From Boston to Bengaluru | Talibanised Surge | Assam: Emerging Troubles in Goalpara | South Asia Intelligence Review (SAIR), Vol. No. 11.42
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Weekly Assessments & Briefings
Volume 11, No. 42, April 22, 2013

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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From Boston to Bengaluru
Ajai Sahni
Editor, SAIR; Executive Director, ICM & SATP

Two dramatic terrorist attacks, one in Boston – during the iconic annual Boston marathon – in the US, and the other in Bengaluru, the capital city of Karnataka in India, have once again provoked frantic assessments of a ‘resurgence’ of terrorism and hand-wringing regarding the ‘failure’ of states to contain or neutralize this threat. Such assessments are misconceived for more than one reason. First, it must be clear that the expectation that any kind of security blanket can be a 100 per cent guarantee against any possibility of terrorism is utterly wrong. Indeed, the idea that the US has been ‘free of terrorism’ since 9/11 as a result of dramatic institutional transformations and initiatives by the Government, is factually utterly incorrect. The Boston incident is not the first major terrorist incident in the US since the catastrophic 2001 attacks – though it has been by far the most dramatic. Unfortunately, in India, this misconception has been embedded in the discourse at the highest level, with top Government officials and their cheerleaders in the media and ‘expert’ community, particularly those arguing for the creation of the National Counter-terrorism Centre (NCTC) in India, reinforcing the erroneous perception that, once the NCTC was established at Washington, the US ‘homeland’ has been secure.

The truth is, the US homeland has not been entirely free of terrorist successes since 2001. On July 28, 2006, for instance, Naveed Afzal Haq opened indiscriminate fire at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, killing one and wounding five. On February 12, 2007, Sulejman Talovic killed five and wounded another five, at the Trolley Square Mall in Salt Lake City, Utah. And on November 5, 2009, Nidal Malik Hasan, a US Army major serving as a psychiatrist, killed 14 and injured 29, at the military establishment at Fort Hood, Texas. Significantly, moreover, in at least three cases, disaster has been averted, not by any preventive initiatives on the part of US intelligence and enforcement agencies, but by the sheer and spectacular incompetence of terrorists: the December 2001 case of the “shoe bomber”, Richard Reid; the December 2009 “underwear bomber”, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab; and the May 2010 “Times Square bombing”, by Faisal Shahzad.

The counter-terrorism discourse in India, at the highest levels of strategy and policy, has largely chosen to ignore, or has been ignorant of, these basic realities and has, in imagining a ‘perfect’ American success after 9/11, invented a variety of arguments that have, at least on occasion, bordered on the idiotic, to justify a range of ‘magical’ solutions which would help India make the problem of terrorism vanish at a stroke. The Boston incident will, of course, irrevocably puncture this make-believe.

Similarly, raising an alarm about the ‘rising threat of terrorism’ in India in the wake of the latest attack in Bengaluru is contra-factual. Unfortunately, this outcry is typical in the wake of each major incident of terrorism in the country, though both the media and the ‘experts’ are quickly drawn back into habitual somnolence. The real threat of terrorism can only be assessed in terms of trends, not of random incidents, and the trends, across India, have been broadly and dramatically positive. It is not necessary to cover the details again, but it is useful to note that according to the South Asia Terrorism Portal, terrorism and insurgency related fatalities in India have fallen from a peak of 5,839 in 2001, to 803 in 2012. Within this broad trend, the category that provokes the greatest hysteria, attacks by Pakistan-backed Islamist terrorists across India, has recorded a remarkable decline, with just one incident in 2012 outside Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) – a low intensity blast in Pune, with no fatalities. 2011 had registered three such attacks outside J&K, with at least 41 killed. 2008, of course, saw such incidents peaking, with seven attacks, and 364 fatalities, of which 195 (166 civilians, 20 SF personnel and nine terrorists) were accounted for by the 26/11 Mumbai attacks alone. Before the Bangalore blast, 2013 had already recorded twin blasts in Dilsukhnagar, Hyderabad, on February 21, with 17 fatalities.  

