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SAIR Archive            SOUTH ASIA INTELLIGENCE REVIEW          LATEST ON SATP
Weekly Assessments & Briefings
Volume 16, No. 22, November 27, 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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Rudderless Reds
Ajit Kumar Singh
Research Fellow, Institute for Conflict Management

On November 20, 2017, a ‘commander’ of Communist Party of India (CPI-Maoist)’s ‘Jan Militia (People’s Army)’, identified as Baman Kawasi aka Chaman, carrying a reward of INR 100,000, was arrested by Chhattisgarh Police from neighbouring Telangana. Acting on specific inputs, the Chhattisgarh Police arrested Chaman from the Husnabad area in the Khammam District of Telangana. Chaman was a native of the Kuwakonda Police Station area in the Dantewada District of Chhattisgarh. The ‘People’s Army’, with an estimated current strength of around 12,000 cadres, forms the backbone of the Maoists’ operational capabilities, and is responsible for intelligence gathering, spreading ideology and also mobilizing people into joining the group.

On the same day, Akash Singh (24), an ‘area commander’ of the People’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI), a breakaway faction of CPI-Maoist, surrendered before Simdega (Jharkhand) Superintendent of Police (SP), Rajiv Ranjan Singh. Akash Singh of the Kolebira area in Simdega District had joined PLFI in 2012 and carried an INR 200,000 reward on his head in Jharkhand.

On November 17, 2017, Police claimed that two CPI-Maoist ’commanders’ were killed in an encounter with the Police in the Kanhaiguda Forests of Sukma District of Chhattisgarh. Each of the two slain Maoists carried a reward of INR 800,000. Interestingly, however, their identity was not revealed in media reports.

On October 31, 2017, a PLFI ‘area commander’, identified as Maina Gope, and three other cadres were killed in an encounter with Security Force (SF) personnel at Palsi village under Karra Police Station in the Khunti District of Jharkhand.

On October 25, 2017, SFs killed three Maoists, including Rakesh Dugga and Ranjit Nureti, ‘commander’ and ‘deputy commander’, respectively, of the Pallemadi Local Operation Squad (LOS); and Mahesh Potavi of the Madanwada LOS. The three operated together in the Kopenkadka village forest in the Khadgaon Police Station area of the Rajnandgaon District in Chhattisgarh. While Rakesh and Ranjit carried head money of INR 500,000 each, Mahesh carried a reward of INR 300,000. Dipanshu Kabra, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Durg Range, disclosed, on October 26, “After last night’s [October 25] action, the Pallemadi LOS has virtually been finished off.” The Pallemadi and Madanwada LOSs were instrumental in the July 12, 2009, attack at Manpur in Rajnandgaon District in which cadres of the CPI-Maoist had killed 29 Police personnel, including Rajnandgaon Superintendent of Police (SP) Vinod Kumar Chaubey. The Pallemadi LOS, according to reports, was looking after Maoist activities in tri-junction forests of Rajnandgaon, Kanker and Balod; all Districts of Chhattisgarh.

According to partial data compiled by the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), at least 949 leadership elements of Left Wing Extremists (LWEs) across the country have been neutralized since 2010 (data till November 26, 2017). These included at least 19 national level leaders, 214 state level leaders, and 716 local level leaders. In 2017, at least 131 LWE leadership elements were neutralized across the country, including 23 State level leaders and 108 local level leaders.

LWE Leadership Element Neutralized since 2010

Category

Killed
Arrested
Surrendered
Total

National

3
15
1
19

State

20
163
31
214

Local

102
335
279
716

Total

125
513
311
949
Source: SATP, *Data till November 26, 2017

While SFs killed 125 of these 949 leadership elements (three national level leaders, 20 state level leaders and 102 local level leaders), they arrested 513 (15 national level leaders, 163 state level leaders, and 335 local level leaders). Mounting SF pressure also resulted in the surrender of 311 Maoist leaders: one national level leader, 31 State level leaders, and 279 local level leaders. In 2017, SFs have killed at least 29 LWE leadership elements across the country (two State level leaders and 27 local level leaders), while another 58 were arrested (10 state level leaders and 48 local level leaders). 44 Maoist leaders surrendered in 2017 (11 State level and 33 local level).

