Mumbai: That Recurring Nightmare:SPOs: Compounding Confusion::South Asia Intelligence Review (SAIR), Vol. No. 10.2
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Weekly Assessments & Briefings
Volume 10, No. 2, July 18, 2011

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


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Mumbai: That Recurring Nightmare
Ajai Sahni
Editor, SAIR; Executive Director, Institute for Conflict Management & SATP

18 persons were killed and 131 injured, as three near-simultaneous blasts rocked India’s financial Capital Mumbai (Maharashtra) on July 13, 2011 (13/7). The first of these explosions took place at Zaveri Bazaar in south Mumbai at 6.54pm; the second was at Kabutarkhana near the Dadar suburban railway station in Central Mumbai at 6.55pm; and the third was at Opera House, also in south Mumbai, at about 7.05pm. No group has yet claimed responsibility for this attack.  

Significantly, this is the third attack at Zaveri Bazaar, which was first hit in August 1993, and again in August 2003. Zaveri Bazaar is the country’s largest bullion market, and, at an estimated INR150 billion, accounts for nearly 70 per cent of the country’s wholesale bullion trade.

Since March 12, 1993, when the country’s worst terrorist outrage killed 257 people and injured 713, Mumbai had suffered major attacks on at least 13 occasions, before the latest serial bombings on 13/7. 

Security and investigative agencies have refrained from pointing the ‘needle of suspicion’ at any specific group, and insist that all possibilities are being probed. Precedent trends and intelligence relating to recent terrorist activities and movements, however, suggest that the Islamist terrorist formations backed by Pakistan are, once again, most likely to have engineered the Mumbai 13/7 attacks. Initial reports indicate that the Indian Mujahideen (IM) – a faction within the Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) – the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and the Harkat-ul-Jehad-al-Islami (HuJI) are presently at the core of investigations. Indeed, one suspected IM cadre, Faiz Usmani – the brother of Afzal Usmani, currently in jail for involvement in the 2008 serial bombings in Gujarat – was picked up for questioning by the Police, but shortly developed medical problems and was hospitalized. He died subsequently at the Sion hospital, the post mortem report indicates, as a result of a hypertension induced blood clot in the brain and a heart attack. There were no indications of torture or external injury, though Usmani’s family is blaming the Police for his death.

The Police has also identified two suspects from CCTV footage at two locations, and has prepared sketches for circulation among investigative and intelligence agencies. A number of other leads, including some recorded telephonic conversations during and after the serial explosions, are also being examined. It is, however, premature, at this stage, to go beyond broad speculation to attribute conclusive responsibility.

The recurring tragedy of terrorist attacks in Mumbai is compounded by the absurdity of political pronouncements in the wake of each of these. Political leaders have trotted out the usual alibis for failure, claiming that terrorism was a ‘global phenomenon’; that India is better off than Pakistan, where such incidents occur with quotidian regularity; and crucially, as Rahul Gandhi, scion of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty and General Secretary of the Congress Party observed, that it was impossible to prevent terrorists attacks ‘hundred per cent of the time’. Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram argued that there was “no intelligence failure”, since no prior intelligence had been received regarding such an attack.

None of these arguments, however, were based on any realistic assessment of India’s counter-terrorism capabilities, or of the adequacy or otherwise of the measures to protect the country in general, and Mumbai in particular, since 2008, when the 26/11 attacks had killed at least 166 and left 300 injured.

Significantly, in the wake of the 26/11 attack, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh declared that such a “ghastly act... would not happen again”, and promised sweeping reforms in the security and intelligence systems.

The reality is, India’s counter-terrorism capabilities remain minimal, and, despite large quantities of money spent – and misspent – since the 26/11 attacks, these have been augmented, at best, marginally, and in tiny pockets. A significant proportion of this augmentation has been purely symbolic, with little real impact on the ground; the creation of National Security Guard (NSG) hubs in the metropolis, and of the National Investigation Agency, being two prominent examples of utterly wasteful symbolism. Another proposed white elephant, the National Counter-terrorism Centre (NCTC) is yet to take off. In the meanwhile, proposals to improve basic policing and intelligence gathering have made little progress.

