SOUTH ASIA INTELLIGENCE REVIEW
Weekly Assessments & Briefings
Volume 11, No. 21, November 26, 2012
assessments from SAIR can be freely published in any form
with credit to the South Asia Intelligence Review of the
South Asia Terrorism Portal
Trial and Errors
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management
anniversary of the November 26, 2008 (26/11), carnage
has been marked by the hanging of Mohammed Ajmal Mohammad
Amir Kasab alias Abu Mujahid, the Lashkar-e-Toiba
terrorist who survived the attack. Kasab was hanged to
death at the Yerawada Prison in Pune (Maharashtra) at
07:30 hrs on November 21, 2012, with the final proceedings
kept secret under “Operation-X”.
arrested on November 26, 2008, the first day of the attack
– which lasted almost 62 hours – and was lodged in the
Arthur Road Prison in Pune. The trial in the case begun
on April 25, 2009. While he was convicted and given capital
punishment by the trial court on May 6, 2010, two Indian
co-accused, Fahim Harshad Mohammad Yusuf and Sababuddin
Shaikh, accused of providing logistic support for attacks,
were acquitted. The sentence was upheld by the Bombay
High Court on February 21, 2011. The Supreme Court of
India subsequently upheld the sentence on August 29, 2012.
Kasab then filed a mercy petition to President of India,
Pranab Mukherjee. On October 16, 2012, the Union Ministry
of Home Affairs recommended the rejection of Kasab's mercy
petition and forwarded the same to President. The Presidential
order was passed on November 5, 2012, and, after due process
in the Courts, November 21, 2012, was fixed for the execution.
Kasab was then transferred to the Yerawada Prison.
a defining event because of the enormity of the attack.
166 people – including civilians and Police/Security Forces
personnel as well as 26 foreign national – were killed
in the operation. Significantly, this is the first attack
in which the investigations and further trails have led
to the execution of a Pakistani terrorist on Indian soil.
people have been killed in terrorism and insurgency-related
violence across India since 1981, according to the South
Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP) database. Despite India’s
long experience of Pakistan-backed terrorism, Kasab is
only the sixth terrorist to be hanged in this country.
However, the first to be hanged was Maqbool Bhat, Jammu
and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) ‘president’, on February
11, 1984, for the murder of a Police Inspector; Kehar
Singh and Satwant Singh Bakher were hanged for the assassination
of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on January 6, 1989; and
Sukhdev Singh ‘Sukhha’ and Harjinder Singh ‘Jinda' were
hanged on October 9, 1992, for the assassination of the
former Chief of Army Staff, General Arun Sridhar Vaidya.
another nine Pakistani terrorists had landed in South
Mumbai on 26/11 after travelling from Karachi (Sindh,
Pakistan) by sea, and had gone on a shooting spree at
various landmarks in Mumbai. The Mumbai Police had succeeded
in capturing Kasab alive, though the remaining nine terrorists
of course, little more than a pawn or foot-soldier, and
his death is just the end of one chapter, and not the
conclusion of the much wider narrative of Pakistan backed
terrorism on Indian soil. The real masterminds and perpetrators
of 26/11 continue to move freely in Pakistan or are maintained
in style and comfort, and with great operational freedom,
the attack, India had conveyed to Pakistan that Hafiz
Muhammed Saeed, the founding chief of LeT and Jamaat-ud-Dawa
(JuD), was the main architect of the attack and, in subsequent
dossiers, gave the full details of the attack, as well
as the identities of the other perpetrators and conspirators,
all of whom were acting under Saeed’s instructions. Subsequently,
the India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA), in its
sheet dated December 24, 2011, listed
11 Pakistanis as the accused in the case: Hafiz Muhammed
Saeed; Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, ‘operations commander of
LeT; Sajid Majid and Abdur Rehman Hashim, both Inter-Services
Intelligence (ISI) Majors (retired); Major Iqbal and Major
Sameer Ali, both serving ISI Majors; Ilyas Kashmiri, al
Qaeda's main ‘operational commander’ and ‘chief’ of the
Pakistani American David Coleman Headley and Chicago based
Pakistan born businessman Tahawwur Hussain Rana. In its
in the Kasab case, the Supreme Court of India named 35
wanted accused, including Saeed, Lakhvi and others.
arrest and subsequent confessions
of one of the principal handlers of the 26/11 operation,
LeT operative Syed Zaibuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal,
have thrown further light on the Pakistani – particularly
Saeed’s – involvement. According to Jundal, Hafiz Saeed
was present in the Karachi Control Room during the 26/11
attacks, along with Muzammil Butt, LeT ‘operational commander’.
