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Weekly Assessments & Briefings
Volume 4, No. 25, January 2, 2006

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



No Surprises in Bangalore
Ajai Sahni
Editor, SAIR; Executive Director, Institute for Conflict Management

Appalling as the senseless killing of an elderly scientist at one of India’s premier science institutions may be, there should have been no surprise over the terrorist attack at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore on the evening of December 28, 2005. Indeed, what is surprising is that an attack on such a target had not occurred earlier, given the capacities and intentions, as well as the frequent declaration of such intentions, by Pakistan-backed jihadi organizations, to target India’s economic muscle, and particularly its booming information technology (IT) sector, significantly concentrated in Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai.

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As usual, there has been much media furor over the opening of a ‘new theatre’ of terrorism, but this is, again, misleading and misinformed. ‘South India’ has generally been projected as an area free of the jihadi scourge, but it has been systematically targeted for years now, and has been the site of several waves of terrorist attacks in the past which have, unfortunately, been forgotten in the absence of a public and media memory that extends beyond immediate sensation. The sarkari (state-supported) jehadi groups based in Pakistan, as well as the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) have systematically developed an elaborate network across South India, and while this manifests itself in the drama of a terrorist attack only occasionally, it has been continuously discovered through a relentless chain of arrests and seizures of arms and explosives across the region, and over the years.

It is useful, first, to assess the more proximate indicators that augured the outrage at Bangalore. The most recent of these had come with the arrest of three persons at Delhi on December 26, whose interrogations revealed that, among their various planned targets, were software parks in South India. The trio, who had undergone training in the Balochistan province of Pakistan, had planned to target prominent politicians in Andhra Pradesh, software parks in Hyderabad and Bangalore, as well as markets and railway stations.

There had, further, been a suicide bombing at the office of the Police Special Task Force (STF) at Hyderabad on October 12, 2005, executed by a Bangladeshi national, Mohtasim Bilal. The subsequent arrest, on December 18, of Kaleem aka Arshad, in connection with this case revealed that three other persons, now believed to have returned to Bangladesh and Pakistan, were also involved in the Hyderabad operation. Kaleem confirmed the Bangladesh-Pakistan link in the terrorist strategy, disclosing that he had been recruited by Ghulam Yazdani aka Naveed, and had been taken to Bangladesh for training in weapons and explosives. Kaleem and Bilal returned to Hyderabad two weeks prior to the STF incident. The arrest of two persons involved in weapons smuggling from Bangladesh in the Murshidabad District of West Bengal, including a terrorist of the Harkat-ul-Jihad Islami Bangladesh (HUJI-BD) threw further light on this case. The HUJI-BD cadre, Hilaluddin aka Suhag Khan, a resident of the Rajshahi District of Bangladesh, admitted to his involvement in the STF office blast. A third person, Mohammad Ibrahim, arrested in Hyderabad and brought to Delhi for questioning in early December, revealed that Pakistan’s ISI was running terrorist training camps in Balochistan, and had been ferrying both Indian and Bangladeshi nationals there for weapons and explosives training. Ibrahim revealed further that Bangalore was the target of militants operating from Bangladesh. Ibrahim had crossed over to Bangladesh in December 2004, was sent to train in Pakistan in April 2005, and was specifically tasked to attack the Software Technology Park in Bangalore on his return.

The Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) has, for some time now, been instructing cadres to attack unconventional targets such as the IT industry, as well as leading scientific and industrial establishments across the country, particularly in Bangalore and Hyderabad. The arrest of an LeT cadre in Kashmir in December 2005 had exposed plans for attacks on the IT infrastructure in Bangalore and Hyderabad. Sources also indicate that the Intelligence Bureau had communicated at least three alerts to the Bangalore Police in November 2005, regarding the possibility of attacks by the LeT and the Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen (JuM), on vital installations, including the Indian Institute of Science and IT companies in Bangalore, though specific targets and plans were not know.

Earlier, in May 2005, the police in Delhi had arrested an engineer who had worked for the public sector Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), and had recovered maps of HAL facilities at Kanpur and Bangalore from him.