It is, indeed, astonishing that nearly five years have passed since Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s observation, "Unless the ‘beat constable’ is brought into the vortex of our counter-terrorist (CT) strategy, our capacity to pre-empt future attacks would be severely limited." Yet, nothing has been done to translate this into reality, in Mumbai, or anywhere else in the country. Instead, grandiose schemes continue to be designed at Delhi for centralised control of CT responses and CT intelligence.

Since the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, moreover, the State Police has not significantly improved its preventive CT capabilities. Instead, the focus has, again, been on symbolism, such as the setting up of the ‘elite’ Force 1 and the acquisition and positioning of armoured cars at street corners. The crucial imperative of improving general Police capabilities has largely been ignored, and the Police constable remains essentially what he was – poorly trained; poorly integrated into the intelligence chain; operating in conditions of extraordinary stress; and held in wide contempt by both the public and his own masters.

Police-population ratios in the country have risen very slowly, from 128 per 100,000 at end-2008, to 133 per 100,000 by end-2009. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) claims this figure has risen to 160 per 100,000, but data has been manipulated in the past as well. The Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) had claimed an all India ratio of nearly 178 per 100,000 in 2008, a figure that was subsequently debunked when the authoritative National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) published its Crime in India, 2008, report in 2009. Available information suggests that the 160 per 100,000 figure has been arrived at on the basis of Census 2001 population figures. Census 2011 estimates indicate a nearly 20 per cent growth in population over the intervening decade.

The Police-population ratio in Maharashtra has also shown some improvement, rising from 155 per 100,000 at end 2008, to 166 per 100,000 by end-2009. This is far from adequate, even for routine policing requirements. For a State confronted with a range of unconventional challenges, it simply will not do. Further, the system is riddled with leadership deficits at the cutting edge, with a shortage of 20.39 per cent in the ranks of Inspector, Sub-Inspector and Assistant Sub-Inspector.

Worse, the Police is routinely prevented from doing its job in a wide range of enforcement tasks – particularly against organised crime – creating spaces for terrorist operation. It is useful to recall that, in February 2011, Maharashtra’s retiring Director General of Police, D. Sivanandan, had openly stated that the crackdown against the oil mafia after the killing of Malegaon Additional Collector Yeshwant Sonawane, was “just to satisfy the media”. As the Vohra Committee, established in the wake of the 1993 bombings in Mumbai, noted, a large proportion of crime in India is collusive, with the politician-bureaucrat-criminal nexus playing a central role in protecting illegal operations and networks. It is astonishing that the Dawood Ibrahim gang – which was responsible for the 1993 bombings – continues to flourish as Mumbai’s most powerful crime franchise under political protection nearly two decades later, even as Ibrahim’s networks, patronised by Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), have become a major facilitator for terrorist groups operating from that country.

It is significant, in the present context that, according to official documents put together by the MHA in 2010, Maharashtra was among seven States that had fared poorly in modernising their Police Forces. Maharashtra failed to use the funds allocated by the Centre for upgrading the Police and intelligence apparatus, and to submit its utilisation certificates (UCs) for funds spent. As a result, Maharashtra was denied additional allocations, and its "funds have been diverted to other responsive states." The MHA noted that the ‘poor performance’ States had outdated and obsolete weapons and, even where modern weapons were supplied, Police personnel were not trained for their use. Deficits were also noted in Police communication networks, transportation and forensic capabilities.

Continuing deficits in intelligence are also obvious, and at least some of these are deepening. After the 13/7 attacks, Home Minister Chidambaram has argued that “this particular group” did not use “communication devices like phones or mail”, and that, consequently, State and Central agencies had failed to detect their activities. Historically, India has rightly prided herself on her human intelligence (HUMINT) capabilities. Over the past years, it appears that the increasing acquisition of, and reliance on, technical intelligence (TECHINT), is contributing to a progressive neglect of HUMINT. Such a situation is simply unacceptable, but not particularly difficult to understand. Successive Governments have failed to create a comprehensive intelligence network – human and technical – across the country, which would be equal to the growing challenges Agencies are required to deal with.