In a parallel
trial that started in the Chicago (USA) District Court
on May 23, 2011, Headley testified on May 25 that he had
conversations with Tahawwur Rana, who was accused of helping
the attackers and providing support to LeT and a retired
Pakistan military officer Abdur Rehman, known as 'Pasha'.
Headley confirmed that the ISI Directorate and elements
in Pakistan's military coordinated with LeT and other
Pakistan militants. Headley also admitted to carrying
out extensive reconnaissance in India, including extended
surveillance in Mumbai, which contributed to the planning
of 26/11. According to his disclosures during interrogation,
Headley travelled to Mumbai in September 2006, February
2007, September 2007, April 2008 and July 2008, for the
purpose of conducting surveillance of possible targets
of attacks by LeT. Rana is to be sentenced for his role
in 26/11 on December 4, 2012. Yet, no date has been set
for sentencing Headley, who pleaded guilty on March 18,
2010, in a plea bargain to escape the death sentence.
Headley had been arrested on October 3, 2009, and Rana
on October 18, 2009.
the judicial and appeals process in India took four years
before it culminated in Kasab’s hanging, Pakistan is still
dragging on with the case in a Trial Court, though action
had purportedly been initiated shortly after the attack.
On November 30, 2008, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari
declared that the people of India should see the Mumbai
terrorist attacks as the action of ‘non-state actors’
and pledged ‘quick action’ against any individual or group
shown to be involved. However, efforts to protect the
guilty quickly began and, on January 4, 2009, the then
Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Shah Mehmood Qureshi insisted
that the 26/11 suspects would not be handed over to India
as "we do not have an extradition treaty with India
nor with the US”. It is a different matter that this has
not prevented Pakistan from handing over a number of terrorists
to the US, including Abu Yahya al-Libi (second-in-command
of al Qaeda); Ramzi Bin al-Shibh (member of al Qaeda Hamburg
Cell and a facilitator of the 9/11 attacks); Khalid Sheikh
Muhammad (al Qaeda terrorist and involved in 9/11); Ramzi
Ahmed Yousef (1993 World Trade Center Attacker); and Mir
Aimal Kansi (involved in 1993 killing of CIA employees
in CIA Headquarters of Washington DC), among others.
to project the idea of ‘taking action’ in the case, in
the wake of mounting US pressure, Lakhvi and the six others
accused in the 26/11 attacks – Abdul Wajid alias
Zarar Shah, also of the LeT and described as a "facilitator
and expert of computer networks"; Hamad Amin Sadiq,
charged with "facilitating funds and hideouts"
to 26/11 attackers; Mazhar Iqbal alias Abu al Qama,
"handler"; Shahid Jamil Riaz, both facilitator
for funds, as well as a crew member of the boat (Kuber)
used by the attackers; Jamil Ahmed and Younus both "facilitators”
– were arrested on December 7, 2008, near Muzaffarabad
in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) by Pakistani Security
Forces. Saeed was also put under house arrest on December
11, 2008, but was let off by the Lahore High Court on
June 2, 2009, for "lack of evidence" linking
him to terror outfits, including al Qaeda. He was again
put under house arrest on September 21, 2009, following
an Interpol Red Corner Notice dated August 25, 2009, but
was again released by the Lahore High Court on October
12, 2009. Then Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani argued,
on May 13, 2012, "If you arrest him (Hafiz Saeed)
that means he will be released by the courts. For the
courts you need more evidence. You know the judiciary
is completely independent in Pakistan."
the trail in Pakistan has faced roadblocks right from
the initial stages. The case was registered in Pakistan
on February 15, 2009. The first charge sheet against the
accused was filed on May 5, 2009, in the Anti-Terrorism
Court (set up in Adiala Jail of Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan)
under Judge Sakhi Mohammad Kahut. On May 23, 2009, when
the Court was expected to formally indict the accused,
Justice Kahut’s tenure expired. Justice Baqir Ali Rana
was appointed in his place, but, on October 21, 2009,
‘expressed’ his inability to continue with the proceedings.
