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India Timeline - Year 2017



January 1

In a joint operation, the AR and Ledo Police arrested two linkmen of ULFA-I, identified as Raktim Moran and Manab Moran from Itakhola Ledo in Tinsukia District. According to the report, the two linkmen were sending information to ULFA-I and were engaged in illegal coal mines of Ledo area.

Five FICNs of INR 2000 were recovered in Demow Kachumari Pathar in Sivasagar District.

A combined team of Imphal East District Police Commando and 21 Para (Special Force) conducted frisking and checking at the eastern side of Top Khongnangmakhong bridge in Imphal East District and arrested one ‘self styled captain’ of UNLF, identified as Magsatabam Gojendro Singh alias Telheiba  (45).

January 2

Two persons hailing from Kerala's Kasaragod District were arrested near Panaji, while canvassing for a convention of Salafi Muslims scheduled to be held in Karnataka's Mangalore later this month, and distributing Kannada language pamphlets which had Islamic State (IS) symbol and a message titled, “ISIS Shaitan”. The arrested persons have been identified as Ilyas and Abdul Nazir. According to Police sources, the pamphlet is being analysed by top Police officials as the content of the pamphlet canvasses for a convention of Salafi Muslims due to be held in Mangalore from January 9-16. Police is also checking the mobile number mentioned on these pamphlets. "They have been booked under sections 107 (breach of peace) and 151 (preventive arrest) of the Criminal Procedure Code. They have been sent for medical examination at the Goa Medical College”, Police official said.

The producers of an upcoming film have filed a complaint alleging that they have been receiving threat calls from Dawood Ibrahim. According to the Police complaint, the producers have been receiving threat calls for the past 10 days. The complaint registered at the Parliament Street Police Station (New Delhi) said that since January 1, the producers had received five calls from a Pakistan-based mobile number.

Indian Army Chief Bipin Rawat said that dynamics of terrorism is constantly changing, and that Army must think ahead in that direction. "The fact that terrorists infiltrating from adversary's side means that they are getting support from them (Pakistani forces)," the Army Chief said. "We also have to think ahead, and ball has already rolling in that direction," he further added.

On surgical strikes, Rawat said that it was well though through operation and India has sent across a message with the strikes that attacks won't be tolerated. He further said Indian Army will not shy away from a second surgical strike if peace in the region is disrupted. The Army Chief also lauded the soldiers and officers who serve in the most challenging terrains, including those who have fought insurgency.

A top operative of the Bangladesh-based terrorist outfit JMB, Mohammad Mosiuddin alias Musa has revealed that Islamic State (IS) is planning to carry out terror attacks in the eastern part of the country. Mosiuddin claimed that the IS want to establish an Islamic caliphate in India. The SFs and the intelligence agencies are now verifying the possibility of an IS attack from the east following the interrogation of Musa. During his interrogation, Musa has made revelations that terror groups now aim at targeting foreigners at Kolkata's Mother House and lone wolf attacks on foreign tourists in Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir).

The UAE Government had seized properties of Dawood Ibrahim worth INR 150 billion. Earlier in the day, Indian UHM Rajnath Singh had stated that the Government is continuing efforts to bring back Dawood Ibrahim, However, even last year the UHM had asserted that India’s most wanted mafia would soon be arrested and brought back to the country.

The slogans 'ISIS coming soon' were found painted on Mata Mansa Devi temple walls in Dharampur town of Solan District in Himachal Pradesh located on the Kalka-Shmla highway. A case has been registered by the local Police against unidentified persons. The IB officials visited the spot and were keeping an eye on the possible ISIS sympathiser in the area. The slogans painted in red colour, possibly with the help of a stencil, have been blackened by the local police following the panic spread by the writings. Confirming the development, Superintendent of Police, Solan, Anjum Ara, who also visited the spot, said the Police was investigating the case and will soon arrest the people involved in the mischief. "I cannot reveal the information at this stage as it is very sensitive. A forensic examination had been conducted and the report is awaited. The investigation is on," Anjum Ara told. Sources said the intelligence agencies were keeping an eye on migrant labourers besides suspicious people. Dharampur is surrounded by sensitive Army cantonments and the authorities do not want to take any chances.

Mohammad Faheem Ansari, LeT operative, is being tried for his role in the 2007 attack on CRPF camp in Rampur, (Uttar Pradesh) visited Pakistan and obtained a passport there on fake papers, Manpreet Singh Vohra, the then Deputy High Commissioner at Indian High Commission in Pakistan, told the court of additional district and sessions judge. Vohra, who is now Ambassador to Afghanistan, said he obtained this information with officials in Pakistan at that time. Public Prosecutor Dalwinder Singh told the court that Pakistan’s ISI had helped Ansari get the passport.

Additional District Government Counsel Dalwinder Singh said, “Manpreet Singh Vohra had carried out the investigation into a Pakistani passport recovered from Faheem Ansari at the time of his arrest by the ATS and the sleuths of the special task force on February 10, 2008. At that time, Vohra was the deputy high commissioner of India in Islamabad.”

According to Singh, after the Mumbai attack, both India and Pakistan governments had exchanged the information through dossiers where it was revealed that Faheem Ansari had managed to get the Pakistani passport on fake identities. Ansari had been earlier accused of conducting reconnaissance for the Mumbai terror attacks of 2008 but was subsequently acquitted of those charges.

Several Naxal groups in Jharkhand were reported to have incurred losses to the tune of INR 800 million said a top Police officer at Ranchi District. The Naxal groups are desperate ever since the Narendra Modi-led Government had decided to demonetize INR 500 and 1000 currency notes from the midnight of November 8, 2016, which had an adverse impact on the activities of Naxal groups in the State, said the ADG, Jharkhand, R K Mallick. Quoting an intelligence report, he added, at least INR 800 million cash of the Naxal groups has thus been destroyed due to demonetisation. The Naxal outfits have weakened as their major economic system was destroyed post-demonetisation, which prompted the Naxals to indulge in looting cash in desperation, going against the Maoist ideology, Mallick claimed. However, the State Police was prepared to foil all their nefarious design, he said.