Indeed, intelligence capabilities in India remain minuscule, relative to the country’s size and population, and the expanding responsibilities Agencies are required to fulfil. Despite significant recruitment over the past two years, the Intelligence Bureau’s (IB) total strength of field agents – the officers and personnel actually involved in intelligence gathering – is about 5,000 (authoritative figures are not available, but this would be a reasonably accurate ‘guesstimate’). An overwhelming proportion of time expended by this limited manpower focuses on intelligence gathering on a wide range of other matters – dominated by ‘political intelligence’ – unrelated to security or terrorism. And yet, the IB is now expected to provide comprehensive intelligence on every terrorist threat and organisation across India. This is something that was never part of the organisation’s original mandate, which was to provide strategic, and not operational intelligence, to the Government. The inordinate and increasing emphasis on the IB has had another unfortunate fallout. Most States now expect specific inputs on all threats to come from the Centre, and are failing to develop significant capabilities of their own.

Despite their tremendous handicaps, however, intelligence and enforcement agencies have disproportionate successes to their credit. On June 5, 2011, the Madhya Pradesh Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) arrested eight SIMI/IM activists from Bhopal and Jabbalpur. Interrogations revealed that these militants were plotting to assassinate judges of the Allahabad High Court who had delivered the September 30, 2010, judgment over the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi – Babri Masjid case. The lawyer representing the Government on the Babri-Masjid (mosque) demolition issue, the Hindu extremist leader Sudhakar Rao Maratha, and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Bherulal Tank were also on their hit list. The extremists also planned to destroy the office of Diamond Comics, because the group had allegedly published “anti-Islamic” materials. Sources in the IB disclosed that the terrorists also confessed to having robbed five banks in the State to raise funds for organisational and propaganda activities and other operations.

Another 10 SIMI/IM cadres were arrested by the Madhya Pradesh ATS from Khandwa District on June 13, 2011, following the killing of an ATS constable near Ratlam Railway Station during an exchange of fire with two SIMI activists earlier, on June 3.

On June 11, 2011, six persons were arrested in Mysore in Karnataka over the abduction and subsequent murder of two local youths. This crime was committed, allegedly, to raise funds for the Karnataka Forum for Dignity (KFD), a new front for SIMI.

According to the South Asia Terrorism Portal database, at least 399 persons involved in Islamist extremism, including LeT and SIMI/IM cadres, ISI agents and Bangladeshi, Nepali and Pakistani nationals, have been arrested since 26/11, across the country. The most prominent among these was Shaik Abdul Khaja alias Amjad, LeT’s ‘south India commander’, who was arrested in Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh) on January 18, 2010.

Specifically, reports indicate that as many as 78 IM cadres have been arrested between 2008 and 2010, including, Safdar Nagori, the alleged chief architect of the formation of IM, (Indore, Madhya Pradesh, 26 March, 2008); Mansoor Peerbhoy, who sent out e-mails prior to the terror attacks in Delhi and Ahmadabad, (Mumbai, October 6, 2008); and Syed Salauddeen Salar, the former all India ‘president’ of SIMI, (Kochi, on June 26, 2011).

Nevertheless, at least 31 top SIMI-IM leaders still at large, 17 of whom are believed to be hiding in Pakistan. In the latter group are Riyaz Ismail Shahbandri aka Riyaz Bhatkal aka Roshan Khan aka Shahrukh (one of IM’s co founders); Iqbal Bhatkal (Riyaz’s brother) who helped set up terror modules in south India; Yasin Bhatkal, a prominent bomb-maker; Amir Raza Khan (founding member and controller of IM operations in India); and Abdul Subhan Qureshi aka Tauqeer Bilal  aka Abdus Subhan, who may have escaped into Bangladesh recently.

Pakistan-backed terrorism in India, including Jammu & Kashmir, has demonstrated a sustained declining trend since 2001, overwhelmingly because of Pakistan’s own preoccupations with internal terrorism and Islamabad’s more urgent ambitions to recover ‘strategic depth’ in Afghanistan through Taliban Proxies, as well as because of mounting international pressure. This has made India ‘safer’, for the time being. Unfortunately, safer does not mean less vulnerable. Unless the state’s capacities and capabilities improve dramatically, and across its entire territories, not just in high-profile urban targets, Pakistan will retain the capacities to turn up the pressure once again, if it finds some relief from its own difficulties. With a progressive Western withdrawal from Afghanistan, this will become the more likely over time. India has a small window of opportunity to create the means to comprehensively neutralize terrorist networks on its own soil. If it fails to act with necessary urgency, it may discover that the opportunity has quickly passed.

