since February 12 till February 13 afternoon. The gun battle ended in the afternoon after SFs eliminated both the militants. SFs recovered two AK-47 assault rifles and eight magazines from the site. Earlier on February 12, as the SFs searched the building, the hiding militants opened fire in which one CRPF man was killed and another Police man was injured. Police and CRPF rescued around 20 persons including children and women from the area. They were taken to safer locations before assault was launched against the fidayeen.

IGP, Kashmir, S P Pani said that the militants who tried to attack the CRPF camp in Karan Nagar area early yesterday (February 12) morning belonged to the LeT group. “The materials we recovered from the site of the encounter suggest that the militants belonged to LeT. But the militants have not been identified yet and we are trying to ascertain their identity,” he said. Pani said it was a clean operation without collateral damage, adding that it continued for long as the building where the terrorists were hiding was a five-storey structure.

SFs launched a massive search operation after Army personnel foiled a suspected terrorist attack on their camp in Jammu in Jammu District. “An attack (on a camp) was averted and the terrorist fled away,” Jammu-based Army spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Devender Anand said. A senior Police officer said two motorcycle-borne terrorists are believed to have approached the main gate of the camp at Domana on Jammu-Akhnoor road around 0430 hours and fired on the sentry post after security officials signalled them to stop, prompting retaliation. “An investigation has started and a search operation is underway to track down the fleeing terrorists,” the official said adding that an alert has been sounded in the area.

The UHM Rajnath Singh was reported to have directed for strengthening entire security apparatus in the hinterland of Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of two consecutive Fidayeen attacks in Jammu and Srinagar and another thwarted Fidayeen attempt at Domana as he held second high level review of security situation in the State in as many days in the Union capital. NSA Ajit Doval, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, top officials of the UMHA in charge Jammu and Kashmir and heads of CAPFs were present at the meeting that was chaired by Rajnath and lasted more than an hour in which situation prevailing in the State in the wake of twin terror attacks and the borders was discussed threadbare

Sources said that the Central Government has offered deployment of NSGs in some of the security camps, located in the sensitive areas of the State, which could become soft targets for the militants. Sources said Rajnath has directed for enhanced surveillance along nakas (checkpoints), which were close to security installations to ensure that the militants are trapped before they could strike or enter the camps to cause casualties. Alert CRPF Sentry at Karan Nagar, Srinagar had reacted immediately on February 12 and thwarted attack on the camp after which the militants intruded into a building and were killed on February 13. Similarly, Army thwarted a suspected Fidayeen attack at their camp in Domana on February 13. It was also pointed out that two militants died in a road accident in Kashmir on February 12 as they were over speeding to escape a naka. However, according to sources, the UMHA has taken note of the fact that four militants along with arms, ammunition and explosives managed to reach Sunjuwan Military Station, located very close to Jammu City and attacked the Military Station, causing seven casualties-six Army personnel and a civilian.

Assam Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary informed the State Assembly that no part of the State would be allowed to be included in any proposed ‘Nagalim’. He also stated that the government would strongly oppose any move to do so in the future also.

February 14

In a press conference Indian Army’s Lt. Gen. Devraj Anbu informed that more than 300 militants of Pakistan-based terror outfits are waiting to cross the LoC to enter into India. A total of 185-220 terrorists in the South and 190-225 terrorists in the North of Peer Panjal Range in J&K are ready to infiltrate. Conducting operations along the LoC is complex and challenging and there is no need to do ‘tit-for-tat’, said Lt. Gen. Anbu.

An unidentified NDFB-S militant involved in December 2014 killings in Kokrajhar was arrested in Guwahati in Kamrup Metropolitan District.

CM Manik Sarkar stated that NLFT was active in Tripura and Bangladesh. He also alleged that IPFT was the façade of the NLFT. IPFT has been demanding Twipraland, a separate state for indigenous communities.

Manipur CM Biren Singh stated that Police and Paramilitary have been asked “to stop forthwith harassing former insurgents” who have joined the mainstream. The CM also stated that that if there were any further reports on harassment and torture to the former insurgents, strict disciplinary action would be taken up against the security personnel.

SFs busted a CPI-Maoist camp located in the hills of Jongeras under Kukanar Police Station limits in Sukma District of Chhattisgarh and recovered a huge cache of explosive materials. A joint team of DRG and District Force of Police carried out the operation, DIG, south Bastar, Sundarraj P said. “After a brief encounter Maoists escaped from their camp taking benefit of the dense jungle,” he said. During search, eight bullet-proof jackets looted by Naxals from CRPF jawans after ambushes, a huge quantity of detonators and gelatin rods, cordex wire, batteries, five steel tiffins of various sizes used to make explosive devices and Maoist uniforms were seized from the camp, he added.

Nine CPI-Maoist militia members surrendered before Narsipatnam’s ASP, Ariff Hafeez, in Visakhapatnam District of Andhra Pradesh. According to Police, the surrendered militia members were identified as J Bobbili (28), V Veeranna (45), J Bala Raju (48), P Magae (45) J Gangamma (40), K Parvathi (20), J Seetamma (40) and K Laxmi (38). All the members hail from Manta Bheemavaram panchayat in Mandapalli village of Koyyur mandal in the District. ASP Hafeez said that the nine members were threatened by the Maoist leaders to assist them in anti-social activities in the agency. Maoists also utilised them as informers and demanded them arrange food to the group members. Unable to consider their demands, pressure to involve in anti-social activities, the members surrendered before the Police, the ASP explained.

Pakistan army violated ceasefire again by resorting to heavy mortar shelling and firing on civilian areas along the LoC in Rajouri District. “Pakistan army initiated ceasefire violation by resorting to small arms, automatics, and mortar firing in Nowshera sector in Rajouri district from 1815 hours today”, sources said. The Indian Army retaliated effectively, they said.

SFs fired few rounds in air as their vehicle was pelted with stones in Kareemabad village in Pulwama District. A group of youth pelted stones at a SFs vehicle with stones in Kareemabad village in the morning. SFs fired in air to disperse them. However, no one was injured in the incident.

Clashes also erupted in Soaf-Shali village of Anantnag District after SFs laid cordon of the village. An official said that searches were launched in the village after inputs about the presence of militants. However, operation was later called off.

Northern Command chief Lieutenant General Devraj Anbu said that three major militant groups including HM, JeM and LeT have joined hands whether it’s Kashmir Valley or Jammu and are jumping from one outfit to another to carry out terror attacks and declared that anyone, who picks up arms and is against the State, is a terrorist and the Army will deal with him. “Enemy is frustrated and is trying soft targets. When they fail at border, they attack camps,” Lieutenant General Anbu said. The top Army Commander maintained that situation in South Kashmir including Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama districts has considerably improved and though these areas were once called “liberated zones”, now the political leaders and elected representatives are moving freely there. At the same time, he cautioned that around 300 militants are camping at the border and launch pads on Pakistan side waiting for infiltration into the Indian Territory.

Terming the misuse of social media by Pakistan as a ‘time bomb’, Lieutenant General Anbu said coming together of HM, LeT and JeM is a matter of concern for the security agencies but would be taken care of. “HM, LeT and JeM are hand in glove with each other after coming together in the later part of the last year. Though there is no differentiation as the terrorists keep jumping from one outfit to other and as far as we are concerned any one picking up the arms against the State is a terrorist and will be dealt with accordingly,” he said. He said all the three outfits coming together was definitely a matter of concern as if someone is weak or strong somewhere it will benefit the other. The Army Commander also expressed hope to reverse the trend of local youth joining terrorist ranks and said everybody has to play their role especially the civil society and the parents of such youth to bring them back to contain level of violence in the State.

An unidentified NDFB-S militant involved in December 2014 killings in Kokrajhar was arrested in Guwahati in Kamrup Metropolitan District.

February 15

The UMHA has proposed the programmes for judicial officers, prosecutors and Police officers to learn skills required tackle cybercrime incidents efficiently. This is a first of its kind of upgrade to the quality of cybercrime investigations. The cases such as 2004 Delhi Public School (DPS) MMS, frauds related to cryptocurrency, cyber-stalking, fake social media profiles, ransomeware, dark web, steganography, among other cases would be part of the programme. With the significance rise in cybercrime and the use of computers and the Internet, under the Nirbhaya fund, the proposed scheme would train 27,500 Police officers, prosecutors, and judicial officers in cybercrime awareness program of three days and with 13,500 officials in five days, read the statement released by the UMHA to the Chief Secretaries of States and UTs. An important focal point of this exercise would on understanding the cybercrime incidents against women and children, said unnamed source in UMHA.

According to the Intelligence inputs, the ‘Chiefs’ of Pakistan-based terror outfits, LeT and JeM are leading the campaign against the ‘Chief’ of HM Syed Salahuddin to step down as the leader of the outfit—further points to the development in the rivalries in the ranks of Pakistan-based jihadi outfits that operates against India. Syed Salahuddin—who headed the HM and the UJC with support of Pakistan’s ISI has been facing decline in the influence over Kashmir-centric operations and growing ambitions of other terror outfits. ISI is under pressure to remove Syed Salahuddin whereas LeT and JeM have made Salahuddin’s commanders—Amir Khan, Imtiyaz Alam, against him, read an Intelligence input.

The Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju told that Kerala Government had seek a ban on the Islamic organisation—PFI which is mainly operating in the state. In an annual meet of DGPs of all states held Tekanpur of Madhya Pradesh in January 2018, the Kerala’s Police Chief and DGP Lokanath Behera presented a detailed presentation of PFI’s growth and activities in Kerala. The meeting was attended by the Indian PM Narendra Modi, UMHA Rajnath Singh and other senior officials of Security establishments. In the case of PFI’s activities, the Kerala Government urged for a ban on PFI and at present, UMHA is examining the issue, said Rijiju.

Two unidentified militants of KLO were arrested by SFs from Kokrajhar District. Two pistols and ammunition were recovered from them.

NIA arrested a NDFB-S militant Swadab Rava, in connection with its probe into the killing of five persons at Pakriguri in Kokrahjar district in 2014. He was arrested from Jugibasti village Sonitpur District.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary stated that law and order situation has been peaceful except for one or two minor incidents. He also added that insurgency has been contained and the overall situation is conducive to growth of trade and industry.

Three crude bombs were recovered from Uttarpara area in West Tripura District hours before the arrival of Prime Minister of India. A BJP leader stated that CPIM were behind the incident. The state Assembly polls are scheduled for Feb 18.

Two CPI-Maoist cadres were arrested by Police in Kondagaon District of Chhattisgarh. The arrested Maoist couples, identified as Ramdhar Sorey (20), and Parvati Corram (20), both residents of Narayanpur District of Chhattisgarh, were ‘Jan Militia’ members. "18 kgs of Tiffin bomb, Naxalite banner, literature, wire and other items were recovered from their possession," Police said.

Militants fired a few shots towards a CRPF camp in Awantipora area of Pulwama District. “Militants fired a few shots at the CRPF camp at Panzgam in Awantipora area at 8.10 pm,” a Police official said. He said the jawans from the camp returned fire, forcing the militants to flee. No casualties have been reported in the incident, the official said. A search operation has been launched in the area to track down the militants, the official added.

With no let up in tension on the LoC in twin border Districts of Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir, Indian Army gave free hand to its Field Commanders on the LoC to take any steps including ‘punitive fires’ and ‘pre-emptive actions’ to tackle infiltration attempts and other kind of misadventures by Pakistani troops and militants under the cover of ceasefire violations. Sources said that Indian army was reported to have launched major fire assaults on the Pakistani troops along LoC especially the areas, where ‘unusual activity’ was observed to ensure that any attempt by Pakistan to push militants into the Indian side or indulge in ‘other kind of mischief’ was effectively thwarted. Indian Army has used its posts at Balnoi, Sarla, Mendhar, Laleali, Doda, Banwat, Kalal and Keran among others in Rajouri and Poonch Districts to launch coordinated fire assaults in which several Pakistani army posts have been destroyed. India has used Light Field Guns, heavy 120mm mortars and anti-tank guided missiles to target Pakistan posts where militants were reportedly given shelter for infiltration into the Indian territory.

The massive action by India has forced Pakistan army to issue 35 red-alerts to its forces. Pakistan, according to sources, has now pressed panic buttons all along the LoC. “The Indian Army, with all its Commanding Officer along the LoC being given adequate freedom of action, is hammering and bleeding the Pakistan army to deny it any tactical advantage of moral ascendancy along the LoC,” sources said.

Sources said the Indian Army has been inflicting heavy casualties on Pakistani troops while replying to Pakistani shelling along the LoC in the last few weeks. The Army sources claimed that a total of 20 Pakistani army personnel were killed this year while the number was 138 in 2017.

If India lost 32 soldiers in ceasefire violations, infiltration and other incidents along the LoC in 2017 (another 30 laid down their lives in counter-terrorism operations in the hinterland), sources said nearly 130-140 Pakistani troopers were killed in the same year. The assessment is there are over 300 terrorists (the number could be even around 400) in and around launching pads along the LoC on Pakistan side looking for an opportunity to enter into the Indian territory. “In view of massive presence of militants along LoC, Indian troops are bracing up for “hot summer” both on LoC and hinterland and even possibility of tension defusing on the LoC also seems to be remote. “Full freedom has been given to commanders of Army posts along LoC in Jammu and Kashmir to effectively respond to any act of violence by Pakistani troops,” sources said.

AR arrested an NSCN-IM militant from Chekiye village in Dimapur District. The militant was identified as Pukhato and a .22 pistol with magazine and INR 17, 150 were recovered from him.

Two unidentified militants of KLO were arrested by SFs from Kokrajhar District. Two pistols and ammunition were recovered from them.

NIA arrested a NDFB-S militant Swadab Rava, in connection with its probe into the killing of five persons at Pakriguri in Kokrahjar district in 2014. He was arrested from Jugibasti village Sonitpur District.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary stated that law and order situation has been peaceful except for one or two minor incidents. He also added that insurgency has been contained and the overall situation is conducive to growth of trade and industry.

February 16

Four ULFA-I OGWs arrested in Malugaon village under Changlang District. he arrested OGWs have been identified as Pradeep Barua, Rupam Rajbanshi, Munna Shah and Diganta Gogoi. One pistol was recovered from the arrestees.

NPP candidate  T Chalukumba, who is contesting the February 27 assembly elections, escaped an attempt on his life in Mokokchung District.

CM Biren Singh who is also in charge of Home Department has stated that the current strength of Manipur Police including Home Guards is 16319. He stated that existing manpower of Manipur Police includes 9226 Constables, 2769 Head Constables, 917 ASIs, 1029 SIs, 246 Inspectors and 2132 Home Guard personnel. Till February 1 this year, 33 Inspectors, 234 SIs, 271 ASIs, 876 Head Constables and 1540 Constables have been posted in Imphal West. 22 Inspectors, 120 SIs, 135 ASIs, 338 Head Constables, 1317 Constables have been posted in Imphal East district; 18 Inspectors, 102 SIs, 113 ASIs, 304 Head Constables and 1337 Constables in Thoubal district; 18 Inspectors, 83 SIs, 54 ASIs, 152 Head Constables and 743 Constables in Bishnupur district.

CM also added that Nine inspectors, 44 SIs, 61 ASIs, 161 Head Constables and 562 Constables have been posted in Chandel District, eight Inspectors, 56 SIs, 38 ASIs, 117 Head Constables and 523 Constables in Churachandpur District; nine Inspectors, 50 SIs, 42 ASIs, 86 Head Constables and 395 Constables in Tamenglong district. 17 Inspectors, 76 SIs, 66 ASIs, 192 Head Constables and 610 Constables have been posted in Senapati district; 12 Inspectors, 55 SIs, 34 ASIs, 137 Head Constables and 347 Constables in Ukhrul District.

AR BDS defused a landmine in Lawngtlai District, along the Mizoram-Myanmar border. AR on January 23 had issued an advisory asking the local people not to venture in the border areas as there was strong possibility of the presence of hidden mines. One Indian national has been killed and another wounded in mine explosions in January 2018. According to officials of AR , area between Pillar 1 and Pillar 11 has been sanitized.

Two CPI-Maoist cadres identified as Sanni alias Kunjam Lakkhe and Nanda Gurdum were killed during an exchange of fire with SFs in a forest near Tokanpalli village under Chintagufa Police Station in Sukma District of Chhattisgarh. Sanni was working as the LOS cadre of CPI-Maoist in Nagaram area and Nanda was working as CPI-Maoist militia. Police recovered two weapons from the encounter spot and other Maoist material, said south Bastar range, DIG, Sundarraj P.

Around seven CPI-Maoist cadres killed a civil contractor identified as Shiba Shankar Dash alias Tunu Dash at a site near Paji Bahali under Bijepur Police limits in Kalahandi District of Odisha. CPI-Maoist cadres reached the spot in three motorcycles and fired four bullets into Dash’s body, said Police. The motive behind the killing is yet to be ascertained, however, the rebels reportedly raising ‘Maoist Zindabaad’ slogans fled the spot after firing at Dash. “The armed miscreants came and asked Shivashankar for payment. He told them to get money from his clerk. They fired six rounds at him,” said brother of the deceased, Ramashankar Das.

The CoBRA Battalion of the CRPF and CPI-Maoist cadres exchanged fire deep inside forest at Barsuddi village under Barachatti Police Station in Gaya District of Bihar. CRPF teams were dispatched after receiving information of around 40 CPI-Maoist cadres lead by Maoist leader Alok alias Gulshan, who carries a reward of INR 500,000 on his head. During search, few cell phones, umbrella, back packs were recovered by the CRPF from the encounter site. The number of injured Maoists is not known yet but lot of blood stains were spotted at the site of encounter, said Gaya SSP, Garima Mallik.

Two CPI-Maoist cadres of the Galikonda Area Committee and two militia members of the dalam surrendered before SP of Visakha Rural, Rahul Dev Sharma in Visakhapatnam District of Andhra Pradesh. The Maoists were identified as Vanthala Lakshmana Rao alias Das (28), and Pangi Lakshman alias Venkat (25). The militia members were Pangi Sombra (18) and a juvenile in conflict with law. SP, Rahul said that Lakshmana Rao, a native of Annavaram of Koyyuru mandal, had joined the outfit in 2007 and was involved planting landmines, blasting APFDC’s coffee pulping units, threatening and attacking the surrendered Maoists. Lakshman was involved in over seven offences, including the killing of a trader, Gundu Rao, setting on fire earthmoving machines, and abducting a few local TDP leaders. The militia members are residents of Nakkabanda of G.K. Veedhi mandal in Visakhapatnam Agency. “The Galikonda area has almost been cleaned up of the Maoist presence,” the SP said. The accused were reportedly fed up with the high-handedness of the Maoist party and decided to join the mainstream and lead a normal life, the Police said. “The number of surrenders has been increasing in the Visakhapatnam region, and it will help in the development of the remote areas in the Agency,” SP, Rahul added.

Jharkhand Police arrested TPC, a splinter group of the CPI-Maoist, ‘zonal commander’ identified as Devendra Ganjhu alias Kanhaiji alias Manikantji alias Chaudharyji from Lawalong Police Station area in Chatra District of Jharkhand. He was wanted in more than a dozen cases of Naxal violence in Chatra, Hazaribagh and Ramgarh Districts. The Police was tipped off about the assembly of a TPC squad led by Kohramji and comprising 15 members at Sauru Nawadih village under the Lawalong Police Station. They were planning to execute some crime when the joint team of District Police and CPMF personnel raided the area. Devendra was arrested while others managed to escape taking advantage of the darkness. A loaded carbine and live ammunition were recovered from him, said SP, Akhilesh B Verior.

Union Government sanctioned INR 5.47 billion for the laying of 20 roads in Telangana under the RCPLWEA. While the Central Government will provide funds to an extent of INR 2.87 billion and Telangana State Government will bear the remaining cost of INR 2.59 billion. The Central Government gave approval for construction of 20 major roads which includes three major bridges at Parnashala and Mukkanuru-Burgugudem on Godavari River and also at Arenda on Munneru River. The 452 kilometer long roads will be laid covering the erstwhile Districts of Adilabad, Karimnagar, Warangal and Khammam connecting the Maoist affected areas of Telangana with those in Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh.

Tasked with developing a 250 kilometres new ‘red corridor’ in the jungles of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, the 60-strong ‘Vistaar Dalam’ of CPI-Maoist is on the move and was spotted on the border of Kawardha (Kabirdham) District of Chhattisgarh and Mandla District of Madhya Pradesh. The group of 10-20 armed Naxals, which included women, was seen multiple times in the area near Motinalla village in Mandla, according to the reports. “All anti-Naxal forces, including police in Mandla and Balaghat Districts have been alerted following specific Intelligence inputs about recent movement by the Vistaar Dalam cadre near Motinalla,” said IGP, Intelligence, Makarand Deuskar, in Bhopal. The movement of the ‘Vistaar Dalam’ assumes significance, as it comes close on the heels of the gunning down of two wanted Naxal extremists, Vinod and Sagar on February 9 in a joint operation by Madhya Pradesh-Chhattisgarh Police and the quick reaction teams of the ITBP on the Balaghat-Rajnandgaon border. The report of the movement of the ‘Vistaar brigade’ was also reported a month after Ramesh, a ‘deputy commander’ of one of two platoons of the brigade, was killed by the Police in the same area on January 15. The security establishment has been on its toes since then apprehending reprisal attacks by the Naxals.

The BSF arrested a North Korean national identified as Jhung Ho (mid 30s) who entered India illegally through India-Bangladesh international border in North 24 Parganas District in West Bengal. In preliminary investigation, Jhung Ho revealed that he has a valid North Korean passport but entered India without Indian visa. He had been employed with a North Korean firm that makes mining equipment which is based in Bangladesh. He wanted to see India but could not get the tourist visa therefore he tried the illegal way to enter India. He learned few words of Bengali and English, said an unnamed BSF official. Jhung Ho was handed-over to the Police officials at Swarupnagar Police Station in North 24 Parganas District (West Bengal) where he confessed that he paid good amount to a tout to be taken across the border. Jhung Ho was awarded a Police custody by the local court. The counterparts in Bangladesh confirmed Jhung Ho’s profession but he is unable to satisfy the investigators over his decision to illegally enter India, said an unnamed Police officer at North 24 Parganas District.

While attending a programme at Rohilakhand University in Uttar Pradesh on February 16, the UMHA Rajnath Singh has said that India is giving a befitting reply to Pakistan’s nefarious activities. Regarding the withdrawal of cases against the stone-pelters in J&K, Rajnath Singh replied that the Government never favour to confine someone in jail but expect them to join back the mainstream. Actions will be taken against those who involved in wrong tactics.

Addressing the ‘North India Cyber Security Hackathon’ conducted by the Indian School of Business (ISB) on February 16, cybercrime experts believed that there is a need to include course on cybercrime as a subject in school and colleges. There is a need to create awareness on the matter and the events like Hackathon may work as a learning platform on how to counter such crimes. According to a survey, around 53,000 cybercrime incidents were reported in India, said Head of Cyber Security Research Centre (CSRC) at PEC University Dr Divya Bansal. The three-day of ‘Hackathon’ concluded on February 16 with a massive participation of around 60 hackers, coders, programmers and web developers.

The slain Sikh militant and important leader of Khalistan movement—Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale’s home at his ancestral village in Baghapurana sub-Division of Moga District in Punjab has been converted into a ‘Gurdwara’ (Sikh temple) and opened for general public on February 16, reports The Indian Express.  The Gurdwara is dedicated to his [Bhindranwale] martyrdom and named as ‘Gurdwara Sant Khalsa’. His home condition was in shambles therefore it was decided to convert into a ‘place of worship’. The Gurdwara was built by the Damdami Taksal with no financial assistance from the previous Punjab Government led by the coalition of SAD-BJP, said Head of Damdami Taksal Harnam Singh Dhuma. No one in village opposed the construction of the Gurdwara and it was highly supported by the youths as they remember him [Bhindranwale] fondly, said a village resident Jaswinder Singh Brar.

According to the Intelligence inputs, the ‘Chiefs’ of Pakistan-based terror outfits, LeT and JeM are leading the campaign against the ‘Chief’ of HM Syed Salahuddin to step down as the leader of the outfit—further points to the development in the rivalries in the ranks of Pakistan-based jihadi outfits that operates against India. Syed Salahuddin—who headed the HM and the United Jihad Council (UJC) with support of Pakistan’s ISI has been facing decline in the influence over Kashmir-centric operations and growing ambitions of other terror outfits. ISI is under pressure to remove Syed Salahuddin whereas LeT and JeM have made Salahuddin’s commanders—Amir Khan, Imtiyaz Alam, against him, read an Intelligence input.

Pakistan is reported to have suffered heavy damages and casualties (both fatal and non-fatal) in massive retaliatory action undertaken by the Indian Army on the LoC across twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri. Sources said that ‘minimum of seven to eight’ Pakistani posts have been hit and destroyed completely in retaliatory action by the Indian troops across Rajouri and Poonch Districts. Pakistan has suffered three to four fatal and non-fatal casualties inside the posts and the number could go up.

Sources said Army has responded to ceasefire violations by Pakistan ‘more than aggressively’ causing heavy damages and casualties on their side. However, they added, since Pakistan army controls their media, the number of casualties of Pakistani troops is blacked out. “They give the figure of only civilian casualties and don’t mention about Army fatalities. Not even Pakistan Parliament is briefed on the casualties. Pakistan only lists the casualties suffered by them on Afghanistan border and blacks-out the losses faced along the Indian borders,” they added. Asserting that this strategy was being followed by Pakistan since long, sources said this was aimed at boosting morale of their troops, which was at its low. “If Pakistan would show up exact number of fatalities suffered on the Indian borders, not only their troops but the people would be shocked,” they added. “In every engagement, we have with Pakistan army, we have inflicted heavy casualties and damages on Pakistan side,” sources said, adding that retaliatory actions against Pakistan army have been necessitated to target their posts, which hit Indian civilian areas and give shelter to the terrorists to facilitate their launching into this side.

