Chhattisgarh: A Future in Blood | Assam: Farewell to Arms? | South Asia Intelligence Review (SAIR), Vol. No. 10.30
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Weekly Assessments & Briefings
Volume 10, No. 30, January 30, 2012

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South Asia Terrorism Portal


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Chhattisgarh: A Future in Blood
Fakir Mohan Pradhan
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management

In conformity with the overall decline in Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) violence in 2011 in India, Chhattisgarh witnessed a dramatic decline in fatalities in Maoist-related violence. According to partial data compiled by South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), a total of 176 persons, including 39 civilians, 67 Security Force (SF) personnel and 70 Maoists, were killed in 2011, as against a total of 327, including 72 civilians 153 SF personnel and 102 Maoists in 2010 in Chhattisgarh. 

Fatalities in Maoist Violence in Chhattisgarh: 2005-2012

Source: SATP, *Data till January 29, 2012

The SF fatality figure of 67 in 2011 excludes the killing of nine Policemen, including the DSP of Gariaband Police Station, who were killed in Odisha, after they crossed the inter-State border, on receiving information about the movement of some Maoists there. On the other hand, the Maoist fatality figure includes two large, but unconfirmed, claims. The first such claim was made in the aftermath of a Maoist ambush on a Police party on March 14, 2011 at Chintalnaar in Dantewada District. It was then claimed that 30 Maoists were killed in retaliatory fire after the Police lost three troopers in the initial fire. Police also claimed of killing 10 Maoists in retaliatory fire after the CRPF lost three men in Maoist attack on June 11, 2011, at Bhejji village in Dantewada. In both cases the SFs failed to recover a single body. That effectively brings the total fatalities among the Maoists down to 30, while it raises those among the SFs to 76. In 2010, the total number of Maoists’ bodies recovered stood at 47, as against a reported 102 fatalities.

The State witnessed 13 major incidents in 2011 (involving three or more fatalities), as against 19 in 2010. Further, the number of ‘swarming attacks’ by the Maoists (involving 50 or more cadres/militia) also declined from 11 in 2010 to six in 2011. Likewise, the numbers of blasts triggered declined from 15 to 13 while incidents of arson went down from eight to five. Damage done to economic infrastructure has also diminished considerably. According to a Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) release, Damage to Economic Infrastructure, 21 incidents of Maoists targeting economic assets were reported in Chhattisgarh in 2011, as against 42 in 2010, 36 in 2009 and 71 in 2008.

Very significantly, the spate of violence that was witnessed in other States in reaction to the killing of Maoist politburo member Koteswara Rao alias Kishanji on November 24, 2011, found no resonance in Chhattisgarh. 27 incidents of violence had been reported from five States during the course of the Bharat bandh (all India shut down) of December 4-5, 2011, called by the Maoists protesting the killing, but none was recorded in Chhattisgarh.

SATP data clearly indicates a secular decline in Maoist activities in the State in 2011. Official data presented by MHA (till November 15, 2011) confirms this assessment. Possibly encouraged by these numbers, Chhattisgarh Director General of Police (DGP) Anil M. Navaney, on January 5, 2012, asserted that Maoist activity in the State has been ‘contained’ in 2011, with strategic intelligence-based joint operations by State Force and Central Para Military Forces (CPMFs). "There were no major acts of Naxal violence in the recent months, as security personnel continued to maintain a strong vigil on the ultras' movement in the Bastar and other Naxal-affected Districts," Navaney stated.

Unfortunately, a closer look would tend to indicate that the decline in violence in Chhattisgarh is not the visible consequence of exemplary SF and intelligence operations, and of progressive SF dominance. Rather, there are disturbing signs of strategic consolidation by the Maoists, as SF operations, and consequent confrontations with the Maoists, stall.

An examination of major incidents recorded in the State makes the picture clearer. Out of the recorded 13 major incidents in 2011, all but one were initiated by the Maoists and inflicted casualties on the SFs. In the previous year, at least eight of 18 such incidents, were initiated by the SFs. Indeed, much energy has been expended in entirely futile ‘area domination’ exercises.Speaking in the Vidhan Sabha (State Legislature) on March 28, 2011, for instance, Chhattisgarh Home Minister Nankiram Kanwar admitted that 327 troopers of the Chhattisgarh Police and CRPF conducted a five day area domination exercise from March 11 to March 16, and raided the villages of Morpalli, Timapuram and Tarmetla. In each instance, however, the SFs were ambushed by the Maoists, who set ablaze the villages and escaped in the ensuing confusion.