This does not, however, mean that India’s vulnerabilities have declined. This is a crucial distinction. While the visible threat has diminished due to a range of extraneous factors, the capabilities of the state and its agencies – most significantly, intelligence and enforcement – have, at best, augmented only marginally, even as an astonishingly blind political executive seeks to focus on theatrical initiatives that can have little impact on real counter-terrorism capacities and capabilities (The issue of capabilities has been taken up repeatedly and does not bear repetition here).

The real lesson of the Boston and Bengaluru attacks is manifest in the contrasting patterns of responses in the two locations. It was not the NCTC or major Federal agencies that were elbowing their way into the Boston CT responses. Manifestly competent local agencies were firmly and visibly in charge, though the FBI had been brought in to support these authorities, as was the National Guard. Throughout the incident response and the manhunt for the two perpetrators, however, it was State Police representatives and the State Governor, who spoke, circumspectly, with disclosures limited to known facts. At no stage, before identities were actually and unequivocally confirmed, was any speculation regarding the perpetrators of the outrage at the Boston marathon voiced by any person in authority. Even after the identities of the Tsarnaev Brothers and their role in the bombings had been demonstrably established, no speculation regarding their motives and possible affiliations has been articulated by any one in Government. Certainly, their linkages and motives will be progressively exposed as investigations proceed. But the perverse pandering to a hysterical media and public, the immediate politicization of the issue, and the graceless jockeying for prominence between local and national agencies – characteristic of the Indian response and immediately visible in the wake of the latest Bengaluru blast – was conspicuous by its absence in Boston.

Equally dramatic was the contrast in responses and visible capabilities. The sheer quantum and quality of local Police and emergency response capabilities, the discipline, the professionalism, the training and equipment, visible in Boston can only dishearten any Indian security professional, who simply cannot imagine a comparable general force capability in the foreseeable future.

Boston has a Police-population ratio of 325 to 100,000. The ratio is unexceptional, even by Indian standards for metropolitan concentrations. According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data for 2011 (the last authoritative data available), Delhi, for instance, has a Police-population ratio of 448, and policing in India’s capital is nothing short of a scandal. Bengaluru’s Police-population ratio, however, stands at a much lower 207 per 100,000 on sanctioned strength (170 per 100,000 on actual current strength), according to Police sources, and, while law and order in the city are relatively better managed by the city’s Force than by its counterpart in Delhi, the responses in the wake of the explosion of April 17, 2013 – and in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attack at the Indian Institute of Science in 2005, the serial blasts of 2008, and the Chinnaswamy Stadium twin explosions of 2010 – have been far from encouraging. It is significant, however, that each of the three preceding attacks has resulted in prosecutions, and the first of these has already ended with the conviction of six conspirators.

The startling difference is, of course, not in numbers, but in the character of response, the systems that are pressed into service at the first hint of a crisis, and, crucially, the cooperation, discipline and respect elicited by the Forces from the public as well. In a country where the registration of a First Information Report (FIR) is, for a majority of victims of crime, an insurmountable task, and where such victims are more harassed and intimidated by the Police than are the perpetrators of crimes, it is impossible to imagine such efficiency or public confidence.

It is useful to notice, further, that, while fragmenting terrorist groups are now unable to mount attacks against hard, protected targets – even in India, the last ‘hard target’ attack was the assault on Parliament in 2001 – the susceptibility to soft-target attacks persists, and cannot be ended as long as terrorist groupings and extremist ideologies survive. General policing and intelligence capabilities will be crucial in meeting this challenge. It is crucial that, while a handful of terrorist plots in USA have been brought to fruition, more than 60 such conspiracies have been detected and neutralized before they could get to the stage of inflicting harm.

India, of course, also has her intelligence and policing successes; but the threats the country faces, and her peculiar vulnerabilities, are infinitely greater. The current relief from the much higher intensities of terrorism that India has experienced in the past, provide an opportunity to create the necessary capacities and capabilities to meet these threats and end these vulnerabilities. This is an opportunity, however, that the political leadership appears, unfortunately, to be frittering away.


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Talibanised Surge
S. Binodkumar Singh
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management

On April 6, 2013, in the biggest-ever show of force by Islamists in the country in recent times,  hundreds of thousands of members of the Chittagong-based radical Islamist group Hefazat-e-Islam (HeI), organized a ‘Long March’ from Chittagong to Dhaka, and held a massive rally in the Bangladesh capital. Over two million people are estimated to have participated in the rally. The HeI demanded enactment of blasphemy laws by authorities to punish people who ‘insult Islam’. In a written statement, HeI Ameer (Chief) Shah Ahmad Shafi declared, “Our current movement is not political. Government has to agree to our 13-point demand in order to continue in office.” HeI gave the Government an April 30, 2013, deadline to meet its demands or face a ‘Dhaka Siege’ programme from May 5, 2013.