As Pakistan has suffered heavy casualties across Mendhar sector, their army came out with a fake video showing destruction of the Indian post, sources. The civil administration in Mendhar today also contradicted the Pakistani claim of destruction of an Indian Army post saying no such incident has taken place in Mendhar. “No post of Indian Army has been hit at Tatta Paani in Mendhar sector or anywhere else in Rajouri and Poonch districts as claimed by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor in a video uploaded on twitter. Ghafoor’s claim is absurd. There is no truth in the claim that five Indian soldiers have been killed in destruction of the post,” sources said, adding that after suffering heavy casualties and damages, Pakistan was now resorting to absolute lies for face saving. The Army sources claimed that a total of 20 Pakistani Army personnel were killed this year while the number was 138 in 2017.

Militants fired indiscriminately and lobbed a grenade before escaping from a SFs cordon in Palhallan area of Baramulla District. SFs jointly launched the operation following inputs about the presence of militants in the area. Sources said that the SFs had information about presence of a group of LeT militants in Tantraypora area of Palhallan and cordoned it off at around 11:30. last night (February 15). As the SFs conducted searches, militants fired at the troops and hurled a grenade and heavy firing followed from both the sides.

However, people took to streets and clashed with the security forces to help the militants escape. A group of locals resorted to stone-pelting to disrupt the gunfight. SFs responded by lobbing teargas shells triggering clashes. A Police spokesman, meanwhile, said that the operation was launched following information about the presence of some militants in the area. “While the cordon was being established and civilians evacuated from the area, militants fired indiscriminately and managed to escape taking advantage of darkness,” the spokesman said. Sources said that there was a group of LeT militants hiding in the village but they had left before the operation was launched and one militant Mohammad Yusuf of Check Kawoosa in Budgam district was, however, hiding in a house. He fired at the troops, jumped out of window and fled from the village.

Court of Special Judge NIA has granted seven days Police remand of five persons, who were arrested for their alleged involvement in the escape of LeT militant Naveed from the Police custody. Special Judge NIA Haq Nawaz Zargar, after considering the remand application of NIA, granted seven days police remand of accused namely Mohd Tika Khan, Shakeel Ahmed Bhat, Syed Tajamul, Mohd Shafi Wani and Jan Mohd Ganie, all the residents of Pulwama. They were produced before the court by Rakesh Sharma, SP, CIO, NIA with the prayer that accused were required to be interrogated thoroughly to unravel the criminal conspiracy whereby accused persons have killed two police men and facilitated the escape of Naveed in the shootout in SMHS Hospital Srinagar.

Pakistan has refused to accept bodies of its three nationals, who had carried out fidayeen attack at Sunjuwan Military Station on February 10 in which six Army personnel and a civilian were killed while troops had eliminated all three fidayeens. Following Pakistan’s refusal to claim bodies of its nationals, Police on February 16 buried the bodies of all three fidayeens with all religious formalities. Official sources said that the MEA had got in touch with Pakistan Embassy and asked them to claim dead bodies of all three Pakistani militants, who were killed in Sunjuwan Military Station attack, as it had been established that all three were Pakistani nationals. The MEA had given evidence to Pakistan in support of Indian claim that slain militants were Pakistanis. Sources said there was pressure on Pakistan Government to accept bodies of its nationals but it refused as this would have exposed the neighbouring country that it was openly sponsoring terrorism in India by sending trained militants into Jammu and Kashmir for carrying out subversive activities.

Top Police officers of Army, Jammu and Kashmir Police, BSF, CRPF, IAF and other agencies met to devise strategy to jointly counter the fidayeen attacks in future. IGP, Jammu Zone, Dr SD Singh Jamwal presided over the meeting. Sources said the authorities decided to formulate ‘pro-active’ and ‘aggressive approach’ to ensure that the militants don’t manage to carry out the terror attacks anywhere including security installations and civilian areas. And if they succeed in carrying out the attack, the joint mechanism should be in place to immediately thwart the attack and minimize the casualties. The meeting reviewed in detail the Sunjuwan Military Station attack and decided to overcome the drawbacks, if any, especially strengthening of naka system to observe and neutralize movement of the militants well in advance before they could succeed in carrying out the attack.

A general alert was sounded in border town of Samba after suspicious movement of the militants was observed in Katli area. SSP Samba Anil Magotra said that joint teams of Army, Police, CRPF and other agencies carried out the search operation in and around the area, where there were reports that movement of two suspected militants carrying arms and ammunition with them was reported. “Searches continued throughout the day but no contact with the militants was established,” sources said but added that security agencies remained on high alert all along the border areas of Samba and the town to ensure that the militants, if any, are neutralized before they could strike.

The three heavily-armed JeM terrorists who carried out the audacious attack on Sunjuwan military camp in Jammu had infiltrated into Kashmir from Pakistan in June last year, sources said. According to preliminary investigation of the Army, the three terrorists were hiding in various parts of Jammu and Kashmir for the past seven months and were looking at carrying out an attack. The JeM terrorists who carried out the attack had crossed over to India from Pakistan in June last year when infiltration had gone up, the sources said. They said a detailed investigation is being carried into the Sunjuwan attack and the probe report will be examined by top echelon of the Army. The sources said immediate steps are being taken to ensure that such attacks do not recur.

Army chief General Bipin Rawat called upon the youths of Jammu and Kashmir to desist from terrorism and stone pelting and instead contribute in nation building process by joining Armed Forces. He gave this advice to Jammu and Kashmir youth through students of the border district of Rajouri, who inter-acted with him in New Delhi as part of their tour programme sponsored by the Indian Army from February 11 to 21. An official handout issued by the PIB said the Army chief shared his experiences with the students and motivated them to work hard and contribute actively in the nation building process. He called upon the youths to join the Indian Armed Forces and serve cause of the nation.

The Army chief, who had returned from three-day tour of Nepal yesterday (February 15) and held high-level review of security situation in Jammu and Kashmir especially the LoC in twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch, was reported to have told the youth that some “external forces”, a point towards Pakistan, were trying to misguide the youth of Jammu and Kashmir and that they shouldn’t fall in their trap as it would spoil their career. General Rawat advised the school children to desist from terrorism and stone pelting and reminded them that certain external forces are creating differences and misguiding the youths and that it was their (the students’) duty to thwart mischievous designs of the enemy as they have to build their career. “Terrorism has never benefitted anyone. It is only the common man who has to suffer because of these activities and we will not let it to happen,” the Army chief said while interacting with visiting students from schools of the border areas of Rajouri district in Jammu region.

In an audio clip, JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar brags to his cadres, "Indians are baffled at how our 'mujahideen' reached Jammu from Kashmir. Sunjuwan is not on the border but inside the heart of Jammu". Azhar reveals, in the audio clip, how the simultaneous attacks in Sunjuwan and Srinagar's Karan Nagar was part of the same plan. "While Jammu terror siege was still on, our men set Srinagar afire," he is heard saying. The terror mastermind also revealed how he and his cadres were working with other terror outfits to launch these simultaneous attacks and mocked Indian agencies for not having a whiff about it.

According to media reports, Indian intelligence agencies came across the audio clip a week after three JeM fidayeens launched an attack at 36 Brigade campus in Jammu. Pakistan on the other hand, seems to be indignant at the allegations made by Indian authorities.

While attending a programme at Rohilakhand University in Uttar Pradesh, the UHM Rajnath Singh has said that India is giving a befitting reply to Pakistan’s nefarious activities. Regarding the withdrawal of cases against the stone-pelters in J&K, Rajnath Singh replied that the Government never favour to confine someone in jail but expect them to join back the mainstream. Actions will be taken against those who involved in wrong tactics.

GNLA militant identified as Bhim Bahadur Chetry alias Kancha surrendered to the BSF at Nongalbibra in South Garo Hills District. He also surrendered one country made shot gun and 26 rounds of live ammunition. The surrendered cadre further revealed that the strength of the outfit now stood at about 18.

He also revealed that GNLA was operating in two groups with one group of 11 cadres, who were moving around with the ‘commander in chief’ of the outfit, Sohan D Shira, currently around South Garo Hills. Another group with seven militants which was led by Dristhi Rajkhowa of ULFA-I was operating in West Khasi Hills District.

February 17

A linkman of ULFA-I was arrested from Tinsukia District. Detonators and large quantity of explosives were recovered. 

Three women CPI-Maoist cadres were arrested during a raid conducted in Katuapadar Forest under Mathili Police Station area in Malkangiri District of Odisha. The arrested Maoists have been identified as Jogi Kabasi, Jamali Kurami and Idme Mandabi. Informing on the arrests Malkangiri SP, Jagmohan Meena said after getting a tip-off on a Maoist training camp functioning at the foot hills of Taulasi Dongri Hill, a joint team of Malkangiri Police and DVF conducted a raid. During the raid three women Maoists were arrested. “The arrested Maoists were members of Kangerghati Area Committee and were active in Tulsi Dongri area. One of the arrested Maoist Jogi Kabasi was carrying a prize of Rs 4 lakh on her head and the other two were carrying Rs 1 lakh each. They have been forwarded to court,” said SP, Meena.

In a joint press conference on February 17, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani signed 13 essential agreements over taxes, travel, commerce, healthcare, extradition and Chabahar project. It gives India an immense pleasure to welcome Iranian President Rouhani after a gap of a decade. His visit would deepens and strengthen the relationship bound by the threat of ‘Sufism’, said Indian PM. The Indian PM stressed on the coordination of India and Iran for the prosperity and security in neighbouring nation—Afghanistan. Regarding the sponsoring of terrorism, both countries believed to see their neighbourhood ‘free’ from terrorism and strongly committed to act against those who support terrorism, cybercrime and narcotics trade.

A BJP candidate  escaped a suspected assassination attempt by unidentified assailants on February 17, near Yimpang village in Wokha District.  The assailants reportedly first ambushed the convoy with machete and later resorted to firing. Three people were also wounded in the incident.

February 18

An OGW of GNLA was arrested from South Salmara in Mankachar District.

Four people including NCP candidate from William Nagar constituency and two security personnel were killed when militants ambushed the convoy of the candidate and exploded an IED at Samanda in East Garo Hills. An ex GNLA militant Nikam Ch Momin alias Baichung who was accompanying the candidate, was also killed in the attack. 

A Security Personnel killed in the incident was identified as Sameer Hassan. Three people were wounded in the incident. Police suspects GNLA was behind the killing. The militants had earlier issued warning against the NCP candidate and warned people of dire consequences if they supported the NCP candidate.

HPC-D leaders have expressed optimism that political level talks with Mizoram Government in March would find a solution to the Hmar problem. Mizoram Home Minister R Lalzirliana had recently announced that the first round of political level talks with HPC (D) was likely to be held on March 5 in Aizawl. Home department officials said that former Labor Minister Lalrinmawia Ralte was likely to head the Government delegation.

Two Policemen were killed and six others injured in an encounter with the CPI-Maoist cadres in Sukma District of Chhattisgarh. The encounter took place in a forest under the Bhejji Police Station when a joint team of the STF, DRG and local Police was out on an "area-domination operation", DIG, South Bastar range, Sundarraj P said. As the team was passing through the forest between Bhejji and Elarmadgu, around 500 kilometres from State capital Raipur, it came under heavy firing from the ultras, leading to the gun-battle, the DIG said. "Assistant constables Madkam Handa and Mukesh Kadthi of the DRG were killed and six other jawans were injured," the DIG said.

Along the stretch between Bhejji and Elarmadgu, where a road construction project is underway in Sukma District of Chhattisgarh, the Maoists killed Anil Kumar, the supervisor of the private contractor, and set vehicles engaged in the road construction work ablaze. "The heavily-armed ultras also killed a contractor's supervisor and set ablaze nearly one dozen vehicles -- which were engaged in road laying works on the sensitive Chintagufa-Injaram road," SDG, Anti-Naxal Operation, DM Awasthi said.

In one encounter in Errabore village area, the body of one Maoist, identified as Bhamiya Gad, who was killed in the encounter with Police has been recovered in Sukma District of Chhattisgarh. Bhejji and Errabore are around 450 kilometres south of Raipur.

Bihar Police arrested CPI-Maoist cadre identified as Pachu Pujhar at Pipra-Tillha village under Belhar Police Station area in Banka District of Bihar. The Police arrested the CPI-Maoist cadre after information was received that the Pachu is going to come to his village Pipra Tillha. There are many criminal cases registered in different Police Stations in the district against him, said Police Deputy Inspector, Vinod Kumar Gupta.

An infiltrator, suspected to be a Pakistani militant, was killed while three Army soldiers were injured, in a major infiltration attempt on the LoC at Khari Karmara in Poonch District in the night. However, the report added that the death toll of the infiltrators could go up as a couple of them were reportedly injured during the intrusion bid. Sources said that troops observed infiltration attempt by the militants under the cover of heavy mortar shelling and firing by Pakistani troops at Khari Karmara in Poonch sector in Poonch District in the evening and opened firing. While retaliating Pakistani shelling, the troops engaged the militants, numbering between three to four, who were making desperate bid to sneak into this side. Heavy exchanges took place between the two sides for about an hour in which an infiltrator was killed while at least three Indian Army soldiers were injured. Intermittent exchange of firing continued till late in the night.

Three Army soldiers injured in Pakistan shelling have been identified as Sepoy Abhishek Pise, Shiva Ji Bhosare and Ashish Singh. They were evacuated from the site of shelling and admitted to the Military Hospital. Sources said Pakistani troops and infiltrators simultaneously targeted forward Army posts as desperate militants, who were equipped with arms, ammunition and explosives, made determined attempt to sneak into this side. “The infiltration attempt was foiled,’’ sources said, adding that at least one of the infiltrators has been killed while the toll could rise to two. This was second major infiltration attempt during past four days in Poonch district. The first such bid took place in Mendhar, which was also thwarted by the alert troops. There were reports that a couple of militants had been killed in failed infiltration bid at Mendhar though their bodies were not recovered on this side.

According to sources, there are over 300 terrorists (the number could be even around 400) in and around launching pads along the LoC on Pakistan sides looking for an opportunity to enter into the Indian territory. “In view of massive presence of militants along LoC, Indian troops are bracing up for “hot summer’’ both on LoC and hinterland and even possibility of tension defusing on the LoC also seems to be remote. “Full freedom has been given to Commanders of Army posts along LoC in Jammu and Kashmir to effectively respond to any act of violence by Pakistani troops,’’ sources said.

SFs launched massive operation in Handwara area and adjacent forests of Kupwara District after reports about presence of militants. The 30 and 32 RR of Army and Handwara Police cordoned off Gundkalan area of Kralgund in Handwara. Sources said that they had information about presence of a group of militants of LeT in the area. However, during the house to house searches, no militant was found.

SFs also conducted searches in the forests in Gundkalan Kralgund area as they suspect that the militants might have fled to nearby forest area. However, in the evening operation was suspended but the SFs are keeping a close eye on the area to monitor the movement of these militants.

Sources said that the Police is receiving inputs about presence of militants from various area of Srinagar city. And sources said that in this connection one person was arrested from Dalgate area of Srinagar. However, it was not immediately known whether the person is a militant or OGW. He is being questioned by the SFs. Sources said that of late militants have established a strong network in Srinagar and they are trying to conduct strikes in the city. However, the SFs are continuously putting pressure on them but so far they have not been able to break their network. Earlier, there was no presence of militants in Srinagar and they were using it as transit only. But of late as the pressure on militants in South and North Kashmir increased they have established network in Srinagar especially old city area. Sources said that there is sizable presence of militants inside Srinagar which is a major challenge for the SFs.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, asked youth to shun violence as it will yield nothing except death and destruction. Speaking to a public rally at Kund in Devsar in Kulgam District, Mehbooba asked against youth joining militancy as it will bring more troops and military camps to Kashmir.  “If you will pick up one gun, 1000 guns are ready to fight you back.  I came here to tell you that militancy will yield nothing. One thing will happen that Army camps will be established everywhere and it will take 100 years to remove these camps”, she said. Appealing youth to desist from going on the path of violence, the Chief Minister said world is witness to the fact that violence has not resolved any issues rather it gives birth to many more. “Resorting to more violence leads to a response which ultimately leaves behind scars only”, she said.

Mehbooba appealed people to play their role in maintaining peace so that the process of dialogue and reconciliation is carried forward, more routes across LoC in the State are opened and people on the both sides of the divide march together on the path of growth and progress. “Give me peace. I will purse dialogue, opening of routes like Kargil-Skardu, Jam-mu-Sialkote, Nows-hehra-Jhangar etc. If there is peace I wish people on both sides would march together on the path of growth and development”, she said in her address. She appealed youth to give peace a chance so that Government will open cross Line of Control roads like Government did in the past.”

More than 20 CPI-Maoist cadres were killed in an encounter with SFs in Sukma District of Chhattisgarh, said Special DG, anti- Naxal operations, D.M. Awasthi. The SFs gave a befitting reply to the CPI-Maoist cadres during the encounter which lasted for around 5 hours, in which two of our personnel died. More than 20 Naxals were killed in the firing, added DG Awasthi.

CPI-Maoist cadres abducted a trader, identified as Ganapati Muduli in Malkangiri District of Odisha, because of suspicions that he might have shared information about their camp with the Police that led to the gun-battle. The Police said the rebels took villagers along with them to carry their belongings from one place to another inside the forest on certain occasions.

February 19

UMHA report also stated that militancy in the Northeast is on the decline. According to the report, the seven states in the northeast registered 308 militancy-related cases last year, down from 484 in 2016. In 2015, there were 574 insurgency-related cases reported while the year before that registered a staggering 824 such incidents. Manipur, with 167 cases reported last year, was found to be the most disturbed state, primarily owing to the activities of CorCom.

Meghalaya Election Department as sent a report to the EC on the killing of NCP candidate and sought deployment of additional forces in Garo hills region. Meghalaya Chief Electoral Officer F.R. Kharkongor stated that they have sought 10 additional companies of CAPF for Garo hills, especially in the militant-infested areas, and in the bordering West Khasi Hills District. Eighty companies of CAPF, already sanctioned for Meghalaya, will arrive from Tripura this week.

Chief Electoral Officer F.R. Kharkongor stated that the election in Williamnagar, where Jonathone was contesting has been deferred. The next date for elections would be declared later.

NCP has demanded NIA investigation into the killing of its candidate in East Garo Hills District.

A UMHA report has stated that Meghalaya registered 28 militancy related incidents. UMHA report also stated that militancy in the Northeast is on the decline. According to the report, the seven states in the northeast registered 308 militancy-related cases last year, down from 484 in 2016. In 2015, there were 574 insurgency-related cases reported while the year before that registered a staggering 824 such incidents.

UMHA report also stated that militancy in the Northeast is on the decline. According to the report, the seven states in the northeast registered 308 militancy-related cases last year, down from 484 in 2016. In 2015, there were 574 insurgency-related cases reported while the year before that registered a staggering 824 such incidents. Formation of UNLFW an umbrella body of at least four militant groups had caused an increase in insurgency related incidents in Arunachal Pradesh.

The resurgence of Independent faction ULFA-I and NDFB-S caused more disruptions in Arunachal, which registered the second highest militant activity with 61 incidents. Assam DGP stated that UNLFW an umbrella body of at least four militant groups had caused an increase in insurgency related incidents in Arunachal Pradesh. He added that The formation of UNLFW has aided the revival of ULFA-I, which now receives support from NSCN-K in Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.

UMHA report also stated that militancy in the Northeast is on the decline. According to the report, the seven states in the northeast registered 308 militancy-related cases last year, down from 484 in 2016. In 2015, there were 574 insurgency-related cases reported while the year before that registered a staggering 824 such incidents. Tripura and Mizoram emerged as the most peaceful states in the region.

UMHA report stated that seven states in the northeast registered 308 militancy-related cases last year, down from 484 in 2016. The trend has been a downward one. In 2015, there were 574 insurgency-related cases reported while the year before that registered a staggering 824 such incidents. Formation of UNLFW. Nagaland registered 19 militancy related incidents.                          

Assam DGP stated that UNLFW has aided the revival of ULFA-I, which now receives support from NSCN-K in Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.

A woman, identified as Zulekha Begam was injured after Pakistani troops violated ceasefire along the LoC in Uri sector of Baramulla District in the afternoon while Indian troops destroyed a Pakistani bunker in retaliation. Sources said that Pakistani troops targeted Indian posts of 17 Jat Regiment along LoC at Pika Post in Churanda area of Uri at 5.15 p.m. “The Indian troops fired back and one Pakistani bunker was destroyed in the firing and there are some casualties”, they said. Churanda is the most vulnerable village in Uri sector as the population in this village is upto zero line and whenever there is firing in the area, the civilians become the target.

Srinagar based Defence spokesperson Colonel Rajesh Kalia said that Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked ceasefire violation in Uri sector at 17:15 hours. “Own troops retaliated appropriately, unconfirmed reports indicate causality on Pak troops”, the spokesperson said. He said that Pakistani posts are now targeting civilian population in Churanda village near Line of Control.

Pakistan army also violated ceasefire along the LoC in Mankote area of Mendhar sector in Poonch District by resorting to mortar shelling and firing on forward Indian posts and civilian areas in the night. This was second ceasefire violation by Pakistan army in Poonch district in as many days. On February 18, Pakistan had violated ceasefire agreement in Khari Karmara area of Poonch. Sources said Pakistani troops fired some mortar shells and used semi-automatic and automatic weapons to target forward Indian posts and civilian areas. The Indian troops retaliated effectively, leading to exchanges that continued for some time. However, there were no reports of any casualties on the Indian side in Pakistan shelling and firing.

Sources said the ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops have become a routine on the LoC in twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri. Pakistani troops were trying to push militants into the Indian territory under the cover of ceasefire violations, they added.

SFs busted a militant hideout and recovered arms and ammunition in Kupwara District. SSP Shamsher Hussain said that based on a specific input a joint operation was launched by SOG Kupwara, 41 RR of arm and 98 Battalion of CRPF last night (February 18) in Lashtiyal village and its adjoining forest area. He said that during intensive search of the area a militant hideout was busted in dense forest area. He said that this afternoon (February 19) arms, ammunition and other items were recovered. They include six hand grenades, one Chinese pistol, 15 rounds of pistol, 2 pistol magazines, 335 AK rounds, 3 UBGL (Underbarrel Grenade Launchers) shells, 2 kilograms IED, one power protein box, two IED spray, 7 detonators, 3 pherans and one blanket. He said that a case (FIR No 29/2018 U/S 7/25 Indian Arms Act) has been registered at Police Station Kupwara and Investigations are in progress.

SFs busted another militant hideout in Tral area of Pulwama District. A Police official said that cordon and search was launched at Nagwadi Pinglish forests area of Tral by SOG Tral, 42 RR of Army and CRPF and busted a hideout. He said that some utensils and eating items were recovered from the hideout. These include one gas cylinder, one pressure cooker, four steel plates, three pots, 30 kilograms of rice, three blankets and three pillows.

SFs launched cordon and search operation at Nuli Poshwari in Imam Sahib area of Shopian District after inputs about presence of militants in the village. Army’s 44 RR, SOG of Shopian and CRPF laid a joint cordon around the village but the militants, who were hiding in an orchard, fired at the troops.  SFs later launched searches in the orchards but militants had fled.

The NIA, which has been asked to probe the escape of dreaded LeT terrorist Mohammed Naveed Jhatt alias Abu Hanzalla from a busy hospital in Srinagar, will investigate conspiracy angles, including how he got ‘favourable orders’ from doctors and jail authorities, officials said in New Delhi. Senior UMHA officials said that on the Centre’s advice, the State has already shifted 25 terrorists, of which 16 are Pakistanis, to various jails outside the Kashmir valley since the escape of 22-year-old Jhatt, a Pakistani national who infiltrated into the Valley in 2014. The officials said the NIA probe will disclose the conspiracy angle and ascertain how such a dreaded terrorist managed to get favourable orders from jail authorities and doctors.

The UMHA has also asked the Jammu and Kashmir Government to conduct a detailed inquiry and submit a report within 15 days on measures required for revamping security of jails in the State on the basis of inputs received from security agencies. The NIA has already taken custody of five accused arrested in connection with Jhatt’s escape from the SMHS hospital and are at present on remand for seven days since February 16. The five accused were nabbed by the Jammu and Kashmir Police on February 8, two days after Jhatt escaped from the hospital. Jhatt had managed to escape on February 6 after at least two other militants attacked a police escort team at the hospital, where he was brought in for treatment.

India charged that Pakistan continued to indulge in nefarious designs of supporting and abetting infiltration by the militants along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir and has failed to respect ceasefire agreement and commitment on not allowing its soil or territory to be used for terrorism against India. In a hard-hitting statement after thwarting Pakistan’s BAT plot on February 18 night to target Indian troops in Khari Karmara area of Poonch sector in Poonch District, the Indian Army said it was clear that Pakistan had never been interested to bring about peace and tranquility in Jammu and Kashmir as they were responsible for vitiating atmosphere both along LoC and hinterland. “The statement by Pakistan’s COAS at Munich conference in Germany that there were no terrorist safe havens in Pakistan, has proved to be hollow. Pakistan has been supporting terrorism in a systematic manner with complete support of their army,” an official statement released to the media in Srinagar on February 19 evening by the Defence spokesman, said.

The statement was in reaction to February 18’s BAT attack by three militants at Khari Karmara on the LoC in Poonch District, which was successfully thwarted by the Indian troops by eliminating one of the BAT members-who happened to be a Pakistani terrorist-and recovery of huge quantity of arms, ammunition and explosives from their possession. Two BAT members fled back to Pakistan following effective retaliatory firing brought down by the Indian troops. The Defence spokesman said Pakistan’s continued support to infiltration from across the LoC was contrary to their stated position of making ‘Water tight arrangements along LoC to check terrorist movement’. Pakistan’s statement has been amply quashed by this (the BAT action) attempt on the LoC.