Police have received evidence that the CPI-Maoist, with the support of tribal people, took control of forest land, along Kerala and Tamil Nadu border, by cutting down hundreds of trees. A series of video clip, released by Police, show that the armed CPI-Maoist and tribal people are jointly removing trees in forest and installing CPI-Maoist flag in the area. Police suspect that the area shown in the video is Agali forest region of Palakkad District. According to Police, the visuals were recovered from the digital documents that were seized after the recent Police encounter with CPI-Maoist in Nilambur forest in which two CPI-Maoist leaders, Kuppu Devaraj and Ajitha, were killed.

A self styled ‘platoon commander’ and a cadre of the NDFB-IKS, identified as Danial Muchahary and Rahen Muchahary were arrested after an encounter with a joint team comprising the Police and the Army from Lawdangi area under Dhekiajuli Police station in Sonitpur District. Police recovered one 7.65 pistol, three round live cartridges, three mobile phones along with six SIM cards from the militants. Police sources said that Danial was the self styled ‘platoon commander’ of NDFB –IKS of ‘38 battalion’ of the outfit.

A suspected Bangladeshi citizen, identified as Sohail Ahmed alias Omar Nasser Saju was arrested by Cachar District Police at Sadhinbazar area in Cachar District. However, in a reply to a question about Sohail’s link with terrorist outfit JMB and also about his possible links behind the Holey Artisan Bakery in Gulshan Police Station of Dhaka, the Police said that nothing conclusive could be arrived at so far and they were investigating all possible angles.

A militant of PREPAK-Pro, identified as Kangjam Premananda (40) was arrested by a team of Imphal West District Police at Thangmeiband Hijam Leikai in Imphal West District. Two hand grenade and two mobile phones were recovered from the arrested militant. According to the Police sources, the hand grenades were meant to be exploded at MPSC office and also at the residences of some of its top officials and the militant was operating under one Lamtakpa alias Langamba of PREPAK-Pro. 

A Chinese hand grenade was recovered by Imphal West District Police at Suraj Paint Centre at Nagamapal in Imphal West District. No one has claimed responsibility for the act so far.

Self styled ‘chairman’ Helun Haokip of the militant outfit, KNLF, announced that his ‘organisation’ KNLF had been merged with another militant group, the UKLF.

The Court of CJM, Imphal East District remanded the UNC President Gaidon Kamei and Information Secretary Shangkhel Stephen to Police custody till January 11.

Three militant outfits of North East, KLO, NLFT and PDCK had set March 31 as ‘deadline’ for ‘Hindi speakers’ and Bengalis to ‘quit Kamatapur, Karbi-Longri and Tripura’ in an statement. The statement was signed by KLO ‘chairman’ Jiban Singh Koch, NLFT ‘organising secretary’ Seng-phul Borok and PDCK ‘chairman’ JK Lijang. The statement also condemned the killing of suspected NDFB-IKS, Ratna Narzary of Khunguri village of Chirang District on December 29 by SFs. According to the report, all these three militant groups are mentored by the NSCN-K and ULFA-I.

One civilian, identified as Athari Samson (54) and an AR trooper, identified as Bhupal Singh (42) were killed in an encounter with suspected militants at Khunthak village of Kasom Khullen sub-division in Kamjong District. Troops of 27 AR were going on foot for an operation when they were attacked by militants who opened indiscriminate fire at around 10.30 am. The AR troops too retaliated. The encounter left one AR trooper and another man dead.

A team of Imphal West District Police arrested a militant of KCP, identified as Akoijam Khamba Singh (45) from Bamon Kampu Mayai Leikai in Imphal East District. Three hand grenades, four detonators and a .32 pistol along with 2 live rounds were recovered from his possession. According to Police he joined the outfit in 2008.

January 3

The probe carried out by NIA into the January 2, 2016 Pathankot attack finds out that JeM had plans to attack a local police station too. An intermittent delay in reaching the Pathankot Air Force in Punjab had almost prompted JeM to change their plans and attack a local Police Station instead of the air force base. The information is part of several other conversations, accessed by NIA, which took place between the JeM attackers and their handlers based in Pakistan. The conversations also include chats which took place during and after the attack between JeM handlers and other individuals based in Pakistan.

According to the probe conducted by NIA, four attackers, who belonged to Pakistan based JeM, grew weary due to a delay and had spoken about their concern to Kashif Jan, a senior JeM member through a telephonic conversation. The attackers, all of whom were Pakistani nationals, had made calls to their handler to update him about their movement once they had crossed the border. At around 3.31 am on January 1, 2016 the handler, identified as Kashif, referred as Ustadji by the attackers, made a call on a phone which the attackers had snatched from Ikagar Singh, a taxi driver who was killed by the Pakistani nationals.

A CPI-Maoist ‘area commander’ carrying a reward of INR 1.5 million on his head and wanted in three States was shot dead in an encounter with Police and CRPF at the Ramtandi forest under Ghorabandha Police Station in Ghatshila sub-division of East Singhbhum District of Jharkhand. Supai Tudu, an ‘area commander’ of a faction of the CPI-Maoist, was found dead after an exchange of fire between security personnel and the Maoists. Tudu’s wife, Sonali Tudu, was arrested at the site after the incident.

