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Weekly Assessments & Briefings
Volume 13, No. 23, December 8, 2014

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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J&K: Frantic Thrust
Ajit Kumar Singh
Research Fellow, Institute for Conflict Management

With major terrorist attacks intended to disrupt the electoral process in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), India accused Pakistan of "mainstreaming terrorism", even as the first two of five phases of the State Assembly Elections conducted on November 25 and December 2, 2014, registered record turn-outs of 71.28 and 72.1 per cents, respectively. Evidently, the anxiety within the establishment at Islamabad has been pushed to a new level, and terrorist groups operating in J&K, directly under the aegis of Pakistan's external intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), unleashed a series of attacks just two days after the first round of polls.

In the most recent of these attacks, on December 5, 2014, at least 21 persons, including 11 Security Forces (SF) personnel, eight terrorists and two civilians, were killed in four coordinated attacks carried out by terrorists who had been infiltrated from across the border. This was the highest fatality figure for a single day since May 23, 2004, when at least 30 persons, including 19 Border Security Force (BSF) personnel, six women and five children, were killed in an Improvised Explosive Device blast at Lower Munda, near Qazigund, on the Srinagar-Jammu highway. 

In the first attack on December 5, a group of heavily armed terrorists carried out a suicide attack targeting the Army’s 31 Field Regiment Ordnance Camp located at Mohra, near the Line Control (LoC), in the Uri sector of Baramulla District. In the ensuing gunfight, which lasted over six hours, 11 SF personnel, including Lieutenant Colonel Sankalp Kumar, and six terrorists, were killed. Six AK rifles with 55 Magazines, two shotguns, two Night Vision Binoculars, four Radio Sets, 32 unused Grenades, one Medical Kit and a large quantity of miscellaneous warlike stores were recovered from the dead terrorists.

Later the same day, terrorists opened fire on a Police patrol in the Awanta Bhawan area under Soura Police Station on the outskirts of Srinagar city. The Policemen returned fire, killing one of the terrorists on the spot while another, who took shelter in a shed, was neutralized subsequently. One of the dead was identified as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) 'district commander' Qari Asrar. Arms and ammunition, including two AK rifles and seven magazines and hand grenades were recovered from the encounter site.

In another incident, two civilians were killed and another 11 were injured in the Tral area of Pulwama District, when terrorists lobbed a grenade near a bus stand. Terrorists also hurled a grenade at a Police Station in Shopian District, though it failed to hit the intended target, and there were no casualties.

Earlier, on November 27, 2014, terrorists who had reportedly been infiltrated across the border under covering fire by Pakistani Rangers, in violation of the Ceasefire Agreement, carried out a suicide attack targeting an Army Base Camp in the Arnia sector of Jammu District, killing five civilians and three SF personnel. The four attackers were also killed.

Since November 25, 2014, a total of 41 persons, including 15 SF personnel, eight civilians and 18 terrorists, have been killed, and another 15 persons injured, in eleven terrorism-related incidents across the State. More worryingly, two of these incidents were suicide attacks, which had become rare in J&K.

Referring to the suicide attack at the Army Camp in Uri, General Officer Commanding of the Army’s 15 Corps, Lieutenant General Subrata Saha observed, “(Either side of) the road between Baramulla and Uri is densely populated now. The aim must have been to come and strike at civilian targets to cause fear and disrupt the peaceful conditions ahead of the polls.” Uri is going to polls in the third phase of elections on December 9.

Significantly, according to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (UMHA), at least 130 infiltration attempts had been made from the Pakistani side till October 2014, and of these 45 have occurred in the preceding three months alone. Similarly, a total of 545 incidents of CFA violation along the LoC and International Border were reported till November 25. Of these, 424 incidents of CFA were reported between August and November 2014 (till November 17). According to partial data compiled by the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), while at least six infiltration attempts have been reported since November 1, 2014, at least two CFA violations have been recorded since November 26, 2014, (data till December 7, 2014).

Meanwhile, in another manifestation of Islamabad's direct involvement in promoting terrorism, the founder of banned LeT and chief of Jamma't-ud-Dawa (JuD) Hafeez Mohammad Seed, a United Nations-designated terrorist, and the prime accused in the November 26, 2008, Mumbai terrorist attacks (also known as 26/11) was provided state facilities to organize a two day (December 4-5, 2014) “National Conference” on the theme, “Pakistan’s liberty lies in the ideology of Pakistan”, in Lahore. Interestingly, Pakistan Railways operated trains from Hyderabad and Karachi to bring people to Lahore and the Railways spokesperson argued that "there had been a uniform policy to run special trains on the request of political and religious parties". Reaffirming strong support for Islamist extremists across the Pakistani political spectrum, both the Government and Opposition parties extended their 'full support' for the success of the "conference". Unsurprisingly, Imran Khan's Pakistan Tahreek-i-Insaf (PTI) postponed its call to blockade Lahore on December 4 on the "request" of the JuD leadership.