Pakistan army had resorted to ceasefire violations on the LoC in Khari Karmara by resorting to mortar shelling and firing with a view to give cover to the BAT members to cause action on the Indian side. However, alert troops had thwarted the attempt of the BAT, backed by the Pakistani troops. The Army statement said: “Pakistan has repeatedly failed to respect and fulfill its ceasefire agreement of 2003 and January 2004 commitment that it wouldn’t allow its soil or territory under its control to be used for terrorism against India. “It is clear that Pakistan had never been interested to bring about peace and stability in Jammu and Kashmir. Rather, they have been vitiating the atmosphere along both Line of Control and hinterland”. The spokesman said the ‘White Knight Corps’ (16 Corps headquartered at Nagrota under whose jurisdiction the twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch fall) was keeping strict and constant vigil across the LoC and all security forces are prepared to thwart any kind of nefarious designs by the Pakistan sponsored terrorists.

J&K Public Works Minister and official spokesman of the J&K Government Naeem Akhtar said that China is on its way to assuming a ‘much bigger role in Kashmir’ and the JeM, the group responsible for most of the terror attacks, has been veritably ‘adopted’ by Beijing. It’s the ‘growing influence of China’ which has made it imperative to engage with Pakistan, he said. “Unlike earlier, the great game is literally being played inside Kashmir,” Akhtar, a senior PDP leader, said. “The Kashmir issue isn’t limited to the fight between India and Pakistan now. There is another major factor involved. It isn’t Pakistan alone, it is China too. General (Bipin Rawat) said that the Army is ready to fight on both fronts. But there aren’t two fronts anymore. Now it is one single front, circling around. From Bhutan to Arunachal Pradesh, Ladakh, Valley to Jammu, Sri Lanka and Maldives, it is all one front. Pakistan and China aren’t separate”.

“All the big attacks inside J&K or even outside during last more than three years are attributed to Jaish-e-Mohammed, a group led by Masood Azhar,” said Akhtar. “How can one not see that he (Masood Azhar) has been adopted by China? There are reports of some action taken against Hafiz Saeed. What about Masood Azhar? Even a lesser figure like Salahudin has been listed as a global terrorist in UN but the great wall of China has been erected around Azhar. China has been regularly vetoing attempts to designate him (Azhar) as a terrorist in United Nations. Such things don’t happen without reason. Why only him? Why not others? Why didn’t China block such moves in UN against other people? The China connection needs to be understood”.

“At this point, talking to Pakistan and initiating policies of reconciliation inside Kashmir is in the national interest. It is in our national interest that Pakistan doesn’t get irretrievably sucked up by China,’’ he said. “And when we say talk to Pakistan, we are addressing our own Central government because they have to take that step. We aren’t seeking anything from anybody other than the central government. That’s our right”.

To counter the increasing frequency and lethality of militant attacks in Jammu and Kashmir, the CRPF has armored itself with the French-made Renault Sherpa Light Scout Armored Personnel Carrier. Manufactured by Renault Trucks Defense, the shiny black Sherpa Light vehicle - equipped with protection systems against bullets and improvised explosive devices - was used by the paramilitary force for the first time in Kashmir during the recent encounter with two LeT fidayeen near the CRPF camp at Karan Nagar in Srinagar. A security official said the Sherpa vehicle is bullet-proof and fitted with cameras. There is a screen fitted next to the driver’s seat where CCTV footage is displayed and personnel inside can know what is happening outside and how to react to the situation. The use of the vehicle assumes significance in view of the fact that in at least two encounters with SFs, militants had used armor-piercing bullets to cause casualties among the SFs.

Ravideep Singh Sahi, IG of CRPF, said that the vehicle had been hired from the NSG. “It is a slightly advanced bulletproof vehicle…. It is more comfortable and manoeuvrable. The shape is different and size is small,” Sahi said. Another security official said the vehicle could accommodate at six to seven persons, including the driver, who can fire from inside to target with accuracy militant positions without facing any threat of receiving bullets from the other side. The official said the vehicle was suited for reconnaissance, patrol, surveillance and surprise operations. “Since the vehicle is special, therefore personnel have to be trained to use it proficiently during anti-militancy operations.

February 19-20

An abductor was arrested in connection with abduction on February 8. An abductor identified as R. Pritam Chothe was arrested from Jiontlang in Chandel District in the intervening night of February 19 and 20.

February 20

The Jharkhand Government banned the Kerala-based Islamic organization—PFI for its alleged links to IS. The Government of Jharkhand banned PFI, which is active in Jharkhand as well; mainly in Pakur District, under the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 1908. The Home Department of Jharkhand Government also recommended the ban. Reportedly, some PFI members in Kerala had travelled to Syria and joined IS, read a statement released by the Government of Jharkhand.

The Gujarat High Court issued a notice to the NIA over a bail plea filed by the Naeem Ramodia who was arrested for allegedly conspiring IS-style ‘lone-wolf’ attack in Gujarat. According to Ramodia’s plea, the FIR and other materials filed against him—labeled him as a ‘misguided youth’. Both, Naeem and his brother Vaseem had been charged for planning a lone-wolf attack in Gujarat. In his petition, Naeem argued that he and his brother were too ‘fearful’ to commit the crime alleged against both of them; hence the bail shall be granted. Naeem and his brother had no prior criminal antecedents. It is an interest of the nation that both of them must keep away from criminals and moved to reform house for psychological treatment for some time, read the petition filed by Naeem’s advocate M.M. Shaikh.  Whereas, the NIA stated in their Chargesheet that the Gujarat ATS had credible information about few youths from Gujarat were radicalized by Mufti Abdus Sami Qasmi alias Samiullah.

CPI-Maoist cadres killed a villager, after charging him to be a ‘Police Informer’ at Orapadar village inside the cut-off area across the Balimela reservoir in Andrahal Panchayat in Malkangiri District of Odisha. Around 20 CPI-Maoist cadres entered into the house of the person and kidnapped him. The CPI-Maoist cadres later killed him by slitting his throat on the outskirts of the village. The identity of the deceased is yet to be established, said SP, Jagmohan Meena.

A total of 29 road projects estimated at INR 3.5002 billion were approved for the CPI-Maoist-affected Malkangiri and Koraput Districts of Odisha in the first governing body meeting of the newly constituted Odisha State Rural Connectivity Project Agency (OSRCPA) held at State capital Bhubaneswar. Chief Secretary Arvind Prasad Padhi presiding over the meeting directed the concerned department to expedite the processes of tender, award of work and complete the projects before the scheduled time, and to ensure quality in construction through regular check and monitoring. Of the sanctioned roads, 13 would be constructed in Boipariguda, Koraput, Lamatapur, Narayanpatna and Semiliguda blocks of Koraput District and 16 roads to be built in Kalimela, Khairaput, Korukonda, Kudumulu Gumma, Malkangiri, Mathili and Podia blocks of Malkangiri District. The Centre and State Government would share funds at 60:40. The main objective of OSRCPA is to provide seamless road connectivity in the Maoist-hit areas of the State. As per the decision, a three-tier quality monitoring system would be put in place.

Police launched a special drive to seize properties of CPI-Maoist cadres and their relatives under the UAPA in Jharkhand. The Police seized the land documents of CPI-Maoist ‘sub-zonal commander’, Abhijit Yadav's wife Gita Devi. Abhijit purchased four plots in different parts of Palamau District in his wife’s name. SFs have also frozen bank account of Abhijit Yadav’s wife. The special drive is launched following DGP D.K. Pandey's instruction.

The NIA filed a charge sheet in the Ranchi NIA Special Court of Jharkhand against five accused persons for conspiring to wage war against the Government of India and the State of Jharkhand. The five accused are Buredi Narayana, brother of - Naxal commander Sudhakar, Satwaji, Naxal Commander of Jharkhand, Madhvi, Prabhu Prasad Sahu and Sujeet Kherwar.

Five CPI-Maoist cadres identified as Sodhi Malla (25), Dirdo Deva (30), Vetti Masa (28), Tati Hunga (28) and Vetti Lakhma (30) surrendered before the Police in Sukma District of Chhattisgarh. All the five CPI-Maoist cadres were active as DAKMS and carrying permanent warrants against them. The surrendered CPI-Maoist cadres will be benefited under the rehabilitation schemes and other schemes of Government. 

A militant of UNLF identified as Khangembam Logmanyachandra Meitei was arrested from Moreh Forest Gate area in Tengnoupal District. The arrested militant has three month training at Lazang Village in Chandel District and had joined the group in May 2006.

SFs recovered an IED at Nengmandalgre in East Garo Hills. Police suspect GNLA to be behind the incident.

Police Observer for West Garo Hills District along with General Observer reviewed the law and order situation in East Garo Hills. The Police observer stated that they were in touch with Border Security Forces with regard to movement of militants in border areas. Moreover, the election candidates and their agents have placed their request for additional security while highlighting few sensitive polling stations in their respective constituencies.

Meghalaya Police suspect GNLA ‘chief’ Sohan D Shira was behind the February 18 IED blast in Sawilgre village in East Garo Hills District. East Garo Hills SP stated that ‘We are strongly suspect the involvement of the GNLA chief behind this IED blast since we had carried out an operation on February 19 night after receiving inputs that Sohan was a village’. However the militant escaped following which operations have been intensified in the whole area.

Meghalaya DGP stated that evidence to the killing of the NCP candidate points to the role of the GNLA outfit and said credible leads are being obtained. While clearly indicating the role of GNLA, DGP also voiced concern over the presence of surrendered rebels in the company of the slain politician. He also added that they were seeking more Paramilitary Forces from the Government of India.

DGP also added that standard security procedures were allegedly not followed by the NCP candidate leading to the attack. The NCP candidate is said to have informed district authorities about his election campaign meetings for a few select villages in Samanda block. But, he reportedly overstepped his area of campaign by going deeper into the remote region where previous militant activities have taken place.

DGP also added that ‘It is a known fact that GNLA chief Sohan Shira has been targeting former members of his group who surrendered to authorities. Last year’s killing of their surrendered finance secretary Rakkam Shira and former ‘action commander’ Kamdat are examples of the outfit’s intention’.

Threatening posters against the NCP candidate who was killed on February 19 earlier were found in Chimagre, Nengkhra Darimgre, Damagre, Chisobibra and Samanda Dolwagre in East Garo Hills District. Similar posters were visible even prior to the 2013 Assembly polls in parts of Williamnagar and the role of the suspected GNLA outfit was pointed out then by the deceased candidate. According to sources, the militants, though less in number had better human intelligence network compared to police as far as the incident in Williamnagar is concerned. Moreover, the Police and election authorities’ machinery had not expected such a violent incident since militancy was on the downslide in Garo Hills.

A BJP candidate escaped a suspected assassination attempt by unidentified assailants near Yimpang village in Wokha District.  The assailants reportedly first ambushed the convoy of the candidate with machete and later resorted to firing. Three people were also wounded in the incident.

DC and District Electoral Officer Mokokchung, Sachin Jaiswal, has promulgated prohibitory order under Section 144 CrPc at Longkhum village in Mokokching District. According to an official bulletin, the prohibitory order was imposed in view of the apprehension of the possible breach of peace and disturbance of public tranquillity thereby vitiating the smooth conduct of election in the village. Under the order, the assembly of five or more persons and carrying of fire arms, stones, batons, explosive materials or any such items are prohibited.

DC and DEO Mokokchung, Sachin Jaiswal, has promulgated prohibitory order under Section 144 of CrPc at Longkhum village in Mokokchung District. According to an official bulletin, the prohibitory order was imposed in view of the apprehension of the possible breach of peace and disturbance of public tranquility thereby vitiating the smooth conduct of election in the village. Under the order, the assembly of five or more persons and carrying of fire arms, stones, batons, explosive materials or any such items are prohibited.

ULFA-I stated that it supports the definition of "indigenous" people that was recently announced by Khilonjiya Mancha Asom, an organization led by Anup Chetia of ULFA-PTF.

The Anup Chetia led organization had recently said that those who resided in Assam before the Yandabu Treaty of February 24, 1826 (when Assam was annexed to the British Empire) were indigenous people. Those who settled in the state thereafter and accepted Assamese culture as their own were accepted as Assamese but were not indigenous people. The statement said tea garden communities who were brought from Jharkhand, Odisha and Chhattisgarh by the British to work in tea gardens of Assam and accepted Assamese language and culture as their own were also Assamese but they could not be considered as indigenous people. The outfit talked the same about Gorkhas and Nepalis living in Assam. ULFA-I ‘assistant publicity secretary’ stated that ‘We support the definition of indigenous people announced by the Mancha in its Guwahati Declaration which was resolved after a convention on February 12 and 13. Many local organisations and political parties, despite knowing the definition of indigenous people, have not yet made it public for their political gains and it is significant that the Mancha has done it’.

The Supreme Court has set June 30 as the deadline for publication of NRC The first part of NRC containing 19 million names was published on December 31. A bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice R.F. Nariman, on February 20 asked the NRC authorities to complete the verification of documents by May 31 so that the final draft could be published by June 30.

A BSF jawan, identified as Sunil Kumar Murmu was killed after he was hit by a Pakistani sniper fire from across the LoC in Tanghdar sector of Kupwara District. He was deployed at a forward defended location (FDL) along the LoC in the area, when a Pakistani sniper shot hit him in the abdomen. The solider was removed to hospital and later succumbed to injuries at the hospital in the night. Army has intensified its vigil in the area along the LoC to prevent any infiltration from the sector. The patrols have also been intensified near the fence.

Troops along LoC in Uri sector of Baramulla District have been put on high alert after Indo-Pak troops exchanged fire on February 19. Pakistani troops on February 19 violated ceasefire and targeted Army posts in Churanda village. Army retaliated and firing continued till late in the evening on February 19, during which a woman was injured.

Pakistan summoned India's deputy high commissioner J P Singh in Islamabad in Pakistan to condemn the ‘unprovoked firing’ by Indian troops across the LoC which killed an 8-year-old boy. Pakistan's Foreign Ministry claimed that the boy, Ayan Zahid, was killed after Indian troops opened fire on February 19 in Khuiratta Sector in the PoK. Pakistan army on February 19 claimed that at least two Indian soldiers were killed when it destroyed an army post that was used to kill the minor across the Line of Control, a claim rejected by the Indian Army as ‘baseless’. Director General (South Asia and SAARC) Mohammad Faisal summoned Singh and "condemned the unprovoked ceasefire violations" by Indian forces, the foreign office said in a statement. "The deliberate targeting of civilian populated areas especially children is indeed deplorable and contrary to human dignity, international human rights and humanitarian laws," Faisal said.

He alleged that India committed more than 335 ceasefire violations along the LoC and the Working Boundary in 2018, resulting in the deaths of 15 civilians and injuries to 65 others. "This unprecedented escalation in ceasefire violations by India is continuing from the year 2017 when the Indian forces committed more than 1970 ceasefire violations," he said. Faisal said the ceasefire violations by India are a threat to regional peace and security and may lead to a strategic miscalculation. Faisal urged the Indian side to respect the 2003 ceasefire arrangement and investigate the repeated incidents of ceasefire violations, the statement said.

An attempt by two-three militants to attack a Water Pump House outside Air Force Station at Awantipora in Pulwama District was foiled by alert guards. “2-3 (militants) fired and lobbed grenade at the Air Force Water Pump House Malangpora located outside Air Force Station Awantipora at around 1730 hours today [February 20]. The fire was effectively retaliated by alert sentries,” a Defence Ministry spokesman said. “The (militants) fled. There is no loss of life or property (in the incident),”the spokesman said, adding searches have been launched to trace the attackers. “The search operation is underway,” the spokesman said. A Police officer said that Army and Police cordoned off area but militants managed to escape. “No arrests were made so far,” the officer said.

Police and 55 RR of Army cordoned off Narbal village of Pulwama District after reports about presence of militants in the village in the evening. As the SFs laid the cordon, people of the village came out and pelted stones at the SFs who fired in air to disperse them. They also fired tear smoke to disperse the protesters. The cordon was, however, on when last reports came in.

The Srinagar Central Jail is a hub for recruiting militants with inmates establishing a ‘parallel administrative’ set-up, ignored by local Police despite warnings by prison authorities, said a report by the Jammu and Kashmir CID. The role of the Central Jail is presently so important that every new militant is recruited only after approval from inside the prison, the report said, quoting reliable sources. “However, as to who gives such an approval is being ascertained,” it said. DGP S P Vaid sent the report, prepared under A G Mir, Inspector General of the State CID, to the State Government last year (2017). He also sought stricter vigilance within the prison.

According to the report, the inmates have a ‘parallel administrative set up’ with an ‘Ameer-e-Zindaan’ (chief of prison) appointed by a self-styled ‘shura’ (a consultative council) for six months. Former Director General of Prisons S K Mishra, who was recently shunted following the escape of LeT terrorist Mohammed Naveed Jhatt on February 6, said in a lengthy reply to the report that he had long been highlighting the issue. He said he had told the State Government about several communications to former IGP-Kashmir, Muneer Khan and the Deputy Inspector General for a thorough search of jail but this was not done.

In his reply to the Government, Mishra also said he had flagged issues related to poor infrastructure in the jail which does not allow for proper segregation of the inmates. Mishra, who is the senior-most IPS officer of the State and is now Chairman-Managing Director of JK Police Housing Corporation, also said that he had decided to shift many hardened terrorists and their sympathisers outside Kashmir but this could not be done following orders from various courts. “At a time five to 20 people remain inside to guard the 300 prisoners and it cannot be expected with this thin force to discipline the inmates with iron fist.….Request for deputation of 150 police personnel to supplement the requirement of security of Central Jail and other jails have not been considered by the Government,” the reply said.The Central Jail, he said, is located in the heart of downtown Srinagar and high profile terrorists lodged there have links with locals in the area. “They (militants) directly or indirectly threaten the staff,” he said, adding that this was not brought to the notice of senior jail officials.

A week after two unidentified gunmen killed former militant commander and Kashmiri separatist leader, Mohammad Yusuf Rather, shooting him dead inside a passenger vehicle, the Police is investigating claims made by al Qaeda's Kashmir head, Zakir Musa, that the killing was carried out to warn Hurriyat parties against pursuing secularism. Rather, who was associated with APHC-G chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani for the last 14 years, was killed by two gunmen on February 12, when he was travelling from Beerwah in Budgam to his house in the same district. Two pistol-wielding men who were sitting in the back seat of a vehicle fired at his head and later fled from the place.

Later, Zakir Musa allegedly released an audio file claiming that he ordered his men to kill the Hurriyat leader. He also said that Kashmir's battle will not be political but in order to establish the rule of Islam. "These dishonest Hurriyat leaders don't understand. If they want to run their politics, they shouldn't become a thorn in our way, or else we will chop off their heads and display them at Lal Chowk. This is why we had to kill Mohammad Yusuf Rather," he can be heard saying in the audio clip. "Our Kashmir's battle is for ensuring glorification of Islam and we will establish the Shariah system of Islam. My appeal to all who want to enforce religion is that it should be followed first by oneself. We should become dear to Allah and tie the rope of the Almighty with strength and not repose faith on anyone else," he added.

Zakir Musa is the head of al Qaeda affiliate Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind, and the fresh audio release came a few months after he had accused Pakistan of ‘back-stabbing militants’, following US' attack on Afghanistan. In his previous audio message, he had said that even as foreign militants were fighting in Kashmir, the Pakistani government got militants killed, and even closed the training camps.

However, the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Central Kashmir Range, Ghulam Hassan Bhat, said that a case has been registered after Rather's killing, and they are looking into the audio clip as well. "We are also going through call records of the deceased, and have questioned the driver in whose vehicle Rather was heading home," Bhat said. According to Police officials, two pistol-wielding persons were sitting in the back seat of a vehicle on February 12. At around 4.40 pm, they fired at Rather, killing him immediately. The police then handed over his body to Rather's family members, after which a case was registered.

APHC-G spokesman Gulam Ahmad Gulzar said that as the general secretary of the separatist outfit Tehreke Wahadati Islami, Rather was associated with the Geelani-led faction since 2004. He said that he was the deputy chief commander of the now non-existent militant outfit Hizb-ul-Momineen in the early 1990s before he joined the separatist conglomerate. "He was an important Hurriyat (G) leader and a member of our executive council," he said.

February 21

The Canadian PM Justin Trudeau that his country [Canada] did not support any Sikh separatist movement in India or elsewhere. During his 40-minutes meeting with the CM of Punjab Captain Amarinder Singh, Trudeau assured the CM Amarinder Singh that Canada does not believe in Sikh separatism, even though the latter handed-over the list of nine Canada-resident operatives alleged for promoting radicalism. Capt. Amarinder Singh urged Canadian PM’s cooperation in dealing with separatism and hate crimes caused by a tiny proportion of Canada’s population.  The Punjab CM also handed over to Trudeau a list of nine Canada-based operatives of Category “A”— allegedly involved in hate crimes in Punjab by financing and supplying weapons for terrorist activities, and also engaged in radicalising youth here. In 2017, Punjab’s CM accused Canada’s Defence Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan for being a ‘Khalistan sympathiser’ and refused to meet him during his visit to India. “Really happy to received categorical assurance from Canadian PM that his country does not support any separatist movement. His words are a big relief to all of us,” said Punjab CM (Capt.) Amarinder Singh.

The NIA may Chargesheet former Pakistan diplomat—Amir Zubair Siddiqui in the case of conspiracy to attack key establishments in India.  Amir Siddiqui was employed as ‘visa counsellor’ at the Pakistan High Commission located in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Upon specific intelligence in 2013, the ‘Q’ branch of CID of Tamil Nadu Police arrested Mohamed Zakir Hussain who was involved in the espionage activities as an agent of Pakistan. Zakir’s task was to cause blasts at the foreign Consulates/High Commissions, Defence and Nuclear establishments in India. During his arrest, confidential documents and FICNs were recovered from his possession. During the interrogation, Zakir admitted that he was following the orders from Mr. Siddiqui, an official of Pakistan Consulate in Colombo (Sri Lanka). There are concrete evidences that prove Mr. Siddiqui’s involvement in the terror conspiracy and soon a supplementary chargesheet will be filed, said an unnamed Police official.

Two CPI-Maoist cadres identified as Sukaram Salaam (23) and Lamkuram Korram (21) were arrested from the forest between Aadnar and Chema villages under Bayanar Police Station limits in Kondagaon District of Chhattisgarh. The SFs arrested the CPI-Maoist cadres during a search operation and recovered 16 kg tiffin bomb, one 16 kg IED, detonator, electric wire, Maoist banners and literature. The duo admitted that they were active as ‘janmilitia’ cadres in Temrugaon village of Narayanpur District of Chhattisgarh, said ASP, Maheshwar Nag.

CPI-Maoist cadres killed a civilian, identified as Dinesh Yadav, Head Master (In charge) of Naveen Primary School at Charkapathar under Khaira Police Station area in Jamui District of Bihar. He was native of Takhar village in the District. The CPI-Maoist cadres were annoyed over his role in surrender of an area commander of CPI-Maoist, said Police.

CRPF recovered arms and ammunition from Naxal -affected Lalgarh area in Jhargram District of West Bengal. The SFs recovered two county made rifle, one country made air pistol, one sixer revolver, 50 round bullets of AK -47 and two empty pipes from the area.  CRPF conducted search operations in the Jhitka Forest area, near Podia Canal Bridge and dug out the weapons.

Jharkhand Police arrested two JJMP, a splinter group of the CPI-Maoist cadres identified as Vishal Paswan and Sanjay Paswan from near the Hadahi river bridge of Chhatarpur road of   Palamu District of Jharkhand. The duo were arrested with their looted mobiles by the Police and sent to jail and involved in robbery cases filed against them.

A Senior Lawyer, identified as Upendra Nayak was arrested by the Police at Paralakhemundi in Gajapati District of Odisha. He was arrested for his alleged links with CPI-Maoist and produced in court in Mohana. At least 11 cases, all related to CPI-Maoist, are pending against Nayak in G. Udayagiri and Adaba Police Stations. Nayak was in touch with the CPI-Maoist when they were active in 2009-10. Besides he had also provided logistic support to the CPI-Maoist cadres during the period, said Police.

During their official meeting, the Punjab’s CM Captain Amarinder Singh handed-over a list to Canada’s PM Justin Trudeau, with details of active handlers, based in Canada, of Khalistani terrorists operating in Punjab. Most of the operatives in the list belongs to the banned outfit—ISYF and KTF. The details about operatives included their last visit to India, how the funding for firearms managed and how these groups received terror funding from Pakistan. Out of the nine, the list included five most-wanted operatives namely, Gurjeet Singh Cheema, Gurpreet Singh, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, Gurjinder Singh Pannu, and Malkeet Singh alias ‘Fauji’.

State Home Minister R. Lalzirliana stated that first round of political level talks between HPC-D and Mizoram Government has been deferred to March 7. Earlier the scheduled date was March 5. R. Lalzirliana said the proposed peace talks, led by H. Zosangbera, has been deferred to March 7 as some of the HPC-D and Government delegates were not ready for it owing to personal obligations. He said the talks will be held at the state guest house in Aizawl.

Former labour minister Lalrinmawia Ralte, who was recently appointed political adviser to the Chief Minister, along with Mizoram Law Commission chairman and MLA John Siamkunga, will head the state government delegation, while HPC-D delegation would be headed by HPC-D ‘working chairman’ Lalthanglien.

The talks mainly revolved around strengthening the existing SHDC). The name of the council has been proposed to be rechristened as Sinlung Hills Council (SHC), which will have 14 members, including two nominated members, preferably from minority communities. In the last official-level talks held on September 21 and 22 2017 both the sides had approved in principle the draft of MoS and SHC bill.