A DRG jawan was injured in an exchange of fire with CPI-Maoist cadres in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh. The incident occurred in evening in Basaguda Police Station area when a joint team of SFs was out on a anti-Naxal operation. A composite squad of DRG, STF and CoBRA had launched the operation to the interiors of Basaguda, around 450 kilometres away from Raipur, Police said. While the SFs were cordoning off a forested patch close to Tarrem area, they came under heavy fire from a group of ultras that led to the gun-battle. "A DRG jawan sustained bullet injuries on his leg in the incident. However, ultras soon escaped from the spot," the Police added.

A LeT militant identified as Abu Umar Khitab of Pakistan was killed in an encounter with SFs in Sopore area in Baramulla District. SFs had laid an ambush at Haritar in Sopore during the intervening night following information about movement of militants through the area, a Police official said. He said SFs on noticing suspicious movement in the wee hours challenged the persons who opened fire. "In the retaliatory firing, one terrorist was killed," the official said. The militant affiliated with LeT and was active for last four years. He was believed to part of the militant group, which escaped from the SFs cordon several times last month in Hajjan area of North Kashmir. Sources said that the militant was operating in Sopore, Hajin, Gunde Jehanghir and Shah Gund areas of North Kashmir and SFs were tracking his movement for long. They said one AK 47 rifle, one hand grenade, three magazines, 70 AK ammunition rounds, one I-com set, one compass, one bag and one torch was recovered from his possession.

A CRPF ASI was critically injured in a militant attack in Murran Chowk in Pulwama town in Pulwama District. The ASI identified as BN Thakur was hit by a bullet in his back and was shifted to army hospital for treatment. The firing caused panic in the township and senior Police and CRPF officers reached the spot immediately cordoned off the area and searches were conducted in the area but the militants managed to flee after carrying out the attack.

A search operation was launched by SFs in Kuta Satri forest area of Bandipora District, following an input about the presence of militants. The operation was, however, later called off due to heavy snowfall.

Investigating Officers of nine Police Stations of Kashmir valley are yet to recover, 63 rifles and 186 magazines looted by the militants and mob from 16 different locations, despite lapse of considerable period of time. According to the official data provided by the Home Department in the Legislative Assembly, 16 incidents of looting/snatching of rifles and magazines besides huge number of rounds took place under the jurisdiction of nine Police Stations in Kashmir valley during the period between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016. Of these incidents, maximum four incidents took place under the jurisdiction of DH Pora Police Station followed by Pulwama (three) and Kulgam and Shopian (two each). The other incidents took place under the jurisdiction of Batamaloo, Anantnag, Dooru, Chadoora and Budgam Police Stations. Giving gist of the cases, the Home Department said that in some cases the militants fired upon the Police personnel deployed in the general areas and decamped with their service rifles after killing them while as in other cases they attached the Police deployed for the security of political workers and looted their service rifles after eliminating or injuring them. In some other cases the militants even entered the guarded places and snatched rifles, magazines and rounds from the Police. The incidents of militants forcibly snatching the weapons from the Police without harming them physically were also reported from some parts of Valley.

According to the official data, five incidents of mob attacking guard posts and decamping with the weapons and arms during the period of unrest in Kashmir valley were reported from five different places. In all these 16 incidents of weapon looting, FIR under different sections of RPC and Arms Act were registered but till date no major headway has been made by the concerned Police Stations as a result of which neither the accused could be arrested nor looted weapons recovered. AK-47s, SLRs, INSAS Rifles, Pistols and Carbines were among the weapons looted by the militants and mob, the Home Department said in reply to the question of independent MLA, Er Abdul Rashid. According to the data, a total of 2690 cases of stone pelting were also registered during the period between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016. The maximum cases were registered in Sopore (492) followed by Srinagar (339) and Baramulla (318). The other stone pelting incidents were reported from Ganderbal (65), Budgam (163), Anantnag (271), Shopian (173), Pulwama (143), Kulgam (167), Awantipora (121), Bandipora (109), Kupwara (218) and Handwara (111).

In reply to question of Hakeem Mohammad Yaseen, the Minister Incharge Home said that during the recent unrest 2632 FIRs were registered and almost all are still under investigation. “Besides, 463 persons were detained under Public Safety Act out of which 145 were released and presently 318 are under detention”, the Minister added.

Replying to question of NC MLA, Mubarak Gul, the Government said that a total of 59 youths joined militant ranks after the killing of HM militant Burhan Wani in an encounter with Security Forces on July 8 last year. “As reported by CID Headquarters, 59 youth have joined militant ranks after 8th July, 2016”, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said in a written reply, adding the Government has notified a Surrender Policy which was superseded by Rehabilitation Policy to encourage the misguided youths and militants to abjure violence and accept the integrity of India and the Constitution.

At least 14 people were injured when Police resorted to force while dispersing a mob picketing Manipur Government offices in Senapati District headquarters. The incident occurred when about 300 people gathered and marched towards the barricades put up across the road leading to the Senapati District Administration Office before being stopped by security personnel. Under the aegis of UNC, the picketing of Manipur Government Offices in Naga Districts began from midnight of December 31.

Gunfire erupted in Ukhrul District, near the District Mini-Secretariat. According to sources, armed gunmen exchanged fire with security personnel manning the Mini-Secretariat. The firing which started around 9:00 pm lasted around half an hour. Casualty is not reported so far. The persons responsible for the firing also remain unknown till now.

In a joint operation by AR and Tezpur Police, one suspected individual was arrested along with arms from Barchola village in Dhekiajuli in Sonitpur District. One AK series rifle, two magazines and 21 live rounds were recovered from the arrestee.

One person, identified as Rajiv Rajkhowa was arrested by Pengaree Police following a public chastisement at Dwarmara village in Pengaree in Tinsukia District. The arrested person, Rajiv Rajkhowa, shot a local VDP member, identified as Umesh Rai, at his residence who narrowly escaped death. Then he was caught by the son of the victim with the help of the villagers and later handed him over to Pengaree Police. Local sources said that Rajiv Rajkhowa had served an extortion letter to Rai last year in the name of the ULFA. The Police recovered two handmade revolvers and a writing pad belonging to the ULFA from the arrestee.

