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SAIR Archive            SOUTH ASIA INTELLIGENCE REVIEW          LATEST ON SATP
Weekly Assessments & Briefings
Volume 16, No. 1, July 3, 2017

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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Chhattisgarh: Challenges Unabated
Deepak Kumar Nayak
Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management

Two Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadres were killed in an encounter with Security Forces (SFs) in Gandai Forest near Suktara village in the Rajnandgaon District of Chhattisgarh on June 28, 2017. During subsequent search operations, SFs recovered their bodies, as well as a .315 bore gun and a pistol. Superintendent of Police (SP), Prashant Agrawal stated, "Identity of the killed rebels is being ascertained. Although prima facie it is clear that they belonged to expansion team of ultras who are making attempts to expand their base along the border of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh." A joint squad of the Special Task Force (STF) and District Police Force had launched an operation in the area, acting on inputs about the movement of a vistaar (expansion) party of Maoists in the forests over the preceding few days.

On June 25, 2017, one CPI-Maoist cadre was killed in an exchange of fire with the Police in a forest area near Pediya village under the Basaguda Police Station limits in Bijapur District. The identity of the slain Maoist is yet to be ascertained.

On June 24, 2017, three SF personnel and one CPI-Maoist cadre were killed, while four others were injured, in two successive encounters with the Maoists in Sukma District. A composite squad of the STF, the District Reserve Group (DRG), the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and its elite unit-CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action), engaged as part of Operation Prahar (Operation Attack) based on inputs about the location of a Maoist hideouts in the interiors of Chintagufa. Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) (Dantewada range), Sundarraj P. disclosed, "Two DRG jawans were initially killed and as many others injured in the incident. Later, one of the injured succumbed while being retrieved from the forest." The body of a Maoist was also recovered from the spot along with a Self Loading Rifle (SLR). According to reports, the Maoist killed was a top ‘commander’ named Korsa Mahesh, who carried a reward of INR 800,000 on his head. 

On June 22, 2017, assistant constable Sukku Gota (30) was killed by CPI-Maoist cadres in Bijapur District. Gota was posted at Farsegarh Police Station and had gone to a relative's place in Ketulnar village, when a group of Maoists stormed the location and attacked him with sharp-edged weapons, killing him on the spot.

On June 21, 2017, two women cadres of the CPI-Maoist were killed in an encounter with SFs near Hasnar under Orcha Police Station in Narayanpur District. Their bodies, along with some ammunition, rifles, items of daily use, a sewing machine and literature were recovered from the site. A temporary Maoist camp in the area was destroyed.

On June 19, 2017, a wanted Maoist, with a reward of INR 500,000 on his head, was killed by SFs in an encounter in Kanker District. The Joint Force recovered the body of Jai Singh Kunjam, a Maoist ‘deputy commander’, along with a SLR, some ammunition and three rifles (.315 bore) from the encounter site.

On the same day, Chhannuram Mandavi (55), the ex-sarpanch (local self-government institution head) of Cholnar village, was killed allegedly by CPI-Maoist cadres in Dantewada District, under suspicion of being a ‘police informer’. Armed Maoists had stormed into Mandavi's house in Cholnar under Kirandul Police Station limits, and slit his throat while he was asleep, killing him on the spot. Maoist pamphlets recovered from the spot branded Mandavi as a ‘police informer’.

Evidently, despite the challenges the Maoists are facing across their contracting areas of conflict, their capacities remain significant in Chhattisgarh, and the outcome of the ongoing battle in this theatre is yet to clearly favour either side. They remain relentless in their efforts to retain their hold in their last bastion, as was most dramatically in evidence in the April 24 Burkapal attack in Sukma District, in which 25 CRPF personnel were killed.

According to the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP) database, 120 persons, including 16 civilians, 53 SF personnel and 51 Maoists, have been killed in Chhattisgarh in 2017 (till July 2), in comparison to 109 persons, including 26 civilians, 21 SF personnel and 62 Maoists, killed in the corresponding period of 2016.