Those close to him claimed that Justice Rana quit because
the lawyers representing the accused boycotted court proceedings
in protest against his decision to formally charge the
seven suspects in their absence. The judge is also said
to have received threats. On October 24, 2009, Justice
Malik Mohammed Akram Awan, took charge of the case and
hearings recommenced from October 31, 2009. He directed
the prosecution to provide Kasab’s confessional statement
and other documentary evidence against the accused. The
hearing was adjourned till November 21, 2009. Awan, however,
formally charged Lakhvi and six others on November 25,
2009, with planning, financing and facilitating the attacks.
16 people, including Kasab, were declared “proclaimed
offenders”. But, in order to bury Hafiz Saeed's role as
the prime strategist behind the attacks, the court named
Lakhvi as the ‘mastermind’.
on November 22, 2012, indicated that in addition to the
seven accused, Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency
(FIA) had identified as many as 20 others, who allegedly
planned and executed 26/11 attacks. According to the report,
the FIA has gathered the photographs of all the 20 terror
suspects, involved directly or indirectly in the 26/11
attacks, in addition to other important information. These
suspects are said to have provided logistical and monetary
support to the 10 terrorists who attacked Mumbai. During
the probe, it was also revealed that these 20 suspects
visited Muzaffarabad in PoK and Chahcho in Sindh to receive
training at various LeT centres.
formal charges were framed, Awan was replaced by Judge
Rana Nisar Ahmed, who was transferred out on June 11,
2011. He was replaced by Shahid Rafique, who was, again,
transferred, without reason, on June 6, 2012. Rafique
was replaced by Judge Chaudhry Habib-ur-Rehman, who is
presently in charge of the case.
change or transfer of Judges appears to be little more
than a tactic or ploy to delay the trial. However, some
seriousness may now be emerging. On November 3, 2012,
Chief Prosecutor Chaudhry Zulifqar Ali, in an application,
stated that there had been an inordinate delay in the
case and this was not giving a good impression of Pakistan
to the world. Ali commented, "The anti-terrorism
courts were established for speedy trial of the accused.
Under Section 19(7) of the Anti- Terrorism Act of 1997,
the speedy trial of the accused is mandatory”. He accused
the defence lawyers of resorting to delaying tactics for
the past four years and asked the court to look into this
gone, the theatre of action will be concentrated in Pakistan,
putting more pressure on Islamabad to demonstrate visible
progress in the prosecution. This does not, however, appear
to have dampened the spirit of the extremists in Pakistan.
Hafiz Saeed continues to openly deliver “hate speeches”,
with authorities turning a blind-eye to his activities,
and continuing to pamper him on the pretext of the “non-availability”
of “credible evidence”. Kasab’s execution has also provided
the LeT and Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)
an opportunity to come into the limelight again and issue
“fresh threats” against India. On November 21, 2012, TTP
‘spokesperson’, Ehsanullah Ehsan declared (from an undisclosed
location), “There is no doubt that it is very shocking
news and a big loss that a Muslim has been hanged on Indian
soil…. We have decided to target Indians to avenge the
killing of Ajmal Kasab”. A LeT ‘commander’ also pronounced,
“He [Kasab] was a hero and will inspire other fighters
to follow his path”. There appears to be little likelihood,
consequently, that the 26/11 trial will reach its logical
conclusion in the near future.
interim, the Indian Government’s listless measures,
including the setting up of mega institutions such as
the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the creation
of National Security Guard (NSG) hubs in major metropoliis
– Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad; the incomplete
National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID); and other initiatives,
have had little impact on the ground, and former Union
Minister of Home Affairs P. Chidambaram had repeatedly
conceded that India’s cities remained as vulnerable to
terrorist attack as they were on 26/11. There have, however,
been significant operational successes in the intervening
years, including the arrest of 538 persons involved in
Islamist extremism, particularly LeT and Students Islamic
Movement of India/Indian Mujahideen (SIMI/IM)
cadres, ISI agents and Bangladeshi, Nepali and Pakistani
nationals. Nevertheless, as long as the terrorist formations
continue to receive support from Pakistan and to thrive
in safe havens in that country, the threat of terrorism
will continue to haunt India.
