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Weekly Assessments & Briefings
Volume 13, No. 26, December 29, 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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Assam: Cyclical Butchery
K.P.S. Gill
Publisher: SAIR; President, Institute for Conflict Management

Every few months, one or other community in Assam is put in danger. Bloody slaughters are inflicted again and again, and Governments quickly trot out their usual alibis for failure, announce a range of knee jerk responses - principally the injection of more Central Forces and escalation of 'counterinsurgency operations' - and return as quickly to their default setting of indifference and ineptitude once the media storm and the brunt of public ire has waned. The fundamental issues that create spaces for this recurrent violence have stubbornly been ignored for decades and have, in fact, been exacerbated by a range of state policies.

In the latest bloodbath on December 23, 2014, militants of the I. K. Songbijit faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB-IKS), gunned downed 69 Adivasis (tribal communities originally drawn from outside the State, principally as labour for tea plantations, also referred to as 'tea tribals') in near-simultaneous multiple attacks in Chirang, Sonitpur and Kokrajhar Districts. 40 Santhals were killed in Sonitpur, 25 in Kokrajhar and four in Chirang.

On December 24, eight Bodos were killed by Santhal mobs, in retaliation to the December 23 killings, including two in Chirang and three in Kokrajhar District. The location of the remaining three fatalities is unclear - either in Sonitpur or in Kokrajhar.

Again, on December 24, another three Santhals were killed in Police firing, after thousands of Adivasis, took out a procession and engaged in violence, defying the indefinite curfew at Dhekiajuli in Sonitpur District.

At the time of writing, a total of 81 people have died in these incidents out of which 72 are Adivasis and eight are Bodos. The identity of one victim has not yet been confirmed.

NDFB-IKS is a splinter group of the Ranjan Daimary-led NDFB, and is led by its ‘chairman’ and ‘commander-in-chief ‘ Songbijit Ingti Kathar aka I. K. Songbijit aka Sarsingh Ingti aka Sangbijoy, a Karbi tribal. NDFB-IKS claims to be fighting for a ‘sovereign Bodoland’.

It is significant that the same group  was responsible for the slaughter of 46 Muslim settlers between May 1 and 3, 2014. On May 1, NDFB-IKS militants entered a house and shot dead three members of a family, including two women, and injured an infant, near the Ananda Bazar area in Baksa District. On May 2, another eight people were killed in Balapara-I village of Kokrajhar District, followed by the recovery of 12 bullet-riddled bodies, including those of five women and a child, the same night, at Nankekhadrabari and Nayanguri villages in Baksa District, where nearly 100 houses and a wooden bridge had also been set ablaze by the militants. Another nine bodies were recovered from a village in Baksa District in the morning of May 3, taking the toll to 32. Dead bodies continued to be recovered till May 12, and the final count stood at 46.

Before this, clashes occurred between the Bodos and Muslims in July 2012. On July 19, an unidentified gunman shot at and injured suspended Police constable Mohibur Islam alias Ratul and All Assam Minority Students Union (AAMSU) leader Siddique Ali. On July 20, 2012, bodies of four Bodo tribes-people [ex-Bodo Liberation Tigers (BLT) cadres] were recovered in the Joypur Namapara locality in Kokrajhar District. The final death toll as a result of subsequent and widespread violence was 109.

A trickle of militancy-linked fatalities in the Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD) has also been continuous. 14 fatalities were recorded in BTAD areas during 2013 as compared to 24 in 2014, prior to the violence commencing on December 23. Since December 23, another 29 killings have been recorded in the BTAD areas. BTAD is governed by the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC), an autonomous administrative unit constituted under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution, covering an area of 8,795 square kilometres, and including the four contiguous districts of Kokrajhar, Baksa, Udalguri and Chirang.

The latest round of violence is said to have been in retaliation to the sustained losses suffered by the NDFB-IKS in ongoing counter-insurgency (CI) operations, and there were ample warnings that such a strike was imminent - though, as is obviously to be expected, the exact timing and location of the attacks was not advertised by the militants. Significantly, NDFB-IKS has suffered major setbacks in CI operations launched this year, with 43 NDFB-IKS cadres killed in 26 separate incidents in 2014 [data till December 28, 2014].

