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SOUTH ASIA INTELLIGENCE REVIEW
Weekly Assessments & Briefings
Volume 10, No. 48, June 4, 2012

Data and assessments from SAIR can be freely published in any form with credit to the South Asia Intelligence Review of the
South Asia Terrorism Portal


ASSESSMENT


INDIA
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Cyber Terrorism: The Fifth Domain
Sanchita Bhattacharya
Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management

Expressing grave concern about the growing threat of cyber terrorism in his opening statement at the meeting of Chief Ministers on National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) held on May 5, 2012, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram stated:

...there are terrorist threats in the cyber space, which is the fifth domain after land, sea, air and space. Much of our critical infrastructure lies in cyber space. Cyber crimes such as hacking, financial fraud, data theft, espionage etc. would, in certain circumstances, amount to terrorist acts. Our counter terrorism (CT) capacity must be able to meet the threats in cyber space. Since there are no boundaries in cyber space, how will the Central Government and the State Governments share the responsibility to face the threats in cyber space?

Chidambaram was, of course, using the cyber threat to buttress his arguments in favour of the NCTC, a pet project that has met with tremendous resistance from the States. Nevertheless, the threat of cyber terrorism is real and growing, as global and national systems become increasingly interlinked and interdependent. Indeed, speculation about the potential threat of cyber attacks has been rife since the 1980s, and Government systems across the world have been targeted from time to time, principally in marginally disruptive and vandalizing actions, variously, by politically motivated, mischievous and state backed groupings. Definitional disputes abound, and it is not clear how many of these can be described as cyber terrorist ‘attacks’. Nevertheless, cyber technology has become a crucial tool in the terrorist arsenal, and its use to directly engineer widespread, and potentially life threatening, disruptions cannot be overestimated. The US Government’s Stuxnet attack against Iran’s principal uranium enrichment facilities, which experts believe may stall Iran’s nuclear program by as much as five years, recently demonstrated the potential capability of cyber war interventions.

Cyber technology has played a role – albeit principally as a covert communication, propaganda or psychological warfare tool – in terrorist activities in India, for some time now. This includes prominent attacks in cities including Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Delhi, Mumbai and Varanasi, among others, over the past years. Significantly, the perpetrators of the November 26, 2008, Mumbai terrorist attacks (26/11), which claimed 166 lives, made substantial use of cyber technology in preparing and mounting the operation. US Marine Corps Lieutenant General George J. Flynn, on May 15, 2012, observed, "All the (26/11) mission planning was done via Google Earth… The terrorists used cellular phone networks as command and control and social media to track and thwart the efforts of Indian commandos.” He noted, further, "Space and cyber will continue to play an increased role in events, with each becoming increasingly contested domains – so it's a new domain that we're going to have to contest."

A December 2008 report had earlier noted that the Pakistan-backed Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) had used Voice-over Internet Protocol (VoIP) software to communicate with the 26/11 attackers on the ground and direct the large scale operation on a real-time basis. Citing Indian intelligence sources, the report claimed that the attackers’ handlers “were apparently watching the attacks unfold live on television [and] were able to inform the attackers of the movement of security forces from news accounts and provide the gunmen with instructions and encouragement”. The distinguishing feature of VoIP-based communications, which form the technical basis of popular communications software such as Skype and Vonage, is that audio signals are converted to data and travel through most of the Internet infrastructure in binary, rather than audio, format, making them near impossible to detect and proactively intercept.

After the terrorist attack on Delhi High Court on September 7, 2011, in which 15 persons were killed and another 87 were injured, investigative assistance was sought from the US and some south-east Asian countries, including Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, to trace back cyber linkages connected with the incident. Terrorists had hacked into unsecured wi-fi internet connections to send e-mails after the attack.

The Indian Mujahedeen (IM) has carried out over a dozen high profile attacks, including the May 13, 2008, Jaipur (Rajasthan) bombings; the July 25, 2008, Bangalore (Karnataka) serial blasts; the July 26, 2008, Ahmedabad (Gujarat) serial blasts; the September 13, 2008, Delhi serial blasts; the Pune German Bakery blasts of February 13, 2010; and the Mumbai serial blasts of July 13, 2011. Before almost all of these attacks, IM activists sent out e-mails to various media organisations.