Slippery Slope to Chaos
Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management
At a time
when Assam was believed to be fast moving toward establishing
a lasting peace, the lackadaisical approach
of the authorities has once again pushed the State under
the shadow of large-scale violence. 2010 and 2011 had
seen comprehensive improvements on the security front,
but 2012 has already recorded repeated large-scale conflagrations
involving Bodos and Muslims. After a first cycle appeared
to have died down, violence appears to be escalating once
July 20 and September 18, 2012, the Assam witnessed bloody
in the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) areas, between
Bodos, the largest plain tribals in the State, and immigrant
Muslims, in Lower Assam. The violence according to the
South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP) database left
at least 109 dead. According to a State Home Department
statement released on September 16, 2012, 5,000 houses
were set ablaze in 244 villages and 187,052 persons affected
by the violence were still lodged in 206 camps, even two
months after the troubles broke out in five Lower Assam
Districts. The displaced persons in the camps included
168,875 Muslims, housed in 174 camps; 17,344 Bodos in
29 camps; and 833 belonging to other communities, in three
camps. The Dhubri District had the highest number of 101,373
inmates in 129 camps; followed by Kokrajhar District with
55,760 inmates in 43 camps; Chirang with 23,609 inmates
in 22 camps; Bongaigaon with 5,554 inmates in nine camps;
and 756 people in three camps in Barpeta. The July-September
conflagration was the second such clash involving Bodos
and Muslims since the formation of the BTC in 2003. The
first confrontation occurred in 2008, and claimed 55 lives.
normalcy appeared to be restored, another round of violence
started on November 10, 2012, and has already left 11
dead and six injured in nine incidents in Kokrajhar and
Baksa Districts (all data till November 23, 2012). Interestingly,
the Inspector General of Police (IGP), BTC, S.N. Singh
had stated, on September 5, “Peace is gradually returning
as there has been no fresh violence in the area."
The last of three killings after September 5 (the date
on which the statement was made) occurred on September
18, and this was construed as a sign of the return of
normalcy. The recent surge, however, demonstrates the
fragility of the ‘peace’ that has been restored. The number
of people in relief camps has now come down to roughly
36,000. The current conflagration, in fact, occurred as
a result of attempts by some of the displaced people to
return to their homes at the time of harvest. G.P. Singh,
Inspector-General of Police (BTAD) noted: "If a farmer
can harvest his crop, he is richer by 15,000-25,000 rupees.
If he is stopped from harvesting, those who stop him can
enrich themselves in turn." He also noted that the
first round of violence had been timed with the sowing
Bodo-Muslim conflagration has resumed after a four-year
hiatus, the levels of militant violence have remained
more or less the same in comparison to the preceding year.
83 persons, including 50 militants, 30 civilians and three
Security Force (SF) personnel, were killed in 64 incidents
of killing in 2012, while total fatalities in 2011 (till
November 23) stood at 91, including 45 militants, 31 civilians
and 15 SF personnel, in 63 incidents. The number of incidents
and civilian deaths remain nearly the same, but a sharp
decrease in the number of SF personnel killed reflects
some operational successes on the part of the state.
in Terrorist Violence in Assam: 2005-2012
SATP, *Till November 23, 2012.
militancy-related fatalities have been on the rise in
the second half of the current year, after registering
a decline in the first half. There were 38 fatalities
in the first half of 2012, with the rising to 45 in the
second half (till November 23). By comparison, January-June
fatalities in 2011 stood at 51, declining to 40 between
July and November 23.
58 persons were also abducted in 28 incidents through
2012, according to partial data compiled by SATP, as compared
to 46 abducted in 26 incidents in 2011. On March 27, 2012,
State Forest Minister Rokybul Hussain, however, told the
State Assembly that 56 abduction cases had already been
registered in the State since January 2012. Hussain further
disclosed that, between 2006 and 2011, there had been
456 cases of abduction in the State.
the SFs arrested 534 militants in 2012, as compared to
407 in 2011. The number stood at 425 in 2010. Of the militants
arrested in 2012, the Anti-Talks faction of the United
Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA-ATF)
accounted for 112; and the Ranjan Daimari faction of the
National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB-RD),
79. In one of the most prominent incidents, on October
27, 2012, the SFs arrested three United Democratic Liberation
Army (UDLA) militants at Churaibari checkgate on the Assam-Tripura
border, including Dhanyaram Reang, 'chief' of the UDLA.
pressure on the militant formations has resulted in the
surrender of another 707 militants during the course of
the year. On January 24, 2012, 676 militants belonging
to seven militant formations surrendered at a function
held at the indoor stadium inside the Sarusajai Sports
Complex in Guwahati. The surrendered militants were drawn
from the Adivasi People’s Army (APA), All Adivasi National
Liberation Army (AANLA),
Santhal Tiger Force (STF), United Kukigam Defence Army
(UKDA), Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA),
Kuki Liberation Army (KLA) and Hmar Peoples Convention-Democratic
The militants deposited 202 weapons during the ceremony.