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SPOs: Compounding Confusion
Ajai Sahni
Editor, SAIR; Executive Director, Institute for Conflict Management & SATP

Raising armies of vigilantes, equipped by the State, cannot contain the Maoist menace and will invite greater atrocities against large populations. The dangers of fashioning alternate policing institutions are palpable: they represent initiatives outside of and, more often than not, uncontrolled by the state, and carry the risks of compounding, rather than resolving the problems of lawlessness and disorder.
SAIR, August 29, 2005

(The) most extraordinary aspect of recklessness that has contributed to rising violence in Chhattisgarh has been the misguided and misconceived Salva Judum campaign... Salva Judum has exposed large numbers of innocent tribals to unacceptable risks… it has taken on the character more of political adventurism than of a serious effort to neutralise the Maoist terror… and constitutes a complete and immature abdication of responsibilities on the part of the state.
Ajai Sahni, March 2, 2006

The 'much-talking judge' does irreparable harm both to the dignity of the court and to the cause of justice.

The Salva Judum, which commenced in June 2005, substantially as a spontaneous expression of tribal anger against Maoist excesses and diktats, was quickly transformed into a state-backed movement of armed retaliation. Salva Judum enormously escalated violence in Chhattisgarh, fed Maoist recruitment, polarized society, and discredited state institutions. Nevertheless, within the perverse political culture that had entrenched itself in this State, a number of prominent individuals in the political and Police leaderships became personally invested, initially, in its continuance long after its failure had been inexorably demonstrated, and subsequently, after its manifest collapse, in its transformation into new avatars and its continued justification.

The Supreme Court’s order of July 5, 2011, has brought this unfortunate chapter of state opportunism and abdication of responsibility to an end. Unfortunately, the Court’s order is also marred in significant measure by incoherence, the inability to think things through, to reconcile reality with aspiration, and to make sharp and necessary distinctions between components of a complex issue. It is undermined, further, by the susceptibilities of the ‘much talking judge’, going well beyond the issue at hand to hold forth on matters of ideology and policy on surprisingly superficial grounds. The result is that a matter that could and should have been finally and indisputably settled, will now be subjected to a new round of appeals, and, pending a further and conclusive settlement, result in continued uncertainty and a diversionary campaign by vested interests to salvage and reinvent the more controversial elements of the Salva Judum.

Salva Judum had pitted tribal against tribal, and exposed large numbers of the most vulnerable of India’s citizens to unwarranted risk and distress, even as the state’s regular Forces abdicated their responsibility to enforce order in widening areas of an administrative and security vacuum, where the Maoists had established their disruptive dominance. Hastily armed by the state and flung into direct conflict with the Maoists, with little backing, or even proximate presence of regular Forces, Salva Judum cadres and their wider support base of families and village communities, faced overwhelming retaliatory violence by the Maoists. Instead of sending in regular Forces to protect the hapless tribals, the state sought to exploit Maoist atrocities in its propaganda campaigns and, eventually, when the bloodshed – including at least some cases of excesses by Salva Judum cadres – went beyond a point, simply dragged a large population of over 65,000 tribals out of their villages and into appallingly provisioned ‘relief camps’.

Under rising public pressure and with the intervention of the judiciary, the state sought to reinvent the Salva Judum by appointing a proportion of the armed cadres as Special Police Officers (SPOs), and organizing them into units, unofficially referred to as Koya Commandos, purportedly under regular Police command, sending them out to hunt and kill alleged ‘Maoists’, again, in areas where the regular SFs had little presence or capability.

This was utterly unconscionable, both because it put these poor and ignorant tribals at extraordinary risk, and because it allowed state backed armed groups to operate in areas and in circumstances where there was little accountability. Some excesses inevitably resulted, even as fatalities among SPOs rose disproportionately.