Half-Yearly CPI-Maoist related Fatalities in Chhattisgarh: 2013-2017*

Year

Civilian
SF
CPI-Maoist
Total

2013

43
26
23
92

2014

17
33
15
65

2015

16
29
16
61

2016

26
21
62
109

2017

16
53
51
120

Total

447
623
517
1587
*Data updated till July 2, 2017

A review of half-yearly fatalities over the last five years shows some respite from Maoist violence in 2014 and 2015. The number of civilian fatalities, an important indicator of security, registered a continuous decline between 2013 and 2015, from 43 in 2013; to 17 in 2014; and 16 in 2015. Civilian fatalities then surged to 26 in 2016, to drop, again, to 16 in 2017.

Worryingly, SF fatalities accounted for 39.25 per cent of the total fatalities during this period (623 out of 1,587), while Maoist fatalities accounted for 32.57 per cent (517 out of 1,587). SF fatalities have surged by 152.38 per cent in the current year, as against the first half of 2016, while Maoist fatalities have dropped by 17.74 per cent. While the ratio of fatalities between the Police and the Maoists in the first half of 2017 was near parity, at 1:0.96, it has been significantly worse for this period over the past five years, at 1:0.85

Moreover, Chhattisgarh has recorded eight major incidents (each involving three or more fatalities) in 2017 (till July 2) in which three civilians, 43 SF personnel and 18 Maoists have been killed; this compares to nine major incidents in 2016, in which 10 SF personnel and 27 Maoists were killed.

SF personnel have managed to arrest 180 Maoists in 2017, till July 2, as against 399 arrests through 2016. Besides, 278 Maoists have surrendered thus far in 2017, as against 961 through 2016, suggesting that the Maoists are struggling to revive influence and operations.

In Chhattisgarh, the Maoists are attempting to create an entire new ‘zone’ along the western border, covering forested pockets in Districts such as Balaghat in Madhya Pradesh, Gondia in Maharashtra, and northern Rajnandgaon and parts of Kabirdham and Mungeli in Chhattisgarh. According to a 25-page Maoist document recovered by SFs following an encounter in April 2017, suggest that the new area – MMC (the Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh) Confluence zone – is intended to be similar to the Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee (DKSZC) in the Bastar region. The Maoist hierarchy sent 58 senior and middle level cadres, headed by Maoist ‘commander’ Surender, to expand and operationalise the MMC in November 2015. Surender was previously Darbha ‘divisional commander’, and was promoted to a rank equivalent to the head of DKSZC, and has been in charge of the attempted expansion process.

To consolidate their presence in the new zone, the Maoists are focusing on issues specific to the area in an effort to win over villagers. These include the land issue and differential pricing of bamboo and tendu patta (leaves of the tendu tree). The village population is predominantly tribal in the ‘new area’ and feels ‘left behind by development’. A villager in Malaida of Rajnandgaon District stated, “We live on what we can make from bamboo and tendu patta, but we never get a fair price. Contractors take their cut, and people from other states take away the produce.”

The 25-page Maoist document also details their (Maoists) military strategy, with a focus on amassing ammunition, including "collecting" at least 50 kilograms of gunpowder, 3,000 pieces of metal or shrapnel, and 25 pipes ready for Claymore bombs every six months. The Maoist document advocates swift attacks on SFs, the use of ambushes and not chases, and explosive devices as opposed to gunfire, as far as possible.

On the political strategy for the new zone, the Maoist document, believed to have been drafted by the "MMC leading team" in March 2017, stated that the way forward is in the identification of "people's problems". The document acknowledges a lack of success on land issues and highlights local issues to claim that the problems were not what the Maoists had imagined. Warning cadre in the new zone to "proceed with caution", the document observes, "Secrecy is not being kept, there is hurriedness, those we taking into the organisation are not being talked to in depth about our politics and work. We are talking in the air and accepting them… When meeting party leaders, caution must be exercised and they should not be met in front of new members."

The CPI-Maoist leadership in the State has also issued instructions to their cadres on the use of mobile phones. The 25-page document stated that cadre up to the level of 'Divisional Commanders' have now been allowed to use mobile phones and tablets for easy access to reading material. Under the section titled “The spread of propaganda”, the document read:
Propaganda is being carried out via pamphlets, banners, posters, statements and these days through mobile phones and WhatsApp. After taking decisions, we must concentrate quickly on propaganda material and this must also be planned… We cannot depend only on computers.