And this is what the head of "religious and political" party, JuD, Saeed stated during the "conference":
Acting on the Quran, it is obligatory on all of us to help Kashmiris in their struggle to get freedom from India. Those who had performed jihad against Russia should go to Kashmir and help the Kashmiris. Gone are the days when Mujahideen were declared terrorists and sanctions were imposed. Now jihad has entered the second phase (in Kashmir). To deal with the Indian atrocities we will have to adopt the course of Ghaznavi and Ghauri... Narendra Modi should be straightforward and resolve the Kashmir dispute, and if you are not ready to resolve it, then God willing, Kashmir will be the gateway and we will Jihad against India…

He later tweeted, “Ghazwae Hind is inevitable, Kashmir will be freed, 1971 will be avenged and Ahmedabad Gujarat victims will get justice, Insha Allah.”

India reacted strongly, but characteristically ineffectively, against the episode. Indian government spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin declared, “This was an event at a national monument in Pakistan, with Police deployed for security, and advertised all across Pakistan. The rally was held by an organization that has been banned not only by India, but also the U.S., U.K, Australia and under the U.N. resolution 1267. Extending these sort of facilities to a designated terror entity including providing train services, is nothing short of mainstreaming terrorism.”

Such 'strong reactions' are an established ritual in New Delhi. Nevertheless, the Government has also announced its intentions to strengthen the security grid across the LoC and International Border, as well as within the State, to counter the current and frantic thrust from across the border. It will be a test of the Centre's will and ability to see whether these measures can be implemented within the immediate context of the remaining phases of Assembly Elections, or whether they will have to wait for a longer term for effective implementation.

Note: November 30 was mentioned as the date of second phase of polls in the article. The mistake is rectified on December 27, 2014.

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Chhattisgarh: The Same Trap, Again
Fakir Mohan Pradhan
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management

In a guerrilla ambush, showing sufficient elements of mobile warfare, the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadres killed 14 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel including two officers, Deputy Commandant B.S. Verma and Assistant Commandant Rajesh Kapuria, and injured another 14 on the outskirts of Kasalpar village, near Chintagufa and Chintalnar, close to the Dornapal-Jagargunda Road in Sukma District, on December 1, 2014. CRPF Deputy Inspector General (DIG) D. Upadhyay disclosed that the Maoists looted 10 AK-47s, including three UBGL (Under Barrel Grenade Launcher) attachments, 900 rounds, 30 UBGL grenades, an INSAS LMG with 300 rounds, an INSAS rifle with one magazine, four bullet proof jackets, a GPS and two binoculars, after the encounter.

A day earlier, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh had boasted, “the Maoists would be finished from Chhattisgarh soon”.

Prime Mister Narendra Modi condemned the attack as ‘brutal’ and ‘inhuman’, while Union Home Minister (UHM) Rajnath Singh termed it ‘cowardly’. Facing the first such major blow to the SFs in anti-Maoist operations under the new National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government at the Centre, UHM Singh issued a suo moto statement regarding the incident in both houses of the Parliament on December 3, declaring, “It is our firm commitment to provide every possible assistance to the Security Forces and we will continue the operations till this problem is fully eradicated.” The UHM's statement gave details of the operation under which the present debacle occurred:

The State Police and the Central Armed Police Forces have been conducting operations in the LWE affected States to effectively tackle the problem of Left Wing Extremism. On the basis of intelligence inputs about the movement of CPI(Maoist) cadres, CRPF launched a multi phased massive operation on 16.11.2014 in the Chintagufa area of Sukma District, Chhattisgarh.

2. In this operation, 2253 CRPF personnel and 224 State police personnel (a total of 2477 security forces personnel) participated. During the first and second phase of this operation on 17.11.2014 and 21.11.2014, there had been several encounters between security forces and Maoists. On the basis of information received from various sources which include intelligence and media sources, there have been reports of killings of 12 Maoists on 21.11.2014. However, this is yet to be confirmed. During this multi phase operation, a few security forces personnel were injured who had been treated.