Data on Maoists’ arrested also suggest operational paralysis, with 145 arrests in 2011, as against 264 in 2010.

There are indications, moreover, of an expanding Maoist influence into hitherto unaffected and marginally affected areas. An analysis of Maoist violence in the State, as well as of over ground and underground activities, through 2011, indicates that 14 out of a total of 19 Districts now fall into the Maoist affected categories, as against nine in 2010. While seven Districts – Bastar, Bijapur, Dantewada, Kanker, Narayanpur, Rajnandgaon and Raipur – fell into the ‘highly affected’ category in 2011, this number stood at eight – Bastar, Bijapur, Dantewada, Kanker, Mahasamund, Narayanpur, Rajnandgaon and Durg – in 2010. However, five Districts – Gariaband, Mahasamund, Surguja, Jashpur, and Raigarh – were included in the ‘moderately affected’ category in 2011, as against just one – Dhamtari – in 2010. Two Districts – Dhamtari and Durg – were added to the ‘marginally affected’ category in 2011, where there were none in 2010.

The Maoists also added daring attacks in urban areas to their repertoire in 2011. On December 27, 2011, the Maoists triggered a massive blast at the newly constructed two-storey Police Station building at Geedam, a town close to the national highway and hardly 10 kilometers from the District Headquarters at Dantewada. The construction had almost been completed, and was shortly to be handed over to the Police. Earlier, on October 7, 2011, the Maoists triggered a powerful improvised explosive device (IED) near Geedam on National Highway 16, killing three Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) personnel travelling in a Tata 407 [light truck] as part of a convoy of 11 vehicles.

Meanwhile, interrogation of arrested Maoists has disclosed that unarmed wings of the Maoists operating in villages outside the forest areas have facilitated the spread of the Maoists into urban areas. The interrogation of a arrested Maoist  Ghassu alias Rajberia, ‘president’ of the Janthana Sarkar (people’s government’) of Hadeli village, Kondagaon tehsil (revenue unit) in Bastar, reconfirmed the detailed hierarchical set-up of parallel governance and an intelligence wings in village and tehsil areas, divided into units like Raksha Dalam (defence squad), Janthana Sarkar and Area Sarkar. These units basically remain unarmed, run parallel governance systems, and provide intelligence and logistics to cadres located in forest areas.

Further, a reported alert issued by the CRPF stated that the Maoists had acquired the expertise to suspend an IED at a height of 4-5 feet on a tree, and to trigger a blast from a distance of around 200 meters. The report claimed that the Maoists had successfully tested the technique during some of their attacks on SF personnel in Dantewada. Meanwhile, intelligence reports claimed that nearly 500 arms manufacturing units had been established by the Maoists in the State. These were small in size, even run in huts and cottages deep inside forests, but were strategically located to facilitate a smooth supply of weapons and ammunition to armed squads. The presence of such arms-manufacturing units had been reported from Abujhmad, Kanker, Nagari, Sihaba, Sitanadi, Chura, Gariaband, Debbhog, Ammamora, Charraunda, Rasela, Komakhana, Naram, Khati, Kasekara, and Tuhulu areas in the Bastar and Mahasamund regions.

Demonstrating their continuing disruptive dominance, on July 3, 2011, the Maoists damaged the entire 23-kilometres stretch of ‘landmine resistant’ road from Bijapur to Gangalur in Dantewada District by digging out the road at 100 meter intervals. The road was secured by SF personnel three years ago, and then was re-laid to make it blast resistant. Considered to be a vital link between Andhra Pradesh and the Dantewada District, through the Bijapur District, the road had been opened to the public in January 2010.

On September 5, 2011, the Maoists attacked a CRPF camp just 18 kilometers from the Bijapur District Headquarters, and destroyed the whole structure of the camp by setting it ablaze. The camp was being set up to relocate the 85th Battalion in compliance to a Supreme Court ruling requiring SF personnel to vacate all school buildings.