Unidentified assailants fired at the residence of Prashanta Gogoi, President OBC wing of BJP, located at Milan Nagar in Dibrugarh District. However, no one was injured in the firing incident. At the time of the incident, Prashanta Gogoi who had joined the BJP few months back was stated to be in Guwahati for some personal work. The Police immediately rushed to the spot and reviewed the situation. No one has been arrested till the filing of this report.

AR arrested a Myanmar-trained NSCN-R militant, identified as ‘self-styled corporal’ Pingwang Kanglom in Changlang town in Changlang District. The militant had been involved in extortion activities in the District, sources in the paramilitary force said. A pistol and five rounds of live ammunition were recovered from him.

January 4

A suspected Naxal was killed in an exchange of fire with SFs in dense forest of Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh. "The skirmish took place late in afternoon in forest between Puvarti (Sukma District) and Kondapalli villages under Basaguda Police Station limits of Bijapur," Bijapur SP, K L Dhruv said. A joint team of CoBRA – a CRPF specialised unit, DRG and local Police had launched the Counter-Insurgency Operation in the jungles of Basaguda and Awapalli, he said. While SFs were cordoning off a restive pocket on Bijapur-Sukma border, they came under heavy fire from a group of armed naxals leading to a heavy gun-battle, the SP added. SDG (Anti-Naxal Operations), D M Awasthi, said that the operation was “intelligence based” and the recovery of the INSAS LMG was very significant for the Chhattisgarh Police”. 

Two members of New SPM were allegedly killed by the CPI-Maoist cadres at Pathal village in Chatra District of Jharkhand. The bodies were found near the Gaya-Chatra border and the two men, identified as Sanjay Singh Bhokta and Vijay Singh Bhokta, who were abducted from their house. Chatra, SP, Anjani Jha said that a CPI-Maoist poster, in which the murderers claim to represent the banned LWE faction, was found on the site of the incident. A total of four shots were fired, two on each of the victims, Jha added. Jha said, "It has been verified that one of the victims, Sanjay Singh, was an active member of New SPM and was involved in activities which might have led to a fight with the Maoists." Sources indicate that the New SPM group recently started as an offshoot of the CPI-Maoist and have been growingly active in the last few days.

The Police Department is fortifying 24 Police Stations in the areas affected by Naxalism in Telangana. The Government machinery in Telangana, particularly the Police Department, is anticipating trouble from the CPI-Maoist cadres in the coming days. New state-of-the-art Police Stations is being constructed at a total cost of INR 500 million. Each of these 24 Police Stations will have impenetrable fencing and reinforced sentry points, both at the entry point and on the rooftop, where armed Police personnel would keep guard round the clock, sources said. Further, the Government is developing two state-of-the-art Police Training Centers – one in Karimnagar District at a cost of INR 480 million; and the other one at Medchal in Medchal–Malkajgiri District, at a cost of INR 300 million where Police recruits would be trained to be battle-ready. Also, the Government is raising two IRBs in the State, the sources said. This being so, recruitment has slowly begun among CPI-Maoist circles.  The recruits are being trained in what is considered a safe bastion: Chhattisgarh. This time, the CPI- Maoist cadres will have good firepower, since they are getting the support of CCOMPOSA, sources said. DGP, Anurag Sharma recently said that they would not allow the Maoists to make a comeback in the State.

SFs arrested a LeT militant from Handwara area of North Kashmir in Kupwara District, who was planning to carry out attack on security convoys in the area. Police said that on specific information one LeT militant identified as Ashiq Ahmed alias Abu Haider was arrested by Handwara Police and 21 RR of army near Fruit Mandi crossing in Handwara in the District. “On sustained interrogation he disclosed that he was a close associate of Abu Bakar a LeT ‘commander’ killed in Sopore few days back. On further discloser the arrested militant said that in near future he was planning to attack security forces convoy in Handwara area”, Police said. Police said that huge cache of arms and ammunition was recovered from him. These include one AK-47 rifle, 3 Magazines with live cartridges, one Chinese Pistol with one Magazine, three Hand Grenades, one Magazine Pouch, one Map and one Haversack.

IG of CRPF, Zulfikar Hassan, said that militants take advantage of presence of common people on NH and at times escape after carrying out the attack. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a function in South Kashmir, Hassan said that at times militants flee after carrying out an attack on the NH by taking advantage of common people and SFs avoid collateral damage. “The attacks on National Highway occur many times during a year. Many-a-times we are successful in killing those who attack. Sometimes due to presence of common people we don’t fire because that can result in collateral damage and we restrain ourselves. The militants sometimes take advantage of crowd and escape”, he said. Hassan said that at times militants manage to escape from the security but SFs make their efforts to prevent them from fleeing. “Sometimes the stone-pelting takes place so that militants manage to escape. But security forces, CRPF, Jammu and Kashmir Police try not to make it successful and sometimes we do manage to stop militants from escaping”, he said.

Manipur CM Okram Ibobi Singh met President Pranab Mukherjee to discuss the UMHA report to the EC that termed the law-and-order situation in the state as “grave”. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Singh rubbished the report saying it “wrongly” concluded that the prevailing situation was “not conducive” to conduct free-and-fair polls there. However, just ahead of Ibobi’s meeting with the President, the EC declared that the Assembly election will be held in two phases — on March 4 and 8 — in Manipur. Ibobi, later, welcomed the decision. The CM said issues such as insurgency, blockades, strikes are not unique to Manipur but they affect the entire north-east and that even in 2012, the state Assembly polls were boycotted by hill and valley-based underground organisations including the PLA and the UNLF.