At the time of its formation in 2004, CPI-Maoist reportedly had a 16-member strong ‘politburo’, the outfit’s highest decision making body. Those listed in the ‘politburo’ included: Muppalla Laxmana Rao aka Ganapathi, Prashanth Bose aka Nirbhay, Cherukuri Raja Kumar aka Uday aka Azad, Mallojula Koteshwara Rao aka Prahallad aka Kishenji, Nambala Keshavarao aka Basavraj aka Ganganna, Kobad Ghandy aka Saleem, Pramod Mishra aka Ban Bihari aka Janardhan, Sumanand Singh aka Sujith Da aka Sumith, Malla Raji Reddy aka Meesalanna aka Sathenna, Mallajula Venugolpal aka Bhupathi, Katakam Sudershan aka Anand aka Mohan, Mishir Besra aka Bhaskar aka Sunirmal, Akilesh Yadav aka Prabodh aka Satish aka Prashant, Balraj aka B.R. aka Arvind, Sushil Roy, B Narayan Sanyal aka Naveen Prasad aka Bijoy Dada. Of these, two have been killed: Cherukuri Raja Kumar aka Azad (killed on July 2, 2010) and Mallojula Koteshwara Rao aka Kishenji (killed on November 24, 2011). Another two died due to illness: Sushil Roy (on June 18, 2014) and B. Narayan Sanyal aka Bijoy Dada (on April 17, 2017). Four have been arrested: Kobad Ghandy aka Saleem (arrested on September 21, 2009); Balraj aka B.R. (arrested on February 8, 2010); Pramod Mishra aka Ban Bihari (arrested on May 11, 2008, acquitted on August 2, 2017); and Akilesh Yadav aka Prabodh (arrested on June 12, 2011, and acquitted in 2015). There are, at present, only eight members of the original ‘politburo’ ‘in position’ or whose whereabouts are not known.

Similarly, at the time of its formation in 2004, the CPI-Maoist reportedly had a 34-member strong ‘central committee (CC)’, the second highest decision making body in the outfit. The ‘CC’ included all the 16 members of the ‘politburo’ and another 18 members: Ashuthosh aka Bipul, Chandari Yadav aka Prayag aka Pralay, Ranjit Bose aka Kanchan, Vijay Kumar Arya aka Dilip Ji, Jantu Mukherji aka Shahebda, Rohit aka Mohit, Mohan aka Mahesh, Thipparthi Tirupathi aka Devuji aka Chetan, Jinugu Narisimhareddy aka Jampanna, Akkiraju Hara Gopal aka Ramakrishna aka RK, Krishnan Srinivasan aka Vishnu aka Sreedhar, Kuppu Dev Raj aka Kuppu Swamy, Anuradha Ghandy aka Janaki, Sande Rajamouli aka Prasad aka Murali, Gajanand aka Paresh, Lanka Papireddy aka Ranganna, Dev Kumar Singh aka Aravind, and Varanasi Subramanyam aka Sukanth. Of these latter 18, at least two have been killed, nine arrested, and one surrendered: Sande Rajamouli aka Prasad (killed on June 22, 2007), Kuppu Dev Raj aka Kuppu Swamy (killed on November 24, 2016), Ashuthosh aka Bipul (arrested in March 2009), Ranjit Bose aka Kanchan (arrested on December 3, 2010), Vijay Kumar Arya aka Dilip Ji (arrested on April 29, 2011), Jantu Mukherji aka Shahebda (arrested on April 30, 2011), Rohit aka Mohit (arrested, date not specified), Jinugu Narisimhareddy aka Jampanna (arrested on August 8, 2010), Krishnan Srinivasan aka Vishnu aka Sreedhar (arrested on August 19, 2007), Gajanand aka Paresh (arrested in May 2013), Varanasi Subramanyam aka Sukanth (arrested on April 20, 2011), and Lanka Papireddy aka Ranganna (surrendered on February 2, 2008). Further, Anuradha Ghandy aka Janaki died due to illness on April 12, 2008. Thus, at present there are only five of these 18 ‘in position’ or whose whereabouts are not known. Moreover, at least five members appear to be added to the ‘alternate CC’: including Pulluri Prasad Rao aka Chandranna, Kadari Satyanarayana Reddy aka Sadhu aka Gopanna, Modem Bala Krishna aka Bhaskar, Pankaj, and Patel Sudhakar Reddy aka Vikas. Of these five ‘alternate CC’ members, Patel Sudhakar Reddy was killed on May 24, 2009, while the whereabouts of the remaining four are not known. Thus, only 17 members of the 39-member ‘CC’, including the ‘alternate CC’, are ‘operational’: eight ‘politburo’, five ‘CC’, and four ‘alternate CC’ members. Further, according to a September 27, 2017, report, another three have been added to the ‘CC’ – Milind Teltumde (54), Ravalu Srinivas (53), and Sudhakar aka Oggu Burlal Satwaji (60), all of whom are reportedly underground. Further, Madvi Hidma, according to unconfirmed reports, has been promoted to the ‘CC’.