Amidst the growing Maoist consolidation in the State, the rot within the civil administration in the affected areas appears to have worsened. Media reports have exposed how, behind the cover of conflict, corrupt officials and politicians have been looting the Public Distribution System (PDS), the Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, tendu leaf (leaves of Diospyros Melonoxylon) collection, and the elementary education system. Notably, a series of articles titled Graft in Conflict Zone published in The Times of India, observed, for instance: “In Konta, the Dantewada District's biggest block, as big as the State of Goa, one man has nearly monopolised both the distribution and transport of Public Distribution System rice. For the last five years, he has allegedly diverted a big portion of grain to markets in Odisha and Andhra, selling it illegally, depriving the poor of grain.”

The rot within has produced some appalling ideas. After disastrous attempt to outsource counter-insurgency operations to Special Police Officers (SPOs) under the Salwa Judum experiment, the State is now experimenting with the ‘outsourcing’ of developmental works in highly-affected areas. The State recently secured a grant of INR 230 million for the Ramakrishna Mission (RK Mission) from the Union Rural Development Ministry, for developmental projects in the Narayanpur District. According to Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh, the Mission is the only group working in the Narayanpur since 1985, while the Government has been unable to make its presence felt. Moving a step further, Ramesh decided to engage the services of Catholic Bishops to spearhead development activities among the tribals of Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, forgetting that the missionaries (Catholic bishops), ignoring the record of socio-religious tensions that have resulted from the intervention of religious organizations in such works in the past. Worse, it appears unlikely that the state will be able to check the flow of funds from such interventions, to the Maoists.

The deplorable state of civil administration in southern Chhattisgarh was further highlighted by the decision of the Union Rural Development Ministry to pay wages under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee (MNREGA) Scheme in cash, though established norms require such payments to be made banks and post offices. Ramesh observed, "If there is no bank, there is no use for Banking Correspondent models. Narayanpur in Chhattisgarh doesn't even have a post office," adding that cash payments were the only way out to attract tribals and other poor people to MNREGA jobs. Five Districts in Chhattisgarh will be allowed to pay MGNREGA wages in cash, under this decision. The reality of massive diversion of funds by corrupt officials, even where payments were channeled through banking institutions, and the even larger likelihood of such ‘leakage’ under a cash scheme, was completely ignored.

Ramesh announced, further, “Ten districts of Chhattisgarh are the most Naxal-affected areas. Cement concrete (CC) roads have been approved for construction in these Districts in the wake of safety (sic). Initially, the Centre and state used to bear equal expense on the construction of CC roads. However, now the Centre will provide 90 per cent funds for the road work.” The Minister also disclosed that, keeping in mind the crisis of contractors in Maoist-affected areas, the time limit for completion of construction had been raised from 18 months to 24 months. To compensate any losses suffered by contractors in case of Maoists damaging construction equipments, the Centre would provide insurance for all such equipments to be used in road construction.

Meanwhile, the failure of past operational misadventures, including the much-vaunted Operation Green Hunt and the Centre’s ‘massive and coordinated operations’ in Chhattisgarh, is now more openly acknowledged. DGP Navaney, on January 5, 2012, conceded, "Chhattisgarh is very cautious against Maoists who have not managed to carry out major attacks in recent months, but we are maintaining the heat on them in forested areas by conducting intelligence-based operations." He added that he was striving to improve the intelligence set-up by adopting high-tech resources. He also disclosed that about 800 vacant posts of sub-inspectors and 60 posts of platoon commanders would be filled up by September 2012. Chhattisgarh has a Police population ratio of 170 per 100,000, as on December 31, 2010. The State also has 12,600 Central Paramilitary Force (CPMF) personnel deployed in anti-Naxalite duties. The State has, moreover, circumvented the Supreme Court order banning the recruitment and continuation of SPO’s by bringing out the ordinance on July 27, 2011. The Chhattisgarh Auxiliary Armed Police Force Ordinance, 2011, allowed the Government to raise an auxiliary armed police force battalion to absorb the SPOs in the regular force. Meanwhile, on August 25, 2011, the State Government disclosed a plan to set up 35 new Police Stations in forest areas dominated by the Maoists.

The decline in Maoist-related violence in Chhattisgarh is deceptive. Though the State has realized the futility of the ‘massive and coordinated operations’ of the past, intelligence-led operation are yet to show dramatic results. SFs are currently maintaining a safe distance from the Maoists, with very few offensive operations, but may well have to brace themselves for a bloodier future.