The name of the council has been proposed to be rechristened as SHC, which will have 14 members, including two nominated members, preferably from minority communities. In the last official-level talks held on September 21 and 22 2017 both the sides had approved in principle the draft of MoS and SHC bill.

Manipur CM Biren Singh stated that KNO militants number 1122 and UPF militants number to 1059. Both are under SoO with GoI. The CM also added that no new militant cadre can be included in the list of cadres as per guidelines of agreement. For giving stipend to cadres, the GoI is providing INR 7, 85, 16,000 per year.

Biren Singh also added that demand for creation of a separate state by militant groups having SoO with the GoI was unacceptable. He added that there was a ground rule against such demands. On giving stipend to SoO militants, Biren said GoI has a role in tackling the problem of SoO and in sanctioning stipends for the surrendered militants. On alleged illegal activities by SoO cadres, Biren said there are reports that groups of people supported by SoO have indulged in extortion and kidnapping.

Replying to a question regarding threats to a Aimol community, the CM stated that to prevent merger of small tribe Aimol to major tribe Naga forcibly Manipur Government has opened two IRBN posts at Aimol Ngairong and Molnom Kuk in Chandel District. He also added that state police could not find out any culprit involved in the alleged attempt to convert the Aimol community to another.

A surrendered GNLA militant stated that the militant group has planted 30 IEDs in and around East Garo Hills to sabotage the ensuing Assembly Elections. Three of the 30 IEDs have been accounted for. One IED was recovered on February 3 while another one was recovered on February 20. Sources suspect that GNLA is trying to impose a sense of insecurity amongst the voters in Williamnagar as well as Songsak constituency with an intention to sabotage the election.

Family of Congress Minister and party candidate from Williamnagar, Deborah C Marak, has been shifted out of Garo Hills under armed protection due to a threat perception reportedly intercepted by intelligence agencies. The decision to shift the family out of Williamnagar was taken following credible inputs about a threat perception to the family members of the candidate in the light of the recent IED attack.

Chief Minister Mukul Sangma alleged that saying the proposals of the State Government to strengthen Police Stations was withheld by the Central Government. Stating that the Meghalaya Government has never compromised on tackling insurgency and restoring peace, the Chief Minister also added that sophisticated arms and IEDs come to the Indian side through the porous India-Bangladesh border.

SFs recovered a .22 rifle with magazine & live rounds, one 12 bore double barrel gun, one 12 bore single barrel gun with live rounds from Mount View Colony in Dimapur.

Mon District Magistrate issued an order on February 21 promulgating the prohibitory order under section 144 Crpc enforcing night curfew for three months until May 21. The prohibitory order has been issued for areas of the Indo-Myanmar border in the 3 km belt under Mon District.

‘commander in chief’ of HPC-D Lal Minthang Sanate was arrested from Tezpur in Sonitpur District in connection with killing of NCP candidate in Sawilgre village in East Garo Hills.

HPC-D militant leader Lalmingthang Sanate who was arrested on February 21 from Sonitpur District was arrested for killing of Darthang, the ‘financial secretary’ of the ceasefire faction of HPC-D. Darthang alias Nobar Sanate was the ‘finance secretary’ of HPC-D action led by H. Zosangbera and was killed on January 27.

HPC-D has split into two factions, one led by H. Zosangbera, who is currently holding talks with the Mizoram government, and the other by Lalhmingthang Sanate.

At least two Pakistani soldiers were killed as Indo-Pak troops traded heavy firing along the LoC in Tanghdar area of Kupwara District. Sources said that Army foiled a BAT strike of Pakistani troops in Tarr area of Tanghdar along the LoC in the evening at around 4 p.m. They said that as the BAT tried to cross the LoC, they were targeted by the Army that was alert since February 20 and forced them to flee. They said that no damage was done in the foiling of the BAT strike as troops were anticipating it. Soon after the foiling of the BAT action, Army targeted the Pakistani posts in the area. They fired rockets and mortars at Pakistani posts. Sources said that at least two Pakistani border guards were killed after their post was hit in the area.

An official said that Pakistani troops also targeted the Indian posts in the area but there was no damage. The heavy firing in the area continued till 8 p.m. and it has stopped later, report said. The official described the situation as tense and Army has intensified its vigil along the LoC in the sector and started patrolling in the nearby forest area to foil any infiltration bid.

A Pakistani military’s Mi-17 helicopter came within 300 meters of the LoC in Pakistan-occupied territory near Poonch sector in Poonch District but there was no hostile action by any side. The Pakistan military’s helicopter flew just about 300 meters away from the LoC in Khari Karmara sector of Poonch District between 9.45 am to 10 am,” sources said but added that it flew back to their territory thereafter. According to laid down norms by both the sides, rotary wing aircraft should not come within one kilometer of the LoC and fixed wing aircraft should not be within 10 kilometers of it. The helicopter later went back, the sources said, adding although it was not a violation of airspace, but it was a breach of an understanding between the two sides. Sources indicated that the matter will be taken up with the Pakistani side.

According to sources, three helicopters were seen in the area and only one was spotted within the 300-metre distance from the LoC. The helicopters were spotted opposite Khari Karmara sector, they said. There has been a spurt in ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the LoC and IB in Jammu and Kashmir which have left 21 persons, including 12 security personnel, dead and over 75 others, mostly civilians, injured this year. However, this was for the first time after a long gap that Pakistani military’s helicopter came so close to the LoC though it didn’t show any aggression.

Army and Police launched a search operation at Kesna forest area of Kishtwar in Kishtwar District and destroyed a hideout of the militants. Recoveries made from the hideout included two AK-56 rifles, three 9mm pistols, one country made pistol, 15 magazines of AK-56 rifle, 98 Pika rounds, two UBGL rounds, one RPG round, two binoculars, 12 detonators and two radio sets. “Recovery of war like stores will deal a severe blow to the nefarious designs of terrorists to revive militants in Kishtwar,” a Defence spokesman said.

Meanwhile, SFs conducted searches at a few places in and on the outskirts of Srinagar after reports of presence of militants in the area. SFs conducted searches in Machu and Nowgam areas in the Southern outskirts of Srinagar. They also conducted searches in Northern outskirts of Srinagar in Buchwara area and Gulberg colony. However, no one was arrested. SFs also conducted searches in Balgarden area of Srinagar. Residents said that for last few days, the SFs are continuously conducting searches in the area.

The Kashmiri separatist leaders criticised a CID report which said that the Srinagar Central Jail was a hub for recruiting terrorists, with inmates establishing a ‘parallel administrative’ set-up, ignored by local Police, despite warnings by prison authorities. The JRL in a statement claimed that the Ameer-e-Zindan institution was a forum facilitating good relations between jail authorities and inmates since Plebiscite Front days. The separatist leaders, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik, alleged that this was a deliberate attempt to shift blame as it was not the central jail but actions of the Police which were forcing youths to join militancy. "One inmate escaped from SMHS but five others who were with him at the hospital returned to jail on their own. Nobody is discussing this aspect of the story but instead those who chose to return are now being victimised and terrorised by the Police, CID and agencies, and are being blamed for recruiting militants," they alleged. They were referring to LeT terrorist Naveed Jhatt's escape from SMHS Hospital.

February 22

Attending the inauguration of a Gurdwara build in the memory of slain Sikh militant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale in his village,  the representatives of major Sikh organisations described Bhindranwale as a ‘Martyr’ of 1984’s Operation Blue Star. The Gurdwara is located in Bhindranwale’s native village of Rode in Moga District of Punjab. The inauguration ceremony was attended by the heads of SGPC, DSGMC, the Damdami Taksal and the Jathedars (leaders of Akal Takht) of five Takhts (seat of authority). The event was dominated by the discussions over the storming of the Sikh Holy Shrine—the Sri Harmandir Sahib or mostly known as the Golden Temple, and killing of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale in Amritsar, Amritsar District of Punjab in June 1984. The representative accused the Indian Government led by then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi for the incidents.

Around 28 youths from Tamil Nadu are under scanner of the NIA for alleged links with IS. Out of 28, 20 people are residents of Coimbatore District, said an unnamed senior NIA official. The majority of youths, with age between 20-25 years, belong to the State of Kerala, and residing in Tamil Nadu for over a decade. The suspicious overseas travelling details of these youths raised an alarm to NIA and soon the agency started collecting their cell phone and social media details, said an unnamed senior NIA official. All of them are well educated—with graduate degrees and some of them are postgraduate too.

Following the possibilities of threat from IS, the Indian Paramilitary Commandos would be deployed to ensure the security of the Indian Embassy and Diplomatic staff in Iraq. The approval of deployment of the armed squad at the Indian Embassy located at Al-Mansour area of Iraqi capital Baghdad, had been recognised by the UMHA and the MEA, says report. Given the constant threat from IS in Iraq, it was being discussed for a long time that the Indian Embassy in Iraq must have a professional security cover. Therefore, the proposal to send the Paramilitary Commandos is a move in that direction. However, the final approval for deployment of the armed squad in Baghdad (Iraq) is yet to be given by the Indian Government. The Commandos with field-experiences of the anti-Maoist operations, the Forces’ elite Commando squad for jungle warfare—CoBRA and who have been the “best performers” will be part of the proposed contingent for the deployment in Iraq, said an unnamed senior official.

The STF of Kolkata Police arrested Noor Mohammad—an operative of JMB, from Dhulian in Jangipur Subdivision of Murshidabad District, West Bengal. The Special team comprised of senior officials that raided several locations in Murshidabad District and arrested Noor Mohammad. Following day, Noor appeared before the Bankshall Court while being remanded to Police custody for 10 days. During the raid, the STF recovered a Passport and several documents. Noor Mohammad was involved in the Bodh Gaya incident of January 20 in Bihar.

A Special team of Hong Kong Police arrested Punjab-based gangster Ramanjit Singh alias Romi in a robbery case in Hong Kong. Ramanjit Singh, who faced several criminal charges in India, was involved in plotting the Nabha jail break in 2016. In 2016, over Patiala Police’s request— the Interpol had issued a ‘Red Corner Notice’ (RCN), but Ramanjit Singh disappeared. In 2016, he was arrested but released on bail. He jumped the bail and fled to Hong Kong. Being in Hong Kong, Ramanjit kept in contact with Gurpreet Singh Sekhon—a key plotter and one of the prisoner to escape the Nabha jail in November 2016. Ramanjit Singh would be investigated for his suspected involvement in the killings of RSS leaders in the state of Punjab and his connection with Pakistan’s ISI where he acted as a middle-man between the terrorist outfits and gangsters based in Punjab. Punjab Police would investigate the probabilities of nexus between the KLF and ISI in the killings of RSS leaders in Punjab.

A joint team of the NCB, Gaya Police and State Environment and Forest Department destroyed poppy crop spread over eight acres of Government land in the Barachatti Police Station area in Gaya District of Bihar. The illegal crop was believed to have been sown by CPI-Maoist cadres for revenue generation purpose. Opium obtained from poppy fetches high price in illegal markets. The cultivation was done in virtually inaccessible areas of the CPI-Maoist affected Barachatti Police Station area, said Police.

The Kasansur LOS, a formation of the CPI-Maoist in South Gadchiroli killed Police Warden (patil) Katiya Peka Pungati (Kumoti) (55) outside Lanji village in Etapalli Taluka in Gadchiroli District of Maharashtra. He was abducted and his dead body was found with his throat slit, and the face and head smashed with a stone, outside Lanji village.  The letter of CPI-Maoist cadres considered Pungati to be a ‘Police Informer’. The Kasansur Dalam, led by ‘commander’ Mahesh Gota, has claimed that they held Pungati responsible for the information of their presence in the forest of Tadapalli in Etapalli on January 10, 2018.Pungati had gone to his farm along with son, daughter-in-law and wife to guard the crop. Pungati’s wife had a verbal tiff with the armed CPI-Maoist cadres when they came in a group of around 15 to take him away. She tried to challenge them, but was overpowered by the CPI-Maoist cadres. Pungati did not return later and the body was discovered outside the village, said ASP, Mahesh Reddy.

A group of five to six persons, alleged to be Naxals knocked on the door of a woman’s house at Jadkal Bridge on the way from Onse to Kollur in Udupi District of Karnataka and demanded food. Laxmi Mogaveera, the woman peeped out of her window and saw the six persons were carrying rifles. She got scared and did not open the door. The persons (suspected Naxals) locked the door from outside and went away. Confirming the incident, SP, Laxman Nimbargi said, “A few men knocked the door of the house at Jadkal and asked for food. The old lady living in the house only saw them from the window and could not identify their dress. As she did not interact with them, we cannot confirm if they were Naxals. However four camps of the Anti Naxal Force at Jeddinagadde (Amasebailu), Shankarnaryana, Hebri and Karkala have started combing operation and we will keep a watch in and around these areas.”

NIA has arrested a militant identified as Moirangthem Nimaichand Meitei of KCP-Noyon The accused was produced before the special judge on February 20 where he was remanded in NIA custody. The details of the place of arrest were not given out by the NIA, however sources state that the militant was arrested on February 3 Ningthoukhong in Bishnupur District. NIA has also ascertained that the total number of militants in the attack was 23, out of which two were killed in retaliatory fire.

Separately, seeking necessary steps for permanent settlement of the 37th Battalion of AR at Latingkhal-Makhabasti and Guakhal in Jiribam a delegation is slated to meet Union Home Minister in March. The delegation will comprise members of the civil organisations namely All Jiribam Linguistic Minority People's Organisation, United Minority People's Organisation, United Minority People's Front, All Manipur Bengali Students' Union and Nari Jagoron Jouta Mancha. The organisations stated that Jiribam and its adjacent areas are always affected by militant activities and the camps have been playing a vital role in keeping the law and order situation under control. There are 45 villages combining the areas around the camps at Latingkhal Makhabasti and Guakhal with a population of 13,000.

Information has emerged that that Sohan d Shira of GNLA is planning an IED attack at on Siju-Baghmara road in South Garo Hills and Nengkhrah – Williamnagar road in East Garo Hills. According to a surrendered GNLA militant IED attacks have been planned at Siju-Baghmara road and Nengkhrah – Williamnagar road before the Assembly elections.

It has been reported that at present Shira has over five IED’s weighing around 35 kilograms and their main target are the security forces. However SP of East Garo Hills stated that there is no confirmation as to how much the information holds weight. He added that ‘We are not taking any chances and necessary actions are being initiated’. He also added that As of now we are not sure but combing operations of police along with the bomb squad is on to clear the area of any IED’s if found and we are sanitizing the area’.

CEO FR Kharkongor, stated that for the smooth conduct of elections, ten additional companies of Para military force will be posted in the Garo Hills Region along with the five companies of the state’s elite SF- 10 commandoes.

The CAPF has started deploying across the state to prevent post poll violence. The forces comprising of CRPF, BSF, CISF, personnel will perform duty during the counting process in twenty centers across the state on March 3. According to IG law and Order ‘‘There will be 60 companies of CRPF for area domination purpose after counting of polled EVMs to prevent any kind of violence or intimidation’. Moreover, there will be twelve battalions of Tripura State Rifles to assist the central forces in maintaining law and order after the counting process.’

One individual was killed and another wounded in poll related violence in Tuli in Mokokchung District. The incident happened when supporters of a candidate pelted stones at the vehicle in which supporters of rival candidate was travelling.

AR recovered one 9 mm country made carbine with magazine, one 9 mm pistol with magazine, 14 live rounds and a radio set from Lozaphemi village in Phek District.

PM while addressing an election rally in Tuensang stated that GoI is working towards finding an honorable settlement to the vexed Naga issue. PM stated that ‘We are working to end the political problems in Nagaland. I believe we’ll be able to hammer out a political solution to the Naga problem within the next few months, which will be honorable and well-deserving for the people of Nagaland’.

An Army commando, identified as Gobind Singh was injured in a gunfight with militants, who managed to escape, in Bandipora District of Jammu and Kashmir. SFs launched a counter-insurgency operation in the Hajin area of Bandipora in the morning following information about the presence of four militants there, the sources said. As the troops were laying a cordon in the area, the militants opened indiscriminate fire at them and fled the spot. One Army commando of 31 RR was injured in the firing, the sources added.

People took to streets and staged protests in a bid to help the militants escape.

Indian Army destroyed a Pakistani post on the LoC in Balnoi sub sector of Poonch District while Indo-Pak troops traded heavy shelling in Uri sector of Baramulla District forcing the administration to shift dozens of families from near the LoC. Sources said that Indian Army destroyed a Pakistani post opposite Balnoi sub sector in Poonch District after observing movement of suspected militants, who had been camping there with a view to infiltrate into the Indian territory. “The post was razed to ground,’’ sources said, adding that all Pakistani troopers inside the post were believed dead. However, so far, there was no official confirmation of Pakistani casualties. Normally a Pakistani post has three to four soldiers, they said.

According to sources, the Indian action against Pakistani troops was necessitated as Pakistani troops could have aided infiltration attempt by the militants. Army has been maintaining high alert all along the LoC in twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri following presence of militants across the LoC and reports that they could attempt infiltration under the cover of ceasefire violations.

Army and Pakistani troops traded heavy shelling in Uri sector of Baramulla District forcing the administration to shift dozens of families from near the LoC. A senior official said that Pakistani troops suffered heavy damage in the sector as Army fired rockets and mortars in response to Pakistani ceasefire violation. He, however, said that exact estimated loss is not known. Pakistani troops targeted Army posts at Hatlanga, Churanda and Tika Post along the LoC in Uri sector of Baramulla district early on February 22. “Pakistan troops started firing at around 8:00 am which was responded strongly by the soldiers manning the LoC in the sector”, the official said. The firing from both the sides continued throughout the day during which both the sides used rockets and mortars besides firing from heavy machine guns.

The terror stricken residents in the shelling hit areas remained indoors to avoid casualties. Two houses suffered minor damage in the shelling at Churanda near the LoC. The intensity of the cross-border shelling was such that villagers living near the LoC were shifted to safety by the Police and local administration. An official said that around 25 families living in Tillawari, Silikote and Balkote comprising of 120 people were shifted from their areas. He said that around 80 people have been accommodated in Higher Secondary School Uri and over 35 people have shifted to their relatives places.

IG of BSF, Sonali Mishra, said that troops are on high alert after inputs that 175 militants are waiting for infiltration in PoK. “We have a high level of alertness here but we have raised the alertness for infiltration, BAT action, firing, and sniping. We are always ready as nearly 175 militants are ready on the launching pads for infiltration. “, she said. Mishra said that all the agencies are alert and ready to counter any attack. She said that Pakistan always tries to disrupt the peace and prosperity of India and use different tactics including ceasefire violations, sniping and BAT action. “In order to disrupt the peace in the hinterland, they carry infiltration”, she said. “Ceasefire violation has always happened and we cannot deny the fact that Pakistan uses it as a strategy to carry infiltration”, the BSF IG said.

The Jammu and Kashmir Government approached the MEA for deportation of around 25 militants and other prisoners of three neighbouring countries including hostile Pakistan, Myanmar and Bangladesh as their prolonged stay in different jails of the State, is being perceived as ‘security risk’ especially in the wake of day-light escape of LeT terrorist Naveed Jatt from Srinagar hospital few days back. Official sources said that there were around 25 militants and prisoners from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar, who have been kept in different jails under the PSA after they had completed the term of the sentence given to them by the courts for the offences committed by them including subversive activities, illegal border crossing, drug trafficking etc. “We have written to the External Affairs Ministry through the official channels mentioning details of terrorists and prisoners, whose cases were fit for deportation to their countries, to take up the issue with Embassies of Pakistan, Myanmar and Bangladeshis on the ground that their prolonged stay in the jails of Jammu and Kashmir is not in the interest of the State,” sources said, adding that the MEA has been asked to take up the matter urgently with Embassies of three nations to ensure early deportation of the foreigners.

“Security audit of all jails of Jammu and Kashmir is already on under the instructions of Union Home Ministry and Jammu and Kashmir Government to prevent Naveed Jatt like escape in future,” sources pointed out. Sources, however, declined to share name of the militants and prisoners and the jails they were lodged in view of ‘security considerations’ but put their number ‘around 25’. They said majority of them were Pakistani militants while few others belonged to Bangladesh and Myanmar. “All Pakistani nationals were terrorists while those hailing from Bangladesh and Myanmar were involved in either illegal border crossing, drug trafficking or other such activities,” sources disclosed. The Pakistani militants, due for deportation, belonged to different outfits including LeT, JeM and HM and had operated in different areas of Jammu and Kashmir before being arrested by SFs.

Sources attributed delay in deportation of foreign criminals to ‘non-cooperative attitude’ of Pakistan and Myanmar Governments but noted that Bangladesh Government was quite liberal in this regard, mainly due to good friendly relations with India. While Pakistan, most of the times, refuse to recognize their nationals despite being given very ‘credible evidence’ especially those, who were involved in major terror acts, Myanmar out rightly refused to take back their nationals. However, it was only Bangladesh which accepts their nationals and agrees for their deportation after their nationality is established.

The Central Government’s special representative, Dineshwar Sharma began a tour of three districts in South Kashmir, which has been trouble spot for last few years. Sharma began his tour from Shopian and will cover Anantnag and Kulgam during his visit. He spent the day in Shopian and met several delegations comprising representatives, among others, of passenger vehicle drivers, SC/ST communities and family members of a Policeman killed in militant attack. He said that his meetings went fine. “I met around 18-20 delegations. I am next going to Anantnag and Kulgam,” he said.

Sharma also went to Anantnag and met some delegations. A youth delegation led by senior political and social activist Imran Amin Shah met the interlocutor at Dak Banglow. The youth delegation appraised the Interlocutor about the problems and constraints faced by youth and urged him to convince central leadership for engagement of all stakeholders to address the long pending issue of the State. They also urged for concrete initiative for return of power projects to resolve power crises and revenue generation including vacation of army from high ground Anantnag to be used for establishment of some industrial or educational institution in the area. Sharma gave patient hearing to the delegation and assured every possible support from the centre to bring Anantnag on the peace and developmental arena.

At least two to three members of Pakistan’s BAT were reported killed in Indian Army’s action across Balnoi in Mendhar sector of Poonch District in the night in which two Pakistani posts and a bunker were destroyed. Indian troops also thwarted another BAT attempt to strike on its posts along the LoC in Tanghdar sector of North Kashmir’s Kupwara District, where Indo-Pak troops traded heavy shelling.

Sources said that there were reports that at least two to three members of Pakistan’s BAT were killed in last night’s (February 22) action by the Indian Army across Balnoi sub sector of Mendhar tehsil in Poonch district in which two posts and a bunker of Pakistani troops were razed to ground.

The video available with the Daily Excelsior showed Pakistani posts and bunkers going in flames after being hit by anti-tank guided missiles, which were being used by the Indian troops to neutralize the BAT members and other infiltrators, who have been camping either inside or close to Pakistani posts waiting opportunity for infiltration into the Indian territory. “The BAT members had reportedly taken shelter in the Pakistani posts and were believed to be dead,’’ sources said, adding some Pakistani troops might have suffered fatal or non-fatal casualties in the “pre-emptive and aggressive action’’ that was taken to thwart BAT action and infiltration attempt by the militants along LoC.

February 23

The Jharkhand Police raided the offices of Popular Front of India (PFI) in Pakur District of Jharkhand. The Government of Jharkhand had imposed ban PFI on February 21 for alleged links of the organization with IS. Though, there were no arrests during the raid but the Police team recovered PFI’s flags, banners, pamphlets, computer systems and other devices, said officer-in-charge of Mufassil Police station Santosh Kumar in Giridih District of Jharkhand.

The Delhi Court extended the Police remand of alleged IM member Abdul Subhan Qureshi for another five days. Qureshi was the mastermind behind the bomb blasts in Delhi and Gujarat in 2008. He was considered as India’s ‘Osama bin Laden’ and had been on ‘Wanted List’ of the NIA. Qureshi was arrested in January 2018.

In a flag meeting, the BSF and Pakistan Rangers agreed for their commitments to maintain peace at the International border. Sector Commander-level flag meeting held between the BSF and Pakistan Rangers in Suchetgarh area of Jammu District in J&K. The flag meeting comprised of nine officers’ team led by DIG of BSF Jammu sector P.S. Dhiman representing India and 11 officers of Pakistan Rangers led by the Sector Commander of Sialkot (Pakistan Punjab) Brigadier Amjad Hussain representing Pakistan. The flag meeting concluded with cordial atmosphere, said an unnamed BSF official.

In a joint statement post the bilateral talks between the representatives of India and Canada, both countries [India and Canada] agreed on a ‘Framework for Cooperating on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism’. Under the framework that based on ‘fundamental respect for the sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity of India and Canada, both countries are committed to act together against the threats from terrorist outfits such as al Qaeda, IS, the Haqqani Network (HQN), LeT, JeM, BKI and the ISYF. It is essential for both nations to work together to fight the evil of terrorism. Those who challenge the sovereignty and integrity of India and Canada, cannot be tolerated and no place shall be there who misuse religion for political goals, said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his joint statement with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The Special Cell of Delhi Police handed over the custody of alleged IM operative Ariz Khan alias Junaid to Crime Branch of Delhi Police.  After his arrest on February 13 from Banbasa near India-Nepal border, Ariz Khan was in the custody of the Special Cell of Delhi Police. Ariz Khan was key accused of multiple bomb blasts in Uttar Pradesh, Jaipur (Rajasthan), Gujarat, and Delhi during 2007 and 2008.

A commando of CoBRA Battalion of the CRPF was injured in an exchange of fire with CPI-Maoist cadres in the interiors of Kistaram near Komalpad forests in Sukma District of Chhattisgarh. The incident happened after SFs, from Palodi camp, and CPI-Maoist cadres came face to face as part of an anti- Naxal LWE combing operation. The CPI-Maoist cadres opened indiscriminate fire which injured the CoBRA jawan and managed to flee, said Police.