Earlier, on March 9, 2013, Shafi had put forward a 13-point demand at the Olama-Mashayekh (Islamic Scholars) Convention organized at the Darul Uloom Hathazari Madrassah (Islamic Seminary) Convention Hall in Chittagong District. On the same day, HeI’s “central joint secretary general” Maulana Moinuddin Ruhi, gave the call for the April 6 rally.

The Sheikh Hasina-led Awami League (AL) Government initially attempted to clamp down on the Long March, with Security Force (SFs) arresting 30 HeI cadres from a bus in Palashbari area of Gaibandha District on April 5, 2013, while they were going towards Dhaka to join the rally. This, however, led to a rise in tensions, culminating in large scale violence. Notably, Junaed Babunagri, HeI ‘secretary general’, addressing a Press Conference in Dhaka on April 5, 2013, warned, “(the) Long March towards Dhaka will be spread across the country if the Government resists the HeI cadres on their way to Dhaka.” According to partial data compiled by the Institute for Conflict Management, since that incident, at least five AL activists have been killed and 286 others have been injured across the country (all data till April 21, 2013) in incidents involving HeI.  Some of the violent incidents include:

April 5: HeI cadres killed AL activist Shahidul Islam (36) at Dhaka’s Kamrangirchar.

April 6: An AL activist identified as Nowsher Ali (25) was killed by HeI cadres at Bhanga Chourasta in Bhanga sub-District of Faridpur District.

April 11: Three AL activists were killed as HeI and Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) cadres clashed with AL men in Fatikchhari sub-District of Chittagong District.

The HeI-provoked violence and success of the rally forced the Government to announce that it would “consider the demands” of the fundamentalist formation, and emboldened Shafi, who, on April 11, 2013, declared that the Islamists had united under the HeI banner after a long time, and threatened the AL regime, “If you want to stay in power, you will have to meet our demands. Or else, there will be dire consequences.”  

Formed some time in 2010 under Shafi’s leadership, the HeI only came to prominence after it raised its 13-point demands and subsequently provoked violence. Reports suggest that some HeI leaders have close links with the Pakistani Army as well as various Islamist terrorist and fundamentalist organizations. HeI’s chief, Shafi, moreover, had allegedly collaborated with the Pakistan Army during the 1971 Liberation War. Maulana Habib ur Rahman, the principal organiser of the April 6, 2013, Long March, was a leader of the terrorist Harkat-ul-Jihad-al Islami Bangladesh (HuJI-B) and has links with international Islamist terrorist formations, a fact he personally confirmed in an interview in a special bulletin of Islami Biplob (Islamic  Revolution), published in Sylhet on August 20, 1998.

More worryingly, HeI maintains close ties with the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) as well as JeI, which, along with its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir (ICS), has brought the nation to a standstill since the beginning of 2013, and many of whose top leaders are at the centre of the War Crimes Trials. South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP) data shows that Bangladesh has recorded 145 fatalities related to Islamist extremism since January 21, 2013, when the first verdict in the War Crimes Trials was delivered against JeI leader Maulana Abul Kalam Azad alias Bachchu Razakar. Razakar was sentenced to death.

Indeed, State Minister for Law Quamrul Islam on April 5, 2013, observed, “There are JeI-BNP men in HeI. They may unleash terrorism and create anarchy under the guise of HeI.” He warned, however, “No matter who you are, action will be taken if you are used by JeI-BNP men in creating anarchy.” Further, on April 11, Syed Ashraful Islam, AL General Secretary and Local Government and Rural Development Minister, while addressing a Roundtable Conference, stated, “The April 6 grand rally was not HeI’s; BNP-JeI had organized the programme under the banner of HeI, and had hoped that the rally would have continued for four days, and that the Government would have been forced to step down within this period.”