Significantly, on December 22, NDFB-IKS had warned the Government of retaliatory attacks if the Security Forces (SFs) did not stop operations against its cadres. These warnings were brushed aside by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, who declared, on December 23, “I don't care for such warnings. The situation in the Bodoland Territorial Areas District (BTAD) is not conducive and corrective measures have to be taken." The attacks commenced just hours after the Chief Minister's statement.

CI operations had been launched against the backdrop of the increasing threat from NDFB-IKS. Out of 189 insurgency linked fatalities in the State among civilians and SFs through 2014 (184 civilians and five SF personnel), 137 (136 civilians and one SF trooper) were attributed to the NDFB-IKS. NDFB-IKS has been involved in at least seven major incidents (each involving three or more fatalities) out of 15 major incidents recorded in the State in 2014. On January 19, 2014, the Assam Government had announced that it was intensifying action against the NDFB-IKS in BTAD by carrying out Joint Army-Police CI operations in the aftermath of a sudden spree of killings in the Bodo belt.

Nevertheless, the State Government was found completely unprepared for the December 2014 incidents. As in the past, a smoke and mirrors effort to misdirect the public and media commenced immediately. While the earlier hoax of 'intelligence failure' and efforts to blame the Centre were not employed on this occasion, the State Police sought to claim that the NDFB-IKS was taking advantage of the 'porous border' and was sheltering in Bangladesh, Bhutan and Myanmar. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (UMHA), however, quickly dismissed this deception, clarifying that the architect of the current carnage, Bidai, was known to be operating from western Assam, and it was the Assam Polices' own failures that were to blame for this new cycle butchery.

The deficiencies of the Assam Police and administration have repeatedly been examined elsewhere and do not bear repetition here, beyond the broadest contours of these deficiencies. Specifically, Assam has a Police-population ratio of 173 to 100,000 [NCRB data for end-2013], well above the Indian average of 141, though still significantly below the levels required for law and order management in a State riddled by a decades-long insurgency and a long history of ethnic strife and political mismanagement. Further, there are critical deficits at all levels of the State's Force. State Environment and Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain, speaking on the behalf of Chief Minister Gogoi who also holds the Home portfolio, on August 4, 2014, indicated that 14,356 posts were vacant out of the 75,559 sanctioned posts in the Police. Of these vacancies, four at the level of Inspector General of Police (IGP) could not be filled as "there is no eligible officer completing 18 years of service in the Indian Police Service (IPS) cadre for promotion to the rank of Inspector General of Police (IGP)." Further, the current vacancy for SP/Commandant, Assistant Superintendent of Police and Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) ranks was at 14, 11, and 163 respectively. The force has 2,499 posts of constables, 300 posts of head constables, 138 posts of Assistant Sub-Inspectors, and 420 posts of Sub-Inspectors, lying vacant. In the Special Branch, 407 posts were vacant out of a total strength of 3,538 personnel. Qualitative and capacity elements, in terms of technical, technological and infrastructural backup also remain abysmally inadequate.

Unsurprisingly, the UMHA has emphasised an augmented role for the Army in the immediate response to the NDFB-IKS challenge, and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh told Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag that the Army's presence should be increased in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya, where NDFB militants were operating. This, however, can be no solution in the long run. In the wake of the Sukma incident in Chhattisgarh on December 2, 2014, where 14 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed by Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadres, UMHA is reported to have told Chhattisgarh "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." Police led responses have been the necessary template of successful CI campaigns in India, and this must be the guiding strategy of response. While an escalation of the Army's role may be a transient expedient, the reality is that too much Central 'assistance' gives the States an alibi for abdication of their own responsibility, and leaves the Police Force progressively emasculated.

The containment or neutralization of particular insurgent formations, however, do not promise an enduring solution to the multiple conflicts of Assam. The most enduring basis of these conflicts is the attritional confrontation between low consumption and relatively unresponsive tribal societies and cultures, and the aggressive, market driven economy of illegal migrants. It is clear that tribal communities have been at the losing end of this unrelenting and unequal competition over the decades. Land has been a crucial element of this competition, with large swathes of private, tribal and public land being cornered by illegal migrants, through a range of devices, including outright purchase, simple squatting or forcible possession. Established political parties in Assam have overwhelmingly sought the creeping ‘regularization’ of the status of the vast illegal migrant population in order to herd them into, and hold them as, captive vote banks.