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Assam: Farewell to Arms?
Giriraj Bhattacharjee
Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management

676 militants belonging to seven militant formations surrendered at a function held at the indoor stadium inside the Sarusajai Sports Complex in Guwahati on January 24, 2012. The surrendered militants were drawn from the Adivasi People’s Army (APA), All Adivasi National Liberation Army (AANLA), Santhal Tiger Force (STF), United Kukigam Defence Army (UKDA), Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA), Kuki Liberation Army (KLA) and Hmar Peoples Convention-Democratic (HPC-D). The militants deposited 202 weapons during the ceremony.

Union Home Minister (UHM) P. Chidambaram, in whose presence the surrender ceremony took place stated, “Not often do we see so many groups return to the path of peace, development and brotherhood and join the process of reconciliation. This development means that the other groups will follow suit.”

Further, another two Adivasi (tribal groups; however, in the Indian Northeast, the term refers to tribal groups that were brought into the region, principally as indentured labourers, from other parts of the country) formations, the Birsa Commando Force (BCF) and the Adivasi Cobra Military of Assam (ACMA), instead of surrendering, submitted their charter of demands to Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and UHM Chidambaram. Birsingh Munda, ‘commander-in-chief’ of BCF, explained, “We decided to attend this event in our civvies since there is no question of laying down arms in a ceremony until final settlement is reached. Mere surrendering of arms doesn’t bring peace; Government also has to respond by starting meaningful dialogue.”

A 16-page booklet, Farewell to Arms, Welcome to the Mainstream, circulated during the ceremony, provided a brief profile of the nine groups. It gave the cadre strength of these nine groups as: BCF – 557; ACMA-453; KRA – 138; STF – 134; UKDA – 120; AANLA – 90; KLA – 83; APA (about) 70; and HPC(D) – 50. All but nine of the total of 685 cadres surrendered. Worryingly, however, the two most prominent groups in terms of cadre strength, BCF and ACMA, failed to lay down arms.

Significantly, four of the surrendering outfits, APA, AANLA, KLA and HPC-D, had declared a cease-fire in 2011; APA, on July 16; AANLA, on September 1; KLA, on November 5; and HPC-D, on December 2. The UKDA’s declaration of ceasefire came on January 8, 2012, while the KRA leadership stated that they would be adhering to a cease-fire with effect from January 24, 2012, the day of the surrender.  ACMA and BCF, on the other hand, had signed a Suspension of Operations (SoOs) agreement in 2001 and 2004 respectively.

Buoyed by the development as it compounded the growing successes of the past years, Additional Director General of Police – Special Branch Khagen Sarma claimed that, with the surrender of seven militant groups and two others [BCF and ACMA] actively participating in the January 24 function, there were “no militant groups left in Assam” and that,
What is left are splinter groups, deserters and breakaway factions of groups in ceasefire. They have nothing but nuisance value. Our Government will therefore try to reach a settlement with the cease-fire groups as soon as possible by starting talks in February. Today’s ceremony is the first of its kind. Never before have so many militants and so many groups returned to the mainstream at one go.

Significantly, led by its ‘chairman’ Longsoder Senar, 568 United People’s Democratic Solidarity (UPDS) militants, including 22 women cadres, had laid down arms at a function organized at Diphu stadium in Karbi Anglong District on December 14, 2011.

It is noteworthy that the Adivasi groups – APA, AANLA and STF –  surrender  took place despite the fact that neither of the two core demands of all the five Adivasi militant groups, including BCF and ACMA, have been met. These core demands include the demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status for the Adivasis and grant of ex-gratia payment to riot victims. Reports suggest that the Government might offer ST status to select Adivasi groups, including the Oraon, Munda, Santhals and Birsa. These groups already enjoy ST status in other States. Besides, the Government is also considering an economic package for the community.

The Adivasi militancy started in the State following the Bodo-Santhal riots in 1996, and their recurrence in 1998. About 80 persons were killed in the 1996 conflagration, and 50 in 1998. Adivasi groups have projected an estimated 250,000 Adivasis living in camps in Kokrajhar and Dhubri Districts.