3. The third phase of this operation was started on 27.11.2014. After combing operations in this densely forested area, when the troops of 223 Bn and 206 CoBRA Bn were returning to their camps, they were ambushed by Maoists near village Kasalpar. This incident occurred at 10.30 AM on 01.12.2014. The troops retaliated and responded to the Maoists' attack bravely. This encounter lasted for around 3 hours. In this encounter, 14 CRPF personnel of 223 Bn. have been martyred and 14 others were injured. As soon as this encounter started, other parties of CRPF which were present nearby rushed for reinforcement.

4. The injured security forces personnel were brought to the base camp at Chintagufa and they were then sent to Jagdalpur and Raipur for further treatment. In this incident, the Maoists managed to take away the weapons and ammunitions of the deceased jawans.

UHM Singh had referred to the encounter that took place during the second phase of the combing operation on November 21, where the unconfirmed killing of 12 Maoists (the CRPF IG in Bastar claimed the number to be 15) occurred. The incident had also resulted in confirmed injuries to five CRPF personnel initially, while another two troopers, including an IAF gunner, were injured when the Maoists fired on the helicopter that was sent to evacuate the injured. The chopper was damaged, but managed to evacuate the injured troopers.   

The December 1 ambush came as surprise to many, as it occurred at a time when the frequency of Maoist attacks was gradually diminishing and Maoist surrenders, especially in the heartland Bastar Division, were mounting rapidly. The Maoists had issued more than one communication admitting losses suffered, both in terms of cadres and weapons, as well as increasing desertions among cadres and sympathisers. Nevertheless, there have long been apprehensions that the Maoists were planning 'something big', to restore the sagging morale of cadres.

It was the SFs who served up a golden opportunity to the Maoists, repeating past mistakes in pursuit of a misconceived 'strategy' of ‘area domination’. The plot was somewhat similar to the devastating incident suffered by CRPF troops at Chintalnad in Dantewada District on April 6, 2010. A unit had moved out on an area ‘domination exercise’, and was ambushed on their way back to camp. 75 CRPF troopers and one Policeman of the Chhattisgarh Police were slaughtered by the Maoists.

As the dust settles, reports indicate several things that went wrong on December 1. Firstly, the group that was ambushed had been isolated from the main contingent. Secondly, the troopers were tired after the protracted operation. Thirdly, the team had 'deviated' from its planned route. According to CRPF sources, the “deviation from the planned route” took place because seven CRPF men were suffering from malaria: “The jawans were showing signs of cerebral malaria. We had asked for a chopper to evacuate them on November 30, but the chopper refused to land citing lack of space, leaving us with no option but to carry the sick personnel, which slowed down our movement.” Fourthly, the IAF choppers refused to evacuate the injured immediate aftermath of the ambush as ".... there was no clarity on whether the landing area at the encounter site in the jungle had been sanitized." CRPF claims timely evacuation could have saved at least three lives. Fifthly, there were allegations that surveillance drones withdrew midway through the operation, disregarding SF requests. Further, some reports also suggest that a Maoist ‘mole’ led the SFs into the trap. As usual, there are also reports claiming that the SFs violated standard operating procedures (SOPs) by following the same route over 10 days.  

There have also been claims by the CRPF that the Maoists used villagers as human shields, as a result of which SFs could not retaliate properly. This remains to be confirmed by investigators, but certainly appears strange, in view of the claim that the Maoists ambushed the CRPF unit. There is no precedent of an ambush carried out by the Maoists with human shields in tow.

An enquiry has been ordered into what went wrong leading to the huge loss.

Incidentally, newspapers on December 1 reported an outbreak of malaria across Bastar. Besides SF personnel, a huge number of villagers had also been hit. The lack of medical facilities in the area was exposed, with over 50 personnel of the State Police and CRPF lying on the floor for treatment at the Maharani Hospital at Jagdalpur. Bastar Inspector General of Police (IG) S.R.P. Kalluri noted, “Our operations have been affected. We have asked the State Government to immediately take note of the situation and ensure medicare for Policemen.”

Disgracefully, the uniforms of the troopers who had been killed found their way into a garbage dump outside the Ambedkar Hospital in Raipur, where the post-mortem was conducted, displaying extraordinary negligence and a collapse, both of the CRPF and Police leadership, as well as minimal norms of hospital administration. Once again, an enquiry has been ordered to fix responsibility for the lapses leading to the dumping of the personal effects of the dead troopers.