Chhattisgarh has repeatedly put forward the argument that armed SPOs have been used in many other theatres of insurgency – prominently including Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir and Tripura. This is, at best, disingenuous. SPOs in these States were used as auxiliary Forces, ordinarily for static duties – such as village defence or the manning of nakas (checkpoints) – crucially, in areas of clear SF dominance. SPOs were an auxiliary or secondary resource, by definition inferior to the regular Forces, and restricted to secondary tasks, in order to free the better trained and equipped regulars for the more demanding work of counter-insurgency (CI). Some SPOs were also sent out with regular Forces for CI duties, essentially to bulk up regular units, but always as a small component of such units, which were under clear command of, and dominated by, regular Forces.

Chhattisgarh, however, stood this model on its head, using Salva Judum irregulars and SPOs as an advance guard, a spearhead, to fight the Maoists, even as better trained and equipped regular Forces were held back, or allowed to abdicate their responsibility. With over 15,000 Chhattisgarh Police personnel and officers already trained at the Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School at Kanker, even today, the total strength of State Police personnel deployed for offensive CI operations in Chhattisgarh is under 3,000. There has been a clear defalcation of duties here, and a disproportionate shifting of the burden of CI operations onto the ill-equipped and poorly trained SPOs and irregulars. The Supreme Court is right to have brought this scandalous arrangement to an end.

Regrettably, in its extensive order, the Court has tended to collapse all issues relating to the Salva Judum and the recruitment and use of SPOs into a single incoherent mass, to produce a result that throws the baby out with the bathwater. It has, moreover, adopted one among polarized positions that feed, rather than help resolve, conflict. Sweeping considerations of ideology, rather than of law, fact, or objective conditions prevalent, inform much of the Court’s arguments. A flawed, partisan, socio-economic theory, devoid of any reference to resources or capacities and capabilities of delivery, is read into the Constitution, and becomes the basis for much of the Court’s Utopian rampage into matters of policy that lie squarely in the realm of the Executive.

“The problem rests”, the Court observes, “in the amoral political economy that the State endorses, and the resultant politics that it necessarily spawns.” And again, “On the one hand the State subsidises the private sector, giving it tax break after tax break, while simultaneously citing lack of revenues as the primary reason for not fulfilling its obligations to provide adequate cover to the poor through social welfare measures.” The State, the Court insists, pursues “socio-economic policies that cause vast disaffection amongst the poor, creating conditions of violent politics…”

The support for these sweeping observations comes, not from an analysis of the real situation on the ground, or the record of the State’s allocations for ‘tax breaks’ or for poverty alleviation and public welfare; it comes, rather, from selective citations extracted from just a few notoriously ideologically loaded writings, from false and exaggerated literary analogies with “the resource rich darkness” of Africa, the “resource curse”, and “the macabre states of mind and justifications advanced by men, who secure and wield force without reason, sans humanity, and any sense of balance.” These, and not any Constitutional considerations, then become the basis for comprehensive prescriptions of how the State is required to respond to insurgencies and political violence – issues of policy and practice that lie essentially within the purview of an accountable and elected Executive, rather than of judicial determination.

But India is not Joseph Conrad’s Africa. For all our “resource curses” and the unquestionably “macabre states of mind” of much of our political and administrative leadership, there have been dramatic improvements over decades and across vast areas, on most of the indices of human development in the country – though some of these indices remain distressing. And while mechanisms for delivery have been far from efficient, the Court does not even acknowledge the constantly increasing billions of rupees that are invested annually in a wide range of developmental and poverty alleviation programmes across the country. Nor does it recognize the role of disruptive political violence in undermining welfare and developmental goals; or the rampaging and unsustainable growth of population. The Court, nevertheless, insists that our models of economic growth and planning must be ‘sustainable’, but fails to provide – or even outline – any credible alternatives. It does, however, uncritically endorse, on dubious authority, the ‘root causes’ thesis as a justification for Maoist and anti-state violence.