On March 5, 2005, three LeT cadres were killed at Delhi. Subsequent arrests of some of their associates had revealed that these terrorists had visited Bangalore in December 2004 and surveyed the locations of several software companies there. Their planned targets included such software companies, HAL facilities, and the Indian Military Academy at Dehradun.

It is useful, also to take a brief overview of the major ISI-jehadi modules discovered and disrupted in the region in 2004 as well:.

January 10, 2004: Six youth suspected to be ISI agents were arrested from Hyderabad and Siddepet in the Medak district in Andhra Pradesh

March 9, 2004: A 40 year old Pakistani national, Arshad Mahmood, in possession of a Bangladeshi passport, was arrested at Hyderabad. Photographs of army units and locations, as well as sketch maps, were recovered from him.

June 10, 2004: The Andhra Pradesh Police arrested a suspected Hizb-ul-Mujahiddeen (HM) cadre, Anees Moinuddin, from the Begumpet Airport, Hydrabad.

August 29, 2004, Eight suspected LeT cadres, who planned to attack Americans visiting the State, and to incite communal tensions through a series of explosions, were arrested at Hyderabad, and explosives and other materials were recovered from them.

To detail the sequence of terrorist attacks and activities in South India even further, it is useful to recall the series of 13 bomb blasts in various churches in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Goa between May and July 2000, executed by a Peshawar (Pakistan)-based Islamist sect, the Deendar Anjuman.

Another series of 19 explosions had earlier, on February 14, 1998, left over 50 dead and more than 200 injured in the Coimbatore District of Tamil Nadu. While the Al Umma group, founded by S.A. Basha, was blamed, investigations and subsequent arrests exposed the involvement of the ISI and a wide network of extremist Islamist organisations across South India. These included the Indian Muslim Mohammadi Mujahideen, the Tanzim Islahul Muslimeen, the Jihad Committee in Tamil Nadu; and the Islamic Sevak Sangh, subsequently banned and revived as the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), headed by Abdul Nasser Madani, in Kerala.

The first major bomb blast in Tamil Nadu occurred in 1993 when the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) office was blown up in Chennai. It was reported that Islamic fundamentalist groups, which had been proliferating, had masterminded the blast. Imam Ali, who was arrested in 1994 in the in the Mettupalayam forests in 1994 while imparting weapons training to youth, was believed to have been trained by extremist organizations operating in Kashmir, and some linkages were also established with Bangladesh. Three bomb blasts were subsequently reported on different trains in Tamil Nadu and Kerala on December 6, 1997, and pamphlets recovered from the incident site pointed to the involvement of the Islamic Defence Force (IDF). Ten members of two Islamic fundamentalist groups were chargesheeted on October 5, 1998, for a bomb blast on a Coimbatore-bound train on December 6, 1997. The IDF also claimed responsibility for a bomb blast that occurred under the Anna flyover in Chennai on January 10, 1998. This was followed by another blast in a rice mill at Thanjavur on February 8, 1998. Police investigations revealed that Abdul Khader, son of the mill owner, Abdul Hameed, was connected to Muslim fundamentalist organisations.

These various arrests and activities need to be assessed within the context of declarations by the Pakistani Islamist extremist leaders regarding an India-wide campaign of terrorism to further their objectives. Thus, Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, the Amir of the LeT, declared, in July 2005, “The jihad in Kashmir would soon spread to entire India. Our mujahideen would create three Pakistans in India.”

Syed Salahuddin, the head of the HM had similarly declaimed, “Almighty Allah, by his will and tactics, is bringing the Jihad Movement of Kashmir on a track that will liberate not only the oppressed people of Jammu and Kashmir but also crores of Muslims and other minorities in India oppressed by Brahmin imperialists…” . There is, indeed, a continuous stream of statements from jihadi leaders, over the years, in the same vein, revealing objectives and strategies that go far beyond the ‘Kashmir issue’, and that comprehend a  strategy of subversion, disruption and terror across India. Crucially, this strategy and vision is integral, not only to the jihadi perspective, but underlies the state structures in Pakistan that support such terrorist groups, and, indeed, the basic ideology that underpins the Pakistani state and identity. Official pretensions of action against terrorist groups in Pakistan notwithstanding, it remains clear that all major jihadi groups currently acting in India continue to be based in and operate openly from Pakistan, and to receive support and instructions from the state apparatus in Pakistan. There is evidence, also, of increasing cooperation between the ISI and Bangladesh’s Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI) in this regard, and between Pakistani and Bangladeshi jihadi groupings.