On the positive side, however, progressive and pro-Liberation groups have come forward to protest against HeI’s ‘demands’. The Bangladesh Islamic Front (BIF), a leading Islamic political party which supported the Liberation War in 1971, condemned HeI and its (BIF) secretary-general M. A. Momen, noted, on April 5, 2013, “HeI has no Islamic ideology, rather they are confusing the innocent Muslims.” Likewise, Bangladesh Khedmot-e-Islam, another pro-Liberation religious group, termed the followers of HeI ‘atheists’ and declared that the ‘non-Muslims’ had called for the Long March.

Later, on April 8, 2013, some 400 Dhaka University teachers demanded punishment of HeI for its stand against the spirit of the Liberation War and core ideals of the country. Urging the Government not to give in to the radical Islamist group, their statement read: “All 13-points of this organization’s demand clash with the core principles and spirit of Bangladesh. This is a blatant attempt to hinder the progress of Bangladesh.” Similarly, leaders of Peshajibi Shomonnoy Parishad, a body of professionals, addressing a Press meet at Dhaka Reporters Unity on April 11, 2013, declared that HeI’s 13-point demand was against the progress of women and the nation. They observed, moreover, that HeI cadres barred women from entering its rally in Dhaka city and harassed several female journalists performing their professional duties, on April 6.

Bangladesh is locked in a struggle between those who supported the Liberation war, and those who collaborated with Pakistan in the atrocities of 1971. The latter have sought to protect themselves under the banner of radical Islam, and to manipulate public sentiments, both to escape culpability for their criminal past, and to dominate the fractious politics of the country. This struggle has now come to a decisive point, with many of the worst offenders now arraigned before the War Crimes Tribunals, and three of them already convicted. If this process continues unhindered, the very existence of Pakistan-backed radical Islamist formations in Bangladesh will come under threat. Unsurprisingly, these groupings are fighting back with everything they can harness. For the first time in recent history, however, a popular resistance to these extremist creeds and the violence and disruptions they are engineering, has taken shape in the Shahbagh demonstration, which has continued, uninterrupted, since February 5, 2013, in support of the War Crimes Trials and the Government’s initiatives to bring their perpetrators to justice. The Islamist extremist parties appear willing to lead Bangladesh into anarchy to push their agenda. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has shown determination, on April 8, 2013, by firmly rejecting the HeI’s demand for a new anti-blasphemy law. It remains to be seen whether her determination will suffice to neutralize the extremist surge and the Opposition’s mischief, as elections approach.

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Assam: Emerging Troubles in Goalpara
Giriraj Bhattacharjee
Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management

On March 31, 2013, Security Forces (SFs) killed a Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) militant in an encounter near the Khashi Ghaghra area under Krishnai Police Station in Goalpara District. Another GNLA militant was injured in the incident. On the same day, SFs recovered an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), suspected to have been planted by National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) cadres, from a road that connects Kanyakuchi and Saljhar Townships under the Rangjuli Police Station in the same District.

Worryingly, Goalpara recorded 22 insurgency-linked fatalities in 2012, including 17 extremists, four civilians and an SF trooper, as compared to just four fatalities, all militants, in 2011. The highest previous record of fatalities in the District was 14 in 2001, including eight SF personnel and six militants. In fact, the District had recorded its last civilian fatality on July 21, 2009, when United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) cadres shot dead a surrendered militant, Hazong Rabha, and his wife Nalani Rabha, at their Nalanga Pahartoli residence under Baguwan Police Station in Goalpara District. He was engaged in coal trade since laying down arms. The last SF fatality had taken place on July 30, 2010, when at least five Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers were killed and 33 were injured in an ULFA-triggered IED blast at Bhalukdubi.

The District has recorded a total of 106 fatalities since 1998, including 17 civilians, 25 SF personnel and 64 militants, in 85 incidents of killing since 1998. 10 of these incidents were ‘major’ (each involving three or more fatalities). The last major incident occurred on July 13, 2012, when SFs killed three suspected militants of the Ranjan Daimari faction of NDFB (NDFB-RD) at Salpara village. The worst ever attack targeting civilians took place on March 16, 2003, when six civilians were killed and 55 were injured in an IED blast engineered by ULFA cadres, under a passenger bus at Bamunghopha on National Highway (NH) 37.