Crucially, the existing leadership is rapidly ageing and many top leaders are chronically ill. According to a September 27, 2017, report published in Telangana Today, seven of the existing 19 active ‘CC’ members (17 according to the SATP database) were 60 years old, or more: Muppalla Laxmana Rao aka Ganapathy (66), Katakam Sudershan (61), Ranjit Bose (61), Dev Kumar Singh (60), Malla Raji Reddy (60), Sudhakar aka Oggu Burlal Satwaji (60), and Prashant Bose (70).

Indeed, the report stated that, in a meeting of ‘CC’ members in February 2017, it was decided to relieve the ‘veteran comrades’ of crucial responsibilities, if they were unable to discharge their duties due to physical or health reasons. A resolution on this issue adopted in the 2017 ‘CC’ meeting was the culmination of a discussion on this serious problem of ageing leadership taken up during an earlier ‘CC’ meeting in 2013.

These developments have had cumulative impact on Maoist activities across the country. According to partial data compiled by SATP, the number of total fatalities recorded in LWE-linked violence in 2017 stands at 285 (data till November 26) as against 411 during the corresponding period of 2016. More significantly, the number of civilian fatalities has come down considerably, from 123 in 2016 to 88 in 2017. It is only for the second time since the formation of the CPI-Maoist that fatalities in this category have remained within two digits – in 2015 there were 93 civilian fatalities (lowest ever recorded in a single year) – though there is still over a month to go in the current year.

Indeed, Union Home Minister (UHM) Rajnath Singh stated, on November 3, 2017,
During the meeting, it was brought out that the declining trend of LWE (Left-Wing Extremism) violence continues across the country which has seen an overall reduction of 21 per cent in violent incidents over the corresponding period of last year. The LWE continue to remain under pressure with ever shrinking influence, both in terms of geographical spread and public support.

The Maoists are manifestly in decline. According to another report published in Telangana Today on September 27, 2017, the CPI-Maoist ‘CC’, which met in February 2017 to review the progress of the ‘revolutionary movement’ in the country, had passed a resolution admitting that their movement was going through a ‘difficult’ stage all over the country. Several expressions, such as ‘weak’, ‘set back’, ‘difficult state’, and ‘stagnation’, were used in the resolution to describe the status of the ‘revolutionary movement’ in areas falling under four of their Regional Bureaus across India:

Regional Bureaus

Areas
Status

Northern Regional Bureau (NRB)

Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh (UP)
Very Weak

Eastern Regional Bureau (ERB)

Bihar Jharkhand Special Area Committee (BJSAC)
Set Back
North-Bihar North East Jharkhand SAC
Set Back
2 U Special Area Committee - parts of UP and Uttarakhand
Set Back
West Bengal State Committee
Set Back
Upper Assam Leading Committee
Weak/ Set Back

Central Regional Bureau (CRB)

Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee
Difficult State
Andhra-Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee
Set Back
Odisha State Committee
Weak
Telangana State Committee
Set Back

South West Regional Bureau (SWRB)

Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu
Stagnation with only mass organisation activity

Clearly, the Maoists are a worried lot. In an effort to restore activities, efforts to strengthen their top leadership has been initiated to overcome this “difficult phase”. According to unconfirmed media reports, the ‘chief’ of ‘Battalion No.1’ of the People's Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA), Madvi Hidma (32), has reportedly been ‘promoted’ to the ‘CC’. If this is confirmed, Hidma would be among the youngest ever ‘CC’ members. Moreover, it seems that the Maoists have made ‘strategic shift’ in identifying future leaders. An unnamed senior Police officer observed, “The ramifications of his (Hidma’s) promotion are many. This could be a new era of Maoist leadership as this is the first time that a Bastariya will be given command of the region...” In the past, the ‘CC’ almost entirely comprised Telugu leaders from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, and had long been accused of ignoring local tribal ‘commanders’ of the Bastar region, despite the fact that Bastar had emerged as a Maoist stronghold over the last many years, particularly after the set back the Maoists suffered in undivided Andhra Pradesh . An unnamed senior officer noted that, though informers had confirmed Hidma’s promotion, things were still not clear: “We can confirm only when we see it in any Maoist literature.”