Unsurprisingly, according to data compiled by the Institute for Conflict Management, at least 54 ISI-jehadi modules have been disrupted just over the years 2004-2005, leading to hundreds of arrests across India – outside Jammu and Kashmir and the troubled Northeast – in locations that extend from Uttaranchal in the North, to Andhra Pradesh in the South, and from Gujarat in the West to West Bengal in the East. Further, official sources indicate that, between 1998 and 2003, security agencies had neutralized more than 180 ISI-backed terrorist modules across the country (excluding J&K and the Northeast), who had been tasked to target security and vital installations, communication links, and commercial and industrial centres, as well as to provoke instability and disorder by circulating large quantities of counterfeit currency and by drug trafficking.

The attack in Bangalore was only the more visible evidence of a long-term war of attrition by Pakistani state agencies and their jehadi surrogates, intended to undermine India’s political stability, increasingly by attacking its economic, scientific and technological strengths. The objective is to gradually undermine India’s capacities for growth, as well as to weaken international confidence in the country and to create an atmosphere of pervasive terror over wide areas that would dampen the country’s capacity to attract foreign investment.

It is important to note, however, that despite occasional and inevitable ‘successes’, this relentless strategy – which has targeted virtually every concentration of Muslim populations in India for decades – has overwhelmingly failed to secure a base within the community, beyond a minuscule radical fringe. Further, the record of intelligence and security agency successes against such subversion and terror, although lacking the visibility and drama of a terrorist strike, is immensely greater than the record of the successes of this strategy.



Nepal : The State Retreats, the Maoists Pursue
Saji Cherian
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management

The year 2005 has been a roller-coaster ride for Nepal, with unexpected and gut-wrenching twists and turns for each of the three major players in the conflict – the King, the Communist Party of Nepal – Maoist (CPN-Maoist) and the political parties. After over nine years of the Maoist insurgency, the ride suddenly became much bumpier after February 1, 2005, when King Gyanendra declared an Emergency and dismissed Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba’s Government on the tenuous grounds of the latter’s failure to secure a dialogue with the Maoists, as well as the Prime Minister’s apparent inability to organize elections. Although the King did not ban political parties, space for political activity was severely restricted. Tough emergency measures obstructed not just the political parties but also civil society, including the media and development agencies.

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With the Maoists dismissing any idea about peace talks and rejecting the King’s regime as a “medieval feudal autocracy”, Kathmandu’s strategy relied increasingly  on heavy-handed repression to ‘restore order’ in the country, barricading the capital and putting senior political party leaders under house arrest.

The King was on weak ground to secure his first objective of ‘restoring order’ in the country. With an estimated strength of just 80,000 soldiers in the Royal Nepalese Army (RNA), 17,000 personnel in the Armed Police Force (APF) and a poorly equipped Police Force comprising 47,000 men, the King simply lacked the numbers to contain an insurgency of the magnitude of the Maoist movement, in a population of nearly 27 million people, with every one of the country’s 75 districts currently afflicted. The Maoists have an estimated strength of between 8,000 to 10,000 well-armed and trained ‘regulars’, an additional 25,000 (on conservative estimates) ‘militia’ armed with relatively primitive weapons such as pipe guns and crude bombs, backed by a substantial number of ‘sympathisers’, officially estimated at about 200,000 in 2003, who can, under certain circumstances, be mobilised – voluntarily or coercively – for violent action. The current strength of 144,000 men in all state Forces cannot even provide a fraction of a minimally acceptable counter-insurgency Force ratio, which would have to exceed at least 1:10, and would approach a desirable (though far from optimal) level at 1:20. The ratio was further skewed in favour of the Maoists with the withdrawal of significant numbers of troops from the countryside to Kathmandu, for the protection and management of the capital. Also, a significant proportion of troops and officers were tied down in a wide range of civilian and static duties, including ‘editing’ newspapers at Kathmandu, and administering vital installations and services in the District headquarters.