The Adivasi outfits had formed a united forum and had
informal meetings with representatives of the Union Ministry
of Home Affairs.
also witnessed the signing of peace accords with the major
Dimasa outfits in the State. On October 8, 2012, the Central
and State Governments signed a Memorandum of Settlement
(MoS) with both factions of the Dima Halim Daogah – the
Dilip Nunisa faction (DHD-N)
and the Jewel Garlosa faction [(DHD-J also known as Black
]. These agreements came eight years after the signing
of a ceasefire agreement with the undivided DHD. The MoS
was signed by Dilip Nunisa and Jewel Garlosa on behalf
of the DHD factions, and by Joint Secretary (North-East),
Shambhu Singh and Assam Principal Secretary Home and Political,
militant groups still remain in the State, with surviving
armed cadres, though many of these are under various processes
of negotiation with the Government. The State has already
established a ceasefire and is engaged in negotiations
with the Karbi Longri North Cachar Hills Liberation Front
the Pro-Talks faction of the National Democratic Front
of Bodoland (NDFB-PTF); as well as the Pro-Talks faction
of ULFA (ULFA-PTF).
has also declared an indefinite ceasefire since August
2011, but SF operations against the outfit continue due
to its involvement in several subsequent incidents of
violence. The NDFB-RD also appears to be heading for a
split. The group led by the ‘chief’ of Bodoland Army (the
armed wing of the faction), I.K. Songbijit, on November
20, 2012, announced the formation of a nine member “interim
national council”, with Songbijit as its self-proclaimed
“interim president”. Other members of the “interim council”
include ‘interim vice-president’ B. Naison; ‘interim general
secretary’ B. Saoraigwra; ‘deputy military secretary’
B. Jwngshar; ‘assistant finance secretary’ B. Sansula;
‘assistant forest secretary’ B. Sibigiri; ‘assistant organising
secretary’ H. Leba; ‘assistant publicity secretary’ C.
Rwikha; ‘member’ B. Dwmwilu; and ‘captain’ G. Bidai as
the ‘deputy chief of Bodoland Army’. Myanmar-based I.K.
Songbijit called off the ‘indefinite ceasefire’ on August
8, 2012. However, the move was later dismissed by NDFB-RD
‘publicity secretary’, B. Naijab.
ULFA-ATF, Karbi People’s Liberation Tigers (KPLT)
and the State unit of the Communist Party of India-Maoist
(CPI-Maoist), remain outside the purview of any ceasefire
agreement or negotiations, and continue to be involved
in violent activities.
with an estimated cadre-strength of 225-250 militants,
has escalated its involvement in violent incidents. The
group was involved in at least 19 killings (in 16 incidents)
in 2012. It was also responsible for 15 bomb blasts, out
of a total of 29 recorded across the State in the year.
In 2011, the group had been responsible for four explosions
out of a total of 11 recorded in the State. ULFA-ATF is
also part of the Northeast United Front (NUF) and carries
out its activities in collaboration with outfits such
as the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA).
ULFA-ATF is now reported to have secured some support
an estimated strength of 60-70 cadres, and was involved
in 15 recorded incidents of violence, including eight
incidents of killing, resulting in 15 fatalities, in 2012.