UNC- the apex body of the Nagas based in Manipur- said they would continue with the economic blockade despite the announcement of Manipur assembly elections by the EC. According to the UNC, elections cannot be held peacefully in the Naga-inhabited areas of Manipur until the prevailing problems are resolved. “The blockade will continue. Solving of Manipur’s problems has to be done through dialogue between the parties in conflict. So far, the government of Manipur has failed to respond politically. We have no other option but to intensify the blockade, no matter what the EC has announced regarding the polls in the state,” K.S. Paul, former President of the UNC, said. Paul - an active member of the UNC -said the Manipur Government has betrayed the Nagas of Manipur. “We have been betrayed by the Manipur government, as it did not consult us on the creation of seven new Districts out of our ancestral land. We do not know whether the situation will be conducive for holding free and fair elections in the Naga areas of the state,” said Paul.

Belagavi Police along with Assam Police arrested a suspected militant associated with NDFB at a sugar company in Belgaum District of Karnataka.

January 5

China dismissed as “untrue” allegations of double standards by India by blocking its bid to list JeM leader Masood Azhar as global terrorist by the UN, claiming that it had adopted a “just, objective and professional” attitude in deciding the matter. “With regard to the listing matter of the Security Council 1267 committee the so called double standards adopted by China on this relevant issue is not true. We take action based on solid evidence that is the standard upheld by us,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said.

Intelligence agencies are weighing inputs indicating the radical elements within the proscribed SIMI are forging links with similarly minded groups within the recently banned IRF and may lead to the birth of a new radical outfit. Such inputs, described by sources as “very disturbing”, have been pouring in for more than a month ever since the Central Government banned IRF led by controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik. The IB is likely to issue a note to State intelligence agencies regarding these developments shortly. Top sources disclosed that over the past couple of months, person-to-person contact and group interactions between members of the banned groups have been taking place lately. ''Similar inputs have been coming from certain areas that are known to be breeding grounds for militants in different states. Some political parties, which used to sympathise with SIMI, are now sympathising with IRF too,'' said one senior official.

While IRF, an NGO run by Salafist preacher Zakir Naik, was banned for five years in November 2016, SIMI was 16 years ago and still has a large number of supporters. Sources in the intelligence agencies said they consider SIMI as a ''very active'' group despite the ban. Though SIMI members attending the taqreer (speeches) of Zakir Naik is nothing new, intelligence sources say there is electronic evidence of increasing interaction between members of these two groups, especially since the IRF ban.

Interestingly, just days after IRF was banned, the Kerala-based Islamic fundamentalist organisation PFI organized massive rallies in different parts of the country in support of Zakir Naik. A majority of PFI members are actually from SIMI. “Since SIMI is banned, the members work in different outfits. But SIMI is alive and kicking,'' said a senior official. Sources said inputs indicate that these radical interactions could lead to the formation of a new radical outfit similar to IM which was involved in a series of bomb blasts across the country since it was founded by Abdus Subhan Qureshi in 2010. IM mostly comprised of lower-tier SIMI members.  The change in name was widely seen as a change in tactics by SIMI members. Till date, while senior SIMI leaders are still available, there are minimal inputs about the cadres. “The same tactic is being used again. Only this time, SIMI has IRF to look to. IRF has dedicated members across the length and breadth of the country, which will come in handy and this is enough for extremist elements in both groups to form a new group and continue with their subversive activities,'' another official said.

Members of NOJ, left a note threatening to kill Pipra (Supaul District) of Bihar, MLA, Shyam Babu Prasad Yadav if he did not quit the BJP by FebruaryNOJ is a splinter group of the CPI-Maoist. The group has sought an extortion of INR 500,000 from Yadav.

The ‘deputy commander’ of Kasansur Dalam Jyoti Gawade was killed by Gadchiroli District Police's C-60 Commandos at Boteyjhari and Badhgaon forest in Gadchiroli District of Maharashtra. Jyoti is alleged to have led the arson attack at Surjagarh on December 23, 2016. 76 trucks, 3 JCBs and 1 motorcycle were burnt by the Naxals. Shivaji Bodkhe, IG of State ANO, said that Jyoti was trying to break through the Police cordon when she received bullet injuries in retaliatory fire. "Police have also seized Jyoti's .303 rifles," he added. On January 4, the Police had cornered Naxals at Nihalkai forest near Gyarapati from where two .12 bore rifles were seized. After intensifying the search operations, the Police spotted Jyoti's Dalam following which a battled ensued. Jyoti alias Sagobai Narsingh, was earlier ‘commander’ of Surjagarh LGS which was later amalgamated with Kasansur Dalam.

A surrendered Naxalite was allegedly killed by CPI-Maoist cadres in Dhanora Tehsil of Gadchiroli District of Maharashtra. The victim Sukhram Lalchu Wadde (35) was a member of Naxal militia, who had surrendered before the Police in July 2016, a senior Police official said. The Naxals attacked Sukhram at Kehakavi village and murdered him using an axe, he said. "The CPI-Maoist cadres were angry as Sukhram had turned himself in before the police," the official added. Further the officials said last week (December 29, 2016) three villagers were killed allegedly by Naxalites in Aheri and Korchi tehsils in Gadchiroli on the suspicion of they being ‘informers’. The victims were identified as Laccha Bande Madavi (36) resident of Rumalkasa, Patali Doge Atram (36), resident of Gurja, and Talwarsha Kunjram, resident of Korchi.

A militia member of the CPI-Maoist, who was involved in the Chamundia beat-house torching case in July 2016, was arrested by Police in Senepuri forest near Badasilinga in Nayagarh District of Odisha. The arrested Maoist, Santosh Majhi (35), had been working with the Kalahandi-Kandhamal-Boudh-Nayagarh (KKBN) division of the CPI-Maoist for the past three years. Two associates of Majhi escaped during the raid. One of them has been identified as Bipin, while the other’s identity is yet to be established. Majhi and a dozen of his associates had damaged the beat house and set fire to a jeep which was being used for anti-poaching operations in Nayagarh Forest Division (NFD).