The attack establishes that, despite the continuous desertions and surrenders, the core of Maoist strike capabilities remain intact in the Bastar Division. The surrender of Chamballa Ravinder aka Arjun, who rose through the ranks and became the commander of the first company raised by Maoists in Abujhmaad, and was later elevated to the rank of commander of the 'Abujhmaad battalion', the second Maoist Battalion in Bastar, suggested, of course, that all was not well with the Maoists. Nevertheless, as in the past, the rebels have demonstrated a residual strength sufficient to exploit SF blunders.

There are no visible gains from the ‘multi phased massive operation' initiated by the SFs on November 16, 2014, in the Chintagufa area, but the Maoists have achieved some definite advantages, beyond the demonstrative impact of the damage inflicted on the CRPF troops. By firing at helicopters on several occasions, including the latest incident on November 21, they generated sufficient doubt in the minds of the IAF to fly evacuation operations. Further, they successfully slowed down ‘enemy forces’ (SFs) by planting IEDs, and, eventually, inflicted heavy casualties on the SFs. The CRPF had already issued a ban on the use of Mine Proof Vehicles (MPVs), describing them as ‘coffins on wheels’.

Crucially, the December 1 incident is evidence of persistent failures of strategy on the part of the SFs and their planners. Despite claims, the 'multi-phased operation' was based, at best, on 'general intelligence' regarding the presence of Maoists in the targeted area, and not on any specific intelligence. The Force was, consequently, wandering about a vast forest area for two weeks, simply hoping to smoke out the Maoists in an 'area domination' approach that has demonstratively and repeatedly failed in the past, particularly given the inadequacy of Forces available to effectively dominate the thousands of kilometres of dense jungle in the Bastar Division. Unsurprisingly, though belatedly, UHM Rajnath Singh has now announced, that the CPMFs should "desist from expansive area-domination exercises" in Maoist areas, and to focus on specific intelligence based targeted operations.

The strategic vulnerabilities of the SFs are also a direct consequence of the perversity of States' approach to the Maoist problem. In a candid interview, the outgoing Director General of the CRPF, Dilip Trivedi, observed, on November 27, 2014, "For some States, continuing Naxal violence is beneficial. It helps them get central funds. And then it's not their men who die but those from outside the State (central force personnel)." It remains the case that, despite the training of over 22,000 Chhattisgarh Police personnel at the Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare College at Kanker, the overwhelming proportion of the anti-Maoist fighting continues to be done by Central Forces, whose total deployment in Chhattisgarh amounts to some 31 Battalions, with each battalion yielding approximately 400 personnel on the ground - that is, roughly 12,400 Central Paramilitary Force (CPMF) personnel. Sources said the DG was hinting at Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha revealed media reports. Trivedi observed, further, "The easier way of fighting IEDs (improvised explosive devices) is to ensure Maoists do not get explosives easily. But the Government is not serious about regulation of explosives' sale. State Governments have to stop explosives from reaching Maoists." In essence, Trivedi was underling the lack of a genuine effort to solve a problem on the part of the State Governments. Under the preceding United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government in Delhi, the Centre's role in tackling the Maoists had been over-emphasised on the grounds that this was a 'national problem', transcending State boundaries, and could, consequently, be resolved only at a 'national' level. The affected States had eagerly seized upon this logic, stridently demanding greater financial benefits to tackle 'developmental deficits' and more and more CPMF deployment, and abdicating all responsibility for the management of 'law and order' or 'security' in the State. It is significant that, of the 2,477 personnel involved in the ‘multi phased massive operation' of initiated on November 16, 2014, just 224 belonged to the State Police. The cumulative consequences of this approach had already been demonstrated in the massacre at Chintalnad in April 2010, but no lessons appeared to have been learned.

Since it assumed power at the Centre with a strong majority, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government has made some appropriate noises regarding Left Wing Extremism (LWE). The Union Ministry of Home Affairs' (UMHA's) draft policy states:
 The LWE (Left Wing Extremism) affected States will take the lead in the counter-insurgency campaign with support from the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs). The CAPFs have the responsibility of holding the counter-insurgency grid together, operating seamlessly across state borders in coordination with the State police forces… The CAPF personnel deployed in LWE affected areas would be given incentives on par with the maximum prevailing levels — those available in Jammu and Kashmir… In the worst left-wing extremism affected areas, security interventions will be followed by development interventions; in moderately affected areas, both the interventions will go hand in hand and in less affected areas, development interventions will take precedence.