Reports also suggest that KPLT has established links with
the United National Liberation Front (UNLF)
and Kanglei Yowel Kanna Lup (KYKL),
operating in the neighbouring Manipur State, for training
new cadres. Significantly, these two Manipuri outfits
are part of the Coordination Committee (CorCom) of seven
Imphal Valley-based militant formations. KPLT is also
reported to have established links with the NDFB. There
are indications that some former United People’s Democratic
militants have also started helping KPLT.
smaller outfits continue to operate in certain pockets
in the Assam. They include the Liberation Democratic Council
of Mising Land (LDCMS), a militant group in Lakhimpur
and Jorhat Districts; United Tribal Liberation Front (UTLF),
operating in the hills of Jiribam [Imphal East District]
and adjoining areas in Assam; the United Tribal Revolutionary
Army (UTRA), operating from Manipur and Cachar District
of Assam; Dimasa National Liberation Front (DNLF), operating
in NC hills and Karbi Anglong District of Assam; Bodoland
Royal Tigers Force (BRTF), present in Bodoland area; National
Dimasa Protection Army (NDPA), operating in Dima Hasao
District; and Gorkha Liberation Army (GLA), operating
in Upper Assam and Karbi Anglong District.
militant formations also remain active in the State: Muslim
United Liberation Tigers of Assam (MULTA)
and Harkat-ul-Mujahedeen (HuM).
MULTA has an estimated 60 cadres while HuM is reported
to have 40 cadres. The Central Government has also prepared
a list of Muslim fundamentalist groups operating in the
State, which includes the Muslim Security Council of Assam
(MSCA); United Liberation Militia of Assam (ULMA); Islamic
Liberation Army of Assam (ILAA); Muslim Volunteer Force;
Muslim Liberation Army (MLA); Muslim Security Force (MSF);
Islamic Sevak Sangh (ISS); Islamic United Reformation
Protest of India (URPI); Revolutionary Muslim Commandos
(RMC); Muslim Tiger Force (MTF); Muslim Liberation Front
(MLF); Muslim Liberation Tigers of Assam (MLTA); and Muslim
United Liberation Front of Assam (MULFA) .
Maoist activity in the State also appears to be on a rise.
At least seven Districts, especially in the Upper Assam
area, have reported significant Maoist mobilisation. The
Maoists have been involved in at least 10 incidents this
year, as compared to three in 2011 and just one in 2010.
In one of the incidents on May 9, 2012, four CPI-Maoist
cadres were killed and one Police commando was injured
in an encounter at Deupani Borgura Mising Baskati gaon
(Village) in Sadiya Sub-division in Tinsukia District.
The slain Maoists were identified as Siddhartha Buragohain,
Rajeev Gogoi alias Medang, Arup Chetia alias
Iyan and Kamala Gogoi. Siddhartha Buragohain was the 'second-in-command'
of the armed wing of the CPI-Maoist in the State.
senior Police Official stated, on February 21, 2012, that
the Maoists had established three ‘command centres’ in
the State – near the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh, Assam-Nagaland
and Assam-West Bengal borders. He further disclosed that
the Maoist had been sending newly recruited cadres from
Assam to some central Indian States for training. On March
16, 2012, moreover, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs,
Jitendra Singh, observed that the CPI-Maoist was establishing
separate channels in the Northeast, particularly in Nagaland,
for procurement of arms and ammunition. CPI-Maoist has
raised its armed wing in Assam under the banner of the
Revolutionary People's Guerrilla Army, and has developed
close ties with insurgent groups such as the People’s
Liberation Army (PLA)
Union Home Minister of Home Affairs P. Chidambaram, during
his two-day visit to the State in the aftermath of the
Bodo-Muslim clashes, on July 30, 2012, had noted: "Assam
is perhaps the most complex State administered in the
country because people of various ethnicity lives together.
People of the country must learn to live together as India
is a plural society."
for a State facing such grave security issues, the maintenance
of law and order is under tremendous strain, and the situation
is exacerbated by the lack of sufficient capacities and
capabilities in the Police. Admitting the shortage of
personnel in the State Police force, State Director General
of Police (DGP) Jayanta Narayan Chowdhury disclosed, on
November 17, 2012, “The present manpower strength of the
Assam Police is very low compared to the population of
the State. With the present manpower strength, the State
Police is facing immense difficulties in maintaining the
law and order. Most of the Police Stations in the State
are also facing manpower shortage.” Significantly, National
Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data for the year 2011 shows
that the number of Policemen per 100,000 population in
Assam stands at 173, far below 661 in Tripura – which
is now one of the most peaceful States in the entire Northeast.