Police traced e-mails sent by IM from Navin Computer in Sahibabad area of Ghaziabad District in Uttar Pradesh (UP) soon after the May 13, 2008, Jaipur (Rajasthan) blast, which claimed 80 lives. Three video clips attached to one of the e-mails showed two explosive-fitted bicycles moments before they were detonated. The e-mails were sent from two accounts – guru_al_hindi_jaipur@yahoo.co.uk and guru_al_hindi@yahoo.fr.

IM activists had hacked into the unsecured wi-fi internet connection of an American national, Kenneth Haywood, residing in the Sanpada area of Navi Mumbai, minutes before the July 26, 2008, Ahmedabad terror attack, which killed 53 people. An e-mail claiming the attack was sent prior to the blasts from his Internet Protocol (IP) address.

After the September 19, 2010, Jama Masjid (Delhi) attack, Delhi Police confirmed, a day later, that the IM had sent a threat e-mail from the IP address of a computer in Mumbai.

Investigations into the Varanasi (UP) blast of December 7, 2010, highlighted the need for 'wardriving' to detect threat mails posted by IM, allegedly from Mumbai. ‘Wardriving’ is used to search for wi-fi wireless networks with the help of a laptop from a moving vehicle, in order to detect unsecured wi-fi internet points that may be exploited.

The LeT has attained a significant degree of ‘cyber efficiency’, and has been making increasing use of VoIP for communications. LeT’s 26/11 ‘master-mind’, Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, who is presently in a Rawalpindi (Pakistan) jail, is known to have been networking with LeT cadres from jail, using a private VoIP on his smart phone. "Lakhvi's compound serves as Lashkar's alternative headquarters," an unnamed top intelligence source disclosed. Pakistan-based LeT, which is headed by Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, started using VoIP as soon as the technology became common in the early 2000s. Highlighting the problems this creates, an unnamed intelligence source explained, "Earlier, we could intercept conversations on phone or locate Lashkar cadres based on their IP addresses through their emails. But now we're finding it tough to gather intelligence because Lashkar men hold audio or video conferences using private VoIP”.

According to an article written by Ravi Visvesvaraya Prasad, published in The Hindustan Times on December 19, 2000, a number of Pakistani hacker groups, including ‘Death to India’, ‘Kill India’, and ‘G-Force Pakistan’, have openly circulated instructions for attacking Indian computers. Websites run by Nicholas Culshaw of Karachi, and another run by Arshad Qureshi of Long Beach, California, circulated malicious anti-Indian propaganda along with step-by-step instructions for hacking into thousands of Indian websites. Anti-Indian terrorist instructions were also hosted by http://62.236.92.165, http://209.204.7.131, and http://209.204.5.113. All these sites appear to be disabled now, but their architects quickly recreate new platforms.

On December 3, 2010, in a breach of security was detected on the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) website, which had been hacked by the ‘Pakistan Cyber Army’. The CBI home page carried a message from the 'Pakistani Cyber Army' warning India not to attempt to attack their websites. It further claimed to have defaced another 270 Indian websites.

Interestingly, according to the report of the Security and Defence Agenda (SDA), a leading defence and security think-tank in Brussels (Belgium) and McAfee, India has been ranked fifth in the worldwide ranking of countries affected by Cyber Crime.

Explaining the severity of Cyber Crime in India, Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology, Sachin Pilot, on March 26, 2012, informed the Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Parliament) that cyber crimes were on the rise in the country. He also palced data maintained by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) before Parliament, documenting the number of cyber crime cases and related arrests under the Information Technology Act, 2000:

Years
Cyber Crime Cases
Arrests
2007
217
154
2008
288
178
2009
420
288
2010
966
799

Further, the number of cases registered under Cyber Crime related sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC), along with the number of arrests, were given as:

Years
Cyber Crime Cases
Arrests
2007
328
429
2008
176
195
2009
276
263
2010
356
294

Earlier, explaining the threat faced by Government websites due to Cyber Crime in the Lok Sabha (Lower House of Parliament), the Minister had stated, on November 30, 2011, that a total of 90, 119, 252 and 219 Government websites, as reported and tracked by the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), had been defaced by various hacker groups in the year 2008, 2009, 2010 and January–October 2011, respectively.

As far Government initiative is concerned, following the 26/11 attacks, the Information Technology Act, 2000, has been amended by Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008 with effect from October 27, 2009. The amended Act is a comprehensive Act and provides legal framework to fight all prevalent cyber crimes. Stringent punishment ranging from imprisonment of three years to life imprisonment and fine has been provided for various acts of cyber crime.