Despite the weight of its politically correct pretences, interestingly, the Court’s order displays an extraordinary contempt for persons without the advantages of a middle class education and background. SPOs, with schooling up to the 5th class or less, are thus deemed incapable of understanding the imperatives of the law, the significance of human rights, of being trained to function professionally, or to act with restraint and decency. Moreover, given their educational qualification, the Court argues that these “youngsters” lack the capacities to understand the risks and liabilities of taking up appointment as SPOs, and consequently, cannot be deemed to have “decided to join as SPOs of their own free will and volition.” Motivated by personal histories of loss and experiences of Maoist atrocity, they are impelled by hatred and a desire for revenge. On the other hand, the ‘regular’ policeman or paramilitary trooper, the Court appears to suggest, variously with his 8th class or Intermediate schooling, easily masters the Constitution and law, is deeply seeped in the culture of human rights, and goes into the jungle to confront the Maoists with the milk of human kindness flowing through his veins, and with a “cool and dispassionate head”.

These are certainly new theories of free will and responsibility, and fly in the face of much of reality, where the uneducated and under-privileged display far greater evidence of humanity and social responsibility than those who are drawn from the highest echelons of society. Certainly, in cases of accident or individual distress in a public place, it is people from such disadvantaged backgrounds, rather than professors or corporate leaders or Supreme Court judges, who reach out and respond most spontaneously. Moreover, higher education has little correlation with a genuine respect for human rights and decency – as opposed to a formal understanding of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights. Some of the highest ranks in the Police, administrative and political leadership – with all their educational qualifications – have demonstrated little respect for human values in the pursuit of their selfish ends. Indeed, the Court’s unconstrained railing against the ‘exploitative system’ that has been established in India is a forceful (if one sided) argument against the country’s elites. On the other hand, the poor and uneducated often display exemplary social consciousness and responsibility.

The Court’s observations are just arrant prejudice. They crucially ignore the reality that outside Forces, unfamiliar with local cultures and conditions, irrespective of their education and training, have inclined to be more indiscriminate, and often brutal, in their use of Force, than locals. In long-isolated tribal areas, moreover, the local is indispensible – and is seldom highly schooled (the distinction between schooling and education is profound). It is sheer delusion to believe that formally qualified tribals will abruptly appear to back up regular Forces with their local knowledge; or that outside Forces will quickly acquire such knowledge for effective and discriminating CI operations. In restricting the use of SPOs to traffic regulation and disaster relief, the Court acts both arbitrarily, in contravention of existing State and national legislation, and unrealistically, ignoring operational realities and imperatives.

The Court also raises the bogey of a violent backlash when the SPOs are disarmed, and this is something that local Police officers have quickly picked up on. This, again, is ill-informed and misleading. SPOs have been armed and disarmed in other situations as well, without any of the catastrophic consequences that the Court considers likely.

In its sweeping ideological digressions, the Court has neglected the real issues of command and control, the patterns of productive deployment, and the utility of SPOs in the various theatres of successful employment. Rather than focus on the specific aberration in Chhattisgarh, both in the Salva Judum and in the use (or misuse) of SPOs, the Court has chosen to mass every possible argument – both valid and specious – to reject every dimension of the use of auxiliary Forces in situations of disorder. The SPOs have played a crucial role in CI in various theatres, and it is important to understand the specific duties, patterns of deployment and systems of command and control within which they have successfully operated, before an order to virtually dismantle the entire system is implemented.


Weekly Fatalities: Major Conflicts in South Asia
July 11-17, 2011



Security Force Personnel







Jammu & Kashmir




Left-wing Extremism








Total (INDIA)










Khyber Pakhtunkhwa





Provisional data compiled from English language media sources.


Religion-based parties threaten to go for non-stop hartal: 12 like-minded political parties, most of them Islamists, have announced to continue anti-Government agitation if the phrase "absolute trust and faith in Almighty Allah" is not restored in the Constitution. The announcement came an hour after the 30-hour countrywide shutdown ended on July 11. Daily Star, July 16, 2011.


19 people killed and 131 others injured in serial blasts in Mumbai: Three serial bomb blasts in the span of 10 minutes in the evening of July 13 ripped through three of the busiest hubs in Mumbai city - Zaveri Bazar, Opera House and Dadar-, killing 18 people and injuring 131 others. The first explosion was at 6.54pm at Zaveri Bazaar, followed by another at Opera House a minute later. The third explosion was at 7.06pm outside Kabutarkhana, a few metres from the western side of Dadar railway station. This is the third terror attack at Zaveri Bazaar. The death toll increased to 19 as one of the injured persons died later on July 15.