In the wake of the December 1 debacle, UHM Rajnath Singh has now declared that the States must take the lead in anti-Maoist operations. A senior UMHA official reportedly stated: "The State (Chhattisgarh) was told that the experience of previous counter-insurgency campaigns in India in Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and Tripura shows that State Police should take the lead in the campaign with support from Central Forces... This also forms the main part of the new national policy against Maoists that has been framed by the Home Ministry. The Policy is now set to be laid before the Cabinet Committee on Security for approval."

The counter-insurgency experience of Punjab, Tripura and Andhra Pradesh has long been before the nation, and cannot have escaped the attention of the Governments of Chhattisgarh and other Maoist afflicted States, or of regimes at the Centre. If the lessons of this experience have been consistently ignored, the reasons can only lie in the perverse politics that former CRPF DG Trivedi hinted at. It remains to be seen whether the new dispensation at Delhi can overcome this pattern of politics, to capitalize effectively on the visible weakening of the Maoist organisation and cadres, or will the persistence of political and strategic folly once again create the spaces for another Maoist revival.

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Deepening Polarization
S. Binodkumar Singh
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management

In a clear indication of deepening polarization in the constitution drafting process in Nepal, 20 out of 31 parties represented in the Constituent Assembly (CA), on November 20, 2014, rejected the seven-province proposal of the ruling alliance - the Nepali Congress (NC) and Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML). The dissident parties alleged that the joint proposal was against the spirit of the Interim Constitution of 2007 and earlier peace agreements, including the 11-Point Agreement, 7-Point Agreement and 23-Point Agreement. Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, who is also President of the ruling NC, and CPN-UML Chairman K.P. Sharma Oli, had jointly presented the seven-province proposal at a meeting of the Constitutional Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee (CPDCC) on November 3, 2014.

The seven-province proposal primarily focused a federal system, the system of governance, the judicial system and the electoral model. Koshi, Janakpur, Bagmati, Gandaki, Lumbini, Karnali and the Far-West were to be the seven Provinces in the Federal structure, with Kathmandu as the Federal Capital. The proposal also stated that there will be a multiparty parliamentary system of governance; the Supreme Court will be the final authority to interpret the constitution; and all 165 members of the House of Representatives will be elected directly.

On November 17, 2014, the task of resolving disputes in the constitution-making process had already suffered a serious setback, as the meeting of the CPDCC of the CA was deferred until further notice, even as the January 22, 2015, deadline for promulgating a new Constitution was drawing close. CPDCC Chairman Baburam Bhattarai, who is also a Vice-Chairman of the United Communist Party of Nepal - Maoist (UCPN-M), adjourned the meeting for an indefinite period after NC leader Ram Chandra Paudel submitted signatures of 43 of the 71 members of the CPDCC demanding that Bhattarai should forward the NC - CPN-UML seven-province proposal to the CA’s full House.

The deadline given to the CPDCC to submit its report to the CA, after four extensions, expired on November 16, 2014. Finally, on December 5, CPDCC, Chairman Baburam Bhattarai, submitted the CPDCC's report to CA Chairman Subas Chandra Nembang, incorporating the joint proposals put forth by NC and CPN-UML, along with opinions of other parties. The CA meeting is now scheduled for December 9, to discuss on the report. The CPDCC was formed on March 27, 2014, and mandated to hold discussions with political parties to settle disputed issues in the constitution-drafting process.

Terming the seven-province proposal against the spirit of consensus and unacceptable, the 22-party alliance led by the main opposition UCPN-M, at a meeting on November 17, 2014, denounced the joint proposal presented by ruling NC and CPN-UML to the CPDCC. Talking to media after the meeting, Tarai Madhes Democratic Party (TMDP) Co-Chair Hridayesh Tripathi argued that the proposal failed to incorporate the spirit of federalism. Similarly, two indigenous people's organizations, including the Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) and Indigenous Nationalities Movement of Nepal (INMN), announced joint protest programs to guarantee the indigenous people's rights to identity in the new Constitution. Issuing a joint statement, the two organizations declared they had decided to join forces to fight for issues related to inclusion of ethnic identity in the Federal Constitution while the constitution promulgation process was ongoing.

A day later, UCPN-M Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal aka Prachanda, argued, "We are the opposition in the Parliament, however, NC and CPN-UML treat us as the opposition even in the CA where, in fact, nothing but constitution-making must be focused on." Likewise, Vice-chairman of the Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Democratic (MJF-D) Jitendra Narayan Dev, a key strategist in the 22-party alliance, observed, on November 20, 2014, that the ruling parties secretly prepared their joint proposal and submitted it to the CPDCC without even uttering a word about it in the trilateral meeting held a day before, thus creating deep suspicion in the opposition camp.