On March 27, 2012, explaining Government initiatives to contain Cyber Crime, Pilot informed the Rajya Sabha that a major programme had been initiated on the development of cyber forensics, setting up of infrastructure for investigation and training of users, including Police and judicial officers, and training for the collection and analysis of digital evidence. He disclosed that the Data Security Council of India (DSCI) had organized 112 training programmes on Cyber Crime Investigation and awareness, and a total of 3,680 Police and judicial officers, as well as public prosecutors, had been trained. 

On May 16, 2012, National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon disclosed that the Government was in the ‘final stages’ of preparing the ‘national cyber security architecture’ and would hold consultations on the subject with the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), the apex body of the software and services companies in India, in June.

Cyber crimes and the use of cyber space and technologies by terrorists are, currently, at worst, powerful facilitators for terrorist groups. In the main, they remain marginal irritants to the system. Nevertheless, the potential threat they constitute is grave, and this has been noticed by the Indian state. A decision has been taken to establish a National Cyber Coordination Centre, a full-fledged agency to counter this menace. However, current deficits in trained manpower and state of art equipment and infrastructure may hobble effective operationalization for some time. A race is currently on, with terrorists, on the one hand, pushing the frontiers of cyber space to harness the most disruptive of tools possible, and state agencies, on the other, seeking to interdict them in this enterprise. It remains to be seen which side in the conflict has the greater coherence and more sustained motivation.

INDIA
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Mizoram: Unresolved Tensions
Veronica Khangchian
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management

A 20-year insurgency, in what was then the Lushai Hills District of Assam (after 1972, the Union Territory of Mizoram) came to an end on June 30, 1986, with the signing of an accord between the rebel Mizo National Front (MNF) and the Government of India (GoI). The accord resulted in the creation of Mizoram as a State in February 1987. The end of the insurgency, however, only solved the ‘Mizo’ (Lushai speaking people’s) issues, leaving out the State’s minority tribes, such as the Hmars and the Brus. Nagging issues continue to feed cycles of low grade strife, and the ‘silent’ activities of the Hmar (a Mizo tribe who trace their origin to Sinlung, the location of which is unclear) militants, under the Hmar People’s Convention-Democracy (HPC-D), and the issue of Bru (Reang) refugees, remain unresolved, more than two-and-a-half decades after peace was restored to the State.

On May 24, 2012, the Hmar Peoples Convention (HPC), the main Hmar political party in north-eastern Mizoram, headquartered in the Sakawrdai area of Aizwal District, alleged that the Mizoram Government had failed to implement the Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) signed on July 27, 1994, between the HPC (till then an armed group) and the State Government. The 1994 Peace Agreement, which resulted in the formation of the Sinlung Hills Development Council (SHDC), was signed, inter alia, with the assurance that the SHDC would be elevated to a full-fledged Autonomous District Council (ADC) for the Hmars, after an interim period of two years. The matter has, however, been constantly deferred. Indeed, Hmar leaders allege that not a single assurance of the MoS has yet been fulfilled, and add that they will not continue to wait indefinitely. The HPC also accused the Young Mizo Association (YMA – Mizoram’s biggest and most influential civic organisation) of interfering in the HPC’s demand for an ADC under the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution, and promoting centrifugal forces among the Mizos, rather than unifying the community.

Bringing issues to a head, on April 18, 2012, the HPC-D served a ‘dissolution order’ to all YMA branches in the HPC-D demand area [the projected area of the proposed ADC] in north and northeastern Mizoram. The HPC-D accused the Central YMA (CYMA) President T. Sangkunga of making derogatory remarks against the Hmar community, and of opposing the upgradation of the SHDC to ADC status, and asserted that CYMA did not accept non-Lushai-speaking people as Mizos. Subsequently, at least 16 branches under YMA’s Tuisual tendered their resignations on April 25, 2012 – the deadline announced by HPC-D. The Tuisual group is located in Aizwal, the heartland of HPC-D’s demand area, while three other YMA groups – Tuivai, Serlui and Chalfilh – in the District, have a few branches falling under the demand area.