The 47,000-strong civil Police provided little comfort within this context. With just 110 of the country’s 1,135 police stations still operational, this ill-equipped and demoralized Force remains huddled in District headquarters, divesting Kathmandu of what could have been its most significant source of field intelligence. In such a situation, the King’s operational strategy to counter Maoists showed no signs of any divergence from those followed by the Government he dismissed. This operational strategy has primarily relied on defensive warfare, with troops overwhelmingly guarding their own bases, rather than engaging in aggressive counter-terrorism operations.

In the  initial days following the emergency proclamation, though, a semblance of a military offensive was visible, when the RNA launched operations in selected areas in the Far West Districts of Baitadi, Achham and Dailekh, and in the Eastern Region Districts of Sankhuwasabha and Morang. However, these offensives were quickly dissipated, with the Maoists increasingly gaining the initiative. From April onwards, the insurgents launched major attacks in their stronghold areas.

  • On April 7, troops repulsed a major Maoist attack targeting an RNA base at Khara in the Rukum District, killing at least 166 insurgents. Three RNA personnel were also killed. Although the Maoists suffered heavy losses in the battle in Khara, this was unsurprising since the RNA had strengthened its defences, after the Maoists had overrun several of their bases in 2001 and 2002. The Khara operation provided crucial lessons for the Maoists as was highlighted by their chief Prachanda himself when he commented on April 12, 2005, “the two-day Khara campaign has provided valuable experiences and lessons and will help in taking the war to a new level.”

  • April 13: 60 Maoists were killed during clashes following an attack on a security patrol at Dalphing in the Rukum district.

  • April 19: 22 Maoist insurgents and three soldiers were killed during clashes at Rankot and Ramja in the Rolpa District.

  • May 15: At least 50 Maoists and two soldiers were killed during a clash at Jarayatar in the Sindhuli District. The clash occurred when security personnel were pursuing the insurgents who were returning to their hideouts after staging attack at three security bases in the eastern District of Siraha, where they killed four Armymen.

  • June 7: 14 security personnel, one civilian and six Maoists were killed in a clash when hundreds of heavily armed Maoists attacked a security patrol at Masuriya jungle in Kailali District.

  • June 25: 12 soldiers and six Maoists were killed during a Maoist attack on an Army patrol team at Khandaha in the Arghakhanchi District.

  • July 3: 12 insurgents were killed and two police personnel sustained injuries in a Maoist attack on Diktel, headquarters of the Khotang District.

  • August 7: The RNA recovered at least 40 bodies of its soldiers killed in a Maoist raid on the Pili Army base camp in Kalikot District. The Maoists also conceded the death of 26 cadres in the attack.

Complementing its defensive posture, the RNA has also encouraged the formation of village level militias to fight the Maoists. These ‘vigilante’ groups have targeted Maoists and their sympathisers, often leading to bloodshed, as was the case on August 14, when villagers at Matiniya in the Banke District killed five Maoist insurgents, including three women cadres. Such incidents of violence were also reported from the Districts of Dhading, Makwanpur, Nuwakot and Kapilvastu. The Minister for Information and Communication, Tanka Dhakal, had announced that the Government would implement development packages in those areas where the people take “courageous retaliatory action” against the Maoists. However, such encouragement projected a regime relying on unsound tactics, the results of which have often proven disastrous. As one commentator noted,

Though portrayed as a spontaneous uprising by common villagers against Maoists, village vigilante groups in Kapilvastu District have wrought carnage that can only invite Maoist retribution. A field study by a group of human rights organisations found that at least 42 villagers have died there, 31 of them killed by the vigilantes on suspicion of being Maoist sympathizers. What has gone underreported is that most of these killings, which occurred in the last half of February, have taken an ethnic/communal colour, as most of the victims are said to belong to hill tribes, who had settled in the fertile Terai plains over the last few years.