Meanwhile, on November 18, CA members representing the Tharu-community from all the parties, including NC and CPN-UML, initiated a signature campaign, opposing the proposal. These lawmakers argued that the seven-province model was a gambit to link Tarai-Madhes to the Hills, and violated the rights of the Tharu community. Earlier, on November 9, 2014, Madhes based lawmakers from NC also submitted their signatures to Prime Minister Koirala, denouncing the seven-province federal model. Further, the United Democratic Madheshi Front (UDMF) comprising six Madhesi parties — MJF-D, TMDP, Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Nepal (MJF-N), Sadbhavana Party (SP), Tarai Madhes Sadbhavana Party-Nepal (TMSP-N) and National Madhes Socialist Party (NMSP) - formed a six-member committee on December 4. After a committee meeting on the same day, the front prepared to publicize the State-Restructuring Commission’s 10-province federal model as its official proposal.

Federalism is one of the most contentious issues to plague the constitution drafting process. The shifting position of all concerned parties on the subject had complicated it further. Earlier, in a meeting of the alliance of five main Maoist parties of Nepal,  at Kathmandu on June 30, 2014, during an extensive interaction on the subject of federalism, the constituent parties expressed their readiness to hit the streets to press the Government to incorporate their agenda in the constitution. Compounding the issue further, on July 11, 2014, the UCPN-M and six Madhesi parties formed the Federal Republican Front (FRF), to push for their demand of identity-based federalism.

On the other hand, the High Level Political Committee (HLPC), another body engaged in drafting of the constitution, met on November 30, 2014, in the presence of CA Chairman Subash Nembang. The meeting of the HLPC ended without making any headway. The HLPC was constituted on March 16, 2013, to ‘assist the Government’ in resolving possible problems in the political sector. The other contentious issues left to be resolved, apart from federalism, include the restructuring of the state, the electoral system and the judiciary.

Amidst the uncertainty brought about by the differences among major political parties, various groups have launched signature campaigns, rallies, and Short Message Service (SMS) campaigns, to pressure CA members. Significantly, locals in Dhangadhi city of Kailali District, on December 3, 2014, staged a rally to exert pressure on the political parties to promulgate the new statute by January 22, 2015. The rally, in which various civil society organizations took part, was held under a banner that read: “We do not want to be failed again.”

Meanwhile, the Mohan Baidya aka Kiran led faction of the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-Maoist-Baidya), which abandoned the UCPN-M on June 19, 2012, split further on November 24, 2014, after a splinter-group led by party secretary Netra Bikram Chand submitted a letter to the CPN-Maoist-Baidya Central Committee, announcing its intentions to separate. Organizing a press conference in Kathmandu on December 1, 2014, the newly formed Chand-led CPN-Maoist (CPN-Maoist-Chand) urged the ruling coalition parties to implement in full the 12-point understanding, the interim constitution and the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA)

Frustrated with the delays in the Constitution writing process, CA Chairman Subas Chandra Nembang stated, on December 5, 2014, “The new Constitution would be possible by January 22 only by shortening, scrapping and suspending several provisions of the CA Rules. If all procedures are to be followed, the new Constitution is possible only by April 15. The fast-track is the only option before us.”

Evidently, political parties are sharply divided over both the procedure and the contents of the new Constitution. Growing mistrust has diminished the prospect of the country getting its new charter by January 22, 2015. Sticking to their respective positions, both ruling and opposition fronts have adopted a wait-and-see approach, and a deadlock continues to cripple the process of drafting the new Constitution.


Weekly Fatalities: Major Conflicts in South Asia
December 1-7, 2014



Security Force Personnel





Left-Wing Extremism






Jammu and Kashmir






Left-wing Extremism






Total (INDIA)











Provisional data compiled from English language media sources.


Bangladesh launches massive drive in CHT against militants operating in India's Northeast: Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) launched an operation in the interior areas of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) against militants operating in India's Northeast on November 22. As a result, the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) rebels have fled from the jungles of the CHT. This came to light when India's Border Security Force (BSF) personnel, on December 4, arrested a NLFT 'commander' Amarjeet Debbarma from the Raisyabari market in the Gandacherra subdivision in Dhalai District (India). Telegraph, December 5, 2014.