On June 12, 2017, Police had recovered banners suspected to be put up by CPI-Maoist cadres in support of agitating farmers in Madhya Pradesh. The cadres are believed to have come from the Pakhanjoor Police Station area in Kanker District, and issued the banners in the name of the 'Pratappur Area Committee’ of the Maoists, and displayed messages supporting the farmers who were protesting in the neighbouring State since June 1. The banners protested against alleged injustices being done to cultivators in Madhya Pradesh.

Acknowledging developments in the new MMC zone, D.M. Awasthi, Special Director General of Police (DGP) (Anti-Naxal Operations), Chhattisgarh, stated, on June 13, 2017,
Yes, it is true that they are attempting to create a new zone called MMC. We are well aware of it and have been working against it. The first intimation we got about this development was in April 2016. Since then, they have been trying to build, and influence villagers for the past one year. We have taken various steps, such as organising troops and building an intelligence network. So far, they have had little success. There have been some close calls with their leadership in the area, and exchanges of fire as well, but no casualties. A new zone is indeed a matter of concern, and requires us to be especially vigilant.

Making the security situation in the area more worrisome, Intelligence sources alerted the security agencies in May 2017, about the entry of over 100 armed CPI-Maoist guerrillas from Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, into south Bastar. The group was spotted in the jungles of the Bijapur-Sukma region. Apprehension were that the Maoists were planning a repeat of the April 24 Sukma attack, by launching a major operation against SFs. After the Intelligence alert, the Superintendents of Police (SPs) of all seven Districts in the Bastar Division (Kanker, Narayanpur, Kondagaon, Bijapur, Dantewada, Bastar and Sukma) were told to remain prepared for any eventuality and for a possible counter attack.

To augment the State’s capacities to counter the Maoists, the Centre had approved the setting up of the ‘Bastariya Battalion’ of the CRPF. According to a Ministry of Home Affairs statement of June 8, 2017, 743 scheduled tribe candidates have been recruited for this battalion thus far, including 242 women, in the rank of constables, from the tribal-dominated Sukma, Dantewada, Narayanpur and Bijapur Districts, of the Bastar Division, for the ‘Bastariya’ battalion.

Further, in the aftermath of the Burkapal attack on April 24, 2017, the CRPF decided to deploy a fresh contingent of about 2,000 CoBRA commandos in and around the Sukma District to fight the Maoists and their arsenal. A top official privy to the development also stated that the paramilitary force had prepared a blueprint to mobilise at least 20 to 25 companies of the CoBRA from their present locations in West Bengal, Bihar, Telangana and Madhya Pradesh to the Bastar region. At present, 44 CoBRA Companies and 1,748 DRG personnel spread across seven Districts in Bastar Division and one in Rajnandgaon, are deployed in Chhattisgarh for anti-Naxal operations. While the number of troops deployed in the State varies continuously, and is not regularly disclosed, on July 22, 2015, State Home Minister Ramsevak Paikara had informed the Chhattisgarh Assembly that there were 58,772 paramilitary troopers deployed in the LWE-affected regions of Chhattisgarh as on March 15, 2015. 

On February 21, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban (rural-urban) Mission from Chhattisgarh's Dongargarh block in Rajnandgaon District. The Mission aims to draw an investment of over INR 50 billion in three years to "transform rural areas to economically, socially and physically sustainable spaces." The Chhattisgarh Government is also reportedly making ‘all out efforts’ to provide access to electricity in all LWE-affected villages of the State by March 2018.

Challenges clearly persist in Chhattisgarh. The Maoists are struggling to revive influence and operations to reclaim lost ground. SF personnel have also achieved considerable success, particularly since October 2015. Great urgency must attend all counter-insurgency responses in the State to ensure that the Maoist efforts to engineer a resurgence are effectively countered.

INDIA
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FICN Flows and Terrorism
Nijeesh N
Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management

According to the latest Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) report released in March 2017, the number of Counterfeit Currency Reports (CCRs) in India’s banking channels was 353,837 in Financial Year (FY) 2014-15. The number of such instances stood at 8,580 CCRs in 2007-08; 35,730 in 2008-09; 127,781 in 2009-10; 251,448 in 2010-11; 327,382 in 2011-12; 62371 in 2012-13; and 301,804 in 2013-14. FIU began compiling this data in 2007-08, when the Government mandated it to receive such reports from banks under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). [CCR is defined as the usage of a forged or counterfeit currency notes or bank notes as genuine or where any forgery of a valuable security or a document has taken place during a cash transaction at a bank.] The amount of Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICNs) detected were not specified in the report.

The Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) 2015-16 annual report has noted that in FY 2015-16, a total of 632,926 FICNs with a face value of INR 296,417,120 were detected in various Banks across the country as against 594,446 FICNs with the face value of INR 286,694,200 detected in 2014-2015. In 2013-14, 488,273 FICNs with a face value of INR 248,402,665 were identified. RBI data also shows that counterfeited INR 500 note were the most common, with 261,695 such notes recovered in 2015-16, followed by INR 100 notes – 221,447 – and INR 1,000 notes – 143,099. RBI figures do not include FICNs seized by the Police and other enforcement agencies.

On the other hand, National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data indicates that a total of 574,176 FICNs with the total face value of INR 277,939,965 were recovered in 2016 (data up to September 30, 2016). In 2015, at least 886,058 FICNs with the face value of INR 438,343,665 were recovered. The number of FICNs recovered in 2014 stood at 801,528, with the face value of INR 405,802,845); and in 2013 at 846,966, with the face value of INR 429,025,555).

Further, a 2016 study by the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, estimated that FICNs worth around INR 4 billion were in circulation in the economy at any given point in time and FICNs with a face value of INR 700 million were injected into the country by Pakistan. The study was conducted by Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata under the supervision of National Investigation Agency (NIA) and was presented to the Prime Minister in February/March in 2016. It is believed that the study, which is not available in public domain, was the key to the Government’s decision to demonetize INR 1,000 and INR 500 notes. The study was quoted by the Union Minister of State for Finance, Arjun Ram Meghwal, in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Indian Parliament) on August 2, 2017.

Indeed, India has been facing the menace of fake currency for quite a long time. It is known that Pakistan’s external intelligence agency, Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), is the major supplier of FICNs in India, and partly underpins its proxy war with counterfeit currency, which is also seen as an instrument for destabilising the Indian economy.

The Government of India has introduced several initiatives to tackle the problem of FICN. A Terror Funding and Fake Currency Cell (TFFC) was established in 2010 under National Investigation Agency (NIA), to detect and interdict terrorist funding and FICN.

As Bangladesh is a major route for the transfer of FICN into India, New Delhi and Dhaka inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for full cooperation to tackle the problem of fake currency smuggling, at a meeting of the Joint Task Force on Fake Currency Notes (JTFFC) in Dhaka held on August 12 and 13, 2015.

In a ‘major step’ to deal with the problem of black money and FICN networks the Government decided, on November 8, 2017, to demonetize old notes of INR 500 and INR 1000 and replaced them with new INR 500 and INR 2,000 notes. Prime Minister Narendra Modi thus announced,
…But have you ever thought about how these terrorists get their money? Enemies from across the border run their operations using fake currency notes. This has been going on for years… Honest citizens want this fight against corruption, black money, benami property, terrorism and counterfeiting to continue… This step will strengthen the hands of the common man in the fight against corruption, black money and fake currency…

Though the actual benefits of the demonetization process are yet to be quantified, reports suggest that this step has not brought the desired result in stemming the FICN flow to as large an extent as projected by the Government.

Indeed, after a short span of just three months after the demonetisation process, it was reported that ‘high quality’ FICNs of new INR 2,000 were again being pushed into India across borders, especially through Bangladesh. FICNs of INR 2000 denomination pumped into India  through the bordering districts of West Bengal – Malda and Murshidabad – demonstrate that, in some cases, the ‘agencies involved’ have managed to copy 11 out of the 17 security features of the new notes printed by the Reserve Bank of India. Sources indicate that these FICNs look more like the original than those recovered during earlier raids in Bengaluru, Gujarat and Haryana, which were essentially colour copies printed on laser or inkjet printers.