This incendiary mix has been compounded further by a very assertive, even aggressive, Islamist politics, with political formations purportedly representing ‘Muslim interests’ seeking to mobilize the principal illegal migrant community in Assam, the Bangladeshi Muslim. This mobilization raises the very real possibility of an attempt by communal formations, allied to unfriendly regimes and countries in India’s neighbourhood, acting to provoke the destabilization and even possible disintegration, of the territory of Assam. It has become impossible for any political party in Assam to form a Government without the support of communal Islamist parties. Consequently, corrective action from the political leaderships in the State is unlikely in the foreseeable future.

A long process of policy reversal, as well as legal and legislative action will be required to stem the harm that is even now being done. However, immediate measures are necessary to halt the accelerating processes of the alienation of tribal lands and marginalization of indigenous populations in Assam. These must include and an immediate freeze on all land transactions and ownership in the State; an immediate and comprehensive Survey of land and the creation of detailed land records - vast tracts of land across the State remain un-surveyed and are not reflected in the Government’s land and revenue records, and these are the prime targets of creeping illegal occupation; such a survey must identify all incidence of occupation of lands by illegal migrants – all such occupation is illegal, as their very presence on Indian soil is illegal; strong legislation to prevent illegal occupation, and to reverse illegal possession, of currently un-surveyed and public lands, must also be drafted and urgently brought onto the statute books;  and finally, constitutional and legislative protection of all tribal lands is necessary against acquisition or permanent occupation by outsiders.

In the absence of these necessary initiatives, while some insurgent formations may be neutralized and others may succumb to exhaustion, the conflict potential in the State cannot diminish and will find expression in new disorders and movements. Purely knee-jerk responses have been initiated in the past, and in the present case, and these are very easy - the routine injection of more Central Forces and escalation of CI Operations. Unless there is a comprehensive look at the twin issues of the transformation of land ownership and demographic destabilization in Assam, however, there can be no enduring cure for this festering wound.

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J&K: Dangers Lurk behind Democratic Triumph
Ajit Kumar Singh
Research Fellow, Institute for Conflict Management

For the third consecutive time, the electorate in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) has thrown up a hung Assembly. The People’s Democratic Party (PDP), with 28 seats in an 87 seat Assembly, has emerged as the single largest party, followed by the Bharatiya Janata Party, with 25 seats; the National Conference with 15; the Indian National Congress, with 12 seats; the Jammu & Kashmir People's Conference with two; and the Jammu And Kashmir People Democratic Front (Secular) and Communist Party of India (Marxist), 1 seat each; three seats went to Independents. Unsurprisingly, hectic parley and consultations, between the major political formations and independent candidates on the issue of Government formation are underway at the time of writing. Results for the 2014 State Assembly Elections were declared on December 23, 2014.

Despite the ambivalence of the outcome, there was a clear message of the people’s growing faith in democracy, with approximately 65.2 per cent of the State's registered voters exercising their franchise. The elections, conducted in five phases between November 25 and December 20, saw the highest turnout of 76 per cent during the last phase (on December 20), while the lowest turnout of 49 per cent was recorded in the fourth phase (on December 14). Voter turnout during first (November 25), second (December 2), and third (December 9) phase, stood at 71.28, 72.1, and 58 per cent, respectively. In terms of number, a total of approximately 4,733,059 voters out of 7,259,293 registered voters cast their vote. Significantly, 831 candidates, 803 men and 28 women, were in the fray for the 87 Assembly seats spread across the State's 22 Districts.

Voting percentage varied considerably. Significantly, 17 constituencies recorded 80 per cent or more polling; another 46 constituencies recorded 60 per cent or more polling; voting percentage in seven constituencies stood over and above 50 per cent. 17 constituencies recorded less than 50 per cent turnout – seven of them registering less than 30 per cent polls.

J&K is administratively divided into three parts – Jammu Division, Kashmir Division (also known as the Valley) and Ladakh Division. Out of 46 constituencies in the Kashmir Division, where the separatist and terrorist constituency remains relatively strong, 29 registered more than 50 per cent voting, including two that recorded more than 80 per cent - Charar-i-Sharif (82 per cent) and Sonawari (80.10). Another 21 of these constituencies recorded polling of 60 per cent or more. All the Assembly constituencies of the Jammu and Ladkah Divisions recorded turnouts of over 60 per cent, with the exception of Kargil, which recorded 59.82 per cent. Several of the constituencies in Jammu Division had, in the past, also recorded a strong presence of terrorists and separatists.