Nevertheless, on July 28, the King asserted there had been “considerable improvement… in the internal law and order situation of Nepal.” However, even after the ‘Royal appointment’ of five regional, 14 zonal and 75 district chairmen to oversee local administration, the state mechanism remained largely defunct as most of these appointees failed to take charge or resigned from their offices under Maoist death threats. Over three fourth of the Village Development Committee (VDC) offices damaged in the conflict have not been renovated and developmental works remain suspended in rural areas.

Year* Civilians Security Forces Maoists Total

                                * Institute for Conflict Management data

However, a comparison of the January to August data for the years 2001 to 2005 reveals that the violence in year 2005 was headed towards a larger figure, till the Maoist ceasefire intervened in September. Further, a 2005-monthly breakdown of fatalities reveals that the violence reached its zenith in April and May.


The Maoist response to February 1 ‘takeover’ was typical and swift. ‘Chairman’, Pushpa Kamal Dahal akaPrachanda’, announced a succession of general strikes, ‘wheel-jam’ agitations, shutdowns and blockades at the local and regional level. A ‘general strike’ was announced for three days between February 3 and 5, a 13-day blockade from February 13-26,  countrywide ‘mass mobilization and military resistance’ between March 14 and April 1 followed by a countrywide general shutdown from April 2. The success of these shutdowns and blockades were guaranteed, as the insurgents overwhelmingly dominated the three major highways of the country – Mahendra, Prithvi and Tribhuvan – and had the capacity to lock down the economy virtually at will, though Kathmandu was able to keep at least a single principal supply line open along the Tribhuvan Highway, under heavy military escort, to support a trickle of essential supplies to the capital.

Some differences within the senior Maoist ranks came to the fore during the first half of the year, when ‘disciplinary action’ was initiated against senior ideologue Dr. Baburam Bhattarai and his wife Hisila Yami. However, the differences were not sufficient to split or significantly weaken the outfit, and the leaders were later ‘reinstated’.

All Maoist offensives came to a halt, on September 3, when Prachanda, issued a Press Statement declaring a three-month truce, under which the Maoists would not undertake any ‘offensive activities’, but would “remain in a position of active defense and resist if there is an offensive from the side of the enemy (the Government)”. The Maoist chief also warned that, if the Government intensified its military offensive or expanded Army bases by interpreting the Maoist move as ‘weakness’, the ceasefire could be ended ‘at any point’.

The Maoist strategy that prompted the ceasefire announcement was multifaceted. The announcement was a first – and extremely successful – step towards the polarization of political forces in Nepal, with the King increasingly pitted against all others. This polarization has resulted in large-scale political demonstrations in Kathmandu and other places, with police resorting frequently to baton charges and tear-gassing to disperse crowds. The culmination of this strategy was the November 22 ‘Twelve-point Understanding’ reached between the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and seven Parliamentary parties, of which one key point was the “end of autocratic monarchy”, followed by “election to the Constituent Assembly as a process of establishing total democracy” – positions long held by the Maoists, but that were, till fairly recently, anathema to the political parties. Further, for the purpose of achieving ‘total democracy’, the understanding envisaged keeping “the Maoist armed forces and the Royal Army under the supervision of the United Nations” or any other reliable international institution during the process of election to the Constituent Assembly. These positions demonstrated a significant consolidation of the Maoist position, as the political parties diluted their stance on the Monarchy as an ‘essential pillar’ of Nepali politics and the demand for a ‘republic’ has now moved from the radical Maoist camp squarely into the democratic mainstream. With this understanding, consequently, the Maoist were able to dramatically alter the conflict dynamics in Nepal, which, prior to the ‘takeover’ was three-cornered, with the Maoists, the King and the political parties, each commanding a considerable pole of influence. After the ‘Twelve-point Understanding’, however, this was transformed into a two-dimensional tussle between the King at one end, and the Maoist-dominated coalition with political parties at the other.