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram said on July 14 said that no outfit had claimed responsibility for the attacks. He further informed that the bombs used in the attacks were made of ammonium nitrate and were not remotely triggered. Times of India, July 14-16, 2011.

Terror threat to Bhakra Nangal dam, say sources: The Intelligence Bureau (IB) has intercepted a terror threat to the Bhakra Nangal dam in Himachal Pradesh. Sources said that the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and the Jama'at-ud-Da'awa (JuD) are planning to attack the dam. IBN Live, July 16, 2011.

Maoists in West Bengal set condition for not attacking CPI-Marxist supporters: The Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadres in West Midnapore District on July 14 have set one condition for not attacking supporters of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) provided they should not work as Police Informers. Akash, the secretary of the CPI-Maoist Bengal State Committee, said: "We have decided to spare the lives of the CPM supporters. They will not be harmed if they don't work as police informers." Telegraph, July 15, 2011.

Maoists in West Bengal give proposal for talks with rider: The Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) named Sudip Chongdar alias Kanchan, Himadri Sen Roy alias Somen and Patit Paban Halder, its three former state secretaries now behind bars in West Bengal, to represent them in case the State plans to go ahead with its proposed dialogue with the Maoists. "If Mamata Banerjee has difficulty in holding talks with us directly, she could, for a start, launch dialogue with these three leaders, who are also ideologues, after releasing them," said Maoist leader Bikram in a statement faxed to Hindustan Times on July 15. Hindustan Times, July 16, 2011.

Four broad points have emerged during 10 months long stint, says Chief Interlocutor on Jammu and Kashmir Dileep Padgaonkar: The Interlocutors on Jammu and Kashmir said on July 13 that four broad points have emerged during their 10 months long stint in which they covered 20 of 22 Districts and met over 4000 people. Chief Interlocutor Dileep Padgaonkar said everyone out of 590 delegations and 4000 people they met were convinced that process of dialogue was the only option to resolve the problems and that militancy and violence haven't served any purpose. Daily Excelsior, July 14, 2011.

New political party launched in Jammu and Kashmir: On July 11, a new political party, JK Intelligentsia Guild (JKIG), was launched in Jammu and Kashmir. The party apart from working towards "peaceful, amicable, permanent and everlasting" settlement of the Kashmir dispute will encourage people of the State to exploit sagaciously the locally available resources to achieve self-reliance and also promote educational network. Deccan Chronicle, July 12, 2011.

Government to classify ammonium nitrate as an "explosive": The Government is to classify ammonium nitrate as an "explosive" to help law enforcement agencies track the use and transit of this chemical that is routinely used in terror attacks in India. A new notification will be issued to bring ammonium nitrate under Section 17 of the Explosives Act of 1884. Times of India, July 16, 2011.


NC leader Sher Bahadur Deuba wants to be the next PM: Nepali Congress (NC) leader Sher Bahadur Deuba on July 11 asserted that he was in the race for the Prime Minister (PM). Deuba said the peace process and constitution-drafting could move forward only when the NC gets the leadership of the next "national consensus Government" and that he might as well stake claim for the post of the Prime Minister. Nepal News, July 12, 2011.


53 militants and 17 civilians among 72 persons killed during the week in FATA: Unidentified militants ambushed a bus carrying Sunnis and killed all 10 passengers near Parachinar town of Kurram Agency in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on July 16.

48 persons, mostly militants, were killed in four drone strikes in North and South Waziristan Agencies on July 12.

Four Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) militants were killed and four volunteers of the Zakhakhel tribal lashkar (militia) were injured during the clashes between LI militants and the Zakhakhel tribesmen in Tirah valley of Khyber Agency. Dawn; Daily Times; The News; Tribune, July 12-18, 2011.

63 persons killed in Sindh during the week: A total of 63 persons were killed in Sindh. 10 persons were killed in Karachi on July 11; another five on July 12; 14 on July 13; 18 on July 14; eight each on July 16 and 17. Dawn; Daily Times; The News; Tribune, July 12-18, 2011.