Meanwhile, Mizoram Home Minister R. Lalzirliana, rejecting the Hmar’s ADC demand, reiterated, “The Mizoram Government would not support any demand of the creation of ADC and other related demands; and the Government does not have any will to give any ADC in any constituency.” Lalzirliana had earlier stated, on April 25, 2012, “Three ADCs had been created in Mizoram without our consent. As Mizoram was a Union Territory at that time, we could not do anything. We are not giving any more ADC for any tribe.” The Lai Autonomous District Council had been formed on April 29, 1972; the Mara Autonomous District Council, on 29 May 1971; and the Chakma Autonomous District Council, on April 29, 1972.

The HPC-D, an armed insurgent group formed in 1995, is an offshoot of HPC. HPC entered into an agreement with the Government of Mizoram in 1994, resulting in the formation of SHDC in North Mizoram. Dissatisfied with the peace accord, some HPC leaders formed HPC-D to continue an armed struggle for Hmars autonomy. The outfit's 'commander-in-chief' is Lalrupui; its ‘chairman’ is H. Zosangbera; its ‘vice-chairman’ is Elvis L. Hmar; and ‘secretary’ is David L. Hmar. The outfit is active primarily in Mizoram, the Hmar inhabited areas of Churachandpur District in Manipur, and the Cachar (with base camps in the Bhuban Hill range) and North Cachar Hills (Dima Hasao) Districts of Assam. The purported objective of the group, over the years, has changed from an independent Hmar State (Hmar Ram) consisting of the Hmar inhabited areas of Mizoram, Manipur and Assam, to an ADC covering north and northeast Mizoram. The group is now agitating to involve the Centre, so that provisions of the 1994 Peace Agreement can be implemented.

The HPC, on the other hand, is a political group launched in 1986, which went underground in 1987, after the 1986 Peace Accord failed to create a ‘greater Mizoram’ (to integrate Hmar inhabited areas of Assam and Manipur into the new Mizoram State).  HPC came over-ground after the agreement in 1994.

The HPC-D entered into a Suspension of Operations (SoO) agreement with the Government of Mizoram on November 11, 2010, for six months. The SoO expired on May 11, 2011, and was not extended by the Mizoram Government on the grounds that the HPC-D was violating SoO ground rules. Peace talks with the group were supposed to start in January 2011, but the Government refused to resume talks on the grounds that HPC-D had involved a foreigner, a US citizen (Rochunga Pudaite), as interlocutor. Again, on July 27, 2011, the Mizoram Government alleged that some HPC-D militants were still engaging in illegal activities. Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla stated that the matter had been notified to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (UMHA) for appropriate action.

On the same day, HPC-D declared that the SoO no longer existed, in view of the absence of any proactive interests on the part of the Government of Mizoram. On March 31, 2011, HPC-D had alleged that repeated attempts had been made by the Government of Mizoram to dictate terms and conditions outside the purview of SoO Agreement, in attempts to ‘sabotage’ the peace process.

On August 25, 2011, people belonging to different political parties took out peace processions in three villages in the North Eastern part of Mizoram, adjoining Manipur, demanding resumption of peace talks between the State Government and HPC-D militants, to find a lasting solution to the Hmar problem, and end the pall of fear under which they were living. On March 4, 2011, the Chairman, Vice Chairman and 16 members of SHDC tendered their resignations in a demonstration of support to HPC-D.

According to the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP) database, HPC-D has been involved in 34 incidents of violence within and outside the State, since 1998. In the worst incident in the State, HPC-D gunned down four security personnel, including a sub-inspector of the Mizoram Armed Police (MAP) and injured another three in an ambush at Saipum village in Kolasib District on September 2, 2008. Following the killing, an HPC-D statement declared, “Political reasons were behind the ambush and we warn the Mizoram Government that it was only the beginning”. HPC-D has been involved in widespread extortion and intimidation, even after the signing of the SoO Agreement in 2010. A May 30, 2012, report suggests that HPC-D cadres murdered one Lalfellien (25), after abducting him on May 22, 2012. Earlier, on February 22, 2012, the State Election Commission postponed civic polls in 15 villages, following HPC-D's alleged diktat to vote for HPC-D backed HPC candidates. All 15 villages, two under Kolasib District and 13 under Aizawl District, fell under the HPC-D demand area for the Hmar ADC.