SFs recovered a large cache of arms and ammunition in joint operation conducted by the District Police and the CRPF in Dhamtari District of Chhattisgarh. The Police also seized four Naxal uniforms, various medical kits and blankets from the location. The CPI-Maoist cadres managed to flee from the location.

Nine CPI-Maoist cadres were arrested from three different locations under Chinagappa, Dornapal, Polpalli and Kukanar Police Station areas in Sukma District of Chhattisgarh. The SFs raided CPI-Maoist hideouts in Chintagufa forest, Kukanar forest and Dornapal forest and arrested three CPI-Maoist cadres from three different locations. The arrested CPI-Maoist cadres were active members of CPI-Maoist militia, village committees and DAKMS and wanted by the State Police for various incidents, said CRPF official.

A CPI-Maoist cadre identified as Rajinder Bhuiyan (18) surrendered before the Senior Police officials in Palamu District of Jharkhand. He is the first young CPI-Maoist cadre of 18 years of age to surrender in Palamu as seven others who had surrendered so far are all above 40 years of age. Bhuiyan  is a TB patient he used to visit his doctor in Chhatterpur, He was seen by Rakesh Bhuiyan, ‘sub zonal commander’ of CPI-Maoist, who took his prescription and coerced him to run with the CPI-Maoist  in the year 2017 and he did what he was told by the CPI-Maoist cadres, said SP, Indrajeet Mahatha.

Odisha Government would seek INR 700 million from the Centre under the SRE scheme for the financial year 2018-19. The amount would be spent to strengthen Police Infrastructure in 19 LWE-hit Districts of the State.

106 CAPF companies arrived in Meghalaya to assist the 21,574 poll personnel already in the State for the February 27 Assembly polls. CEO FR Kharkongor stated that out of these, 54 companies have been deployed in Garo Hills region, which has 24 constituencies. The rest are deployed in the Khasi Hills region for the 36 seats. The deployment would also consist of four companies of bomb disposal squad and an equal number of dog squad.

In an effort to resolve the long standing Bru refugee crisis in Tripura, UMHA Special Secretary for Internal Security Mahesh Kumar Singla arrived in Tripura. Officials stated that MHA envoy would join discussions with District Collectors and SPs from three Districts of Mizoram at BSF’s sector headquarters at Panisagar in North Tripura.

With less than two weeks to go for counting of ballots Tripura Government has started deploying CAPFs to prevent post-poll violence. IG Law and Order stated that ‘There will be 60 companies of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) for area domination purpose after counting of polled Electronic Voting Machine (EVMs) to prevent any kind of violence’.

Two MULTA linkmen identified as Jakir Hussain and Ibrahim Ali at Rangiya under Kamrup District. The arrested linkmen were involved in extortion, highway robbery and weapon smuggling. One country-made pistol and four rounds ammunition were recovered from the apprehended.

Nearly 450 militants of two outfits, namely BLAU-Barak Valley and UDLA will soon lay down their arms and join the mainstream. The physical verification of the militants was carried out recently by police and AR at Riflemara in Hailakandi District. A senior Police officer said the number of militants who will surrender is still under scrutiny. Earlier on August 2017 IG Police held a meeting with leaders of the outfits at Ramnathpur in Hailakandi and finalized the surrender plan.

The rehabilitation package will be decided after the preparation of the list. The militants insisted on a development package for Reang-dominated villages in Barak Valley by forming a Reang Autonomous Development Council their main criterion for surrender. Another demand was to reserve two Assembly seats for Brus (also known as Reangs).  In the proposed council, 40,000 Reang people will be covered and 60 villages from Hailakandi and 17 villages each from Karimganj and Cachar Districts will be included. The leaders of both outfits have sent their demands to the state home department and held discussions with government officials in Guwahati in September last year and February 11.

Earlier on September 2008, 306 cadres of ULFBV surrendered before the then Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi in Guwahati. All the cadres later joined the Congress.

In a flag meeting held the BSF and Pakistan Rangers agreed for their commitments to maintain peace at the International border.

A Sector Commander-level flag meeting held between the BSF and Pakistan Rangers in Suchetgarh area of Jammu District, J&K. The flag meeting comprised of nine officers’ team led by DIG BSF Jammu sector P.S. Dhiman representing India and 11 officers of Pakistan Rangers led by the Sector Commander of Sialkot (Pakistan Punjab) Brigadier Amjad Hussain representing Pakistan. The flag meeting concluded with cordial atmosphere, said an unnamed BSF official.

Pakistani troops resumed heavy mortar shelling and firing in parts of Nowshera and Manjakote sectors in Rajouri district in which an Army soldier was injured and two houses were damaged.

February 24

CPI-Maoist couple Dasarathan and Shenbagavalli, along with Dasarathan’s brother Vetriveerapandian, was brought to Madurai in Tamil Nadu by the Tiruvallur Police. The CPI-Maoist couple was arrested at Pullarambakkam in Tiruvallur District of Tamil Nadu. They were brought to Kalavasal, where they had reportedly stayed in the past.

GNLA ‘commander in chief’ Sohan D Shira was killed in an encounter by SF-10 of Meghalaya Police at Dobu A’chakpek in East Garo Hills District. olice had launched an offensive against Shira after he was found to have been involved in killing of NCP candidate. Meghalaya Police said that Sohan was shot dead at around noon at Dobu A’chakpek during an encounter with the Garo Hills Police. Police sources also and stated that Shohan’s death is the end of militancy in Meghalaya. Police recovered a H&K rifle with magazines, gelatin sticks, detonators among other items from the spot of the encounter.

Eight people were wounded, two with gunshot wounds in an incident of pre poll violence at Chungtia in Mokokchung District on February 24, reports Northeast Today. Mokokchung Superintendent (SP) stated that two platoons of SFs were deployed at Chungtia village and brought the situation under control.  The SP also appealed and warned the public not to spread rumors through social media about election related matters.  As per Police records more than 27 people have been arrested and one killed in poll related matters under Mokokchung.

BSF troopers deployed in Zunheboto, Kiphire, Phek and Kohima Districts are carrying out area domination, patrolling and other operations to sanitize entire area of deployment for smooth conduct of the election. According to BSF Commandant ‘because of alertness, active domination of the area and various preventive measures by the BSF troops, there has been no any untoward incident and peaceful environment has been created in these areas before conduct of polling’.

AR recovered one .22 mm pistol with magazine and one live round. The recovery was made in Half Nagarjan under Dimapur from the house of NSCN-R militant  militant identified as Kevise Zomi.

Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire along the LoC in Uri sector of Baramulla District, prompting retaliatory fire from the Indian Army. The Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked firing on Indian posts along the LoC in Uri sector in Baramulla District of north Kashmir around 11.50 am, an Army official said. He said Indian soldiers were retaliating effectively and no casualties have been reported so far. Pakistani troops also fired few mortar shells in Lam area of Nowshera sector in which some cattle perished.

The SFs are ‘well geared’ to fight militants in Jammu and Kashmir and would continue to work for peace and harmony in the state, a senior Army officer said. Lieutenant General A K Bhatt, commander of Srinagar-based Chinar Corps, said this after a high-level meeting of all security agencies in Awantipora in south Kashmir’s Pulwama District. The meeting was called to review intelligence gathering and operational preparedness. “Entire Chinar Corps, which includes not just the Army but all security forces, is well geared to fight against the terrorists and would continue working towards bringing peace and harmony in the region,” A K Bhatt said. Another Army official said officials from the security agencies interacted with an array of functional-level officers and reviewed the security situation in South Kashmir.

Acting upon the tip-off SF personnel arrested an under-warrant Maoist, identified as Badse Hadma, son of Hurra alias Bhima (30) of Pegdapalli, during a joint search operation from a forest-covered area in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh. The arrested Maoist was involved in several criminal activities. Execution of a permanent warrant is also pending against him, informed the Police sources.

February 25

Two CAF personnel, identified as Puran Singh, ‘Assistant Platoon Commander’ and Constable Bhuvaneshwar Yadav, were injured in an IED blast carried out by CPI-Maoist cadres in the forests near Tarlaguda and Tarud villages in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh.

Two SOG commandos sustained minor injuries in an IED explosion during an anti- Naxal operation at Badajhola forest under Sunabeda sanctuary in the Nuapada District of Odisha. CPI-Maoist cadres exchanged fire with multiple SOG teams in the forests. Some of the CPI-Maoist cadres also sustained critical injuries and managed to flee. The SFs recovered CPI-Maoist dresses, haversack, blankets, utensil, rations, medicines, Maoist literature, wire, battery and polythene, said Police release.

According to a data released by the Government of India (GoI), total 7.28 percent women are employed with the Indian Police force, whereas out of this 2.47 percent has their presence in Naxal-affected region in Telangana. Merely, 3.05 percent Police women are in the militancy-affected State of J&K—which has a sanctioned strength of more than 80,000 Police personnel, read the statistics released by the UMHA. The statistics are pitiful as the UMHA in its advisories in 2009, 2012, and 2016, had instructed all State Governments and the UTs to increase the strength of Women Police force to 33 percent, said an unnamed senior official. Among seven UTs, Chandigarh reported to have the highest number of women in its Police force.

According to unidentified official of the NIA, the arrested terror suspects were asked to purchase and equipped with as much possible firearms from Bihar before leaving for training in J&K. Three terror suspects—Mohammad Anwar Hussain, Mohammad Shammi and Mohammad Shaad, who pledged allegiance to IS were arrested from Gaya (Bihar) on February 10 by the team of NIA and the IB. Reportedly, Mohammad Shaad was released on bail while other two were sent to jail. “Country-made weapons and firearms are easily available at inexpensive rates in Munger of Munger District (Bihar)—which is major hub of manufacturing illegal firearms. Parts of firearms were made in Malda District (West Bengal) and its surrounding areas. These are assembled and given finishing touch in Munger,” said an unnamed IPS officer. Earlier on February 1, Patna Police arrested Jaswinder Singh (28), Robin Masih (27), Navdeep Singh (28), and Bachittar Veer Singh (27) from Jauhari Niwas (a guesthouse) in Patna District (Bihar), as they travelled from Amritsar, Punjab to purchase illegal firearms.

Acting upon the alert issued by the Interpol and Telangana State Intelligence, the Immigration Department officials arrested the managing director of Peace International School—M.M. Akbar at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) in Hyderabad. Reportedly, M.M Akbar absconded since the Kerala Police registered criminal charges against him for inciting the communal hatred through preaching objectionable content in his school’s syllabus. After the arrest, Akbar was handed-over to the State Police officials for temporary custody. The officials of Kerala Police would arrive on following day to take over Akbar’s custody. There were Intelligence inputs that Akbar would be travelling from Australia to Dubai and the flight would have a layover at RGIA and Akbar would board the connecting flight on February 26. But with the assistance from the Interpol and airport’s Immigration Department, he got arrested at the airport, said an unnamed Intelligence official.

Meghalaya DGP S.B Singh stated that regrouping of GNLA cannot be ruled out since Drishti Rajkhowa of ULFA-I is assisting them. According to DGP senior cadres like Wallam, Nevak and Rahul can resurrect GNLA. ULFA-I and GNLA have coordination in carrying out violent activities in Garo Hills and the former has been assisting the GNLA to plant IEDs.

The DGP also stated that the next target for the SFs was Drishti Rajkhowa, who is the ‘second in command’ of ULFA-I. Rajkhowa had been a close aide of the slain GNLA chief, providing safe havens in Bangladesh for GNLA cadres and is also involved in training and supply of arms. Moreover, Rajkhowa may make an attempt to regroup the GNLA or flee to Bangladesh. The two outfits operated in tandem across Garo Hills and in parts of Khasi Hills.

Police sources confirmed the presence of Drishti Rajkhowa in the encounter area along with Sohan D Shira on February 24 in which Shira was killed. According to sources, information was received about the probable location of GNLA militants group comprising of Sohan D Shira and Drishti somewhere near Dobu Anchengbok at Bilwatgre village in East Garo Hills. They also added that ‘It is confirmed that Drishti was there with Sohan when the encounter took place but whether he escaped or still in the area, this we don’t know as of now. Operation is still on in the area. According to DGP ‘We have alerted the BSF and other paramilitary forces to keep a vigil along the international borders to intercept his movement in Garo Hills.

A Police Constable, identified as Kultar Singh was killed by two militants at the main entrance of shrine at Charar-e-Sharief in Budgam District. The militants fired Kultar Singh at point blank range and fled away along with his SLR service rifle. Soon after the incident, SFs cordoned off the area and launched a hunt to nab the militants responsible for the killing. However, no one was arrested so far. IGP Kashmir, SP Pani said that the Policeman was at a guard post. “Due to Sunday, many people were there. Someone opened a pistol fire at a very close range. He got injured and till any assistance could reach the spot, the attacker took away his rifle and fled from the spot”, he said. Pani said that operation has been launched and Police has got vital leads of the militants responsible for the killing. “Two terrorists had fled away but we are looking into it. The area was cordoned off immediately. We have got some leads and we are working on them. Kultar Singh was working as a selection grade constable in the armed wing of Jammu and Kashmir Police”, he said.

Militants fired and killed another Police person, identified as Farooq Ahmad Yatoo who was guarding the residence of a senior APHC-M leader at Soura area of Srinagar District and decamped with his service rifle. A senior Police officer said that the militants attacked the Police guard, Farooq Ahmad Yatoo at the residence of Hurriyat leader Fazal Haq Qureshi at Bilal Colony Soura in Srinagar District. He was shifted in critical condition to nearby SKIMS hospital in Soura where he succumbed to injuries. Militants also de-camped with the service rifle of the Policeman.

Pakistani and Indian troops exchanged heavy fire for over two hours along the LoC in Nowshera sector of Rajouri District after the Pakistani troops began firing indiscriminately. There was, however, no casualty reported in the firing which started in Nowshera sector around 1645 hours and continued till 1850 hours, sources said. The Pakistani army initiated “unprovoked and indiscriminate firing of small arms, automatics and mortars”, prompting strong and effective retaliation by the Indian troops guarding the LoC, sources said.

A day after heavy shelling, there was a relative calm in Uri in Baramulla District. However, over 1000 people of border villages of Balkote, Silikote, Tilwari, Churanga, Hathlanga and its neighboring villages who fled February 24’s shelling are still in the camp set up by local administration in Uri. The Army’s Brigade Commander, Brigadier YS Alawat on February 25 said that since February 19, Pakistan army has been continuously carrying ceasefire violations along the LoC in Uri sector. “Displaying extreme cowardice and unprofessionalism it has been targeting innocent villagers living along the border and has been indiscriminately using mortar shelling causing damage to the houses of the civilians”, he said.

“In a befitting reply, the Army has retaliated accurately and with heavy fire on the Pakistan army post which was involved in the ceasefire violations”, he said. The Brigadier said that the Pakistan army targeted the border villages of Balkote, Silikote, Tilwari, churanga, Hathlanga and its neighboring villages. “The villagers have been evacuated to Government Higher Secondary School, Uri. As the first responder on the ground, the Army has swung into action and immediately provided much-required relief to the displaced villagers. Since the commencement of the hostilities, the Army has extended medical facilities to the injured villagers”, he added. The Brigade Commander said that the local commanders on the ground are personally monitoring the safety of the people and extending all the assistance that is required on the ground. “So far the Army has provided food, medicine, and potable water. While interacting with the villagers they have requested more clothing and warm bedding owing to harsh winters. So immediately we have provided sleeping bags and the villagers have conveyed their appreciation for the timely assistance of the Army”, he said.

In a joint operation based on specific intelligence inputs, the BSF and the NIA arrested Asikul Islam from his village at Malda District in West Bengal. Asikul Islam alleged to use his bank accounts for the transactions related to the September 2015 the FICNs case in which the DRI recovered FICNs in denomination of INR 500 worth of INR 5,94,000 from an accused Afroz Ansari from Ramgarhwa of Motihari District in Bihar.

A Lucknow resident— Manoj Kumar Gupta (20) filed a complaint after he received a ‘group-join request’ on WhatsApp that claimed to have links with terror outfit— LeT. Manoj Gupta—who worked in a private firm in Lucknow, received another link on WhatsApp inviting him to join a ‘virtual’ group namely MIM (full form is yet to be ascertained), said IG of Uttar Pradesh ATS Asim Arun. ATS had traced and found that these links were posted by an unidentified student of class 9, a 15 years-old who is a resident of Bhilwara District in Rajasthan. The ATS team is in contact with the family members of the boy and would probe boy, said Asim Arun.

February 26

The Delhi Police filed a FIR about the finding of the FICNs worth INR 4.21 crores that had been deposited in different branches of 12 banks across the country. Among 12 banks, the Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) reported 58,900 counts of FICNs worth INR 2.16 crores. The Delhi Police had received complaints from 12 banks during February 14 and 15. The Police team recovered the FICNs from the main repository of these 12 banks located at the Parliament Street in New Delhi and post-recovery the FICNs were sent to the Forensic laboratory in Nagpur for further examination. Along with the Police has prepared a list of people who performed monetary transactions at these branches and will initiate probe in the matter, said DCP of New Delhi Madhur Verma.

The South African Special Police Unit-‘Hawks’ has arrested Fatima Patel (27)—an Indian-origin woman and her partner—Safydeen Aslam Del Vecchio, alleged for their links to IS and charged with kidnapping of an unidentified British couple. Both, Fatima and Safydeen also face charges of robbery and theft on counts of abusing the credit cards of the British couple and shopped for jewellery, camping equipments, and other electronic devices which were found with an IS flag flown at unspecified location.

The NIA and the IB are on alert upon ‘suspicious missing’ of a second-year medical student—Suhail Aijaz (20) of AIIMS located in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. Suhail Aijaz—a resident of Kupwara District in J&K on February 9, had left his hostel in AIIMS on account of attending a friend’s marriage in Chandigarh (Punjab and Haryana). He informed his friends that he will be back to Odisha on February 16 however, he did not return and on February 18, the AIIMS’ administration informed Police about the incident, said an unnamed Police official. The AIIMS’ staff had found a letter from Suhail’s room, addressing his father—Aijaz Ahmed which read that he [Suhail] is sorry for not meeting their expectations, said Vice-Dean of the AIIMS (Bhubaneswar) Dr Prabhas Ranjan Mishra. Aijaz’s mobile number was tracked to Kolkata (West Bengal) but there are no developments afterwards as the mobile had been switched off, said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Bhubaneswar) Satyabrata Bhoi.

A HM militant, identified as Mushtaq Chopan was killed and a Policeman sustained splinter injuries in a grenade blast at a Police station in Tral area of Pulwama District. Police said that at around 12:30 PM, Mushtaq Chopan, who was in custody of Police Station Tral tried to escape from the Police Station wearing female burka. “When he was near the main gate someone from outside lobbed a grenade as a part of the planned conspiracy to divert the attention so that he could escape conveniently. The grenade exploded inside the station nearby him resulting into death of the said detainee and injury to one constable Mehraj-ud-din”, Police said. Mushtaq Chopan was arrested along with two other persons by Police and MARCOS at Watlab of Baramula District on January 9. Tral area observed a complete shutdown to mourn the death of Chopan. Shops and commercial establishments remained shut while transport was also affected.

Later, Police have suspended two Police personnel for laxity in duty in the attempted escape bid of militant.

BSF troops foiled an infiltration bid along the IB in Ramgarh sector of Samba District. BSF troops at a border out post observed some movement along IB in Ramgarh sector around 0500 hours today [February 26], sources said. They fired several rounds and illumination flares, they said adding that the suspected militants were forced back and the infiltration bid was foiled. “Troops are on alert to foil any bid,” sources said

Pakistan again violated ceasefire, albeit for a very brief period, in Nowshera sector of Rajouri District but there were no losses. Pakistani Army again resorted to heavy mortar shelling along the LoC. Defence sources said Pakistani forces started unprovoked firing and shelling targeting some Indian positions and civilian areas in Nowshera sector of Rajouri District around 9.30 am. Army troops retaliated the firing effectively while intermittent exchange of fire was going on. No report of any causality or injury from the Indian side so far has been reported. On February 25 evening Pakistan also resorted to shelling in the same sector. Indian Army claimed that more than 300 armed terrorists are waiting to cross and enter India.

Army said that the recent ceasefire violations by Pakistan are aimed at infiltrating militants, who in large numbers are waiting at launch pads across the LoC in PoK. GoC of Srinagar-based Chinar Corps, Lieutenant General A K Bhatt said reporters on the sidelines of a passing out parade at the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry Centre in Srinagar that this year due to less snow, militants might attempt early infiltration. “We have inputs of many infiltrators waiting at the launching pads and we think infiltration will start sooner this year because of less snow. But we are taking counter measures. One reason for the firing can be this (to push infiltrators). Whenever there is firing by Pakistan, it is certain there is an attempt to push infiltrators. The same thing happened in Kupwara and Tanghdar,” the GOC said. He added that the militants are waiting in groups of 30-40 at many places near the LoC in PoK. “The militants waiting across the LoC are in groups of 30-40 at many places from Lepa valley to Mandal area, near 161 brigade, Rampur, and other areas, he said.

A K Bhatt said that Army will not open entire front but will retaliate wherever Pakistan indulges in aggressive action or pushes in infiltrators. “The cease fire violations, initiated by Pakistan, have been appropriately responded to. But I would also like to tell you it is more of a local affair where due to their actions we have reacted at specific places. We do not intend to open the entire front. Our only thing is that we will retaliate if Pakistan indulges in any aggressive action or pushes infiltrators across,” he said.

In two separate combined search operations, joint teams of Army and Police recovered a major cache of weapons, ammunition and other war like stores in Hari Budha and Bhatidhar forests in Poonch District. Acting on a specific input on likely dump of arms, a joint search operation by RR and Police was launched in the two forests. During the search operation, two pistols, grenades of various types including RPGs and UBGL grenades, communication equipment, GPS, IEDs/ explosives, ammunition of AK 47 and other war like stores were recovered. Currency worth INR 50,000 was also found at the site of recovery. This successful operation has foiled the nefarious designs of militants, sources said.

The Islamic State (IS)’s mouthpiece claimed responsibility for February 25’s attack in which a Policeman guarding the residence of Hurriyat leader Fazal Haq Qureshi was killed. The incident took place in Soura area of Srinagar, and militants escaped with the slain Policeman’s rifle. “Assassinated an element of police in firing near city of Srinagar in Kashmir yesterday [February 25],” Al Amaq News Agency of the IS has claimed. This is the second time in three months that the IS has claimed responsibility for an attack on Policemen in Srinagar.

Sources in Jammu and Kashmir Police said eyewitness accounts hint towards the role of a recent militant recruit, Esa Fazili. “There were apprehensions that Esa may have links with the Islamic State,” a senior Police officer privy to probe details said. “Yesterday’s [February 25] incident, and the IS claim, has given credence to such reports.” Sources said responsibility for the attack was first taken by the IS on a Telegram channel ‘Kashmir Villayah’. Earlier it was reported that the state police had found a few closed Telegram channels of the IS in Kashmir.

A resident of Soura, Esa Fazili was studying engineering at BGSB University in Rajouri before joining the militant ranks in August last year, sources said. They said Fazili had initially joined the Zakir Musa-led group of militants but when Zakir announced setting up Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind, an al Qaeda affiliate, in Kashmir, Fazili had differences, as he was more inclined towards the Islamic State.

Earlier in November 2017, Al Amaq had claimed that the IS had carried out an attack in Zakura, on Srinagar’s outskirts, in which a Policeman and a militant had been killed. The agency, however, had said that a Pakistani policeman was killed in the attack, raising doubts about its claim. The channel ‘Al-Qaraar’, investigation has found, also claimed that Srinagar militant Mugees Ahmad Mir, who was killed on November 17 last year in an encounter with the police, was the first militant of the terror outfit.

SFs gunned down an unidentified LeT militant, identified as Abu Haris in an encounter at Khosh Mohalla in Bandipora District. According to sources, the encounter began late on February 26 night when three terrorists, holed up in a house, opened fire at a joint team of CRPF, Army and Police. Though they managed to escape, one of the terrorists was killed in the retaliatory fire. Sources said militant sympathizers used the cover of darkness to facilitate the escape of the terrorists. “Nobody was retrieved from the site on Monday [February 26]. But we later learnt that one of the terrorists, injured in the encounter, has died,” said IGP Kashmir Range S P Pani. The body of the militant was recovered on February 27.

Reports said that the slain LeT militant was buried in Hajin Bandipora District and a large number of people attended his funeral. This is for the first time in recent past that a foreign militant has been buried by the locals, said the report. The authorities had barred people from burying the foreign militants after a huge funeral was witnessed to Abu Qasim, LeT ‘commander’ who was killed in a gunfight with SFs in 2015. Police said that the militant had escaped with the help of his accomplices after an encounter with SFs on February 26. Police could not take the body in order to avoid any breach of law and order situation in the area. Police said they are mulling action against those who gave him shelter. Police said a case has been registered and those behind will be identified and action as per law will be taken against them. It may be mentioned here that in order to prevent glamorizing of militants, Police is mulling to stop large and multiple funerals of militants. They will take the administration of local Masjids into confidence to prevent huge funerals of the militants.

A militant identified as Naorem Premkanta Singh who was  involved in the 2015 Paralon ambush which killed 18 soldiers has revealed that the ambush party  was in India for five days after the attack, before they crossed over to Myanmar on foot. he militants were inside India from June 2 to June 9. According to interrogation details, the attack was carried out jointly by KCP, KYKL and NSCN-K.

He also revealed that the militants crossed over to India from Munnan village. He stated that ‘A party of 10 cadres was already waiting. We were asked to don our uniforms and were given weapons. Our leader, Tamba, asked us to follow him and we were not briefed here. We walked the whole night and took only 5-10 minutes of break after every one hour of walk. We rested on June 3 to avoid detection’.