All the seven constituencies which recorded less than 30 per cent turnout fell under the Srinagar Parliamentary Constituency, which had suffered the most during the devastating September 2014 floods, reaffirming the fact that the State Government had failed to reach the people in the aftermath of the deluge, and the voters had chosen to punish their politicians.  

Voting percentage during the 2008 State Assembly elections stood at 61.16 per cent, as against 43.70 per cent in 2002, and 53.92 in 1996, demonstrating a steady consolidation of the democratic constituency.

Crucially, moreover, despite sustained provocation from across the border, the 2014 elections remained almost violence-free. None of the 87 constituencies which went to polls recorded a fatality on Election Day, and just one fatality was recorded in a constituency other than that were being polled on one of these five days, December 20, when terrorists killed a sarpanch (head of a village Panchayat, village-level local self-government institution), identified as Ghulam Ahmed Bhat (65), in Sopore town of Baramulla District. Sopore had gone to polls during the third phase, on December 9. Indeed, Vinod Zutshi, one of the Deputy Election Commissioners of India, observed, "It has been the highest turn-out in the last 25 years. This has been a historic turn-out in the current elections... unprecedented and totally peaceful."

This was despite Islamabad’s desperate campaign to escalate terrorist violence, following the high voter turnout during the first phase of elections, to disrupt the poll process. According to partial data, compiled by the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), between November 25 and December 20, 2014 [voting days], a total of 46 persons, including 11 civilians, 16 Security Force (SF) personnel, and 19 terrorists lost their lives in terrorism-related incidents across the State. This period also witnessed four major incidents (each involving three or more fatalities), including two suicide attacks.

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 (CFA), 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.

Again, on December 5, a group of heavily armed terrorists who had been infiltrated from across the border, 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. December 5, in fact, recorded four coordinated attacks by terrorists, which resulted in at least 21 fatalities, including 11 SF personnel, eight terrorists and two civilians. It 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.

Further, Islamabad-backed J&K separatist formations working directly under the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s external intelligence agency, had again called for a boycott of the polls, and these calls were backed by threats from terrorists groups operating out of Pakistan. The nexus between the separatists and terrorists was visible, for instance, in a statement by Mohammad Yusuf Shah aka Syed Salahuddin, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) chief and chairman of the Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK)-based Muttahida Jehad Council (MJC], United Jehad Council), who released a statement on November 14, 2014, declaring, "People who will vote in the coming elections will be considered as traitors who sell the blood of martyrs." He had urged the separatists, mainly the All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC), to launch a door-to-door poll-boycott campaign, which they did, though some have questioned their enthusiasm thereafter. With widespread participation of voters during first phase of the elections, Yusuf Shah found his own constituency wandering away, and stated, "The militant leadership believes participation in the polls is betrayal with the sacrifices (sic). But whatever decision is taken by the Hurriyat over the issue, we will abide by it."

Earlier, the State had also participated in the five-phase General Election for India's Parliament, between April 10 and May 7. The voting percentage during these polls was 49.72, a significant improvement over 2009 General Elections, at 39.70 per cent, and the 2004 Election, at 35.20 per cent. As with the Assembly polls of November-December 2014, the April-May 2014 General Elections were also almost peaceful. According to SATP data, between April 10 and May 7 (voting days), the total terrorism-related fatalities were 13, including four civilians, three SF personnel and six terrorists. Out of six parliamentary constituencies, only Anantnag recorded a killing on Election Day on April 24, when a polling official was killed and another five persons were injured when unidentified gunmen attacked them at Nagabal in Shopian District, within the constituency.

The saga of democratic consolidation was reinforced when, after 33 long years, the State conducted village Panchayat elections in a peaceful environment between April 13 and June 27, 2011. A staggering 79 per cent of the electorate exercised their right to vote in those elections, demonstrating a dramatic deepening of democracy in the State, as a result of the improved security scenario, as compared to era of terrorist ascendancy in the State. At the peak of the Pakistan-backed terrorist campaign, J&K had recorded a total of 4,507 fatalities in terrorism related incidents in a single catastrophic year, 2001.