545 ceasefire violations by Pakistan until November 25, 2014, says Government: The Government on December 3 said that there were 545 ceasefire violations by Pakistan until November 25, 2014, marking a 57 per cent increase over the 347 violations reported in the whole of 2013. The bulk of the ceasefire violations (395) in 2014 were reported from the International Border (IB) under operational control of the Border Security Force (BSF), while the Line of Control (LoC) and IB areas under the Army's control accounted for only 27.5 per cent of the cases. Times of India, December 4, 2014.

1,977 infiltrators arrested from India-Bangladesh border in 2014, says Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju: Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said in the parliament that as many as 1,977 infiltrators have been apprehended by the Border Security Force (BSF) from along the India-Bangladesh border in the current year, 2014. Sentinel Assam, December 2, 2014.

FICN seized in country and abroad originates from Pakistan, states Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary: Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary told Lok Sabha (Lower House of Indian Parliament) in a written reply, "All high quality FICN [Fake Indian Currency Note] seized in India and abroad, originate only from Pakistan which has created a self sustaining criminal network in the South and South East Asian region for infusing fake India currency notes into India via Nepal, Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and United Arab Emirates". Outlook, December 2, 2014.

IS militant Arif Majeed was part of a group of 40 radicalised boys in a college, says report: Arif Majeed, the Islamic State (IS) militant who returned to India and subsequently arrested, told investigators that he was part of a radicalised group of 40 students at Anjuman Islam's Kalsekar Technical College in Panvel (Maharashtra) and each one of them was referred to as Naqeeb, Urdu for a leader. Arif revealed that all 40 in the group spent a lot of time on the internet, mining information on terrorist groups and Islamic preachings.

Meanwhile, according to reports, Arif Majeed, is a trained suicide bomber who made as many as three attempts on Security Forces at different vital installations in Syria without any success. The bullet injuries which he has received too were sustained in one of the many battles, including the August offensive on Mosul dam in Iraq, he participated in as an IS man against Iraqi and US forces. According to one of the interrogating officers Majeed fought alongside IS against Kurdish Peshmerga and US forces who eventually took over the dam. "After sustaining bullet injuries, he was given $2,000 by ISIS as reward and medical assistance before he fled to Turkey and decided to come back home," said the officer. Mumbai Mirror, December 6, 2014; Times of India, December 8, 2014.

Hafiz Saeed's rally mainstreaming of terrorism, states MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin: India on December 5 denounced as "mainstreaming of terrorism" the rally held by Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) 'founder' and Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) 'chief' Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and said it was against all evolving global norms on terror. Saeed addressed a public rally, apparently facilitated by Pakistani authorities who even ran special trains for it, at the ground of Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore. Times of India, December 6, 2014.

No Maoists presence in Telangana, says State Home Minister Nayani Narasimha Reddy: Telangana Home Minister Nayani Narasimha Reddy ruled out the presence of Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) in the State on December 3. "There is no Maoist activity (in Telangana)...We have a peaceful atmosphere here," Reddy told. Deccan Chronicle, December 4, 2014.

Maoists forcing one child per family to join them in some areas, says MHA: The Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) is reportedly forcing at least one child per family to join its ranks in Maoist-hit Districts of Lohardaga and Gumla in Jharkhand and Kanker in Chhattisgarh, according to intelligence reports reaching the Centre. "As per intelligence inputs, in the current year, incidents of Maoists forcing at least one child from each family to join the outfit have been reported from areas under Police Stations Senha (Lohardaga), Bishunpur (Gumla) in Jharkhand and Police Station Ambabeda (Kanker) in Chhattisgarh," Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary informed Lok Sabha (lower house of Parliament) in reply to a question on December 2. Times of India, December 3, 2014.

Security situation in Northeast is fragile, says IB chief Syed Asif Ibrahim: Intelligence Bureau (IB) Chief Syed Asif Ibrahim on November 29 said that while the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) is besieged with serious problems and the security situation has shown marked improvement in Jammu and Kashmir, the security situation in the Northeast region was fragile, with some militant outfits still outside the ambit of the peace process. The IB chief said that the safe sanctuaries of the militants in neighbouring countries, particularly Myanmar, was compounding the situation. The Hindu, December 2, 2014.


Netra Bikram Chand announces new party CPN-M: On December 1, organising a press conference in Kathmandu, Netra Bikram Chand formally announced formation of the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist- Netra (CPN-Moist-Netra). Chand also announced to organise first national convention of the new party from January 7-10, 2015. The new party includes former leaders of Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist-Baidya (CPN-Maoist-Baidya), including Khadga Bahadur Bishwokarma, Ishwari Dahal, Dharmendra Banstola, Tilak Pariyar and Santosh Budha. Further, Chand said the party has no plans to launch an armed revolt. Hindustan Times; My Republica, December 2, 2014.