Goalpara, meanwhile, has emerged as the centre of an illegal weapons’ market, a fact borne out by the recovery of arms in the District over the last three years. State Home Department records indicate that Goalpara topped the chart in the category of 'arms recovered from extremists' in Assam in 2012. An official report stated, "Between January and December 5 in 2012, the State Police recovered 118 weapons and 642 rounds of live ammunition from various areas of Goalpara District. In 2011, the figure was 97 and 63 respectively; while, in 2010, 50 arms and 303 ammunition rounds were recovered from the District... Across the State, a total 418 weapons and 9,257 rounds of ammunitions were recovered in 2012."

Clearly, extremist activities have increased considerably in Goalpara. The District borders the troubled Garo Hills in the neighbouring State of Meghalaya, which shares a 443 kilometre international border with Bangladesh – the longest after Tripura amongst North-eastern States. Despite dramatic initiatives by Bangladesh to expel Indian insurgent groupings from its soil, several Northeastern extremist formations continue to maintain a residual presence in that country, and cross the border to execute terrorist attacks and abductions, or to ferry arms, ammunition and contraband. In fact, the District has, since long, been an extremist hub.

The increase in the number of fatalities in 2012 reflects the growing nexus between the Meghalaya-centric GNLA and the Assam-oriented Anti Talks Faction of ULFA (ULFA-ATF). These two groups have established joint training facilities in the Durama Hill Range of the Garo Hills. Paresh Baruah's close aide, Drishti Rajkhowa alias Manoj Rabha, is ULFA-ATF’s chief coordinator with GNLA. Rajkhowa also stays in close contact with GNLA ‘commander-in-chief’, Sohan D Shira. Speaking on the ULFA-ATF-GNLA arrangement, then Senior Superintendent of Police (Guwahati City), Apurba Jibon Baruah noted, “According to the pact, ULFA-ATF will not harm the Garo people living on the Assam side, while a group of 30-40 ULFA cadres are taking shelter in GNLA camps in the West Garo Hills District.” An unnamed senior official in the Assam Police (Operations wing) thus noted, on January 21, 2013, “Every year, we are recovering an increasing number of weapons from cadres of the GNLA and the ULFA hardliner’s faction [ULFA-ATF]. The GNLA is procuring weapons in huge numbers from Myanmar. A team of ULFA hardliners [ULFA-ATF] led by Drishti Rajkhowa is procuring the arms in turn from the GNLA.” This arrangement has become crucial for ULFA-ATF, as most of the undivided ULFA’s armed faction leaders have joined the rival Pro-Talks faction (ULFA-PTF) following the formal split of ULFA in February 2011. Moreover, a presence in the Garo Hills areas of neighbouring Meghalaya provides the ULFA-ATF with an escape route to Bangladesh.

The Rabha National Liberation Front (RNLF), earlier known as Rabha Viper Army (RVA), is another militant formation with a significant presence in the Goalpara District. Sustained SF action, however, has led to the depletion of RNLF cadres. According to the SATP database, at least 31 RNLF militants have been arrested since 2009. A weakened RNLF is trying to regain its influence in the area. Inspector General of Police (IGP) Law and Order, L.R Bishnoi on April 3, 2013, noted, “We have information that following Panchayat (local level self-Government institution) elections in Goalpara, the Rabha National Liberation Force is again trying to gain strength by purchasing arms and ammunition. The outfit, which is mostly active in the District [Goalpara], had received a blow when eight of its cadres were killed in encounters during the past seven-eight months. Another five cadres had surrendered. Drishti Rajkhowa of ULFA had asked a leader of the outfit, Deepak Rabha, to regroup and promised them support in this regard.”

The Panchayat polls conducted in the District on February 12, 2013, led to large scale violence. On that day, during the third and final phase of Panchayat elections in Assam, at least 20 persons were killed in Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council (RHAC) areas in Goalpara District. While 13 people died as a result of Police firing, when violent mobs of Rabhas attacked polling centres and polling teams in RHAC areas, another seven were killed in clashes between Rabha and non-Rabha groups. The Rabha groups were demanding RHAC polls before the Panchayat Polls. Clashes between Garos and Bengali-speaking Muslims, on the one hand, and Rabhas, on the other, had taken place in 2010-2011 as well. The Rabhas, who constitute just over a fifth of the population in Goalpara, where almost 60 per cent of the population is Muslim, are up against the combined strength of the Garos and Muslims, who have allied against them.