On January 6, 2012, in an initiative to push the issue towards resolution, UMHA urged the Mizoram Government to resume dialogue with HPC-D. The Centre fears that if immediate steps are not taken, HPC-D may resume underground activities. Indeed, on January 11, 2007, when the Mizoram Government had initiated talks with the outfit, HPC-D had asked for the involvement of the Union Government, declaring, "If there is any negotiation to discuss the fulfillment of the provisions of the 1994 accord signed between the Mizoram government and the HPC, the Centre must intervene."

Mizoram also continues to be plagued by the Bru Refugees issue. The fourth phase of repatriation of Bru refugees from Tripura to Mizoram ended unsuccessfully on May 15, 2012. Reports claimed that the Brus had raised a fresh demand for the creation of an ADC on their return to Mizoram. Significantly, on April 26, 2012, the first day of the fourth phase, Bru refugees had refused to return without a written assurance guaranteeing security, livelihood and other facilities from the Centre and the Mizoram Government. Of the 669 Bru families proposed to be repatriated in this phase, only seven returned to Mizoram.

Some 35,000 Bru refugees fled Mizoram and took shelter in six relief camps at Kanchanpur in North Tripura, following ethnic-violence of 1997. The immediate cause of the conflict (between ethnic Mizos and Bru tribesmen) was the demand for an ADC in the Bru-dominated areas of western Mizoram by the Bru National Union, a political organisation of Bru tribesmen formed in 1994.  Repatriation started in May 2010, for the first time, and a total of 231 displaced Bru families consisting of 1,115 persons, returned to Mizoram. The second phase of repatriation occurred in November 2010, in which another 53 Bru families returned to Mizoram. The third phase began in April 2011 and continued till May, with more than 600 families restored to Mizoram.

There are growing apprehensions of violence by the HPC-D in Mizoram. On May 14, 2012, Security Forces (SFs) stepped up their vigil after an intelligence report indicated possible HPC-D violence. Deputy Inspector General of Police (Northern Range) Zorammawia told reporters, “Security forces led by Superintendents of Police have been conducting flag marches in various parts of the mountainous State, bordering Myanmar and Bangladesh. We have asked all the Police Stations to remain vigilant over the prevailing situation, so that the tribal guerrillas do not create any violence or any kind of disturbances.” On May 11, 2012, State Home Minister Lalzirliana disclosed that a ‘large number’ of armed Police personnel were sent to the north eastern part of Mizoram adjoining Manipur to reassure the people of the area, inhabited mainly by the Hmars, that they should have confidence in the Government, despite intimidation by the HPC-D. Intelligence reports further suggested that HPC-D was planning to bomb important power lines, such as the Manipur to Mizoram line, the Loktak Hydel Project, and bridges along National Highway-54 connecting Aizawl and Silchar (Assam).

Fortunately for the Government, none of these ‘intelligence inputs’ has been realized. Nevertheless, as long as the rankling issues of the minority tribes remain unresolved, the potential for recurrence of violence in the State will remain.


NEWS BRIEFS

Weekly Fatalities: Major Conflicts in South Asia
May 28-June 3, 2012

 

Civilians

Security Force Personnel

Terrorists/Insurgents

Total

INDIA

 

Assam

1
0
1
2

Manipur

0
0
2
2

Meghalaya

0
1
0
1

Nagaland

1
0
0
1

Left-wing Extremism

 

Bihar

2
0
0
2

Chhattisgarh

0
1
2
3

Jharkhand

1
0
0
1

Total (INDIA)

5
2
5
12

NEPAL

1
0
0
1

PAKISTAN

 

Balochistan

16
6
1
23

FATA

7
2
103
112

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

6
1
2
9

Sindh

30
3
2
35

Total (PAKISTAN)

59
12
108
179
Provisional data compiled from English language media sources.


BANGLADESH

HT gears up activity in south-western Districts, say law enforcement agencies: The law enforcement agencies said the Hizb-ut Towhid (HT) is trying to reorganise in the south-western Districts after the death of their leader Bayezid Khan Panni. They carry out secret operations in the name of dawat (religious discussion) in different parts of the districts and distribute books on jihad and leaflets among the locals. According to law enforcement agencies, at least 12,000 members of the organisation are active in Khulna, Bagerhat, Kushtia, Jhenaidah, Meherpur, Khulna and Chuadanga Districts. Daily Star, May 31, 2012.