120 militants and five SF personnel among 127 persons killed during the week in FATA: The Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said on December 7 that up to 30 militants were killed when militants' hideouts were pounded in Mra Panga and Masdaq villages of the Dattakhel area in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on strong intelligence reports about the presence of Hafiz Gul Bahadur and his deputy Maulvi Sadiq Noor there.

Four soldiers and 12 militants were killed while four troops sustained injuries when militants attacked a bunker of Security Forces (SFs) in the Akakhel area of Tirah Valley in Khyber Agency on December 7.

Pakistan's military on December 6 killed Adnan el Shukrijumah (39), a Saudi national and senior al Qaeda 'commander' along with his associate and a local facilitator in Wana, the headquarters of South Waziristan Agency, in a pre-dawn ground raid on a militant hideout close to the border with Afghanistan.

At least 18 suspected militants were killed during air strikes conducted by Pakistan Air Force (PAF) fighter jets in Madakhel area of Dattakhel tehsil (revenue unit) in NWA on December 4.

Three people, including a member of village defence committee, identified as Siraj Khan, and his wife and daughter, were killed in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast in Karani area of Nawagai tehsil of Bajaur Agency on December 4.

At least 15 militants were killed on December 3 during airstrikes conducted by military fighter jets in the Dattakhel area of NWA.

Eight bullet-riddled bodies of suspected militants were recovered from Tirah Valley in Khyber Agency on December 3.

At least 17 militants, including foreign fighters, were killed and several of their hideouts were destroyed when military warplanes targeted the hideouts of militants in different areas of Datta Khel tehsil in NWA on December 2.

SFs successfully repulsed a pre-dawn militant attack on a check post they were manning in the Sherin Dara area of Orakzai Agency on December 2. SFs said they retrieved seven bodies after the attack. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, December 2-8, 2014.

Parliament unaware of new US conditions for NWA operation: The United Sates (US) Congress has set the limits of military operation in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) without any knowledge and information of Parliament. While the Pakistani Parliament was never consulted on this military offensive, the US Congress has set new conditions as how this operation should be conducted to pave the way for military aid for Pakistan. Every time parliament here was consulted during the recent years on the issue of the so-called US war on terror, it had opposed the war on terror and sought formation of policies independent of foreign influence particularly that of the US. The News, December 6, 2014.

Nation suffered USD 80 billion loss in 'war on terror', Government told National Assembly: Pakistan suffered loss of almost USD 80 billion as well as 50,000 lives of civilians and law enforcement agencies during the decade long war against terrorism, Government told National Assembly on December 5. In a written reply Ministry of Interior informed the house that Pakistan has been victim of terrorism for the last ten years. The Parliamentary Secretary for Interior, Maryam Aurangzeb, said extremist groups have been active throughout the country with their own ideology and motives. Daily Times, December 6, 2014.

Recognising Taliban Government in Afghanistan was Pakistan's mistake, admits former President General Pervez Musharraf: Former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf on December 4 termed recognition of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan a blunder on part of Pakistan but blamed the West and United States (US) for the birth of al Qaeda and leaving Pakistan high and dry after the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan. He said Pakistan suffered due to wrong policies of the US as the country had to fight on two fronts simultaneously in 1979, which led to an increase in the size of the armed forces. Musharraf said efforts have been made to destabilise Pakistan right from 50s and 60s era. Dawn, December 5, 2014.

US extends CSF for Pakistan with new restrictions till 2015: The United States (US) Congress on December 4 extended the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) for Pakistan for a year but has also included some new conditions in its final budget proposals. The fund reimburses US allies for the efforts they make in the war against terror. The final budget proposal, however, clarifies that Pakistan cannot receive more than a billion dollars in a year from this fund. Pakistan received USD 370 million from this fund in October, 2014. The annual imbursements are made in four installments. Dawn, December 5, 2014.

1,000 proclaimed offenders joined militant groups operating across the country, says NCMC report: The National Crisis Management Cell (NCMC) fears that around 1,000 proclaimed absconders have joined militant groups operating from Awaran District in Balochistan, North Waziristan Agency, other tribal regions of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. These absconders are either wanted by Islamabad Police or Anti-Terrorism Courts (ATCs) within Islamabad, officials claimed. Tribune, December 1, 2014.

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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