The UKLF categorically stated that it was not involved in any manner in the ambush against State Police ahead of CM Okram Ibobi Singh’s visit to Tengnoupal (Tengnoupal District) near Lokchao along Imphal-Moreh highway on December 15. Speaking to a team of media persons at an undisclosed location in Chandel district, UKLF ‘home secretary’ Daniel Thadou said that the KNLF ‘chairman’ had merged with the UNLF on his own volition. Daniel contended that the UKLF was not involved in the Lokchao ambush, and the State Police and its intelligence agencies would know the truth.

Earlier KNLF ‘general secretary’ Lalmoi Haokip alleged that the Lokchao ambush was carried out by UKLF at the instruction of NSCN-IM. Flatly rejecting Lalmoi’s allegation, Daniel said that the same allegation was baseless and fabricated. The UKLF has a suspicion that the Lokchao ambush was carried out by a gang of criminals led by Lalmoi, Daniel said.

January 6

As many as nine vehicles were set on fire by about 30 cadres of the CPI-Maoist in Gondahur Police Station limits in Kanker District of Chhattisgarh. SP, ML Kotwani said the Maoists set ablaze eight tractors and one excavator. He said the Maoists had threatened to stop the road laying work in between Maharashtra’s Pendi village to Chhattisgarh's border. After the threat, the contractors from Maharashtra had parked their vehicles in the territory of Chhattisgarh, Kotwani said, adding that Police force was sent to the place of occurrence.

Five Naxals were arrested with arms and ammunition from Gumla and Garhwa Districts of Jharkhand. Two cadres of the PLFI were arrested from Palkot in Gumla District while three cadres of the TPC were arrested in Ranka, Garhwa District. A country made gun, bullets and mobile phones were found on PLFI cadres Vinay Gope and Ravi Gope while Police recovered 25 kilograms explosive from TPC cadres Rajesh Yadav and his aides Sunil Singh Kharwar and Mehboob Alam. Gumla SP, Chandan Kumar Jha said Vinay and Ravi had demanded INR 300,000 levy from a petrol bunk owner on December 30, 2016. In Garhwa, Police first arrested Rajesh. During interrogation, he revealed about his aides who were arrested from Ramkanda village. Police seized mobile phones, pamphlets and posters. TPC and PLFI are splinter groups of the CPI-Maoist.

The UMHA flagged the operational efficiency of SFs in the Naxal-affected areas as one of its biggest achievements during a presentation before PM Narendra Modi. The Ministry informed Modi that since the NDA Government came to power in May 2014, there had been a 45 per cent increase in the efficiency of Central Forces (CFs) in operations against the Naxals. In a presentation made by Home Secretary, Rajiv Mehrishi, Modi and other officials were informed that the number of Naxal cadres killed in 2016 had been the highest ever in six years. Eighty-Four cadres of the CPI-Maoist were killed in 2015 and in 2016, the number swelled to 218, which was an increase of 160 per cent. There was also an increase in the number of Police encounter from 237 in 2015 to 316 in 2016. UHM Rajnath Singh told in a press conference earlier this week that demonetization had increased the problems of CPI-Maoist and that they had weakened. The EFC has already given the go-ahead for an ambitious road project in the 44 worst Naxal-affected Districts. Under this project, the Government proposes to construct 5,412 km of roads and 126 bridges and it would cost INR 117.25 million. The Government is redrawing the ‘Red Corridor’ — the area affected by LWE — and may soon take off 20 Districts from the list of Naxal-affected areas. The 106 Districts which span 10 States — Bihar, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh — constitute the Red Corridor. Of these, 44 Districts are said to be the worst affected. India has a total of 683 Districts.

Al-Badr terrorist Muzzafar Ahmed, who had links with LeT, was gunned down by the SFs after heavy exchange of fire in Budgam District. Ahmed, who was wanted in several cases, was earlier associated with LeT. Also, a Policeman sustained critical injuries during the encounter.

The call traffic between hawala agents in India dropped almost by half post demonetisation, says a recent assessment by the central intelligence agencies. Payments to the end beneficiary of hawala deals are traditionally in cash, with INR 500 and INR 1,000 being the favoured denominations. The demonetisation of these high-value notes on November 9 severely affected hawala operators, and going solely by call traffic, their business may be down by 50%, said an intelligence source. Terror funds are mostly sourced in counterfeit currency, comprising high-quality fake notes that Indian agencies suspect are printed at the Pakistan government printing press in Quetta and its security press at Karachi. Given this fact and the drop in hawala transactions, demonetisation has dried up funds used for organised stone-pelting in J&K and paying overground terror supporters in the State. Intelligence officials claim that terrorism-related violence in J&K dipped by 60% post the cash ban, with only one major blast reported from the valley in December. An intelligence official claimed that apart from organised stone-pelting, a direct casualty of demonetisation in J&K was the overground network of terror facilitators. "The overground support base of terrorists depends on instant cash payments. A weakened OGW network due to demonetisation has resulted in several successful counterterrorist operations in the Valley over the past several weeks," said the officer.

A Field Assistant of Veterinary Department, identified as Ds Stephen (45) was shot by one unidentified assailant at Maringphai village, near Pallel in Tengnoupal District. Stephen who sustained bullet injuries on the calf and thigh had been taken to Jeevan Hospital, Kakching, and then shifted to a hospital of Imphal. According to the sources, it is not clear who the assailants are and what is the motive so far.