The unilateral truce, moreover, has allowed the Maoists to concentrate on overground mobilization and political activity, while at the same time continuing with a process of quiet military refurbishment. A report released by the Kathmandu-based Informal Sector Service Center (INSEC), titled "Three Months of Ceasefire – An Assessment of Human Rights Situation during the Unilateral Ceasefire by CPN (Maoist) in Nepal", noted that 75 persons were killed by both the state and Maoists during the three month period of the cease-fire, between September 3 and December 2 – 62 persons killed by security forces, and 13 by the Maoists. The report noted further that, though number of killings from the Maoists’ side had decreased, there had been a rise in incidents of abduction. The Maoists abducted 8,777 people, mostly students and teachers, during the period, the report stated, adding that the studies of at least 30,000 students had been affected, as the Maoists continued to target schools in remote areas.

Following the ‘King’s coup’, foreign countries and international aid agencies expressed strong disappointment and suspended crucial financial and military aid to Nepal. On March 17, the British Government suspended part of the aid it had pledged to the Nepal Police, Prison Services and the Prime Minister's Office. A total of £ 2.4 million had been committed under these programmes, but £ 1.3 million remained unspent and was cancelled. On February 25, the World Bank informed the Nepal Government that it was suspending its US$ 70 million budgetary support for the current fiscal year, on the grounds that “extremely slow implementation of agreed reform measures” had ‘compelled” it to take such a decision. On July 20, condemning the ‘Royal takeover’, Norway cut the planned financial assistance to Nepal for 2006 by 10 per cent and terminated an agreement on support for the Melamchi Water Supply Project. The USA, India and the United Kingdom, Kathmandu’s principal military backers, suspended arms supplies to Nepal.

With the suspension of arms supplies from traditional sources like India, and with depleting ammunition stocks, the King has assiduously tried to woo China, with some success. In a bid to win over Beijing, just prior to the Royal takeover, Nepal shut down the Kathmandu office of the Dalai Lama’s Representative in Nepal as well as the Tibetan Refugee Welfare office in the capital. The King’s courtship was eventually rewarded when China supplied 4.2 million rounds of 7.62 mm rifle ammunition, 80,000 high-explosive grenades and 12,000 AK-series rifles to Nepal, in November 2005. The flirtation with China and Pakistan had intensified in October, when RNA chief, General Pyar Jung Thapa, visited Beijing, where he is understood to have closed a deal for certain weapon systems; on another trip to Pakistan in December, he was reportedly offered ‘comprehensive training capsules’ for RNA soldiers. On December 20, Thapa also hosted a four-member Chinese military delegation at Kathmandu.

To appease the international community, the King, in a message to the nation on October 12, directed the Election Commission to hold parliamentary elections to the House of Representatives by mid-April 2007. He also urged the international community to cooperate actively in the conduct of the parliamentary polls, in a free and fair manner, adding that the ‘misguided lot’ (Maoists) were free to join the political mainstream by ending violence. The King’s announcement implied that he was no longer rigid about ruling the country for three years, as earlier announced in his ‘takeover’ speech. However, few would give much credence to the possibility of elections by the April 2007 deadline, in the absence of a radical and improbable settlement with the Maoists.

As a prelude to the parliamentary elections, the Election Commission (EC) stated on October 9 that elections in all 58 municipalities would take place on February 8, 2006 – the first municipal election since 1997. However, the Maoists have warned of “people’s actions” against both candidates and officials. Worse, at a high-level meeting held in Nepalgunj on December 22, in which Home Minister Kamal Thapa and the RNA Chiefs of the Mid- and Far-Western Divisional Headquarters, and Chief District Officers (CDOs) of 10 districts in these regions participated, came to the conclusion that it would not be possible to conduct municipal polls with the present level of security forces.

The people of Nepal evidently remain suspended between the devil and the deep sea, and the year 2005 has further crystallized the notion that both war and peace are now conditions imposed by Maoists, demonstrating fairly clearly where the initiative and control is located in the present conflict.




Weekly Fatalities: Major Conflicts in South Asia
December 26, 2005 - January 1, 2006

Security Force Personnel


Jammu & Kashmir
Left-wing Extremism

Total (INDIA)







 Provisional data compiled from English language media sources.


LTTE-triggered claymore mine explosion kills 11 soldiers in Jaffna: On December 27, eleven soldiers were killed and four others injured when Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) cadres triggered a remote controlled claymore mine targeting an army truck in the Puloly West area of Jaffna district. Two other Army vehicles that were following the targeted truck with another batch of soldiers, however, escaped the blast.Situation Report, December 28, 2005. 