Crucially most of the cases related to FICNs after the demonetisation have been traced to Bangladeshi borders, especially along the Malda and Murshidabad Districts of West Bengal, and the East Khasi and South Garo Hills of Meghalaya, among other points. On April 5, 2017, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju informed the Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Indian Parliament):
…within six months of introducing new currency notes of Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 denominations, fake currency in both denominations worth Rs 6.2 crores [INR 6,20,00,000] has been recovered. The fake currency peddlers are also using a new route now. Most of the money has been routed via the porous Indo-Bangladesh border. Over Rs 30 lakh [INR 30,00,000] were recovered from West Bengal alone and another Rs 4.68 lakh [INR 4,68,000] from Assam. Only Rs 2.52 lakh [INR 2,52,000] were recovered from Jammu and Kashmir, another Rs 4.4 lakh [INR 4,40,000] from Punjab and Rs 2.3 lakh [INR 2,30,000] from Himachal Pradesh.

According to partial data compiled by the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), a total of 122 persons were arrested along with FICNs with a face value of INR 48,076,090 from different parts of the country after the demonetization on November 8, 2016 (data till June 29, 2017). Among them, 21 persons were arrested from Gujarat along with FICNs worth of INR 15,253,500 and 17 persons were arrested from West Bengal along with FICNs worth of INR 6,766,000.

Investigations related to most of the FICN cases in Gujarat revealed their ‘Malda (West Bengal) connection’. Moreover, several Bengalis and even Bangladeshi citizens have been arrested in connection with these cases in Gujarat. In some cases, Police also recovered Bangladeshi currency. Police suspect that labourers from West Bengal who work in Gujarat were being used as ‘mules’ to circulate FICN in Gujarat. In addition, Bangladeshi law-enforcement agencies identified and neutralized a FICN racket in Dhaka on April 17, 2017, and discovered that Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) operatives trained local Bangladeshis and provided them with FICN-printing technologies, enabling their production within Bangladesh.

A June 22, 2017, report revealed that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had warned the Uttar Pradesh (UP) Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) about 80 Bangladeshi women in Agra and Firozabad in UP, who were suspected to be engaged in FICN dealings. Most of these women are believed to pose as grocery vendors, while their real business is dealing in fake currency. According to the report, the activities of these women, whose identities have not yet been disclosed, are being monitored by NIA.

Though FICNs are principled pumped in through the India-Bangladesh border, large quantities have recovered in Gujarat. However, their source and origin remains Pakistan. Worryingly, in February 2017, Intelligence inputs confirmed that the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) had activated its networks in Bangladesh and Nepal, once again to transfer FICN into India. Reports indicate that ISI has roped in gang lord Dawood Ibrahim’s network – the principal 1993 Mumbai serial bombings accused – and are using his men, who also function in Mumbai.

While FICNs of the denomination INR 100 are also in circulation, ISI started printing high quality INR 2,000 and INR 500 notes almost immediately after the release of the new currencies. Intelligence Bureau (IB) officials also suspect that the ‘Rawalpindi module’ may have printed at least INR 1,000 crore worth of FICN in January 2017. According to sources, the notes are printed in Rawalpindi and transferred to Dubai (UAE) through flights, from where they are transported to Dhaka in Bangladesh, again by air, after which ‘mules’ (couriers) are hired to drop off consignments at Malda in West Bengal, which has become a major hub of FICN and illegal narcotics smuggling. Unsurprisingly, the Bangladeshi media has reported several instances of FICN recovery by their authorities, and all the arrested FICN smugglers were seen to have a direct link with Pakistan.

According to the Government of India, high quality FICNs are printed in sophisticated presses located in Pakistan, and are distributed through a self sustaining criminal network in the South and South East Asian Region, transferring fake notes to via Nepal, Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Gujarat Police suspects that the FICN have been pumped into the State as part of an international racket originating from Pakistan and Dubai and coming to India, and especially Gujarat, via Bangladesh and Nepal.

India’s administrative and security measures have evidently failed, thus far, to stem the flow of FICNs across borders, and this constitutes a major obstacle to dealing with the threat of terrorism as well. According to a June June 20, 2017, report citing intelligence sources), terrorist outfits such as Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and Indian Mujahideen (IM), which were in relative hibernation for the preceding three to four years in the southern States, were now reviving their ‘sleeper modules’ for subversive activities, including pushing FICNs of the newly-issued INR 2,000 and INR 500 denominations into these States to finance their activities and trigger unrest. An unnamed senior intelligence officer was cited as stating, “To avoid detection, these modules are suspected to be using proxies to push through the FICN to Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. These currencies are brought in from neighbouring countries via West Bengal, Assam and Punjab.” The report further stated that intelligence agencies were monitoring the flow of INR 2,000 and INR 500 FICNs to southern states post demonetisation, and had found that the maximum flows were reported from Gujarat, West Bengal, Assam and Punjab.