Media reports, meanwhile, claim that the latest surrender of Adivasi groups is the result of widening of Communist Party of Maoist (CPI-Maoist) operations in Assam, and the consequent apprehensions regarding the Adivasis joining this Left Wing Extremist (LWE) formation. Reports suggest that AANLA, with logistical support from some other unidentified groups, has already started a training camp for Maoists in the foothills between Chandalashung ‘B’ and New Chandalashung, in Ralan under the Wokha District in Nagaland, along the interstate border with Assam. The training commenced in October 2011, with an estimated 300 trainees attending the camp. Indeed, Assam’s Chah Mazdoor Sangha [Assam Tea Labourers  Association], delegation led by its General Secretary B. Tanti, on December 21, 2011, informed Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, that many instances of CPI-Maoist cadres luring youth belonging to the ‘tea tribes’ (the Adivasis) to join them had come to light. He warned that if this trend continued, it would spell doom, not just for the tea tribes, but also for the entire State.

Crucially, however, at least some militant indigenous groups continue to hold out against the state, and Kuki or Hmar militants see little reason to surrender. Indeed, the Government’s response to the demands of Kuki and Hmar militants is still awaited. The primary demand of the Kuki groups – United Kukigam Defence Army (UKDA), Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA), Kuki Liberation Army (KLA) – is the formation of a regional council for the Kuki tribes living in the Karbi Anglong District. Hmar militants demand a separate District for their own tribe. While KRA was involved in the Karbi-Kuki clashes in 2005, HPC-D was involved in Hmar-Dimasa clashes in 2003. Over 100 people were killed in the Karbi-Kuki clashes, and another 50 in the Hmar-Dimasa violence. Both Kuki and Hmar are minor tribes, living in the two hill Districts of Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao [formerly North Cachar (NC) Hills], respectively. The January 24 surrender, consequently, leaves many unanswered questions.

Crucially, there are several ethnic groups in the State who oppose both the demand of ST status for Adivasi groups and for a regional council for the Kuki tribes. Led by the All Assam Tribal Sangha (AATS), which comprises various ‘local’ tribal organisations, including Bodo, Karbi, Dimasa and Tiwa student organizations, opposes further ‘scheduling’ in the State. In addition to the Adivasis, another five ethnic groups – the Morans, Muttocks, Tai Ahoms, Chutia and Koch Rajbongshis – are also demanding ST status. Indeed, the Moran and Muttocks have threatened armed rebellion in case they are not included in the list. In the case of Kuki outfits, another vital issue could be the management of their internal rivalry, especially between UKDA and KRA.

Moreover, while the two most prominent Adivasi groups, BCF and ACMA have failed to surrender, surrendered groups like AANLA have already started talking tough. AANLA ‘deputy commander-in-chief’ Peter Dang, following the surrender declared,
Our main demand is granting ST status to Adivasis and it should be fulfilled soon as it is a genuine demand. The Government’s apathy towards Adivasis in Assam had led to AANLA’s birth. We have not laid down all our arms. If talks with the Government are not successful, we may go back to the jungle. Hence the Indian Government should fulfill our demands at the earliest.

APA and ACMA have also expressed similar sentiments.

Moreover, none of the surrendered groups have been involved in major violent incidents, barring some stray activities, since the announcement of their respective cease-fires and SoO agreements. Only one incident of firing has since been reported, involving these groups, when APA militants shot at and injured All Assam Muslim Student Union (AAMSU, Kamandanga unit) assistant secretary Zakir Hussain at Grahampur Bazar under Gossaigaon Police Station in Kokrajhar District on November 16, 2011. Another, group, ACMA was behind two reported cases of abduction in 2011. The BCF was allegedly involved in one extortion case in 2010, besides setting ablaze a bus in 2008. No activities of Kuki or Hmar militants have been recorded since the time they declared a cease-fire.

Nevertheless, taking into account the stalemate in peace talks with other prominent groups such as the Nunisa faction of Dima Halim Daogah (DHD-N), Pro-Talks Faction of National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB-PTF) and Karbi Longri North Cachar Hills Liberation Front (KLNLF), and the residual potential of the remaining active groups such as the Karbi People’s Liberation Tigers (KPLT), Hill Tigers Force (HTF), United Democratic Liberation Army (UDLA) and Anti-Talks faction of United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA-ATF) to create trouble in the State, some quarters have described the latest mass surrender as merely symbolic. It is, however, premature to pronounce final judgment on this, and the continuous consolidation of the state against a multiplicity of armed factions certainly opens out tremendous opportunities for a lasting peace in Assam.