Assam offers safe passage to ULFA cadres: All United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) cadres desirous of visiting the State on Bhogali Bihu, the harvest festival of Assam, will get a 14-day safe passage period beginning January 7, 2005, Chief Minister (CM) Tarun Gogoi announced on January 1 in Guwahati. “Our Government, whether in the State or at the Centre, wants to resolve the insurgency problem through peaceful negotiations, and the safe passage offer is a gesture to indicate our sincerity,” Gogoi said. The CM claimed that his Government, “unlike previous Governments” was not in favour of any confrontation with the militants and looked forward to a peaceful settlement. The Government, however, made it clear that any ULFA cadre willing to visit parents or other relatives during Bhogali Bihu would have to give prior intimation to the authorities. This they could do by calling up the Home Department or the Police, Gogoi said. “But there is one small condition: they cannot come with arms,” he added. The Indian Express, January 2, 2006. 

Inspector General of Police killed in Manipur: The Manipur Inspector General of Police (Intelligence), Tunglut Thangthaum, was killed along with a Constable, and two police personnel were injured, in an ambush by unidentified militants in the Bishenpur District on December 31, 2005. Heavily-armed militants in a truck overtook the vehicle of Thangthaum at Oinam area, 25 kilometres south of capital Imphal, and fired indiscriminately killing the two on the spot. The officer was reportedly returning to Imphal from Churachandpur District along National Highway 153, when his convoy was attacked. The Sentinel, January 1, 2006. 

Terrorist attack kills scientist in Bangalore: On December 28, 2005, a scientist, Prof. M.C. Puri, was killed and at least five persons were injured when an unidentified gunman opened fire and lobbed grenades in the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) campus in Bangalore, capital city of Karnataka. The attack occurred when delegates at an international conference of the Operational Research Society of India were coming out of the J.N. Tata Auditorium in the IISc campus. Police recovered five magazines, believed to be from an AK-47 rifle, a used grenade, a live grenade and spent bullets in front of the auditorium. Police Commissioner Ajai Kumar Singh told newspersons that the police were yet to ascertain who was behind the attack, the first of its kind in the city The Hindu, December 29, 2005.



441,565 students enrolled in Punjab seminaries: According to a report prepared by the Punjab Police Department and quoted in The News, as many as 200,246 students are enrolled in seminaries representing the Deoband school of thought, while 199,733 students are associated with seminaries belonging to the Barelvi school of thought in the Punjab province. While 34,253 students are affiliated with the seminaries representing the Ahl-e-Hadith school of thought, 7,333 students are getting education from the seminaries of Ahl-e-Tashi school of thought. The classified report showing the situation till September 2005 states that a total of 441,565 students are getting education in Madrassas (seminaries) across the Punjab province. Jang, January 2, 2006.

Sipah-e-Sahaba cadre plans base in Japan: Police believe a member of the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), an outlawed Sunni extremist group, has entered Japan with the aim of setting up a base in that country, a report said on December 30, 2005. A male member of the SSP entered Japan in 2003, according to documents from the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, the Sankei Shimbun newspaper said. Police have discovered that this man, in his 30s, frequented mosques in the Tokyo area, and that he told other people that he had come to Japan to set up a launch pad for the group, the report said. Japanese police are on heightened alert for possible terrorist activities and fear a move by the militant group to recruit members from Japan’s Muslim community and create a support network, the newspaper added. Daily Times, December 31, 2005. 

Government not to review decision on expulsion of foreign students in seminaries: The Government will not review its decision about extradition of foreigners studying in different seminaries of the country, Interior Minister Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao said in Islamabad on December 29, 2005. Sherpao said that the Government had set no deadline for extradition of foreign students but they would have to leave the country in any case. "The decision was taken after a lot of consideration and we have no plan to review it," he said. The Minister, however, said that no visa of any foreign student was cancelled, as the Government wanted them to leave the country voluntarily. December 31, 2005 was the deadline set for registration of seminaries with the Government. Jang, December 30, 2005. 

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.

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