15 militants and 11 civilians among 35 persons killed during the week in Balochistan: Police recovered four dead bodies of Baloch missing persons, including a member of Baloch Students Organisation - Azad (BSO-Azad), in Quetta on July 16.

At least 15 militants and eight Security Force personnel were killed during clashes in Chamalang area of Kohlu District in Balochistan on July 15.

At least four persons were killed and nine others injured in a blast in Chaman town of Qilla Abdullah District on July 14. Dawn; Daily Times; The News; Tribune, July 12-18, 2011.

Al Qaeda plotting "internet jihad", reveal security reports: Al Qaeda is plotting a jihad (holy war) on the internet against Britain and the West, and has launched teams to target key computer systems. Terrorists have even tried to invade Facebook in their "campaign of electronic warfare". The Google Earth and Street View applications are being used by the terrorists to plan out atrocities, it said.

Meanwhile, former US spy Chief Michael Hayden on July 11 said that Laden's killing will force the al Qaeda terror network to back away from his grandiose plans for more 9/11-style attacks in favour of more frequent, smaller strikes on easier targets. Hayden also emphasised that the smartest way for America to monitor its enemies would be to keep targeting aides, not the kingpins directly. Daily Times; Times of India, July 12-14, 2011.

Human Rights Watch calls for an end to the killing of Baloch Activists in Balochistan: Human Rights Watch (HRW) on July 13 said that Pakistan Government should immediately act to end the epidemic of killings of suspected Baloch militants and opposition activists by the military, Intelligence Agencies, and the paramilitary Frontier Corps (FC) in Balochistan. Across Balochistan, since January 2011, at least 150 people have been abducted and killed and their bodies abandoned - acts widely referred to as "kill and dump" operations, in which Security Forces engaged in counterinsurgency operations may be responsible.

Meanwhile, the Federal Cabinet on July 13 decided to constitute a judicial commission under the supervision of a Supreme Court judge to probe the August 26, 2006 murder of Baloch Nationalist leader Nawab Akbar Bugti. The commission, however, was promptly rejected by Bugti's eldest son Nawabzada Jamil Bugti who said he had no expectations from the incumbent Government.

Earlier, on July 12, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani reiterated his offer of dialogue to exiled Baloch nationalist leaders and said that negotiations are the only way to resolve issues. But he made it clear that the policy of reconciliation should not be taken as a sign of government's weakness. Dawn; Daily Times, July 13-14, 2011.

Violence on the rise after Osama's death, says ICRC: Casualties from violence across Pakistan since the US killing of al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden on May 1-2 have soared, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on July 11. Pascal Cuttat, outgoing head of operations in the country for the Swiss-based ICRC, told reporters, "Violence has increased considerably since bin Laden was killed, and has spread into urban areas." Daily Times, July 12, 2011.

UN removes 14 Taliban members from sanctions list: The United Nations (UN) Security Council committee overseeing sanctions on July 15 removed 14 Taliban leaders from an international blacklist in order to encourage peaceful reconciliation in Afghanistan. The 14 Taliban on the list include Arsalan Rahmani Daulat, Habibullah Fawzi, Sayeedur Rahman Haqani and Faqir Mohammad, all members of Afghanistan's peace council. Dawn, July 16, 2011.

Pakistan could "pull troops from Afghan border" if US cuts aid, says Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar: Pakistan could pull back troops fighting militants near the Afghan border if the United States (US) cuts off aid, Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar said on July 12. "If at all things become difficult, we will just get all our forces back," Mukhtar said, adding, "If Americans refuse to give us money, then okay. I think the next step is that the Government or the armed forces will be moving from the border areas. We cannot afford to keep military out in the mountains for such a long period."

Earlier, on July 11, the Pakistan military had said that it was capable of fighting without US assistance. "The Army in the past as well as at present, has conducted successful military operations using its own resources without any external support whatsoever," Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General, Major General Athar Abbas, said. Daily Times; Dawn, July 12-13, 2011.


Eastern Province CM against re-merger of North and East: Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan on July 12 said that the Northern and the Eastern Provinces should not be re-merged under any circumstance. He added that Provincial Councils should be vested with powers outlined in the 13th Amendment to Constitution. Colombo Page, July 14, 2011.

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

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

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K. P. S. Gill

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