After the ambush they walked continuously from June 4 to 7, and on June 9 crossed back to Myanmar. Naorem Premkanta Singh was arrested in January by NIA. Later on February 23, a militant Moirangthem Nimaichand Meitei from Bishupur was also arrested by the NIA in connection with the 2015 ambush.

Assam Irrigation, Handloom and Textile Minister Ranjit Dutta  stated that Assam CM  is taking an initiative to meet his Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu to resolve the border issue between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.  According to the Minister Chief Minister-level talks on the Assam-Arunachal boundary issue will be held very soon by involving the people from both sides of inter-state boundary, especially those residing in the affected areas. 

ULFA-I expressed its condolences regarding the death of  GNLA‘commander- in-chief’ Sohan D Shira. Paresh Baruah also refuted rumours circulating on social media that Drishti Rajkhowa of ULFA-I has been made new chief of GNLA. The ULFA-I ‘chief’ stated that ‘ULFA ‘constitution’ does not allow this under as it does not recognize the Indian Constitution and according to reports suggest that it may be the exclusive reason for ULFA-I not supporting the plea of GNLA to make Drishti Rajkhowa (Manoj Rabha) its new ‘commander-in-chief’ after the death of Sohan D Shira. 

GNLA has been fighting for a separate Garoland state within the Indian Union while ULFA-I is fighting to secede from India.  According to a social media post a meeting was held between GNLA cadres and Rajkhowa after the death of Sohan after which it was decided to appoint Rajkhowa as the ‘new commander in chief’. The decision was apparently taken by the five senior most cadres of the outfit. The post further stated that Rajkhowa has promised to bring in about 50 ULFA cadres to add firepower to the GNLA. The social media post was posted by a Facebook user identified as Gongbin Marak. The handle has been used by multiple users including Sohan D Shira.

Four CPI-Maoist cadres, identified as ‘sub-zonal commander’ Rakesh Bhuiyan, Lallu Yadav, Rinki and Ruby, were killed in an encounter at Lalaghati-Naudiha area of the Palamu District of Jharkhand, with joint team of the 134th battalion of the CRPF and State Police which was out on an anti-Maoist operation.The bodies of the four CPI-Maoist cadres were recovered by the Police. The SFs also recovered two SLRs, five magazines and 219 bullets from the spot, said Police. Bhuiyan was carrying a reward of INR one million on his head, while Bimal Yadav alias Lallu Yadav, carried a reward INR 500,000 on his head.

Three cadres of PLFI, a splinter group of the CPI-Maoist, identified as Prasanna Gudiya, Hilarious Gudiya, and Dhiraj Kandulna were arrested at Parezghag village in Khunti District of Jharkhand. The Police recovered three bikes, two country-made revolvers and live cartridges were recovered from them, said SP, Ashwini Kumar Sinha.

SF personnel recovered a mutilated body of a villager, identified as Bedma Tameya, from Bhattigunda forest in Sukma District of Chhattisgarh. Tameya was allegedly abducted by a group of CPI-Maoist cadres from his village three days ago (February 23) on the suspicion of being a ‘Police informer’.

Three SF personnel were injured in an encounter with the CPI-Maoist cadres on a hillock between Mungari and Dulargufa under Barsoor Police Station limits in Dantewada District of Chhattisgarh. Acting on a tip-off, a joint team of the STF and the DRG raided a Maoist hideout on the hillock, about 18 kilometres from Barsoor, and Basoor is around 450 kilometres from the State capital Raipur. “During the raid, there was a heavy exchange of fire. The troops fought back bravely and destroyed the hideout,” the DIG, South Bastar Range, Sundarraj P said. The injured soldiers were identified as Samadu Aarakshak (DRG), Sunil Nag (DRG) and Ravindra Yadav (STF).

Police arrested a Maoist, identified as Pillu Ursa (35), while carrying out a search and combing operation in Farshegarh village under Mandem Police Station area in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh.

Four Maoists, including top ranking Maoist leader Ganesh Uike's gunman, Partha Munna, surrendered before SP, Mohit Garg, in Bijapur District in Chhattisgarh. The other three Maoists are identified as Totti Santu, Mahadev and Telam Budrulu. Munna, who served as the ‘Secretary’ of the LOC carried a reward of INR 800,000. While, Santu and Mahadev carried a head money of INR 200,000 each, there was no such reward on Badrulu.

Nine Maoist cadres active in Chintagufa area, surrendered before Police in Sukma District of Chhattisgarh.

CPI-Maoist issued a statement, calling for protests against the lynching of tribal youth Madhu in Attapadi in Kerala. The statement issued by CPI-Maoist spokesperson Jogi said the incident reflects the cruel racist onslaught by Malayalis against the tribal community which must be resisted by all progressive forces. The statement by the WGSZC of the CPI-Maoist, which was dropped in news boxes of Wayanad Press Club, alleged that hundreds of tribal people had been murdered in the tribal regions of the state, including Attapadi.

February 27

The NIA submitted the evidences before the NIA Court in Kochi, Kerala— including IS’ documentaries and videos recovered from the digital devices of the accused—Mohammad Riyas/Riyaz Rashid, Fawas Jamal and Siyad, in a case of forcefully conversion and forged marriage. Opposing the bail plea filed by the accused, the NIA presented a Case Diary (CD) before the NIA Court. In the evidence report submitted by the NIA’s prosecutor Arjun Ambalapatta, the NIA managed to recovered a deleted documentary of Syria from a digital device acquired from Mohammad Riyas and several videos related to IS was found on the digital device belong to Fawas Jamal.

The Sikh radical groups based out of India had put forward their demands which includes a ‘Vatican-like’ status for Sri Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) in Amritsar, Punjab and Akal Takht (a Sikh authoritarian institution), and an apology from Indian PM Narendra Modi at a global forum for the 1984 Military-led Operation Blue Star. The contact related to the matter was established by the UK-based Sikh groups via Jasdev Singh Rai, Director of the Sikh Human Rights Forum, before the visit of PM Modi to London in November 2015, which results to the initiation of formal talks on the matter between PM Modi and 30 Sikh members during their meeting. The interests of talks were highlighted in previous Indian Government too, but with Modi-led Government, the talk process picked up speed, said an unnamed person related to the developments. The Government had pointed out that former PM Manmohan Singh had apologised in Parliament in 2011 for the 1984 anti-Sikh riots — which followed the assassination of then-PM Indira Gandhi, itself a consequence of Operation Blue Star — but the Sikh groups responded by saying that this apology had been meant only for “Indian Sikhs”.

ceasefire violations (CFVs) already jumping to over 400 in the first two months of this year (2018). Apart from civilians, Pakistan has lost 23 soldiers in the firing duels, while the tally for India is 16 till now. If this trend continues-and it has shown no signs of ebbing as yet-then 2018 is likely to record the highest number of CFVs along the LoC in 15 years since the ceasefire along the 198-km IB in J&K, the 778-km LoC and the 110-km AGPL in Siachen came into force as a confidence-building measure between the two countries on November 26, 2003.

The step-up in cross-border hostilities, which saw as many as 860 CFVs along the LoC and another 120 along the IB in 2017, began soon after Indian Para-Special Forces conducted the "surgical strikes" against terror launch pads in four different locations in PoK to avenge the killing of 19 Indian soldiers in a suicide attack at the Army camp in Uri in September 2016.

As part of its policy to "pro-actively dominate" the 778-km LoC through punitive fire assaults and guerilla operations, the Indian Army has destroyed several Pak Army posts in areas like Balnoi, Mendhar, Kalal, Keran, Doda, Sarla, Laleali and Banwat over the last four to five months, as reported earlier.

"The Pak Army posts aiding and abetting infiltration are being targeted. As per assessments, there are almost 400 terrorists in and around launch pads, both south and north of the Pir Panjal range, waiting to infiltrate into J&K," said an officer. With even 105mm light field guns, heavy 120mm mortars and anti-tank guided missiles being regularly used by both sides over the last few months, the latest bout of heavy shelling took place in and around the Uri sector last week. Though the shelling in Uri has reduced a little now, the Pak Army earlier even used loudspeakers to warn villagers in the area that it was going to open fire to avenge the killings of its soldiers by the Indian Army. "The warning was probably meant for villagers in PoK to take shelter. But the villagers on our side also fled the area," said an officer.

If India lost 32 soldiers in CFVs, infiltration and other incidents along the LoC in 2017 (another 30 laid down their lives in counter-terrorism operations in the hinterland), Army sources estimate 130-140 Pakistan soldiers were killed in the same year based on radio intercepts, intelligence inputs and other information collated from different sources.

Pakistan army morning resorted to heavy mortar shelling and firing in Manjakote and Balakote sectors along the LoC in Rajouri and Poonch Districts, leading to injuries to two BSF personnel. A number of houses and other structures were also damaged in the shelling. Two BSF jawans, identified as Balwinder Singh (23) and Dhana Shekhar (37) were injured when mortar shells exploded close to their posts in Balakote sector (Poonch District), near Bhimber Gali (BG) (Rajouri District). They were immediately evacuated from the site of shelling and shifted to hospital, where they were responding to the treatment.

At about 8 am when the people had started taking to fields while students were headed for schools, Pakistan army started heavy mortar shelling and firing with automatic and semi-automatic weapons in Manjakote sector of Rajouri and Balakote sector of Poonch simultaneously, targeting forward posts of Army and BSF and civilian areas, official sources said. Several mortar shells fell in civilian areas of Balakote but the location population had narrow escape as they had rushed back to their houses and bunkers. Deputy Commissioner, Rajouri, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary said that in Manjakote, heavy mortar shelling was reported from Tarkundi Gali, Lambi Bari, Khori Nar, Dhar and Panjgrain village.

Pakistani troops also fired mortar shells at Chakla and Baldoo areas of Khour sector in Jammu District. The Indian side retaliated Pakistan army’s shelling and firing effectively. Exchanges continued for over two hours. Sources said Pakistan side was reported to have suffered heavy damages in retaliatory firing by the Indian troops all along the LoC in Rajouri and Poonch districts, where shelling and firing from across has become a routine affair.

Ceasefire violations along the LoC and IB in Jammu and Kashmir have left 21 persons including 12 security personnel dead and over 80 others, mostly civilians, injured this year (2018). While there were no ceasefire violations by Pakistan reported along the IB since January 22, intermittent shelling has become a routine affair along the LoC in Rajouri and Poonch Districts. Shelling had recently also spread to Uri sector of Kashmir. Sources said since Pakistan side has suffered heavy casualties, both fatal and non-fatal of their troops and infrastructural damages at the hands of Indian Army, they were now targeting civilian.

The Central Government sought to downplay the issue of presence of dreaded terror group Islamic State (IS) in Jammu and Kashmir saying it has no existence in the Valley. “There is no physical infrastructure or manpower of the IS in the Valley. It does not exist in the Valley,” a UMHA spokesperson said in New Delhi. The Central Government’s assertion came after the terrorist group claimed responsibility for the killing of a Policeman, Farooq Ahmad Yatoo, in Jammu-Kashmir on February 25. Another official said Pakistan-based terror group LeT could be behind the attack on the Policeman, and Esha Fazali, a local militant who first joined the HM and later shifted his allegiance to LeT, has emerged as the prime suspect.

Jammu and Kashmir DGP SP Vaid said in Srinagar that it was now clear that IS had carried out the attack and it is “indeed a worrying sign”. In November 2017, there were reports that the global terror organisation was involved in an encounter with SFs in Srinagar where a terrorist, identified as Mugees, was killed and a Sub-Inspector, Imran Tak, lost his life. Amaq, which is the official news agency of IS, had claimed responsibility for that attack. Pictures of Mugees with the ISIS flag in the background surfaced on social media. Even his body was wrapped in the flag of the banned terror group during funeral. On the other hand, security officials had then claimed that Mugees belonged to an extremist group called Tehrik-ul- Mujahideen and was its Pulwama District ‘commander’.

Two CPI-Maoist militia cadres identified as Raghunath Nayak and Peter Mallick of Birikote village under Mohana block in Gajapati District of Odisha. The arrested duo were involved in a number of deadly attacks carried out in and around the Birikote area by the CPI-Maoist in 2008, said Mukesh Lakra, IIC, Adaba Police Station.

Three SF personnel were injured during an encounter between the SFs and armed CPI-Maoist cadres in Abhujmarh forest at Dantewada District of Chhattisgarh. The injured SFs, identified as Sunil Nag, Somdu and Ravindra Yadav were airlifted and admitted to a private hospital, where their condition was stated to be stable. The CPI-Maoist cadres were hiding on a hill top, triggered a landmine blast and opened indiscriminate firing on the SFs. A joint anti- Naxal operation was launched in Abhujmarh forest, under Barsur Police Station area by Narayanpur and Dantewada Police, along with the CRPF, said SP, KL Kashyap.

February 28

Former Khalistani militant - Jaspal Atwal, a Canadian Sikh had an e-visa to India. Jaspal Atwal raised the controversy by attending an event in Mumbai during the visit of Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to India concluded on February 24. As Atwal’s name had been removed from the UMHA’s list of prohibited Sikh militants in 2016, there was no clause that would hindered him to obtain an e-visa to India. Like other Canadian citizens, Atwal has a privilege to acquire an e-visa, but it shall not meant that Indian Government had any role in him being in India or extending an invitation to him to the event hosted to honour the Canadian PM Trudeau. The Canadian High Commission (CHC) managed the guest-list and Government of India has no interference in this, said an unnamed Indian official who is involved in the developments in the matter. Atwal had served five years of a 20-year imprisonment after being convicted of an attempt to assassinate an Indian politician Malkiat Singh Sidhu in Vancouver Island during his visit to Canada in 1986.

The UAE deported Rehan Abidi—resident of Uttar Pradesh and other four unidentified persons who are accused to be IS operatives, from Abu Dhabi to India. Apart from Rehan Abidi, two persons belong to Mumbai, Maharashtra and other two belong to Chennai (Tamil Nadu). All five suspects are of the age group of 20-25 years and well known to each other. The UAE Intelligence agency intercepted the communication between them in which they were laying out a plan to recruit more persons and wage jihad against India. They were in contact with their IS leaders, said an unnamed Indian Intelligence officer. The Indian Intelligence agencies would probe Rehan Abidi and his associates over their plans. The UAE law-enforcement authorities had kept them in custody for almost three months on the basis of strong evidences of their connection with IS, said an unnamed officer involved with the case. The Indian Intelligence agencies refused to reveal the name of other four suspects except Rehan Abidi.

However, Indian Intelligence agencies found no connection between all five suspects and any terrorist organisation. These five Indian youths were deported not for any terror links but because of ‘undesirable activities’ in the UAE. Reportedly, they were together in a ‘party’ therefore, a homosexuality angle was also being investigated, which is a crime in UAE.

An ex-KLF member, Gurdev Singh Tanda—who was deported by Thailand Government, was produced before the Court in Amritsar and send to five days Police custody. Gurdev Singh had been active in propagating anti-India activities and was wanted in a terrorism related case of 2010. He was in Thailand since 2007, said an unnamed official.

Three Pakistani troopers were killed and two others were injured while three posts of the enemy were decimated as Indian Army launched major offensive against Pakistan’s forward posts in Sunderbani sector of Rajouri District, which were trying to hit civilian targets. Sources said that the India Army launched major offensive against Pakistani troops in Sunderbani sector this morning to silence their guns, which were pounding forward posts of the Army and civilian areas. In the retaliatory action, three Pakistani troopers were killed and two others were injured while their three posts were destroyed. “Mortar shelling and firing from Pakistan side stopped immediately after the Indian action,’’ sources said, adding that hectic activity was seen in Pakistani camp with ambulances ferrying dead and injured to hospitals. However, there were no casualties or losses on the Indian side in Sunderbani sector, sources said, adding that number of mortar shells fell in civilian areas in which the local villagers had narrow escape.

There was no let-up in heavy shelling and firing, which continued in Nowshera and Sunderbani sectors of Rajouri and Khour sector of Pallanwalla in Jammu district for second consecutive day on February 28. Around 72 educational institutions were ordered to be shut down by the district administration in border villages of Rajouri district falling within shelling and firing range of Pakistan army in Nowshera, Manjakote and Sunderbani sectors. Pakistani troops also continued heavy shelling for second consecutive day in Nowshera and Khour sectors along the LoC, which was retaliated by the Indian side effectively at all the places, leading to exchanges. The administration of Rajouri, a district worst hit by Pakistani shelling, today ordered closure of 72 educational institutions in three zones of the district, which falls with shelling and firing range, till March 5. Deputy Commissioner, Rajouri, Shahid Iqbal Choudhary said that apart from closure of educational institutions, the Middle standard examinations are also being postponed as number of examination centres fall within shelling range.

Militants shot at and critically injured a former militant, identified as Aijaz Ahmad Shah at main town Tral in Pulwama District in the evening. Aijaz Ahmad Shah, a resident of Tral received bullet wounds in his legs after being fired upon by the gunmen at around 6.10 pm in the main town. The area was cordoned off and searches were conducted against the assailants. A Police spokesman said that “at about 6.20 pm today [February 28], some unknown militants fired upon one Aijaz Ahmad Shah near Gol Masjid, Tral. He was immediately taken to SDH Tral wherefrom he has been referred to SMHS Hospital Srinagar for treatment. His condition is stated to be critical. Police is investigating the case”.

A GNLA militant identified as Panseng R. Sangma surrendered in East Garo Hills District. He was with GNLA ‘commander in chief’ Sohan D Shira on the day the latter was killed. According to SP Ringrang Momin  the militant stated that Sohan D Shira had taken all the 11 remaining cadres including ULFA-I  ‘second in command’ Drishti Rajkhowa on day of encounter( Feb 24).

Nine CPI-Maoist cadres identified as Muchaki Lakhma (22), Muchaki Kosa (25), Mandvi Lakhma (25), Nuppo Latham (37), Nuppo Ganga (30), Sodi Hidma (30), Nuppo Dual (55), Sodi Mukka Hidma (50) and Sodi Joga (19) were arrested during a search operation by SFs in Bhejji area of Sukma District of Chhattisgarh. The joint operation was conducted by DRG, DF, CRPF and CoBRA battalion of the CRPF. Muchaki Lakhma had arrest warrants pending against him in Bhejji and Konta Police Stations. The arrested CPI-Maoist cadres were involved in attack on a Police team in Elarmadgu forest of Bhejji on February 18, 2018 in which two Police personnel were killed and six others were injured. They were also involved in an incident on the same day in which a labourer was killed and construction equipment and vehicles engaged in road construction were set ablaze, said Senior Police official.

Five CPI-Maoist cadres, identified as Madivi Mangaiah (26), Kudam Nangaiah (30), Madakam Deva (21), Sodi Devaiah (29) and Sodi Mukaiah (25) were arrested at Korakatpadu in Charla Mandal in Bhadradri Kothagudem District in Telangana. The Police seized consignment containing 25 saline bottles and 20 intravenous infusion sets besides tablets for fever and gastritis, among other medicines, worth around INR 5000 from arrested CPI-Maoist cadres. The militia members had bought the medicines from a shop in Bhadrachalam as directed by some CPI-Maoist leaders based in the Dandakaranya forest region of adjoining Chhattisgarh, said Police.

March 1

The US Counterterrorism Coordinator, Nathan Sales stated that India is an incredible and ‘close’ counterterrorism partner of the US and the future of bilateral cooperation in combating the terrorism is bright for both countries. The meetings between the US President Trump and Indian PM Modi held crucial and very productive meetings earlier in their administration, and as a result of those meetings, the US Government and the Indian Government are committed to initiate a powerful partnership in the counterterrorism, said Nathan Sales. During Indian PM Modi’s visit to the US in June 2017, both, India and the US had vowed to strengthen cooperation against terror outfits like JeM, LeT and D-Company (Dawood Ibrahim’s organisation), also urged Pakistan to ensure that its soil is not used for terror strikes against other nations.

The NIA registered a case against Bangladesh-based terror outfit Ansarullah Bangla Team. The decision was taken after the UMHA directed the NIA to take up the case against the ABT operatives, after the arrest of Bangladesh national Umar Farukh alias Mahi alias Ali alias Mohammad Aftab Khan on February 28. On November 21, 2017, the Kolkata STF arrested three terrorists of ABT who revealed that they had come to Kolkata to procure arms. The ABT is a proscribed terror outfit in Bangladesh.

One suspected LeT militant was killed in an encounter with SFs at Hajin in Bandipora District in the wee hours. “One terrorist of LeT apparently FT [foreign terrorist] killed in an encounter in Hajin Bandipore today morning [March 1] in a joint operation of J&K Police/Army/ CRPF,” Director General of State Police SP Vaid tweeted. The encounter ensued when SFs launched a cordon and search operation at Hajin’s Shakoor Din Mohalla in the morning after receiving information about presence of militants there, Jammu and Kashmir Police said in a statement. Arms and ammunition, including AK 47 rifles, and other incriminating materials were also recovered from the encounter site. Prima facie it appeared that the dead militant belonged to outlawed LeT and was a Pakistani national, the statement said.

Two soldiers were injured in firing and shelling by Pakistani troops along the LoC in Poonch and Rajouri Districts.  Pakistan army initiated unprovoked and indiscriminate firing of small arms, automatics, and mortars from 8.45am on March 1 along the LoC in Bhimber Gali (BG) sector of Poonch District, a defence spokesman said. He added that Pakistani forces also violated ceasefire from 10.30am on March 1 at Nowshera, Kalal and Sunderbani sectors along the LoC in Rajouri District. The Indian Army is retaliating strongly and effectively, he said. In the firing and shelling today [March 1], two soldiers suffered minor injuries and were hospitalized, an official said.

Suspected militants in the night attacked a Police Station in Shopian in Shopian District by firing at it. The fire was returned by Police creating panic in the area. Later, SFs cordoned off the area and conducted searches. However, no one was arrested.

An NSCN-K  militant identified as Vepa Hekho was arrested from Kohima District.  The arrested militant was involved in extortion from in Kohima.

Ten CPI-Maoist cadres, including six women and one Greyhound constable, identified as Sushil Kumar were killed in an encounter near Pujarikanker in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh, along the Chhattisgarh-Telangana border. The encounter started at around 4 PM on March 1, when the Greyhounds of Telangana, assisted by Special Police Personnel from Chhattisgarh, started the combing operation. The combing team came across at least 50-100 CPI-Maoist cadres in a forest near Pujarikanker, and asked them to surrender but the Maoists opened fire. All the CPI-Maoist cadres killed are suspected to be from the TSC and combing operations started after a tip-off about a big meeting of CPI-Maoist somewhere along the Chhattisgarh-Telangana border. The Police also recovered one AK-47, one SLRs, two single bore rifles, five INSAS assault rifle, one .303 rifle, one pistol, three claymore mines, six rocket bombs, two solar plates, seven kit bags, a Sony radio, empty cartridges, live ammunition of different calibre, Naxal literature and INR 41,000 cash from the encounter site. The dead Maoists include member of the NTSZC and ‘action team commander’, Dadaboina Swamy alias Prabhakar (53) of Ramapeta village under Kazipet Mandal of Warangal District (Telangana); member of the CRC Doctor’s team’ and a ACM, Rame alias Pande of Gollapalli in Karimnagar District (Telangana); member of the ‘CRC Doctor’s team’ and a ‘A-Section Commander’, Mallesh alias Baman of Dunga Indravati of Bhairamgarh, Bijapur District (Chhattisgarh); ‘CRC Dalam member’, Kosi of Rangaigudem in Dornapal, Dantewada District (Chhattisgarh); and Dalam members – Ithu of Thippapuram in Jayashankar Bhupalpally District (Telangana); Kamala of West Bastar (Chhattisgarh); Pedda Budri of Sukma District (Chhattisgarh); Ratna of Bijapur District  (Chhattisgarh); Sukki of Gangloor, Dantewada District (Chhattisgarh) and Somidi of Sukma District (Chhattisgarh).

Assam DGP Mukesh Sahay stated that SFs could not afford to drop its guard against ULFA (I), which has of late made its presence felt in certain pockets along Assam Border. He stated that ‘The issue remains that in certain pockets their activities have increased… They are taking advantage of pockets bordering Arunachal Pradesh, Myanmar and Nagaland. They are down but not out. So we just can’t afford to relax. But we are working closely with all our   stakeholders in these areas and trying to see that we have a strong counter response to all this’.

He also added that Official reports of the GoI say that ULFA-I activities have gone down by more than 50 per cent.

March 2

Two Pakistan army personnel were killed as Indian troops retaliated to heavy mortar shelling and firing by Pakistani army in several sectors on the LoC in Rajouri, Poonch and Jammu Districts. According to report, war like situation prevailed along the border as mortar shells landed as close as Nowshera town in Rajauri District, leading to strong wave of panic among the people during the past two days. Later, Pakistan confirmed the killing of its two soldiers at Bhimber in Samahini sector opposite Rajouri District and identified the slain Army personnel as Sepoy Muneer Chohan (32), resident of village Kahuta and Sepoy Amir Hussain (28), resident of Bhimber. It also released the photographs of dead army men. The Indian retaliation, apart from killing two more Pakistani troops taking their death toll during last three days to five, also led to heavy infrastructural damages on Pakistan side for which Pakistan’s Director General (South Asia & SAARC) Mohammad Faisal summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh and condemned ‘ceasefire violations’ by India.

Two Army personnel and two civilians were injured on the Indian side while number of houses and other structures were damaged and several cattle were either killed or injured in the continued shelling. Two Army personnel, identified as Naib Subedar Tarsem Singh and Sepoy Sandeep Rai were injured in Pakistan shelling at Sonawali Gali in Mankote sector of Poonch District while a civilian, Ex-Subedar Suresh Kumar was injured in Nowshera sector in Rajauri District. Another civilian sustained minor injuries in Mendhar in Poonch District.