With their top leadership in doubt after suffering tremendous losses over the past years the Maoists are now at in disarray. This is an opportunity for the state to consolidate its power and activities, to fill the existing vacuum in areas of past Maoist ‘disruptive dominance’, and to restore governance and public services. The Maoists are certain to attempt a revival; their success or failure will depend essentially and inversely on the failure or success of SFs and the administration to take advantage of the present reverses the rebels have suffered.

PAKISTAN
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Balochistan: Ethnic Carnage
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management

Five bullet-riddled bodies of ethnic Punjabis were recovered by Levies Force personnel in the Tajaban area of Turbat tehsil (revenue unit) in the Kech District of Balochistan on November 18, 2017. The Levies Force disclosed that all the victims had received multiple bullet injuries and belonged to the Gujrat District of Punjab.

Three days earlier, 15 bullet-riddled bodies were recovered by Levies Force personnel in the Buleda area of Turbat tehsil in the Kech District on November 15, 2017. Makran District Commissioner Bashir Ahmed Bangulzai said that all the victims apparently belonged to various districts of Punjab, and were allegedly en route to Iran through an infrequent route illegally. Each of them received multiple bullets wounds from a close range. According to District Commissioner Kech Darmon Bhawani, “Armed men had kidnapped these men near the Iranian border and shot them near Goruk.” Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF) had taken responsibility for the attack. An alleged BLF commander, Younas Taukali, involved in the incident was later killed on November 17, 2017, during a Security Forces (SFs) operation. Inter-Services Public Relation (ISPR) claimed that BLF leader Taukali was killed by the Frontier Constabulary (FC) near Alandur, Abdur Rehman village in Kech District.

2017 also witnessed several other major incidents (each involving three or more fatalities) where non-ethnic Baloch people were targeted. Prominent among these were:

August 20: Three Punjabi labourers, who were abducted by unidentified militants four days earlier, were found dead in the Hoshab area of Kech District in Balochistan. These labourers, who belonged to the Rahim Yar Khan District of Punjab, were working on a development project in the area. The bodies were found with multiple bullet injuries. No group claimed responsibility for the attack.

May 19: Unidentified militants shot dead three labourers and injured another in Hoshab town, Turbat District. The slain labourers were part of a team working in the coastal Makran Division on a major highway linking the port-city of Gwadar to the provincial capital of Quetta. No group claimed responsibility for the attack.

May 13: At least 10 labourers were killed and two were injured when unidentified motorcycle-borne assailants opened fire at a construction site in the Pishgan area of Gwadar. Senior Levies Official Muhammad Zareef stated, "All the labourers were shot at close range." The slain labourers belonged to the Naushahro Feroze District of Sindh. Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) had claimed responsibility of the attack.

According to partial data compiled by the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), a total of 198 settlers have been killed in Balochistan since the killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti , leader of the Bugti tribe and President of the Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP), on August 26, 2006. Bugti was killed in a military operation in the Chalgri area of the Bhamboor Hills in Dera Bugti District. Out of the 198 ‘outsiders’ killed, at least 75 were Punjabis. 23 Punjabi settlers have already been killed in the current year (data till November 26, 2017). 2016 witnessed no attack on Punjabis, while the number of such fatalities stood at a total of six in 2015; 17 in 2014; 29 in 2013; 26 in 2012; 13 in 2011; 21 in 2010; 18 in 2009; and one in 2008. No such fatalities were recorded in 2007 and 2006. While Punjabis have been the main targets, other ethnic groups, like Urdu-speaking people from Karachi and Hindko-speaking settlers from Haripur District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), have also been singled out in acts of ethnic violence.

A series of attacks on Punjabi and other non-Baloch settlers in Balochistan, as well as the destruction of national infrastructure have followed the killing of Akbar Bugti. These killings have been orchestrated by Baloch militant organizations such as the BLA, BLF and the Baloch Republican Army (BRA), among others, who began to voice anti-Punjabi sentiments in their slogans in the wake of the military action against Bugti. A media report published on June 28, 2011, had noted, “Almost all non-Baloch are on their hit-list.” Muhammad Khalid of Balochistan-Punjabi Ittehad stated, “The militants began to target the Punjabi settlers after Nawab Bugti was taken out by the military (in August, 2006). Before that there were occasional incidents in which Punjabis were targeted.”