The ‘chairman’ of the KNLF wrote to the chairman of the JMG of the SoO, to delist the outfit from the KNO as it had merged with the UKLF. In the written communication sent to the chairman of the JMG, the ‘chairman’ of the KNLF said that all former members of the KNLF including the 'c in c’ had already been absorbed by the UKLF and hence to instruct the KNO not to mention KNLF or use the name of KNLF.

One militant of ULFA-I, identified as Lakheswar Baruah alias Lavang Axom was arrested by Bordumsa Police in association with Indian Army at Kathgalguri near Bordumsa in Tinsukia District. 

In a statement, the NSCN-IM strongly objected to India's decision to fence the borders between Myanmar and Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram. In the statement, NSCN-IM said that such ‘artificial boundary fencing imposed upon the Naga people’ was against the will of the people and was gross violation of human rights. Other Naga groups like, NNC and ENDO were also against the fencing.

January 7

Describing the counter-terrorism cooperation between India and the US under the eight years of Barack Obama administration as “incredibly successful”, Peter Lavoy, Senior Director for South Asian Affairs at the National Security Council, White House, has said this has not only “diminished the threat” of terrorism in the two countries, but also foiled several terror plots. “I can tell you quite definitively that due to our partnerships, several terrorism plots were foiled. Indian lives and American lives were saved because of this partnership,” said Peter Lavoy. “So it’s a very significant development and I think, it can continue,” he added.

International radical outfit Street Daawah has opened offices in Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai to recruit non-Muslims, including those from the IT hubs in these cities, for enlisting them into suicide missions. The outfit had begun its operations in the UK and Australia in 2012 following which a number of youths were radicalised with presentation of concocted forms of Islam. In the wake of the outfit’s activities, a few Indians, including Indian- origin British national Siddarth Dhar, joined the Islamic State (IS). Dhar is also believed to be the new Jihadi John, a masked executioner for the IS whose videos relating to mass executions have been released by the Caliphate-seeking terror outfit after the liquidation of the original Jihadi John whose real name was Mohammad Emwazi, a British origin IS executioner. Many of the Street Daawah cadres have been known to have either joined the IS ranks or emerged as suicide bombers for them. As many as 25 suicide bombings have been committed globally by the Street Daawah cadres during the last few years.

India and Portugal called upon the global community to avoid double standards in addressing terror and to strengthen cooperation in combating international terrorism with zero tolerance towards it. “They underlined that states should not support any terror entity including ‘non-state actors’ on any grounds and that violent extremism fueled by misuse of internet and the social media needs to be countered. Similarly, networks of terrorist financing and terrorist infrastructure should be dismantled,” said a joint statement issued after talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Portuguese counterpart, Antonio Costa.

Three Maoists, two of them carrying cash reward on their heads, were arrested from separate places in Dantewada District of Chhattisgarh. While a ‘commander’ rank cadre identified as Vetti Varsa was arrested from Katekalyan Police Station limits, two others were arrested from Kotwali Police Station area. Of them, Varsa was active as Jan militia ‘commander’ under Katekalyan area committee of Maoists, he said, adding that the rebel was carrying a reward of INR 100,000 on his head. Two others arrested were identified as Masa alias Kumma Madvi, head of Janatana Sarkar group and Panda, a member of the same group, he added. The two were tasked with the recruitment of fresh cadres for the banned outfit, the official said, adding Masa was also carrying a reward of INR 100,000 on his head.

Suspected cadres of the CPI-Maoist set ablaze three construction vehicles at Ruam village near Chaibasa in East Singhbhum District of Jharkhand. The attack was a reaction to the construction company's failure in paying levy. The damaged vehicles included two bulldozers and a mixer owned by RKS constructions. SP, Anish Gupta said, "We are tracing the rebels involved in the incident. The construction of this road, which had begun in 2014, has suffered repeated setbacks due to Maoist activities. Last year, Maoists had burnt vehicles involved in the construction of the same road after the company refused to pay levy."

Khunti Police conducted an operation, led by SP, Ashwini Jha, at Kuisar village forest in Khunti District of Jharkhand. Police had got a tip-off about a meeting of the PLFI in the forest, 25 kilometres from Khunti. Three country-made carbines, one regular carbine, two double barrel breach loading guns, three magazines and two haversacks were seized in the raid. Jha said, "We reached the location at 3:30 am and discovered a rebel camp. However, the rebels escaped by the time we reached the camp. We chased them for half a kilometer but failed to catch them. Maoists Jidan Gudiya, Prabhu Sahai Bodra, Bagrai Champiya, Pattu Naag and others were among those who fled.'' PLFI is a splinter group of the CPI-Maoist.

Maoist ‘zonal commander’ Dimba Pahan (58), who carried INR 1.5 million reward on his head, surrendered before Khunti SP, Ashwini Kumar Sinha at his office. A native of Barigarha village in Arki area of Khunti of Jharkhand, Dimba joined the Maoists in 1998. He was involved in several cases of Ranchi, Khunti, Saraikela-Kharsawan and West Singhbhum Districts, including the killing of former Tamar MLA, Ramesh Singh Munda, Bundu DSP, Pramod Kumar Gupta and special branch inspector Francis Indewar. He also robbed an ICICI Bank cash van of over INR 50.7 million and 1.2 kilograms gold in May, 2008.

East Singhbhum District (Jharkhand) Police have intensified search operations at Ghurabandha and Dumaria in Ghatshila and deployed SFs along NH-33 in wake of a bandh call by Maoists on January 10 to protest killing of Supaye Tuddu on January 3.

Normal life in Jammu and Kashmir was affected due to shutdown called by separatists. Shops and commercial establishments remained closed across Srinagar and public transport was partially off the roads. The private vehicles were, however, plying normally. Street vendors had set-up their stalls at multiple places in the city’s civil line areas.