Sources said that during past 48 hours, Pakistani troops violated ceasefire at Nowshera and Sunderbani sectors in Rajouri, Khour sector in Jammu, Mendhar, Balakote and Mankote in Poonch by using very long range mortar shells like 120mm, besides 82mm, to target civilian population and forward posts of the Army. Such was the intensity of Pakistan’s shelling that one of the mortar shells fell close to Hanjana bridge near Nowshera town. However, it went down into the river and failed to cause any casualties or damage. Number of mortar shells in the sectors, hit by shelling, fell in civilian areas. Sources said nearly two dozen houses were damaged, extensively as well as partially, in Pakistan shelling on March 1 while number of cattle were killed or injured in Pakistani shelling. Exact losses were being worked out by the administration. They added that civilians had narrow escape as number of mortar shells narrowly missed the intended targets in shelling-hit sectors.

A boy, who joined militancy early this year (2018), returned home following an appeal by his mother in Kulgam District. A senior Police officer said that responding to the appeals of crying mother, Bilal Ahmad Bhat son of Abdul Ahad Bhat of Tantraypora Kulgam on March 2 returned home leaving path of violence. He was active with HM for last 38 days. Four Kashmiri youths, who had taken to militancy, shunned the path of violence and returned to the mainstream in 2017.

A fresh video of Naveed Jutt, a top Pakistani LeT militant who escaped from a hospital in Srinagar in February 6, has surfaced in social media.  In the latest video, Naveed Jutt is seen in fatigues, an automatic rifle in his hand, walking up to a group of armed militants of the HM in a forest area of the Valley. However, Police officials have refused to comment on the video saying they were verifying its veracity. The video is believed to have been filmed somewhere in a forest area of south Kashmir, as Jutt had joined Saddam Padder in Pulwama after his escape from custody from the SMHS hospital on February 6. The incident also confirms police suspicions that the lines between some of the terror groups were thinning.

Two Policemen, on escort duty with Jutt, were shot dead by the militant and his accomplices before he made his escape. Four people were arrested by Police for facilitating Jutt's escape.  Naveed's escape was seen as an indictment of the security protocol at the Srinagar central jail. A probe into Naveed Jutt's escape had revealed that the plan to get the Lashkar terrorist released had been in the works for four months. Police believe that the urgency to get the Lashkar ‘commander’ out could have something to do with the success of SFs in eliminating the LeT's commanders Abu Qasim, Abu Dujana and Abu Ismail.

The JeM, terrorist group based in Pakistan, is continuing with its anti-India tirade with threats to Indian PM Narendra Modi and the Indian State at the behest of its ISI masters. While addressing a rally in Bhawalpur in Punjab Province (Pakistan), Ameer of JeM, Molvi Mufti Abdul Rauf Asghar challenged India that his cadres were heading towards Delhi and if India could stop them, let it do so. He said in his speech, "Modi, if you could stop JeM Mujahideen, let you try. Instead of spending 15,000 crore Rupees on purchase of gums for Army, it should be spent on procuring wood for burning the dead bodies of Indians, because so many people would be killed that there will be shortage of wood for burning their dead bodies. Right from Afzal Guru to Adnan Shaheed, the death of each 'martyr' would be avenged." Pakistan continues to provide platform to dreaded terrorists to stage anti-India protests despite facing worldwide condemnation for sheltering terrorists on its territory.

Asghar said in his speech, "The world would see the day when the name of JeM would be written in Indian Parliament at the spot which had touched the bullet from the gun of Arsalan Shaheed". "Gazva-e-Hind had started from Pathankot and then proceeded ahead. Jammu had been shattered and now Delhi was getting to be shattered", added Asghar in his hated speech. He added, "The spirit of taking revenge had not ended. Muslim girls of Gujarat, Muslims of Bangladesh and the people killed in Kashmir were not forgotten. The situation had changed now and jihad was in high spirits. Muslim Army of Allah would carry out jihad and the Indian opportunists would be kept behind bars".

Abdul Rauf Asghar is the brother of Maulana Masood Azhar, the founder of UN designated terrorist group JeM. India listed Azhar as one of its most wanted terrorists due to his history of militant activities. JeM’s primary motive is to separate Kashmir from India and merge it into Pakistan. It has carried out several attacks primarily in Jammu and Kashmir. The group maintained close relations with the Taliban and al Qaeda and continues to be allied to them.

Mizoram Additional Secretary for Home Lalbiakzama stated that repatriation of over 5,000 Bru families from Tripura is not likely to take off as scheduled from this month as the refugees rejected a central Government proposal for financial assistance.

The official stated that the 5,413 refugee families last month that each family would be provided with a package of INR 1,30,000 besides INR 5,000 per family per month and free ration for two years. The Additional Secretary stated that ‘Bru people in the relief camps rejected the proposals of the ministry during a meeting at Naisingpara relief camp on February 23. It is unlikely that the repatriation will begin according to schedule’.  The repatriation was scheduled to begin from first week of March.

A memorandum submitted to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh by the Mizoram Bru Displaced People's Forum in January had demanded a provision of INR 1.5 million to each repatriated Bru family. The forum had also demanded that all repatriated able-bodied youths should be given government jobs.

An OGW of NDFB-S  was arrested from Chirag District.  Pistol and  ammunition were recovered from him.

An ULFA-I militant was arrested from Borhat in Charaideo District. Pistol, ammunition, extortion letters and other incrimating documents were recovered from him.

Two civilians, identified as Madan Koda (35) and Pramod Koda (32), were killed by CPI-Maoist cadres at a High School in Pacheshwari village under Barhet Police Station of Jamui District of Bihar. A group of about 40 armed CPI-Maoist cadres surrounded the high school and called out the names of three men from a single family. The CPI-Maoist cadres shot dead Madan Koda on the spot and abducted his younger brother, Pramod Koda, whose dead body was found at a nearby field a few hours later. Ranjit Koda, another sibling of the two victims, was also wanted by the CPI-Maoist cadres, but managed to flee. All the three brothers were labeled as Police Informers. CPI-Maoist cadres came from their hiding place in the Bhimband forests. They threatened the villagers not to share any information about their activities with Police and also asked the villagers to return to their homes in Kumartari village, said Jamui SP JJ Reddy. The incident prompted the villagers to first take shelter under the open sky in the Ratneshwar hills. But the District Administration later asked them to live in some vacant rooms at the High School in Pacheshwari village, added SP Reddy.

March 3

One of the founding member of the IM—Abdul Subhan Qureshi, a mastermind of the 2008 serial blasts in Ahmedabad (Gujarat), has been sent to 20 days custody of the Ahmedabad Crime Branch. Abdul was flown to the Ahmedabad on a transfer warrant and presented before the court on next day. He was arrested on January 23 by the Special cell of Delhi Police.

Calling it a rules-based regional architecture, India and Vietnam signed three key MoUs/pacts, including one on nuclear cooperation, to work together towards an open, independent and prosperous Indo-Pacific region. India and Vietnam would work for an Indo-Pacific region where sovereignty and international laws are respected, and tensions must be resolved with talks, said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a joint statement with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang. Both countries vowed to work on several key factors, including defence, oil and gas, and agriculture.

Assam State Government announced extension of AFSPA by another six months in the Sate. According to a statement, the Home and Political Department of Assam, through a notification issued on February 28, declared the entire State a “disturbed area” under AFSPA.

DGP Mukesh Sahay stated that though there has been vast improvement of the overall law and order situation in Assam, there is need for consolidating the position to prevent militants from regrouping and that is why, AFSPA was extended. He also added that , the process of updating of the NRC and ensuing Panchayat (village administration) polls also contributed to the decision to further extend the Act.

He further stated that though incidents of violence involving the militants have come down drastically militant groups still have bases in Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland and they try to sneak into Assam from such bases to indulge in acts of violence. He said that the coordination of the Assam Police with the police forces of Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland improved considerably. The personnel of the armed forces are also operating in the areas frequented by the militants to sneak into Assam from their bases in Myanmar through the states of Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland. The Assam Police cannot go and operate in the neighbouring states and the personnel of the armed forces are of big help in launching operations in such places.

NDFB-S including senior leader G Bidai are still at large in the areas bordering Bhutan. He also admitted that efforts are ongoing by ULFA-I to launch extortion drive, particularly in upper Assam areas as the outfit is facing severe financial crisis. He also added that there is a need to check the flow of funds to the militants. Similarly, the supply lines of the militants need to be totally cut off to ensure that they cannot sustain for a long period. He pointed out that in past one year, there have been several instances of seizures of supplies meant for the militants and if the police and security forces can totally cut off the supply lines, it would be difficult for the militants to sustain.

Firefight occurred between NSCN-IM and ZUF militants at near Nungadang in Tamenglong District.

March 4

The Indian Intelligence agencies suspected a conspiracy to settle down 40,000 Rohingya refugees in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas and South 24 Parganas Districts. Around 40,000 Rohingyas who are spread-out at different locations in India, reportedly instructed to settle down in two Districts of the West Bengal—a state ruled by the Trinamool Congress, read a report sent to the UMHA regarding the matter. Around 40 organisations have been under Intelligence’s suspicions who are involved in ‘settling down’ the Rohingyas illegally, and also gathering funds from across the country. These organisations had asked the people of nearby villages to donate their land to Rohingya settlement purposes, claimed the report. "Many of the Rohingyas figure in the suspected sinister designs of IS and other extremists groups who want to achieve their ulterior motives in India including that of flaring up communal and sectarian violence in sensitive areas of the country.", read an affidavit filed by the Central Government in the Supreme Court of India’s registry over the issue.

Three OGWs and a militant were killed in a brief gun battle in Shopian District of South Kashmir in the evening. A militant, identified as Shahid Ahmad Dar son of Mushtaq Ahmad Dar of Jamnagari was killed as he fired at an Army vehicle at Pahnoo in Shopian District in the evening. Three OWGS, identified as Suhail Khalil Wagay, Mohammad Shahid Khan and Shahnawaz Ahmad Wagay who were travelling in a Swift car were also killed in the gun battle. Srinagar based Defence Ministry spokesman, Colonel Rajesh Kalia, said in Srinagar that militants attacked Mobile Vehicle Check Post (MVCP) of army’s 44 RR at Pahnoo village at around 2000 hours. The fire was retaliated triggering off a gunfight. He said that in the exchange of gunfire a militant was killed and his body along with an AK-rifle was recovered. “Three of his accomplices, OGWs, were also found dead in the car in which they were travelling”, he said. The exact details about the incident were not known as the Police was tight lipped on it, said report. However, locals said that these civilians were travelling in a Swift car when the incident took place and were killed in retaliatory fire by Army. Police immediately reached the spot and took possession of the bodies. The bodies have been kept at District Police Lines Shopian for the medico legal formalities.

Protests broke out at several places in Shopian town against the killing of the civilians. Senior Police officers including DIG South Kashmir rushed to Shopian to deal with the law and order.  Security has been intensified to prevent any clashes.                

Separatist leaders comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohamamd Yasin Malik, March 4 called for shutdown on March 5 against the killing of three civilians in Shopian. They had already called for shutdown on March 7 against the shifting of prisoners from Kashmir jails to outside jails. Earlier, Dr Qasim Fakhtoo and Muhammad Shafi Shaereti were shifted to Udhampur and Hiranagar jails respectively.

Three persons were arrested during searches in North Kashmir’s Hajin area of Bandipora District on March 3 night. Those arrested were identified as Mohammad Umar Dar, Gowhar Ahmad Parray and Sonaullah Bhat.

Talks between HPC-D and Mizoram state Government will be resumed in Aizawl. Mizoram Home department additional secretary Lalbiakzama said that the commencement of the parleys had been fixed for March 5, but was postponed for the convenience of HPC-D delegation. The current level of talks commenced from August 10, 2016 began official level talks and was elevated to political level talks from this time.

HPC-D leaders expressed optimism that political level talks with Mizoram Government would find a solution to the Hmar problem. The militant leaders also added that they were yet to decide on the members of the delegation while confirming that the working president of the group Lalthalien Hmar would be in the delegation and would continue to be the spokesperson.

An unidentified NSCN-IM was arrested by Army in Longding District.

Six CPI-Maoist cadres identified as Korra Rajababu (42), Vanthala Sethu alias Tilusu (25), Vanthala Ramakrishna (35), Vanthala Ravi (30), Korra Mallana (30) and Pangi Bhaskar Rao (35) of Galikonda and Korukonda Area Committees (GAC & KAC) have surrendered before the Visakhapatnam Rural SP, Rahul Dev Sharma in Visakhapatnam District of Andhra Pradesh. Four CPI-Maoist cadres identified as Rajababu, Tilusu, Ramakrishna and Ravi carried a reward of INR 100,000 on their heads each. They were fed up with the ideology of the CPI-Maoists and wanted to lead a normal life by joining the mainstream, said SP, Sharma.

Myanmar has indefinitely deferred signing an agreement with India to streamline the free movement of people within 16 kilometers of Indo-Myanmar border. Myanmar sighted ‘domestic compulsions’ for deferring to sign the agreement and asked more time before the agreement is sealed. A senior government official stated that ‘Myanmar has been dragging its feet on the agreement. They have asked for more time and are reluctant due to domestic compulsions. They fear that if they sign the pact, the international agreement will have to be adhered to’.

On January 3, the Union Cabinet had approved the agreement between India and Myanmar on land border crossing to enhance economic interaction between people of the two countries. The Government of India (GoI) had asked Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram to distribute “border pass” to all the residents living within 16 km from the border.

Myanmar has indefinitely deferred signing an agreement with India to streamline the free movement of people within 16 kilometers of Indo-Myanmar border. Myanmar sighted ‘domestic compulsions’ for deferring to sign the agreement and asked more time before the agreement is sealed. A senior government official stated that ‘Myanmar has been dragging its feet on the agreement. They have asked for more time and are reluctant due to domestic compulsions. They fear that if they sign the pact, the international agreement will have to be adhered to’.

On January 3, the Union Cabinet had approved the agreement between India and Myanmar on land border crossing to enhance economic interaction between people of the two countries. The Government of India (GoI) had asked Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram to distribute “border pass” to all the residents living within 16 km from the border.

NSCN-IM militant identified as Tomomusu Yimchunger was arrested from Phuvkiu–Pungro road in Kiphire District. Arms and ammunition were recovered from the vehicle of the militant.

Myanmar has indefinitely deferred signing an agreement with India to streamline the free movement of people within 16 kilometers of Indo-Myanmar border. Myanmar sighted ‘domestic compulsions’ for deferring to sign the agreement and asked more time before the agreement is sealed. A senior government official stated that ‘Myanmar has been dragging its feet on the agreement. They have asked for more time and are reluctant due to domestic compulsions. They fear that if they sign the pact, the international agreement will have to be adhered to’.

On January 3, the Union Cabinet had approved the agreement between India and Myanmar on land border crossing to enhance economic interaction between people of the two countries. The Government of India (GoI) had asked Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram to distribute “border pass” to all the residents living within 16 km from the border.

Army interacted with the youth who were arrested earlier on the charges of stone pelting at Bandipora District.  An Army spokesman said the meet was aimed at analyzing the pulse of the youth and situation prevailing in the environment. “Youth came forward and shared their future aspirations to succeed in life by working hard and regretted their immature and unethical act of pelting stones at security forces,” he said. “They actively came forward with their problems and areas where they requested for guidance from SFs. They were assured of constant assistance and support,” he added.

March 5

The NIA claimed of a common link between 2014 Burdwan blast and 2018 Bodh Gaya ‘IED’ explosion, where two JMB leaders—Kausar and Salahuddin were “main conspirators” in Bodh Gaya blast and “absconded” in Burdwan case. During the investigation, the NIA found that six men who were radicalise at Madrasas controlled by JMB, were tasked by Kausar and Salahuddin (both Bangladeshi nationals), to carried out the blast at Bodh Gaya’s Buddhist pilgrimage. All six arrested members suspected to met Kausar and Salahuddin in an unnamed city in Southern India. In a recent interview to JMB’s media wing, Salahuddin had declared himself as the head of JMB’s India operations.

One of the founders of IM and mastermind behind 2008 Ahmedabad blasts—Abdul Subhan Qureshi (48) has confessed to senior officials of the Crime Branch that Riyaz Bhatkal—another founding member of IM had visited Ahmedabad city thrice in two months before the blasts. Riyaz stayed in Ahmedabad with Abdul Subhan Qureshi and Kayamuddin Kapadia at a rented bungalow in Danilimda in Ahmedabad District, Gujarat where the bombs were assembled, said an unnamed senior Crime Branch officer. Before his arrest, Subhan Qureshi hid his real identity and worked at a local school as an English teacher. Later, he had travelled to Saudi Arabia twice on a passport issued with a fake identity. A probe on his Saudi Arabia trips is ongoing, said an unnamed senior Crime Branch officer.

GNLA militant identified as Bappus D Shira alias Tapsro surrendered to the State Police in Baghmara in South Garo Hills District. He revealed that while in GNLA, in South Garo Hills he helped militants to crossover to Bangladesh via Simakona and Horipur villages. He also stated that he had visited Mymensingh and Durgapur towns to purchase supplies for GNLA.

While in GNLA he was part of Sohan D Shira’s group and had narrow escape from several encounters with police at Halwa Bilda, Rongsu Banagittim and Bolbokgre forests in South Garo Hills District. Prior to joining GNLA he was a cadre of ANVC-B which gave him arms training at Pendengru forests in Garo Hills.

An Army was killed in an encounter with suspected NSCN-IM militants at a place between Goitang Chingkao village and Molphei village in Khopum area at Noney District died in the Army Hospital in Leimakhong in Imphal West District. However, NSCN-IM stated that that it was not involved in the encounter. NSCN-IM stated that that it was not involved in the encounter.

AR arrested two illegal arms manufacturers from general area Sungratsu, Chumukedima in Dimapur District.

AR arrested an unidentified individual and recovered a pistol, magazine, ammunition & war like stores in Longleng Town in Longleng District.

An NDFB-S militant was killed in an encounter AT Kokrajhar District.  An AK-47 rifle, magazine, ammunition and incriminating documents were recovered from him.

A cache of arms and ammunition were recovered by Police from a Amritsar Express train in Dibrugarh District. The recovered arms included 264 rounds of live ammunition, one 9 mm pistol and some parts of revolvers and single-barrel guns.

CPI-Maoist cadres killed a civilian on the suspicion of being a 'Police Informer' and set ablaze four vehicles in Sukma District of Chhattisgarh. CPI-Maoist cadres torched a TSRTC bus, a private bus and two trucks. TSRTC bus was on its way from Jagdalpur in Bastar District to Hyderabad and CPI-Maoist cadres set ablaze vehicles 10 kilometers away from Dornapal. Maoists asked all the passengers to exit before setting the vehicles on fire and raised the slogans against Telangana Police for killing 10 CPI-Maoist cadres in encounter, said  SP, Abhishek Meena.

The villagers of Chikpal and Marjum villages under Tongpal Police Station limits in Sukma District of Chhattisgarh have decided not to support Naxal activities. Around 250 people from Chikpal and Marjum villages reached the Police Station and informed Police about their decision. The villagers have assured to block every kind of assistance that was being given to CPI-Maoist cadres by them in the past and stay away from Naxal ideology and violence. The villagers had been supporting Naxals by providing food, shelter and other logistic support either by will or force, said DIG, South Bastar range, Sundarraj P.

SFs arrested a cadre of the PLFI, a splinter group of the CPI-Maoist, identified as Pattu Mahaa, carrying a reward of INR 200,000 on his head, in a joint operation conducted near Sarvoda forest area under Murhu Police Station area in Khunti District of Jharkhand. The arrested PLFI cadre, Mahaa has 28 FIRs against him and was involved in six encounters with the Police. The SFs recovered a country made pistol and ammunition from his possession.

The death toll in the militant attack on Army in Pahoo village of Shopian District and Army retaliation (March 4) has gone up to six as two bodies were recovered from the area in the morning. Police recovered body of a LeT militant, identified as Ashiq Hussain Bhat son of Mohammad Ishaq Bhat of Rakhpora Shopian from apple orchard at Saidipora village in Shopian District in the morning. Police also recovered body of another person, identified as owhar Ahmad Lone (24), of Moolu, Trenz some 250 meters at Pahnoo Shopian. He was found dead in his car (Wagon-R) bearing registration number JK01Q- 1723. Earlier SATP reported that three OGWs and a militant were killed in a brief gun battle in Shopian District of South Kashmir on March 4 evening.

All those killed in the shootout in Shopian District were linked to militancy and the soldiers acted in self-defence, the Army said. Recounting the events of the shootout, in which six people, including two terrorists, were killed on March 4 night, a defence spokesperson said soldiers deployed at the MVCP in Trenz-Pinjoora road near Pahnoo village were fired upon by occupants in two speeding vehicles. At around 8pm, two speeding vehicles were seen approaching the checkpoint from the direction of Trenz village, he said. The vehicles continued to move despite being signalled to stop by the troops. The soldiers flashed search lights towards the approaching vehicles, but the occupants opened heavy firing from both the vehicles, the spokesperson added. "Our troops, in self defence, responded to the same with fire. In the ensuing gun fight, one terrorist firing from one of the vehicles was hit and he fell off the vehicle. The vehicle veered off the road towards the nala (stream) and the second vehicle sped off," he said.

“The body of one terrorist — Amir Ahmad Malik — was recovered. A category C terrorist, Malik was part of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) since July last year [2017]. War-like stores, including one AK-74, three magazines and 88 rounds were recovered from the dead terrorist”, the spokesperson added. "Three more bodies were found in the vehicle during the search. These individuals were accompanying the terrorist," he said. At around 9am today [March 5], the body of another terrorist, identified as Ashiq Hussain Bhat of LeT, was found in the apple orchards of Saidapora village. Bhat is also "linked" with the same chain of events at Pahnoo village, the spokesperson said. He said the second vehicle, from which the Army personnel were fired upon, was found this morning near Pinjoora, about 200 metres away from the shootout scene. "One more individual was found dead (in the car). He has been identified as Gowhar Ahmad Lone," he added.

Local residents and family of the deceased youths have refuted the Army version of the incident, alleging that they do not have links with militancy and were killed in an indiscriminate firing by the soldiers.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has also said that the four men were killed in a “crossfire". The ruling PDP MLA from Shopian, Mohammad Yousuf Bhat, has called for a judicial probe into the incident saying that "no circumstances can justify these civilian killings

Kashmir valley observed shutdown against Shopian killings even as authorities imposed restrictions in parts of Srinagar, closed colleges and schools, postponed all exams and suspended train and internet services. Separatist had called for the Valley-wide shutdown to protests against the killings. Shops and business establishments remained closed in most parts of Kashmir while public transport was off the roads due to the strike. Minor clashes took place at several areas including Bagh-i-Mehtab, Mochow, Kadlibal Pampore, Sharja Ground Bemina, near MLA’s residence in Shopian, Jogi Lanker Raniwari, HMT and Ziyarat Sharief Syed Manssor Sahb near Chota Bazar Srinagar.

SFs killed the mastermind behind Sunjawan Army base attack (February 10) and the ‘operational commander’ of JeM, Mufti Waqas alias Abu Arsalan in a brief encounter at Hatwar in Awantipora area of Pulwama District. Sources said that as SFs cordoned off Hatwar village near Srinagar-Jammu NH, the militant commander came out of the house in which he was hiding and opened fire on the troops, who fired back and killed him on the spot. The firing lasted for few minutes and operation was called off immediately. One pistol and three grenades were also recovered from his possession. Waqas, who infiltrated into Kashmir early last year (2017), revived JeM in Kashmir. He was mastermind behind major attacks in Kashmir including attack on DPL Pulwama on August 26, 2017, Lethpora CRPF camp on December 31, 2017 and Sunjwan Army camp on February 10, 2018 and attack on BSF near Srinagar Airport.

Srinagar based Defence spokesman, Colonel Rajesh Kalia, said, “Based on specific intelligence of presence of a terrorist in the area of Hatwar Awantipur, a joint specific operation was launched today [March 5] by 50 RR, JKP & CRPF. During the operation the mastermind of Sunjawan terrorist attack and Letapore terrorist attack Jaish-e-Mohammed operational commander Mufti Waqas, Cat A++, was eliminated in a surgical operation.” “This has resulted in a major dent to the designs of JeM as after elimination of their earlier operational commander Noor Mohd Tantrey in the same area in December 2017, his successor too has now been killed”, the spokesman said.

Police busted a FICN racket and arrested one person along with FICNs in Rajouri District. SSP, Yougal Manhas termed this as major success and said that speedy investigation is going on in this case to unearth all the links of this racket and to put the accused behind the bars. ” One of the suspected persons was intercepted in this trap at Khablan village on Rajouri-Thanamandi Road and during his search, Police recovered some cash which during investigation came out to be fake. The man was arrested from the spot,” SSP said identifying the accused as Sagheer Ahmed Chowdhary, son of Nissar Hussain, resident of Dodassan Bala village of Thanamandi in Rajouri District. 29 FICNs of INR 500 denomination were recovered from the said accused with total amount of INR 14, 500.

A militant returned home in Jammu and Kashmir as he quit militancy following appeal by his parents. On March 2, a boy from South Kashmir had returned home from militancy following an appeal by his mother. Several militants, who had taken to violence, returned home last year (2017) after appeal by their parents. To bring misguided youth back into the national mainstream, Police has been counseling them to prevent from falling prey to anti-national propaganda and joining militancy in South Kashmir’s Anantnag District. Police has appealed the parents to come forward and help their wards by way of giving them time and counseling them so that they may not be misguided by the anti-national elements who are hell bent to vitiate the peace in the Valley.

The armed forces are retaliating appropriately to ceasefire violations by Pakistan army along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir, besides effectively dealing with terrorists in the State, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said. She also said that the Government has issued broad guidelines to ramp up security at defence establishments, besides strengthening and streamlining the response mechanism in the event of any terror attack. The Defence Minister said this in Rajya Sabha while replying to questions relating to security situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

She said 209 incidents of ceasefire violations by Pakistan army were reported along the LoC in January while the number was 142 in the first 12 days of February. A total of 860 incidents of ceasefire violations had taken place last year (2017). “Appropriate response to these ceasefire violations has been carried out wherever necessary,” said Sitharaman, adding the defences along the border are periodically fortified to withstand any attacks. The Defence Minister said terrorists and their handlers have resorted to a strategy of spreading terror and bring lawlessness in Jammu and Kashmir. “The security forces are alive to these challenges and are tackling them in an effective manner,” she said.