Significantly, most of the Punjabi settler killings are recorded in South Balochistan (principally in Bolan, Kech, Gwadar, Panjgur, Khuzdar, Sibi and Lasbela Districts) which accounts for 156 killings; followed by 27 in North Balochistan (mostly in Nushki, Quetta and Mustang District). The overwhelming concentration of such killings in the South is because of the presence and dominance of Baloch insurgent groups in this region, while the North is dominated by Islamist extremist formations such as the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), who are primarily engaged in sectarian killings within Pakistan. The latter groups of Islamist terrorist formations enjoy the tacit support of Islamabad, which has, for long, used Islamist extremist violence as an instrument of domestic political management. These groups are engaged in a selective campaign against the Baloch people, and have sought to aggressively backed efforts to alter the region's demography.

The targeted killings of non-Baloch persons can also be attributed to the rampant extra judicial killings and forced disappearances by the Pakistani SFs in the region. According to the SATP database, the Province has recorded at least 6,726 fatalities since 2004, which includes 4,000 civilians, 1,486 militants and 1,240 SF personnel. The maximum number of fatalities in the ‘civilian’ category was the result of extra-judicial killings by SFs in retaliation to target killings of SF personnel by ethnic Baloch insurgents. Of the 4,000 civilian fatalities recorded in Balochistan since 2004 [data till November 26, 2017], at least 1,152 have been attributable to one or other terrorist/insurgent outfit. Of these, 395 civilian killings (225 in the South and 170 in the North) have been claimed by Baloch separatist formations, while Islamist and sectarian extremist formations – primarily LeJ, TTP and Ahrar-ul-Hind (Liberators of India) – claimed responsibility for another 757 civilian killings, 674 in the North (mostly in and around Quetta) and 83 in the South. The remaining 2,848 civilian fatalities – 1,693 in the South and 1,155 in the North – remain 'unattributed'. A large proportion of the ‘unattributed’ fatalities, particularly in the Southern region, are believed to be the result of enforced disappearances carried out by state agencies, or by their proxies, prominently including the Tehreek-e-Nafaz-e-Aman Balochistan (TNAB, Movement for the Restoration of Peace, Balochistan). The large number of unattributed civilian fatalities strengthens the widespread conviction that the Security Agencies are busy with “kill and dump” operations against local Baloch dissidents, a reality that Pakistan’s Supreme Court has clearly recognized.

According to the Federal Ministry of Human Rights, at least 936 dead bodies of ‘disappeared’ persons, often mutilated and bearing the signs of torture, have been found in Balochistan since 2011. Figures obtained from the Federal Ministry of Human Rights by the BBC Urdu on December 30, 2016, pointed to large-scale extrajudicial killings by state agencies and their proxies. Most of the bodies were dumped in Quetta, Qalat, Khuzdar and Makran areas, where the separatist insurgency has its roots. None of the mainstream media reported such state sponsored atrocities, as media reporting from these areas is strictly forbidden. The International Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (IVBMP) claims it has recorded 1,200 cases of dumped bodies, and there are many more it has not been able to document. 

According to IVBMP, Pakistani Forces (military, Frontier Corps, intelligence and Paramilitary) have abducted 480, killed 26 persons including women and children, and torched at least 500 properties in more than 100 offensives just between March 1 and March 31, 2017. Only 30 persons among those abducted have been released thus far. None of the abducted persons have been presented to any court or given the right to defend themselves. Balochistan’s Dasht, Tump, Mand, Dera Bugti, Kohlu, Quetta, and Makran regions have been the most affected areas, where Pakistani military carried out attacks and offensives against Baloch civilians. Recently on July 8, 2017, three civilians were killed and 265 were abducted by the Army from Dera Bugti and Mastung. The Army also reportedly ‘stole’ civilian property and valuables, including 300 camels.

While the SFs are engaged in a systematic campaign of extermination of the ethnic Baloch people through enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings, Baloch militants, in turn, frequently target non-Baloch people, particularly Punjabis, in acts of revenge, and as a measure to block the state-backed project of the demographic re-engineering of the Province. This cycle of the systematic genocide of Baloch people and retaliatory targeted killings is unlikely to end in the foreseeable future.