Adding to its woes, the District is also the target of mischief engineered by Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI). A media report on April 1, 2013, underlined Assam’s vulnerability to the ISI's demographic invasion, arguing that the Agency’s “current game plan” was the “construction of communalism” in the Northeast, through “engineered and targeted migrations”, especially in Goalpara and Dhubri – the “gateway Districts” of the region.

Significantly, Goalpara District is one of six Assam Districts which has become Muslim majority in the past three decades. The District’s strategic location, combined with its use for illegal arms traffic and the diverse mix of ethnic groups, makes it extraordinarily susceptible to present and future troubles. Extraordinary vigilance will, consequently, be necessary to ensure that incipient threats do not find spaces to evolve into renewed sources of major instability in a region that has already suffered for far too long.


Weekly Fatalities: Major Conflicts in South Asia
April 15-21, 2013



Security Force Personnel







Jammu and Kashmir




Left-wing Extremism




Total (INDIA)








Khyber Pakhtunkhwa





Provisional data compiled from English language media sources.


10 Maoists killed in an encounter in Sukma District in Chhattisgarh: 10 Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadres were killed in an encounter with Security Forces (SFs) in the forest area of Puarti village in Sukma District on April 16. SFs recovered dead bodies of nine out of 10 cadres killed. Seven of the 10 killed were identified as members of the North Telangana Special Zonal Committee (NTSZC). New Indian Express; The Hindu; Daily Pioneer, April 16-17, 2013.

17 people injured in blast in Bangalore: 17 people, including 11 Policemen, were injured in a bomb blast barely 50 metres from the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) party office in Bangalore (Karnataka) on April 17. Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) called the blast "a terrorist attack". Indian Express; Hindustan Times, April 17-18, 2013.

IM operative Mirza Himayat Inayat Baig awarded death sentence in German bakery blast case: A Pune court, on April 18, awarded death penalty to Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative Mirza Himayat Inayat Baig in the German Bakery blast case of February 13, 2010, which killed 17 and wounded 64. Inayat Baig, the lone arrested accused in the German Bakery blast was convicted by a sessions court in Pune on April 15, for criminal conspiracy, murder and other charges. Indian Express; Times of India, April 16-19, 2013.

Jharkhand records highest Naxal violence in 2013, says MHA report: According to the latest statistics prepared by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Naxal [Left Wing Extremism (LWE)] violence, Jharkhand not only fared as the State with the highest incidence of Naxal violence in the first quarter of this year (2013), but it also further consolidated its lead over Chhattisgarh with twice the incidents and thrice the deaths reported by the latter. The report said that Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Bihar together account for over 80 percent of the violence across the country. Times of India, April 20, 2013.

FICN worth INR 590 million seized during 2012, says report: Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) totaling INR 590 million was seized during 2012, according to latest figures released by enforcement agencies and banking channels. FICN worth INR 26 million was seized in 2011. Hindustan Times, April 19, 2013.

Pakistan training women for fidayeen attacks, says Maharashtra Home Minister, R. R. Patil: Maharashtra Government on April 15 said Pakistan-based terrorists were training women as fidayeen (suicide) attackers, possibly to strike important cities including Mumbai and Pune (both in Maharashtra). Maharashtra Home Minister R. R. Patil said this in a written reply in the State Assembly.' Times of India, April 16, 2013.

Balwant Singh Rajoana's sister got INR 22 million for reviving terrorism in Punjab, reveals NIA note: A note from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) revealed that two operatives of Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) had transferred money amounting to INR 22 million to the kin of Balwant Singh Rajoana for "revival of terrorism in Punjab". The note also mentions, "There are inputs that the Pakistan-based BKI leaders like Wadhawa Singh and Jagtar Singh Tara... are trying to revive terrorism in Punjab and wage war against the government of India". Times of India, April 16, 2013.

CPI-Maoist planning to strengthen base in Northeast, says report: The Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) is planning to strengthen base in Northeast. A six page letter sent to 13 States, by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on CPI-M efforts to expand to new areas, said that the Maoists have planned to strengthen their Eastern Regional Bureau which was guiding the movement in all the states of the eastern region. "The North-East is another region where the CPI (Maoist) is trying to spread its wings … with the objectives that include strengthening the outfit's Eastern Regional Bureau, procurement of arms/ammunition/communication equipment," the six-page letter said. Shilong Times, April 18, 2013.