A complete shutdown was observed in Sopore town of Baramulla District, to mourn the killing of senior militant ‘commander’ associated with Al Badr Mujahideen, Muzzafar Ahmad Naiko alias Muz Molvi, who was killed on January 6 in an encounter. During the shutdown, hundreds of security men were deployed to prevent outbreak of protests across the Sopore town.

Two CRPF jawans, identified as constables Visvendar Jat and Brajesh Singh, were injured one of them seriously, in a powerful blast in Imphal West District. Police said the two constables were passing by in a bicycle when an IED planted by the wayside at Naoremthong Khullem Leikai under Lamphel Police Station exploded. The IED was detonated by suspected militants using a remote control device, they added. No outfit has claimed responsibility so far.

The UNC decided to continue its economic blockade during Manipur polls which will be held in the first week of March. The UNC also decided to ‘intensify’ the economic blockade in the meeting held at Senapati Town in Senapati District. 

January 8

The Q Branch of CID Police arrested an advocate from S. Alangulam village in Madurai District of Tamil Nadu on the charge of having links with CPI-MaoistThe Q Branch CID Police had been conducting surveillance on advocate A. Murugan ever since the two alleged CPI-Maoist cadres – Kala (53) and Chandra (51) – were arrested in Karur District on July 2016. Sources said that Murugan’s younger brother, Velmurugan (35), an active CPI-Maoist cadre, was accused in two naxal cases in Varushanadu in Theni District and Uthankarai in Coimbatore District. The advocate used to appear for CPI-Maoist in court. The Q Branch CID team seized a huge quantity of homeopathic medicines allegedly in possession of the advocate, which, sources claimed, were being supplied to some Maoists. A few printed literatures relating to Maoists were also alleged to have been recovered.

The Jharkhand Police are now concentrating their offensive on the CPI-Maoist ‘area commander’ Kanhu Munda in East Singhbhum District of Jharkhand. To revive people's confidence in the administration, Police have decided to hold a crime meeting at Gian village in Ghatshila subdivision. East Singhbhum Rural SP, Shailendra Burnwal said they had chosen Naxal-hit Gian for the meeting because Kanhu Munda hailed from the village. He added, "We are already carrying out anti-insurgency operations in Ghurabandha and Gian. The crime meeting at Kanhu Munda's village will surely make a difference among people who may have been associated with the Naxalites because they are petrified of Munda”. Police sources said there were four to five armed naxals in Munda's squad. "We are working on a plan in which villagers will no longer co-operate with the CPI-Maoist like they have been doing so far," SP Burnwal said. Munda's squad is active in the Ghurabandha region, which shares border with Mayurbhanj District of Odisha. Police will also hold a janata durbar for villagers of Gian. "At the durbar, local problems - including the ones that have cropped up owing to Naxalite activities - will be heard and resolved, if possible," the SP said.

UHM Rajnath Singh held a review meeting on Naxalism situation in Jharkhand with senior Police officials of CRPF and the State Police at Eastern Sector Headquarters of CRPF in Ranchi District of Jharkhand. A senior Police official told, “A demand was raised before the UMHA to increase the strength of SFs in the state to carry out anti-Naxal operations in the state, replying to which, he said that the demand will be taken up only after UP Election.” The State Police also requested the UHM to recommence the fund allocation for setting up of STF against terrorism which has been discontinued for quite some time. With security advisor K Vijay Kumar and CM Raghubar Das in tow, Singh claimed that the Centre's demonetization move has broken the backs of banned LWE organizations like PLFI and CPI-Maoist. Maintaining that dialogue was the only means to resolve differences, the minister urged armed groups to come to the discussion table and place their demands instead of 'stopping the development of the poor'. Singh, who inaugurated the Eastern Sector Headquarters of CISF in the state capital, said increasing the 'technological and core competence' of the forces is the need of the hour. The new Eastern Sector Headquarters in Ranchi's Tiril spreads over 158 acres. This new headquarters has been relocated from Bihar for better synergy, CISF Director General OP Singh said.

The dead bodies of the abducted civilians identified as, the village chief of N-Gamnom village S Otkhomang (57) and church chairman Tilpao Haokip (51) were found in Nungkham Gamnom Village in Manipur’s newly-created Tengnoupal District. Earlier, on January 6, these two civilians were abducted by some unidentified assailants and they were taken toward Indo-Myanmar border. According to the sources, the assailants also fired some rounds while taking away the duo. The sources also added that fatal bullet injuries were seen on the dead bodies. Regarding this sensitive issue, a joint meeting attended by members of various organisations including Hill Tribal Council, Meitei Council Moreh, Kuki Chiefs Association (Moreh Block) and women leaders was held and the meeting resolved to impose a bandh along Moreh road on January 9.

A hand grenade planted by unidentified assailants was recovered at the residence of Bishnupur DSP, Y Sushil’s wife at Thangmeiband Hijam Dewan Leikai in Imphal West District. After recovering the grenade, the bomb disposal squad of Manipur Police exploded it safely at a dumping site at Lamphelpat,

The Additional Secretary for Mizoram’s Home department Lalbiakzama said that the proposed repatriation of over 32,800 Brus lodged in six relief camps in Tripura was scheduled to begin from the second week of February, 2017. Lalbiakzama attended a meeting between the UMHA and Mizoram Government in New Delhi over the issue of the repatriation of the 5,413 Bru families.

January 9

Three civilians working as labourers were killed in a pre-dawn terror attack by militants on a GREF camp near LoC in Akhnoor sector of Jammu District. Two or more militants attacked the GREF camp around 1 AM near LoC in Battal village, sources said. Militants likely infiltrated from across the border to carry out the terror attack, sources said. In the attack, three civilians were killed, they said, adding that the victims were working as labourers with GREF.

Source:Compiled from news reports and are provisional.





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