There are 68.9 Policemen per 100 square kilometres of
area in Assam, while Tripura has 231.3. The DGP has announcement
that 10,000 constables would be recruited in the State
Police, in a phased manner, within the next year, but
this measure, even if implemented, would result in at
best marginal changes on the ground.
hard-earned peace remains in constant jeopardy, as issues
such as illegal immigration, tribal land alienation, ethnic
polarization and the territorial autonomy granted to divergent
tribal groups in this multi-ethnic, multi-lingual State,
provoke resentment and cycles of violence. Though many
militant formations have been brought into peace processes
or under ceasefire agreements, the implementation of ground
rules remains deeply problematic, with criminal operations
and extortion by these ‘peaceful’ groups remaining a chronic
problem, even as many of these splinter into renegade
organisations that continue with violence. The conflagration
in the BTC areas has come as a sharp reminder to state
authorities and enforcement agencies that the relative
counter-insurgency successes of the recent past provide
little grounds for the kind of complacency and neglect
that seems to be creeping into the administration. Assam
is still located on a very slippery slope, within a wider
environment of instability, mis-governance and chronic
disorder that afflicts much of the Northeast, and even
a momentary loss of attention could prove disastrous.
Weekly Fatalities: Major
Conflicts in South Asia
data compiled from English language media sources.
convict Mohammed Ajmal Amir
Kasab hanged to death in Pune's
Yerawada Prison: Mohammed
Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone surviving
Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) terrorist
from the November 26, 2008 (26/11)
terror attack, was hanged to
death at the Yerawada Prison
in Pune (Maharashtra) at 7.30am
on November 21. Union Minister
of Home Affairs Sushil kumar
Shinde said, "Ajmal Kasab was
hanged in Yerawada at 7:30 this
morning. Pakistan has been informed
but there is no demand for Kasab's
body." Kasab was convicted and
given capital punishment by
the trial court on May 6, 2010,
which was upheld by the Bombay
High Court on February 21, 2011.
The Supreme Court subsequently
upheld the sentence on August
29, 2012. Kasab then filed the
mercy petition which was rejected
by the President Pranab Mukherjee
on November 5.
and nine other Pakistani terrorists
had landed in south Mumbai on
November 26, 2008, after travelling
from Karachi (Pakistan) by sea
and had gone on a shooting spree
at various landmarks, killing
166 people, including foreigners.
Police had succeeded in capturing
Kasab alive after killing the
remaining nine terrorists.
Times of India,
November 26, 2012.
elections will now be held in
the month of Baisakh,
says Government: The Government
on November 20 said that the
Constituent Assembly (CA) elections
will now be held in the month
of Baisakh (April-May)
2013. A Cabinet meeting had
taken the decision to this effect.
However, the date of the elections
has not been determined yet
and will be fixed after consultation
with political parties.
November 21, 2012.
Shias killed in a suicide attack
on a Muharram procession
in Punjab: At least 20 mourners,
including two minors, were killed
and more than 30, including
three Police personnel and five
children, were wounded in a
suicide blast at a Muharram
procession. The procession was
taken out from the Qasar-e-Shabbir
Imambargah (Shia place of commemoration)
in Dhok Syedan area on Misrial
Road in Rawalpindi District
in the night of November 21.
Only six Police personnel were
deployed at the Imambargah to
protect the procession, the
November 22, 2012.
least 91 journalists killed
since 2000: During a seminar,
'International Journalist Day',
organised at the National Press
Club (NPC) in Islamabad on November
19 it was said that at least
91 journalists have been murdered
across the country since 2000.
It was told that Pakistan has
become the third most dangerous
country for journalists after
Somalia and Syria.
November 20, 2012.
militants active in 15 areas
of Karachi, reveals Police report:
A Police report, prepared in
compliance of the Supreme Court's
directives in a suo moto
case on the target killings
in Karachi, revealed that Taliban-linked
militants have recently stepped
up their activities in 15 "identified"
areas of the city. "There are
certain indications of their
[the arrested militants'] involvement
with the hardcore Taliban in
the tribal areas, be it in the
form of fundraising for them
or training with those jihadists,"
it was stated in the report.
November 21, 2012.
Court regrets lack of visible
change in the law and order
situation in Balochistan:
The Supreme Court on November
20 regretted that there had
been no visible change in the
law and order situation in Balochistan
since the court's October 12,
2012, interim order which questioned
the constitutional authority
of the Provincial Government.
"Apparently there is not much
difference from the situation
prevailing on October 12," observed
the Apex Court.
November 21, 2012.
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