INDIA

ISI created Indian Mujahideen to spread terror in India, says Maharashtra ATS: The Maharashtra anti-terrorism squad (ATS) said that Indian Mujahideen (IM) is a creation of Pakistan's Inter Service Intelligence (ISI). This was mentioned in the 13/7 triple blasts charge sheet. This is the first time that any Police agency in the country has openly said that IM has been created by the ISI. Several Police agencies had earlier said that IM was a splinter faction of the Students' Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), which was banned in 2001. Times of India, June 2, 2012.

ISI plotting to hurt Indian economy, says media report: Credible information available with Indian intelligence agencies suggests that Pakistan's intelligence agency, the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), has directed the Indian Mujahideen (IM) to launch a fresh spate of high value terror attacks in the country. It wants IM to create an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty so that multi-national companies (MNCs) in India shut shop. Deccan Chronicle, May 29, 2012.

India gives 49 most-wanted lists to Pakistan: India has handed over to Pakistan a list of four precise coordinates, with locations and addresses, of terrorist Dawood Ibrahim. The information is part of a list of 49 most-wanted given by Union Home Secretary R. K. Singh to his Pakistani counterpart Khwaja Siddiqui during the May 24-25 secretary-level talks in Islamabad.

The Indian agencies for the first time have given Pakistan technical evidence against Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Saeed. This evidence shared at the recent Islamabad meeting of the two Home Secretaries (May 24-25), top intelligence sources said, was in the form of phone intercepts where Saeed is heard talking to top LeT 'commanders' like Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and Abu Al Qama. Both Lakhvi and Qama are in a Rawalpindi jail for their involvement in the November 26, 2008 (26/11) Mumbai attacks. Hindustan Times, May 30, 2012, Times of India, May 30, 2012.

India seeks custody of militants arrested in Myanmar: India has sought the custody of Northeast militants in case they are captured in Myanmar. This was conveyed to Myanmar's top leadership during the Prime Minister Manmohan Sing's visit to the country. Union Home Minister (UHM), P Chidambaram in this regard said, "Our concerns are two-fold. First, we don't want any part of Myanmar territory to be used as camps by the insurgent groups. Secondly, if the Government of Myanmar manages to apprehend any of the leaders, we would like them to hand over to India".

Earlier, Myanmar Government ordered Manipur-based militant outfits to shut their camps and training facilities and leave its soil by 10th of June. Kanglaonline, May 30, 2012, Assam Tribune, June 1, 2012.

'We have restricted network of Maoists', claims Union Home Secretary R.K Singh: Union Home Secretary R.K Singh has claimed that the Central Government has been successful in restricting the network of Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) insurgents. Singh said that Security Forces in tandem with State Police have managed to root Maoists out of their strongholds. News Track India, May 31, 2012.

No Naxal gang in Uttar Pradesh now, claims DGP A C Sharma: The Uttar Pradesh Police on May 30 said after the recent arrest of two hardcore Naxalites [Left Wing Extremist (LWE)], no Naxal gang is operating in the state now. "After the arrest of Munna Vishwakarma and Lalvrat Kol in Sonbhadra in the past fortnight, no naxal gang is operating in the state now," Director General of Police (DGP) A C Sharma told reporters in Lucknow. Post Jagran, May 31, 2012.

Paresh Baruah faction of ULFA insignificant, says Union Home Secretary R.K. Singh: Union Home secretary R. K. Singh on June 1 said that the Paresh Barua faction of United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA)/ Anti-Talks faction of ULFA (ULFA-ATF) was small and insignificant, adding that talks with the Arabinda Rajkhowa led group [Pro-Talks faction of ULFA, ULFA-PTF] group were on the right track. On the condition of talks with the ULFA-PTF and a probable date for dialogue in June, Singh said, "We are already in a dialogue with Ulfa. We have had two rounds of talks with them. Our interlocutor P.C. Haldar is doing a follow-up on different details and it is time for me to fix a date for another round at my level."Telegraph, June 2, 2012.

Mizoram submits report of Bru repatriation to UMHA: The Mizoram Government has submitted a report of the fourth phase of Bru repatriation to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). During the fourth phase of repatriation, which commenced from April 26 and concluded on May 15, only seven Bru families returned from Tripura to Mizoram from the relief camps in North Tripura District while 669 families were expected to return. Sentinel, June 1, 2012.


NEPAL

President directs Bhattarai to work in caretaker status until new Government formation: President Ram Baran Yadav on May 29 directed the Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai Government to work in caretaker status until the formation of the new Government. Issuing a statement, the president instructed Government to work in caretaker status under Clause 9 of Article 39 of the Interim Constitution. Nepal News, May 30, 2012.