NEWS BRIEFS

Weekly Fatalities: Major Conflicts in South Asia
November 20 - 26, 2017

 

Civilians

Security Force Personnel

Terrorists/Insurgents

Total

INDIA

 

Jammu and Kashmir

0
3
5
8

Manipur

2
0
0
2

Left-Wing Extremism

 

Chhattisgarh

1
0
0
1

Maharashtra

2
1
0
3

Telangana

1
0
0
1

INDIA (Total)

6
4
5
15

PAKISTAN

 

Balochistan

6
1
3
10

KP

0
2
1
3

Punjab

0
0
4
4

PAKISTAN (Total)

6
3
8
17
Provisional data compiled from English language media sources.

BANGLADESH

Dhaka High Court delivers verdict for BDR mutiny: Dhaka High Court on November 26 sentenced 151 Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) men and a civilian to death, life terms to 158 BDR men and two civilians and varying jail terms to 256 others, mostly BDR men. In his observations, presiding judge, Justice Mohamad Shawkat Hossain called it 'a historic case about pre-planned massacre of 57 brilliant Army officers, then serving BDR on deputation, by some ambitious BDR sepoys during their 30-hour mutiny spanning February 25 and 26, 2009'. During the mutiny which began shortly after the BDR Director General stood to deliver his speech at the Durbar Hall of the BDR headquarters, the mutineers gunned down their commanders. The BDR men began the mutiny to realize their demands including not to send army officers on deputation as BDR commanders. New Age, November 27, 2017.

Government to equip NSI with mobile tracking system to tackle terror and criminal activities: The Government will equip the National Security Intelligence (NSI) with a digital tracking system to build up its capacity in tackling terror and criminal activities conducted through mobile phones and internet. To this end, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on November 22 approved a BTK 38.5 crore project to buy necessary equipment, including mobile phone and wi-fi network interceptors. The devices will be bought under the direct procurement method. The sophisticated equipment (interceptors) will help the intelligence agency trace such criminals quickly. The Daily Star, November 25, 2017.


INDIA

JuD chief Hafiz Saeed walks free, says he will fight for 'Kashmir cause': The chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed walked from house arrest as a free man on November 23. The Judicial Review Board of Punjab province comprising judges of the Lahore High Court (LHC) had unanimously ordered Saeed's release on the completion of his 30-day house arrest. He was set free after the Pakistan Government decided against detaining him further in any case. Moments after the release he said, “I was detained for 10 months only to stop my voice for Kashmir. I fight the case of Kashmiris. I will gather the people from across the country for the cause of Kashmir. And we will try to help Kashmiris get their destination of freedom." Times of India, November 24, 2017. 

After failure of terror attacks in J&K, Pakistan's ISI targeting Hindu leaders in India; says report: Frustrated by the failure of terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and other places, Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) is now planning to target Hindu leaders in India to create communal tensions with other communities, top Government sources said. Sources said that the ISI carried out the first such attack in Punjab, where RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) leader Ravinder Gosain was shot dead in Ludhiana in broad daylight on October 17 by gunmen hired using money routed through Europe, Dubai and Mumbai. According to sources, investigation has revealed that the Pakistani spy agency would try to follow the same modus operandi in other parts of the nation as well. India Today, November 22, 2017.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh dismisses Islamic State's presence in Kashmir: Dismissing reports of the Islamic State (IS) gaining a foothold in Jammu and Kashmir, Union Home Minister (UHM) Rajnath Singh said that Indian Muslims would never allow the terrorist outfit to have a base in the country. Singh also said he has complete faith in the Indian youth that they would not let Islamic State misled them.  Firstpost, November 21, 2017. 

'Special Terrorist Zones' in Pakistan protecting LeT, JeM must end; says India at UN: Declaring that Afghanistan's stability and security was tied to that of the entire region, India has demanded an end to the ‘Special Terrorist Zones’ in Pakistan where militant outfits, the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) are protected. "It is imperative to address the support that terrorist organisations like the Taliban, Haqqani Network, Islamic State (IS), al Qaeda and its designated affiliates such as the LeT and JeM operating outside the fabric of international law, draw from outside Afghanistan," India's Deputy Permanent Representative, Tanmaya Lal told the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on November 20 during a debate on the situation in that country. India Today, November 21, 2017.


NEPAL

First phase of provincial and parliamentary elections held with voter turnout of over 65 per cent across the 32 Districts: The Election Commission (EC) stated that the first phase of provincial and parliamentary elections was held with a voter turnout of over 65 per cent across the 32 Districts that went to the polls on November 26. Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Ayodhi Prasad Yadav said at a press conference after the voting was over that voters enthusiastically