500 CMAS activists surrender in Odisha: Five hundred tribals belonging to Chasi Muliya Adivasi Sangh (CMAS), a Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) backed tribal organisation in Narayanpatna block of Koraput District, on April 17 deserted the organisation and openly supported the Police. Villagers of Kanchanpadu, Kumbhari, Rangumguda and Siriguda of Kumbhari panchayat (village level local self-Government institution) announced their decision to snap ties with the CMAS and expressed desire to return to the mainstream before the security personnel belonging to Border Security Force (BSF) and State Police at Kumbhari. Around 1,800 CMAS activists have deserted the CMAS since January 2013 opposing its violent activities. Zee News, April 18, 2013.


Four major political parties agreed in principle to hold fresh CA elections in mid-November: Four major political parties on April 15 agreed in principle to hold fresh Constituent Assembly (CA) elections in mid-November citing the time constraint, the delay in clearing legal hurdles and differences on some provisions of electoral laws. Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) Vice-chairman Bamdev Gautam said, "Polls are not possible in June as we planned so the vote date will be announced for November 15-21." ekantipur, April 16, 2013.

Government decides to implement Citizenship Distribution Directive: The Government on April 18 decided to implement Citizenship Distribution Directive-2070 to ease the distribution of citizenship keeping in mind the proposed Constituent Assembly (CA) elections. A Cabinet meeting made a decision to that effect. ekantipur, April 19, 2013.


41 militants and 15 SFs among 70 persons killed during the week in FATA: A roadside bomb targeting a military convoy on April 21 killed four Army soldiers and injured four more in Mir Ali town of North Waziristan Agency (NWA) in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on April 21.

A female suicide bomber blew herself up outside a hospital in Khar, the main town of Bajaur Agency, and killed at least four persons and injured four others on April 20.

At least five militants were killed in retaliatory action by Security Forces (SFs) when militants try to ambush security personnel in the Dabori area of Orakzai Agency on April 19. In addition, at least four persons were killed and eight others injured in a rocket attack on an election rally in Wana town of South Waziristan Agency (SWA).

At least nine militants, including five foreigners, were killed in a US drone attack in Bobar Samal area of SWA on April 17.

At least 11 militants and a soldier were killed in clashes at Kago Kamar locality of Dabori area in Orakzai Agency on April 16. Also, at least nine soldiers were killed and eight others injured in a suicide attack on a military vehicle and nearby roadside checkpoint in the Saidgai area of NWA.

At least nine militants and a soldier were killed in a clash between the SFs and militants in Dabori area of Orakzai Agency on April 15. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, April 16-22, 2013.

16 persons killed in suicide attack in Peshawar: 16 persons were killed and more than 35 injured when a suicide bomber targeted the senior Awami National Party (ANP) leader Ghulam Ahmad Bilour and his nephew Haroon Bilour in Mundabheri area of Yakatut in Peshawar (Peshawar District), the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, in the evening of April 16. While Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, contesting from the NA-1, Peshawar, received minor injuries, Haroon Bilour, contesting from the PK-3, escaped unhurt. The News, April 17, 2013.

Terror safe havens in Pakistan threat to Afghan peace, says US General: The safe havens to terrorists in Pakistan pose a great challenge to peace and stability in Afghanistan, even as Afghanistan National Security Force (ANSF) has been making significant progress in war against terrorism, US General Joseph Dunford, the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, said on April 16. "Safe havens in Afghanistan and sanctuaries in Pakistan continue to provide Taliban senior leadership some freedom of movement and freedom of action, facilitating the training of fighters, and the planning of operations," the General said. Times of India, April 17, 2013.

Former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf is out of the electoral race: An election tribunal on April 16 rejected the nomination papers of Former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf from the only constituency where his eligibility to contest May 11 polls was accepted earlier. Musharraf has already been disqualified from three other constituencies from where he had filed nomination papers. Musharraf's nomination papers were rejected following objections that he had subverted the Constitution by imposing emergency as Army Chief and had illegally placed judges under house arrest. Times of India, April 17, 2013.

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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Institute For Conflict Management

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