Absent failsafe security features and continuously renewed designs, counterfeiters appear slated to stay ahead of enforcement agencies seeking to check the flow of FICN into and across the country.


NEWS BRIEFS

Weekly Fatalities: Major Conflicts in South Asia
June 26 - July 2, 2017

 

Civilians

Security Force Personnel

Terrorists/Insurgents

Total

INDIA

 

Jammu and Kashmir

2
0
2
4

Manipur

0
1
4
5

Meghalaya

0
0
1
1

Left-Wing Extremism

 

Chhattisgarh

0
0
2
2

Total (INDIA)

2
1
9
12
Provisional data compiled from English language media sources.


BANGLADESH

Now militants have no strength to carry out attacks like one on Holey Artisan cafe, says CTTC chief Monirul Islam: Monirul Islam, the chief of Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit said that now militants have no strength to carry out attacks like the one on Holey Artisan cafe as they have got their backbones broken during anti-militant drives across the country. He said “They may try to get reorganized again but we’ll hunt down the absconding militants, too. So far, eight militants who were involved in planning and coordination in the attack have already been killed in different places across the country during anti-militant operations in the last one year.” New Age, June 30, 2017.

Government to create 50,000 more Police posts to strengthen capacity of law enforcement agency, says Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal: Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told the Parliament on June 30 (toady) that the Government has decided to create 50,000 more posts with Bangladesh Police to further strengthen the capacity of the law enforcement agency. The Minister said the members of law enforcement agencies are working relentlessly to maintain law and order, all the while ensuring safety and security of the people and their properties. Dhaka Tribune, June 30, 2017.

Terrorism and militancy are big barriers to the country's development and security' says Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina while responding to a tabled question in Parliament during the PM’s question-answer session on June 28 said terrorism and militancy are big barriers to the country’s development and security. The Prime Minister told the House that Bangladesh is a country of religious harmony and its people hate communalism and militancy. “Bangladesh is now considered as a ‘role model’ in eliminating militancy through effective steps and planning,” she said. Dhaka Tribune, June 29, 2017.

38 Bangladeshis have travelled through various countries to reach Syria and join IS, says intelligence report: According to one intelligence report, at least 38 Bangladeshis have travelled through various countries to reach Syria and join the Islamic State (IS). There have been a number of reports of Bangladeshis, both locals and expatriates, joining the terrorist group IS over a period of about three years. Some have travelled straight to Syria to join IS while others were radicalized abroad while studying or working and then moved to the Middle East. Dhaka Tribune, June 28, 2017.


INDIA

Stone-throwing in Kashmir on the wane, says CRPF DG Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar: There has been a sharp drop in the number of stone-throwing incidents in the Kashmir Valley this year (2017), Director-General (DG), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar said on July 1. “Last year [2016], around 1,600 incidents were reported when CRPF personnel were attacked with stones. This year [2017], the number has fallen to fewer than half, around 700 incidents maybe. There are days when there is no such incident,” Bhatnagar said. The Hindu, July 2, 2017.

Operation Pigeon 'saves' 350 youths from IS in Kerala: Days after news of the massive Islamic State (IS) recruitment drive from north Kerala's villages in mid-2016 shocked the state, Kerala police launched a de-radicalisation drive named Operation Pigeon aimed at preventing a repeat of a Padanne-like situation. What started as a focused drive in "certain areas'' in Kasaragod District, spread across the state with various agencies mining social media to prepare a list of "vulnerable Malayali youth'. The tally at the end of initial online recce came to 350. Times of India, June 30, 2017.

Demand for integration of Naga-inhabited areas difficult, says Nagaland CM Liezietsu: Chief Minister (CM) Shürhozelie Liezietsu on June 28 said that the demand for integration of the whole Naga-inhabited areas may be difficult at present. Addressing a meeting