To a separate question, she said since the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, inputs from various intelligence agencies indicate the continued likelihood of such strikes. “However, presently, there is no specific input pertaining to an increased threat to the country from the sea routes,” she said.

March 6

After Mirai and Reaper, the Cybersecurity agencies has detected a new malware—Saposhi, with a capability to overtake the electronic devices and turned them into ‘Bots’.  The ‘Bot’ devices can be misused for any purposes and have the capability to paralyse any industry that depends on information systems. Saposhi was detected 15 days ago and currently under monitoring. So far studied, Saposhi has similar capabilities like of Reaper—that took over millions of devices at the rate of 10,000 devices per day, said an unnamed senior Cyber Police official.

Iqbal Kaskar’s lawyer Shyam Keswani said in the Court that notable gangster Dawood Ibrahim is willing to come back to India and face all charges imposed against him. As per the statement of Keswani about Dawood’s willingness to come back to India, have two conditions. Therefore, the matter is under investigation, said Inspector (Thane Anti-Extortion Cell) Vikas Ghodke. Dawood’s brother— Iqbal Kaskar whose proceedings were ongoing in the Court by his lawyer Keswani, has been sent to Police custody till March 9.

Leaders of HPC-D arrived in Aizawl on March 6 for peace talks with state Government on March 7.

One Soldier of Rajputana Rifles Regiment identified as Sepoy Abhijit Mondal was killed and three others wounded in an explosion at L Bongjoi village in Chandel District.

Another explosion was reported near AR camp at North AOC in Imphal West District and another bomb explosion was reported near the Community Development Office at Khengjoi in Chandel District. No casualties were caused by the explosion. According to some reports, UNLF has claimed responsibility for the attack.

KNF-N militant identified as Thongkhohao Kipgen Haopu was arrested by Police in connection with February 27 abduction of two workers. The arrested militant confessed he and three other KNF-N militants were involved in the abduction.

Governor P.B Acharya stated that Naga political issue would be resolved within six months. He added that inclusion of Naga areas from Manipur, Assam and Myanmar to form a greater Nagaland was a difficult task and might not be possible immediately.

Atleast 45 people were wounded wounded in a clash between Police and agitators who were staging a blockade on the National Highway at Sidli in Chirang District. The United Organisation Co-ordination Committee, a joint forum of four non-tribal student groups AKRSU, AAGSU, ASSU and All Nath Jogi Students Union had called a 24-hour shutdown protesting the BTC’s new land policy which reportedly goes against the land rights of non-tribal communities residing in BTAD. Police resorted to baton charge, burst tear gas shells and fired rubber bullets to disperse the agitators.

KPLT extended its support to the demand made by civil and student organizations to ban sale and transfer of Karbi Anglong land to non-tribals.

Cadres of the PLFI, a splinter group of the CPI-Maoist, killed a civilian identified as Haridarshan Sahu, a paddy trader, at Bagdega Square under Bisra Police Station limits in Sundargarh District in Odisha. Sahu was procuring paddy at Bagdega Bazar, when 2-3 PLFI cadres came there on bike and opened fire two rounds of bullet at Sahu. Later on, Sahu succumbed to his injuries.

Two CPI-Maoist cadres, including a dalam member and a RMP doctor were arrested by the Police while routine checking of vehicles at Etapaka Police Station in East Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh. East Godavari District SP, Vishal Gunni said that of the three Madivi Rama (20) a tribal of Palod village of Sukma District of Chhattisgarh is a member of DAKMS Dalam while the other two - Molumuri Srinivasarao (38) and Payam Jogarao (32), are from Bhadradri Kothagudem District of Telangana. Srinivasarao, a native of Chinna Nallabelli village, Dummugudem Mandal of Bhadradri Kothagudem District in Telangana, is an RMP doctor running a medical shop attending to the medical needs of the Maoists, and Jogarao is an agricultural coolie but turned to be a Maoist sympathizer and worked as a courier. “During a vehicle check, the Etapaka Police spotted the three Maoists near the Police station and took them into custody. They seized a tapancha with five rounds from Rama,” SP, Vishal said, adding the Police intensified vigilance in the Agency area following the recent encounter.

Shutdown and protests continued for the second consecutive day in Shopian District of South Kashmir against the killing of six persons on March 4 evening. Shops, business establishments, Government and private offices remained closed in parts of South Kashmir including Shopian and its adjoining areas. Shutdown was also observed in neighbouring Pulwama District. Minor clashes were reported from Memander, near DC office and near Mini Secretariat in Shopian.

People at Pahnoo in Shopian District protested and demanded removal of an Army camp in the village.

APHC-M chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq who continues to be under house arrest in the backdrop of killings in Shopian said that the situation in Kashmir is extremely grim and fast deteriorating. Mirwaiz said that rampant killings has become the order of the day. He said, “as no responsibility is fixed for these killings and there is no accountability, the highly worrisome reality is that the lives of the people of Kashmiris is perpetually at great risk (sic)”. Mirwaiz said that the situation on the LoC and IB is no better with civilians and soldiers dying on both sides and can anytime escalate into a full scale war.

Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti took a review of the security and law and order situation at a high level meeting of officers in Srinagar. During the meeting, she impressed upon all the security agencies to work in synergy to ensure that SOPs as laid out should be strictly adhered to and in no way be these violated or overlooked. Every aberration in this regard, she reminded the officers, amounts to furthering the evil designs of elements inimical to peace in the State. Mehbooba advised heads of all security agencies to ensure that no collateral damage is allowed to happen during security operations and care should be taken that common masses are not put to inconvenience during these operations. She asked the heads of civil, Police, Army and other security agencies to maximize their public outreach to ensure that the grievances of people on the ground are listened to and addressed promptly.

The UMHA informed the Lok Sabha that there was no specific intelligence input about terrorists planning to attack the Sunjuwan army camp in Jammu District. Minister of State for Home Affairs, Hansraj Gangaram Ahir informed Parliament that “terrorists are helped by local OGWs” in Kashmir. “Though there were general inputs that militants may attack vital installations/camps in the Jammu region, there were no specific inputs about this attack. All such inputs are shared amongst all concerned agencies. Security arrangements are periodically revised based on emerging threats and intelligence inputs,” Minister of State Hansraj Gangaram Ahir informed Parliament.

Ahir said 38 terrorist incidents were reported from Kashmir Valley and two incidents from the Jammu region till February 15 this year (2018). In 2017, eight incidents of terrorist violence were reported from Jammu and 334 were reported to have occurred in the Kashmir Valley. “The Government has also continuously encouraged policies to mainstream the youth, including providing employment opportunities to wean them away from militancy. INR 80,068 crore has been announced under the PM Development Package, 2015,” Mr. Ahir said.

At least 15 young Kashmiri militants have returned home respecting appeals from their families after footballer Majid Khan renounced insurgency last November (2017) on his mother’s request, said Jammu and Kashmir Police. According to DGP Shesh Paul Vaid, the latest among these returnees this March were two young men who responded to their parents’ appeal to leave the path of violence. “Some 15 boys have returned since Khan’s return. Every drop counts. Whatever little it is, their lives and their families are saved from getting ruined,” Vaid said. Police too have a hand in bringing the militants back to society. Officers talk to the families of known militants to persuade them to leave the armed struggle. “If a youngster agrees, he contacts his family and we are kept in the loop,” Vaid said. The identity of these returnees is kept secret to keep them from harm’s way.

Kashmir has been recording sort of a trend in militants returning to their families after 20-year-old Khan, who had joined the LeT militant group, left the organisation on November 16, 2017 after his mother’s tearful plea to him to come back home in a video that was widely shared on social media. A resident of Anantnag in south Kashmir, Khan was a bright student and a popular goalkeeper in the local team before he joined the LeT, which put his family and neighbours in considerable grief. The LeT said he was “permitted” to leave on his mother’s request.

Police believe the return of youngsters was having “some effect” on local militancy. “Obviously, as people come back, there is a possibility of the level of violence coming down,” Vaid said. According to the DGP, there has been a “slight drop” in the number of Kashmiris joining militancy this year compared to 2017. “The reasons can be quite a few. One is that a lot of terrorists were killed, which acted as a deterrent, and another thing is that we are talking to families of youngsters. A lot of persuasion is going on,” he said. As many as 206 militants were killed by SFs in Jammu and Kashmir in 2017 of which 85 were residents of the state, according to Police records.

March 7

In an Islamic Conference schedule to be held on March 9-10, the Chief of Ahle Hadith—a large Sunni sect, on March 7 has proposed to declare IS “terror tactics” as un-Islamic through a fatwa. The fatwa has been endorsed by 40 senior scholars associated with the New Delhi-based Markazi Jamiat Ahle-Hadees Hind, the main body representing the sect, said the appointed leader of the group Maulana Asghar Ali Imam Mahadi Salafi. It is India’s Constitution, the Judiciary system, and the involvement of civil society which are great avenues of justice. This all makes Indian Islamic model the only working model, said former head of Islamic Studies at Jamia Millia Islamia (University) Akhtarul Wassey.  In 2007, Uttar Pradesh’s Darul Uloom seminary located in Deoband in Saharanpur District had issued a similar anti-terror declaration, but this is the first time that a prominent Islamic religious-conservative group closely identified with Salafists would rule against the IS.

The UP ATS claimed to have de-radicalised seven Indian youths who were influenced under nine IS recruiters—including Saifullah. The UP ATS have de-radicalised seven youths from different locations of the country in last one year. This de-radicalisation programme was initiated by the ATS, said IG of ATS Asim Arun. Under the de-radicalisation programme, a SI rank officer was made in-charge and family members of such youths were taken into confidence. These youths were not found involved in any terror activity and had merely been influenced by IS ideology, explained SSP of ATS Umesh Srivastava. On March 8, 2017, The UP ATS had killed Saifullah after a 12-hour operation in Haji colony of Dubagga in Lucknow District. The intelligence input about Saifullah’s hideout was provided by Telangana Police officials. Other eight IS recruiters are currently lodged in a jail in Delhi and their judicial trial is ongoing.

During the interrogation with Ahmedabad Crime Branch, the co-founder of IM and mastermind of 2008 Gujarat blasts—Abdul Subhan Qureshi has revealed that he was living in Nepal for seven years under the fake identity of Abdul Rehman and was taken to jungle of Halol in Panchmahal District in Gujarat, to re-establish terrorist training camp which was there before 2008 Gujarat blasts. Subhan left Ahmedabad 10 days before the blasts and hid in Bihar and Jharkhand before ‘sneaking’ into Nepal in 2009 via Raxual border, said an unnamed Crime Branch official. Subhan had travelled twice to Saudi Arabia for Hajj pilgrimage and used the passport issued on the name of Abdul Rehman as a fake identity. A probe about Subhan’s activities in Saudi Arabia is ongoing, said an unnamed official involved in the case.

The Parliamentary Panel—headed by the senior Congress Leader P. Chidambaram claimed that the Panel is concerned over the rise in the FICN cases even after the demonetisation. No measures have been taken by the UMHA to replace the existing FICN detection machines to detect the cross-border smuggling FICN or to make it compatible for detecting FICNs with new denomination notes, says the Parliamentary Panel. However, the Government of India made a claim the process of demonetisation would diminish the ‘black money’ and counterfeit currency used for illegal activities including terrorism.

The first political level talks between Mizoram State Government and HPC-D led by H. Zosangbera began on March 7. The head of the Government delegation stated that ‘The peace talks were held in an environment of friendship and mutual trust. There were no new issues for discussion as the important matters, including the draft legislation for the Sinlung Hills Council and memorandum of settlement have been already approved in principle during the official-level talks’. He also added that all issues that require a resolution are expected to be settled by March 8.

HPC-D delegation has tabled four points of ratification in the draft legislation, including change in wording and patent errors, based on the suggestions made at a public consultation in December 2017.

Assam state Government release stated that prohibitory orders were enforced along Assam-Mizoram interstate boundary in certain pockets of Hailakandi District. HT order was issued in apprehension of encroachment attempts from Mizoram. The prohibitory orders were imposed in Kachurthal and other areas under the Ramnathpur police station, bordering Kolasib District of Mizoram.

Kuki militants released two abducted workers identified as Amom Bishorjit Singh and Thangjamson Simte at Gangpijang hill range in Kangpoki District. They were abducted on February 27 by KNF-N militants

Manipur Governor Dr. Najma Heptulla called on insurgents to lay down their arms and embrace peace. The Governor made the call after paying tribute to a slain trooper of 13 Sikh Light Infantry who was killed on March 5. Governor reiterated the Government’s appeal to the armed insurgent groups to lay down their arms and come to the path of peace. She stated that ‘I appeal to the people to lay their arms and stop all these activities and come forward and join in building a strong nation, a strong Manipur’.

Two NDFB-S militants identified as Ashok Ramchiary and Sombharu Basumatary were arrested apprehended from Katligaon and Ambari village of Baksa District. Two AK-47 rifles and two live rounds of ammunitions were recovered from the arrested militants. The arrested militants are suspected to be involved in extortion in BTAD.

An estimated 8,000 people marched from Bapuji Prakalpa throughout Mazbat town in Udalguri District demanding the land rights of the non-tribals living in BTC The protest held under the aegis of ATTSA coordination with local units of organizations including AASAA, AASU, AAGSU, AKRSU, ARSU.

Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir stated in Rajya Sabha (upper house of Indian Parliament) that all genuine Indian nationals will be incorporated in the NRC. He also added that ‘The remaining applicants are under various stages of scrutiny and after their verification is completed, another draft NRC will be published’.

ULFA-I militant was arrested from Sonarai in Charaideo District. A pistol ,magzine, ammunition, maps and other war like stores were recovered from him.

A militant of NSCN-IM arrested from Jagun in Tinsukia District. According to authorities, the militant was involved in extortion in the area.

Assam state Government release stated that prohibitory orders were enforced along Assam-Mizoram interstate boundary in certain pockets of Hailakandi District. HT order was issued in apprehension of encroachment attempts from Mizoram. The prohibitory orders were imposed in Kachurthal and other areas under the Ramnathpur police station, bordering Kolasib District of Mizoram.

A BSF Assistant Commandant Gajender Singh and Constable Amresh Kumar were killed when CPI-Maoist cadres triggered an IED in the Kilenar village forest area under the Rowghat Police Station limits in Kanker District of Chhattisgarh. The incident took place at around 4 pm in the Kilenar village forest under the Rowghat Police Station limits when a joint team of the BSFs 134th battalion and District Force was out on an anti-Naxal operation, said, Vivekanand Sinha. IGP, Bastar range. "When the patrolling team was 10km inside the forest of Kilenar, the ultras triggered IED blasts and also opened indiscriminate firing on them, which led to an exchange of fire," Deputy IGP, north Bastar range, Ratan Lal Dangi said. The Naxals fled from the spot after a prolonged gunfight, he said. Forces have been rushed to the spot, and the bodies of the two BSF personnel were being evacuated from the forest, he added.

An ‘assistant commander’ of the CPI-Maoist, identified as Madakam Yerraiah (33), surrendered before the Police in East Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh. Madakam had worked as an ‘assistant commander’ in Kalimela, Motu and Papuluru dalams in the neighbouring Odisha State. He was allegedly involved in seven violent incidents including the attack on Koraput District Police office of Odisha and also in Balimela boat capsize incident in Malkangiri District of Odisha, in which 38 SF personnel mostly of Greyhounds were killed in 2008, said East Godavari SP, Vishal Gunni.

The BSF busted a CPI-Maoist hideout and seized arms and explosives in the Chiliba forest in Koraput District of Odisha. Acting on a tip off, BSF’s 13 battalion conducted combing operation in the area and recovered 2 SBML guns, one IED, three kilograms of ammonium nitrate, detonators, petrol, 12 volt battery from the hideout under Machkund Police Station area in the District. The arms and explosives have been hidden in a bunker in the forest. It is suspected that the rebels had stored those to attack the jawans in future, the BSF personnel said.

Authorities foiled the Shopian march called by separatists by imposing restrictions in parts of Srinagar and South Kashmir while a man died in Baramulla District after he was hit by a Police vehicle. A 60-year-old old man, identified as Abdul Aziz Ahanger died after a Police vehicle (Rakshak) hit him in Delina area of North Kashmir’s Baramulla District triggering protests. Residents said that a Police team had gone to the area to arrest an alleged ‘stone-pelter’ but came under stone pelting. Police fired few rounds in air and fled from the spot. Ahanger was knocked to death by Police Rakshak. Police in a statement issued in Srinagar said that driver has been arrested and the vehicle was seized.

At least a dozen persons received injuries during the clashes. Among the injured, Arsalan Basher Turray, brother of the militant Zubair Ahmad Turray suffered injuries. Authorities imposed strict restrictions in twin Districts of South Kashmir including Pulwama and Shopian and all roads leading to Shopian were sealed by SFs. Barricades were erected at many places to prevent movement of people and vehicles. Amid curfew like restrictions, people in several parts of Pulwama tried to march towards Shopian but the bids were foiled by Police and SFs. Strict restrictions were imposed in Srinagar’s old city and Maisuma locality.

Both Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq defied the house arrest to march towards Shopian but Police stopped Geelani and detained Mirwaiz outside his Nigeen residence. Protests took place at Memander, DPL, Mini Secretariat in Shopian, Nowgam Bypass, Mochow, Mehjoor Nagar, near Sopore Police Station and Papchan Bandipora in Kashmir valley. JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik along with Bashir Ahmad Kashmiri and Ghulam Mohammad Dar who were detained on March 5 have shifted to Central Jail Srinagar till March 10, 2018, on a judicial remand.

Students of KU protested against the civilian killings. Scores of students of Zakura campus took out a protest march from the hostel up to Zakura crossing. The protesters, later, dispersed peacefully.

Pakistani troops shelled mortars in Sunderbani and Nowshera sectors along the LoC in Rajouri District, drawing retaliation from the Indian Army. “Pakistan army initiated unprovoked and indiscriminate firing of small arms, automatics and mortars from 1030 hours  in Sunderbani sector along LoC in Rajouri district”, sources said. They said the Indian Army effectively retaliated. In the evening, Pakistan army violated ceasefire in Nowshera sector, which was effectively retaliated by the Indian side.

Pakistani troops also violated the ceasefire in Khour area of Akhnoor sector of Jammu District. There was a brief lull in firing and shelling by Pakistan troops along the LoC in the past two days. Ceasefire violations along the LoC and the IB in Jammu and Kashmir have left 21 people, including 12 security personnel, dead and more than 80 others, mostly civilians, injured this year.

There were 777 incidents of infiltration into Jammu and Kashmir in which 94 terrorists were killed by SFs in past two years, the Rajya Sabha was informed. Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said there were 406 cases of infiltration into Jammu and Kashmir in 2017 in which 59 terrorists were killed. In 2016, there were 371 incidents of infiltration into the State in which 35 militants were killed and three were arrested, he said. Replying to a written question, Rijiju said there were 16 incidents of infiltration into Punjab in which seven terrorists were killed and 11 others were apprehended in past two years.

The Minister said SFs have been carrying out effective domination through round-the-clock surveillance, patrolling, border ambushes and by deploying observation posts along the IB of the country. “The riverine segments of international borders of the country are being patrolled and dominated with the help of water crafts/speed boats/floating BOPs of BSF water wings,” he said. Rijiju said introduction of force multipliers and hi-tech surveillance equipment fully-equipped with day and night vision devices have enhanced the border domination. “Vulnerability mapping of entire border has been made a continuous process based on which sensitive spots are identified and adequate measures are taken to further strengthen security in these spots,” he said. The Minister said it has also been decided to deploy technological solutions in the form of CIBMS, on a pilot basis to begin with, in different terrains on India-Pakistan border and India-Bangladesh border. The technological solutions are based on integration of sensors and surveillance equipment like radars, day and night vision cameras etc. In a network architecture with command and control system, he said.

The Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Gangaram Ahir informed the Rajya Sabha that there were 4,799 stone-pelting incidents and 872 terror incidents in Jammu and Kashmir in past three years. Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said 730 incidents of stone pelting were reported in 2015. In 2016, he said, 2,808 such incidents were reported, and in 2017, the incidents numbered 1,261. In a written reply to a question, he said there were 208 incidents of terrorist violence in Jammu and Kashmir in 2015, 322 in 2016 and 342 such incidents in 2017.

The Government said it had sanctioned a INR 2,000-crore compensation package for the refugees from PoK living in Jammu and Kashmir. In a written statement, Hansraj Gangaram Ahir told the Rajya Sabha that the financial package was sanctioned on December 22, 2016. He said 36,384 families were provided INR 5.5 lakh each. “The Government of India provided a financial assistance of Rs 5.5 lakh per family to 36,384 displaced families of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) area (1947) and Chhamb (1965 and 1971) living in Jammu and Kashmir,” Ahir said. He added that based on the details provided by the Jammu and Kashmir Government, the Ministry had disbursed a total amount of INR 465.5 crore to 9,537 families directly to their Aadhaar-linked bank accounts up to last month. Asked whether any financial compensation package had been provided to the Hindu refugees who had migrated from Bangladesh, the Minister said, “No such proposal is under consideration.”

Twenty-nine Army personnel lost their lives in nine terror attacks on defence stations and Army camps in Jammu and Kashmir since 2015, the Government informed the Lok Sabha. Twenty terrorists were killed and two civilians lost their lives in the attacks, Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre said in a written response to a question in the Lok Sabha. The highest casualty was in 2016, when a group of terrorists stormed an Army camp in Uri, resulting in the death of 26 personnel. This year, one terror attack was reported on an Army camp in Jammu, claiming the lives of six Army personnel.

The Central Government’s special representative for Jammu and Kashmir, Dineshwar Sharma appealed to the SFs to “show restraint” in the Valley and put an end to “civilian killings”, describing the recent spate of violence in the region as a “setback”. “Civilian killings must stop. The security forces must show restraint and not resort to disproportionate firing,’’ Dineshwar Sharma, a former chief of the IB, said in an interview. “I was hoping for a better summer but violence has come as a setback. Amongst the districts in south Kashmir, Shopian is particularly alienated and angry. We must be sensitive while dealing with the people of Kashmir,’’ he added.

March 8

An Afghan national—Rehman Dawlat, wanted by the Maharashtra ATS for radicalising four Indian youths from Kalyan in Maharashtra to join IS, was shot dead by the Afghanistan Forces. Confirming the news of Rehman’s death, several Indian law-enforcement agencies, including  Maharashtra ATS, the NIA, visited us to record his wife—Yasmeen’s statement and none of the agencies does any kind of harassment. They [agencies] asked questions and left after verifying the statements, said a close relative of Rehman.

Replying to Pakistan’s allegation, India’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN Raj Kumar Chander highlighted the human rights violations conducted by Pakistan during an official meeting at the UNHRCThere is a reference to the Indian State of J&K but there is none related to the cross-border terrorist activities. Terrorism is a fundamental violation of all Human Rights and we overlook its immediate threat, said Chander. Earlier [unspecified date], the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad Hussein had referred to the developments on Human Rights in Kashmir during the 37th session of the UNHRC. In reference to Kashmir, on both sides of the LoC, the unconditional access continues and it will be reported at greater length in the month of June this year. Also, it is disturbing to notice the rise in discrimination and violence directed upon minorities, including Dalits and other Schedule Castes, and religious minorities such as Muslims in India, said Hussein.

As a part of ongoing probe on terror-related cases, the NIA raided Jamia Arabia Seminary in Hathaura of Banda District in Uttar Pradesh (U.P.). The NIA had some specific Intelligence inputs and requested to provide Police personnel for their operation in Hathaura, said SP (Banda District) Shalini. The Seminary with nearly 15,000 students is one of the leading Islamic Seminaries in the State and was established in 1952. The NIA had some information about the people who studied at the Seminary. The raid caused anger among the students who held the protest, said an unnamed source. The raid was a part of ongoing investigation of a terror network which was busted in December 2017 with the arrest of Tauseef Malik from Kashmir. Tauseef was a third-year student at the Jamia Arabia Seminary and lived its Darul Taleem hostel, said the unnamed source. The NIA officials searched Tauseef’s room and recovered his records, during several hours of search and probing of Tauseef’s roommates, some Kashmiri students and the hostel warden.

Over his controversial appearance with Canadian PM Justin Trudeau’s wife Sophie Trudeau at an event organised during Canadian PM’s visit to India, the former Khalistani militant Jaspal Atwal talked to the media through his lawyer’s office in Canada and apologised and stated that he does not support the demand of an independent Sikh nation—commonly known as ‘Khalistan’, anymore. Over his appearance at the event, several questions were raised about his connection with PM Trudeau and security lapses on how he was invited at the event. “I am sorry for the embarrassment caused to Canada, India, my community and my family, in this matter. I have done best to redeem myself and done best for the Canada and the Indian community. I, no longer, advocate the idea of ‘Khalistan’ or an independent Sikh nation. Like majority of Sikhs, I have reconciled with the nation of India. Canada is my home and India is my homeland, said Jaspal Atwal.

Meghalaya State Home Minister James P.K. Sangma stated that Meghalaya would be made insurgency free within five years. He also added that the new Government would work towards ensuring an insurgency-free state but talks with any militant organisation would follow only after laying down of arms. He also stated that ‘Operations will continue. We need a safe and secure environment throughout the state’.

On talks with GNLA, Meghalaya Home Minister said that talks can be held only after laying down of arms. "Anybody who wants to have a dialogue has to surrender. He also added that equipping the state police with better technology to make it more efficient was one of his priorities.