Weekly Fatalities: Major Conflicts in South Asia
January 23-29, 2012



Security Force Personnel





Islamist Extremism


Left-wing Extremism






Jammu and Kashmir




Left-wing Extremism










Total (INDIA)








Khyber Pakhtunkhwa





Provisional data compiled from English language media sources.


13/7 Mumbai blasts case cracked as two of the accused arrested from Bihar, claims Maharashtra ATS: Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) claimed to have made a major breakthrough in the triple Mumbai blasts July 13, 2011 that claimed 27 lives, with the arrest of two of the accused hailing from Bihar. Naqi Ahmed Wasi Ahmed Sheikh (22) and Nadeem Akhtar Ashfaq Sheikh (23) were arrested on January 12 but the mastermind of the crime Yasin Bhatkal, a top Indian Mujahideen operative, and the planters of the IEDs used in the blasts are still evading arrest, ATS Chief Rakesh Maria said.

ATS chief Rakesh Maria also said that the Indian Mujahideen (IM) first recruited youths from Cheetah Camp in Trombay (Maharashtra), then Kondwa in Pune (Maharashtra), then Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh and now Darbhanga in Bihar. He said IM founding member Yasin Bhatkal had indoctrinated and trained as many as three dozen youths in Darbhanga. Times of India, January 24-25, 2012.

SFs launch first operation against Maoists in Assam: Two days after Police had an encounter with the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) in the Silapathar area of Dhemaji District, Security Forces (SFs) launched their first operation against red rebels in several parts of the District on January 28. Police said some Maoists have taken refuge in the District to carry out anti-social activities. Times of India, January 29, 2012.

Hizb ut-Tahrir, the group behind failed Bangladesh coup plot, growing in stature in India: Hizb ut-Tahrir (HuT), the aggressive political group behind the recent failed Bangladesh coup, has been active in India for at least two years. According to sources in the Muslim community and security establishment, HuT that advocates a Caliphate (Islamic state) and has figured in several controversial developments around the world has been active among Indian Muslims. The group has a particularly strong presence in the national Capital, Delhi and largely among students. Times of India, January 24, 2012.

676 militants surrender in Assam: A total 676 militants belonging to seven militant formations surrendered along with 202 small and big arms at a function held at the indoor stadium inside the Sarusajai Sports Complex, in the presence of Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram and Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. The militant outfits that surrendered were Adivasi People's Army (APA), All Adivasi National Liberation Army (AANLA), Santhal Tiger Force (STF), United Kukigam Defence Army (UKDA), Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA), Kuki Liberation Army (KLA) and Hmar Peoples' Convention (HPC). Telegraph, January 25, 2012.

Naxal-hit Districts in West Bengal to get INR 900 million monetary aid from Union Government: The Union Government will allot nearly INR 900 million for rural development across the three Naxalite [Left Wing Extremism (LWE)] affected Districts of Purulia, Bankura and West Midnapore in West Bengal, the Union Rural Development Minister, Jairam Ramesh, said in Kolkata. According to the Minister, a sum of nearly INR 300 million will be allotted in each of the Districts for development purposes. Business Line, January 27, 2012.


UCPN-M combatant's farewell process to start within three days: The Prime Minister-led special committee is all set to initiate the process to bid farewell to those Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M) combatants who opted for voluntary retirement during the regrouping process within three days. During the meeting held on January 27, Prime Minister, Baburam Bhattarai, directed his secretariat to initiate the process at the earliest to bid farewell to the combatants. ekantipur, January 27, 2012.


34 militants and 15 SFs among 51 persons killed during the week in FATA: Twenty two militants and six soldiers were killed during a clash when Security Forces (SFs) captured a Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) stronghold in the Jogi area of Central tehsil (revenue unit) of Kurram Agency in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on January 25.

Seven militants and two soldiers were killed during a clash in Jogi area of the Central tehsil in Kurram Agency on January 24.

At least five militants were killed when United States (US) drone fired two missiles on a house and a vehicle at Mohammad Khel and Degan village in Dattakhel area of North Waziristan Agency on January 23. Dawn; Daily Times; The News; Tribune, January 24-30, 2012.