PAKISTAN

103 militants and seven civilians among 112 persons killed during the week in FATA:The US drone attack killed 10 militants in the Birmal area of South Waziristan Agency in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on June 3. In addition, Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) militants killed two men and a woman in Qambar Khel area of Bara tehsil (revenue unit) in Khyber Agency after accusing them of being involved in illicit affair.

More than 30 militants were killed in clashes with Security Forces (SFs) in Tirah Valley of Khyber Agency on June 2. Also, at least four persons were killed in a drone attack in Ghwa Khwa area near Wana in South Waziristan Agency.

Militants attacked troops near the Nadir Mela area of Kurram Agency, leading to a shootout that killed six militants and injured two soldiers, including a captain on June 1. Further, eight militants were killed and three were injured when gunship helicopters pounded militants' positions in Mela Village of Orakzai Agency.

Fourteen militants were killed in air forces' jet planes-shelling in Mamozai area of the Orakzai Agency on May 29. Also, SFs killed seven militants and injured four others in air strikes conducted by the air forces' jets in Dwa Toai area of Jamrud tehsil in Khyber Agency.

At least 10 militants were killed when SFs fighter jets pounded various suspected militant hideouts in Mamozai, Jandarkhel and Samaa Bazaar areas of Orakzai Agency on May 28. Two separate US drone attacks killed at least nine militants near Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan Agency. In addition, Air forces jets killed five suspected militants in Tirah valley area of Khyber Agency. Three Shias were killed and another six injured when unidentified militants ambushed a Peshawar-bound bus in Charkhel village of Parachinar in Kurram Agency. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, May 29- June 4, 2012.

30 civilians and two SFs among 35 persons killed during the week in Sindh: At least eight persons, including two Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) activists, were killed in different parts of Karachi on June 1 and June 2.

At least 10 persons including Rangers Sub-Inspector (SI) were killed in separate incidents of violence and sectarian killing in Karachi on May 30 and 31.

Two abductees were recovered and three persons, including one abductee, one Policeman and an abductor, were killed during an encounter in a joint raid by Anti Violent Crime Cell (AVCC) and Citizen Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) at Alamdar Chowk, Qasimabad area in Karachi on May 30.

The ongoing wave of killings in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh, claimed on May 29 three more lives, including that of a MQM activist.

At least eight persons, including a Superintendent of Police (SP) and his doctor friend, were killed and 14 others were injured in separate incidents of violence in various areas of Karachi on May 28. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, May 29- June 4, 2012.

China urges Pakistan to act against ETIM militants, say report: China has urged Pakistan to take effective measures to stop the activities of East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) militants present in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). According to the report, the Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi currently visiting Pakistan said that it was their belief that militants belonging to the ETIM are influencing the Chinese province Xinjiang, which has a Muslim majority population. Tribune, June 1, 2012.

Pashtuns would not be part of "independent Balochistan", says head of BRP Brahmdagh Bugti: The Balochistan Republican Party (BRP) Brahmdagh Bugti said that Pashtuns would not be part of "independent Balochistan" as the territory would be consisted of the Baloch majority area. He accused the Pakistan Army and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) for using power and money to divide Baloch leaders struggling for their "independence". Although Brahmdagh did not support killings of people in an armed struggle of the Baloch Republican Army (BRA), he avoided condemning such a struggle. Daily Times, June 2, 2012.


SRI LANKA

North of country is not a predominantly Tamil area, says Defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa: Defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has said it is not appropriate to view the North of the country as a predominantly Tamil area. "If you are a Sri Lankan citizen you must be able to go and buy the properties from anywhere. I'm not talking about the forced settlements, I'm talking about the freedom for a Sri Lankan to live anywhere in this country," stated Rajapaksa. Daily Mirror, May 29, 2012.


The South Asia Intelligence Review (SAIR) is a weekly service that brings you regular data, assessments and news briefs on terrorism, insurgencies and sub-conventional warfare, on counter-terrorism responses and policies, as well as on related economic, political, and social issues, in the South Asian region.

SAIR is a project of the Institute for Conflict Management and the South Asia Terrorism Portal.

South Asia Intelligence Review [SAIR]

Publisher
K. P. S. Gill

Editor
Dr. Ajai Sahni


A Project of the
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