Human Rights suffer under Army power grab in Pakistan, says HRW World Report 2012: Pakistan's fledgling democratic Government, under increasing pressure from the military, appeased extremist groups, ignored army abuses, and failed to hold those responsible for serious abuses accountable in 2011, said Human Rights Watch (HRW) in its World Report 2012. Targeted killings and other attacks on civilians by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and sectarian and ethnic militant groups, as well as killings of journalists, were commonplace during the year, it said. Daily Times, January 24, 2012.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa witnessed a decline in the number of bomb blasts in 2011, says Peshawar City Police study: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa witnessed a decline in the number of bomb blasts in 2011 compared to 2010, revealed Peshawar City Police study. Yet this is hardly a cause to rejoice, as the death toll from the attacks was actually higher than the previous year. Tribune, January 28, 2012.

President Asif Ali Zardari's media adviser Farahnaz Ispahani fled the country fearing her abduction by the ISI: Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari's media adviser Farahnaz Ispahani alleged that she ran away from the country over fears that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) might abduct her to force her husband, former Ambassador to the United States (US) Husain Haqqani, to sign a confession and implicate the President in the Memo Gate scandal. Indian Express, January 25, 2012.

Afghan Taliban share 'peace' blueprint with Pakistan: The Afghan Taliban shared with Pakistan the 'functional blueprint" of their formal talks with US officials in the Gulf state of Qatar. It is possibly the first time that the Afghan Taliban has shared details of what they will be discussing with US negotiators, even though they haven't divulged what had been previously discussed. Tribune, January 25, 2012.

Sunni Tehreek to become a political party: The proscribed Sunni Tehreek, known as a religious organisation, announced on January 29 that it was converting itself into a political party to be called Pakistan Sunni Tehreek (PST). The announcement was made by the head of the Tehreek, Maulana Sarwat Ejaz Quaderi, who was addressing the "Pakistan Bachao Janisaran-e-Mustafa Conference", held at Nishtar Park in Soldier Bazaar of Karachi. Dawn, January 30, 2012.

US acknowledges Pakistan doctor's help in Abbottabad Operation that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden: United States (US) Defence Secretary Leon Panetta on January 28 acknowledged publicly for the first time that a Pakistani doctor provided key information to the US in advance of the Navy SEAL's assault on Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad on May 1, 2011. Panetta acknowledged that Dr Shakeel Afridi had in fact been working for the US intelligence, collecting DNA to verify the 9/11 mastermind's presence. Daily Times, January 29, 2012.

Musharraf will face arrest if returns, says Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani: Former President General Pervez Musharraf will definitely be arrested if he returns to the country, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said. "In fact, there had been murder charges against him, and there had even been some very grave charges against him, and the Supreme Court had already given a verdict against him," Gilani said. Daily Times, January 28, 2012.


No logical reason in continuing talks with TNA, says Government: The Government on January 29 said there was no logical reason in continuing talks with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) on finding a political solution to the ethnic issue when the final solution would be decided by the proposed Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC). Government Spokesperson and Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that the Government's stance was that the proposed PSC has to decide on the political solution to the ethnic issue. He said there was no logical reason to continue with talks with the TNA since matters discussed with the TNA would also have to be discussed and decided at the PSC. Colombo Page, January 30, 2012.

TMVP leader and EPC Chief Minister Pillayan demands for Police and land powers to Provincial Councils: Tamil People's Liberation Tigers (TMVP) leader and Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) Chief Minister (CM) Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan has demanded that Police and land powers be given to the Provincial Councils. Local Sunday Times reported that the EPC led by Pillayan has unanimously passed a resolution demanding Police and land powers for the council. A copy of the resolution has been sent to the Presidential Secretariat. A spokesman said that the CM will also discuss the issue with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader R. Sampanthan. "We are willing to work jointly with the TNA in winning these demands," the council spokesman was quoted as saying. Colombo Page, January 30, 2012.

Former Army Commander pleads not guilty for harboring deserters: Former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka pleaded not guilty to all charges against him when he was produced before the Colombo High Court. The Government has charged Fonseka and his personal assistant Senaka Haripriya de Silva mainly for harboring Army deserters during his presidential election campaign, conspiring against the Government to commit mutiny and insubordination to the Government. The State has served an indictment against the two accusing them of 41 charges. Colombo Page, January 25, 2012.

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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