However, lingering irritants continue to throw up new challenges. Terrorism related fatalities, which had declined continuously, year on year, since 2002, to record a low of 117 in 2012, have seen an increase since, with 181 killed in 2013, and 193 fatalities already recorded in 2014 (till December 28). Significantly, fatalities among civilians increased by 60 per cent, from 20 such fatalities in 2013, to 32 in 2014. Nevertheless, other parameters of violence, including major incidents, suicide attacks and explosions have remained more or less at the same level in 2013 and 2014. In 2014, the number of major incidents stood at 21, resulting in 107 deaths, as compared to 22 such incidents, resulting in 108 deaths, in 2013. Similarly, 2013 recorded three suicide attacks resulting in 20 deaths, while 2014 recorded two such attacks, resulting in 29 fatalities. The number of explosions increased from 12 in 2013 to 14 in 2014, with corresponding fatalities at four and six respectively. On a comparative, 2012 had recorded just 10 major incidents resulting in 45 deaths, and the last of suicide attacks in the State, prior to 2013, were in 2010. The year witnessed a single suicide attack resulting in four deaths, including one civilian, a Policeman and the two suicide attackers (who were killed by the Police).    

Even the number of Districts from where killings were reported remained almost the same between 2013 and 2014 – 14 and 13, respectively. In 2014, the maximum number of fatalities were reported from Kupwara District (61), followed by Pulwama (36), and Baramulla (31). In 2013 too, Kupwara had recorded the highest fatalities (67). Significantly, however, no civilian fatalities were inflicted in Kupwara during these two years. In terms of civilian fatalities in 2014, Jammu and Pulwama Districts recorded the highest, at eight each, followed by five in Baramulla and three in Samba. The highest SF fatalities was recorded in Baramulla (14), followed by Kupwara (10) and Pulwama (9).

Among the most visible of irritants, exposing the sustained deceit and hostility of the Pakistani state, is the continuous turbulence along the International Border and Line of Control (LoC). According to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (UMHA), at least 130 infiltration attempts were made from the Pakistani side in 2014, till October, and of these, 45 occurred in the preceding three months alone. Similarly, a total of 545 incidents of violation of the Cease Fire Agreement (CFA, 2003) occurred along the LoC and International Border were reported in 2014, till November 25. Of these, 424 were reported between August and November 2014 (till November 17), alone. According to partial data compiled by the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), at least six infiltration attempts have been reported since November 1, 2014, and there have been eight CFA violations after November 25, 2014, (data till December 28, 2014). The number of infiltration attempts and CFA violations in 2013 stood at 277 and 347, respectively.

Meanwhile, the drawdown of International Forces from Afghanistan has been completed, and there are apprehensions that India’s border with Pakistan may experience increasing volatility in the proximate future. More effective measures to the border and LoC will be necessary if the dramatic gains of the past years are to be reinforced and advanced further. Several steps have been taken in this direction, and these have significantly reduced the number of successful infiltration attempts from the Pakistani side. As against 100 terrorists estimated to have infiltrated through 2013, 60 are believed to have got through in the current year, according to an August 31, 2014, report.

The reversal, albeit relatively small in comparison to the peak phase of terrorism in J&K, of trends in fatalities in the State is a warning that there is no room for complacence, and that the price for political and administrative mismanagement can be unacceptable, as it has been in the past. The Assembly Elections have created new opportunities and aroused great hope in the State, even as they have eroded the credibility and support base of the separatist constituency. India's and particularly J&K's tragedy in the past has often been that great hope has been followed by great disappointment and consequent anger, feeding the cycle of militancy, and whetting the appetite of terrorist groups and their state handlers in Pakistan for greater violence. It remains to be seen whether the fractured mandate of 2014 will yield a greater stability in this troubled province, and whether the parties will, in fact, deliver on the promise of 'good governance' that lay at the heart of election campaigns this time around.


Weekly Fatalities: Major Conflicts in South Asia
December 22-28, 2014



Security Force Personnel







Left-wing Extremism






Total (INDIA)















Provisional data compiled from English language media sources.


Indian Government has decided to send back Noor Hossain to Bangladesh soon, says Bangladesh Home Secretary Mozammel Haque Khan: Bangladesh Home Secretary Mozammel Haque Khan on December 22 said that the Indian Government has decided to send back Noor Hossain, the prime accused of the sensational seven murders in Narayanganj Dsitrict, to Bangladesh soon. He said the Ministry of External Affairs of India, in a letter said that they have asked Police to take all necessary measures to extradite Noor Hossain. In the letter, they also wanted to know the time and place of his extradition, he added. New Nation, December 29, 2014.


81 persons killed in Assam violence: The death toll in the ongoing violence in Assam reached 81. The violence started on December 23 when about 80 IK Songbijit faction of National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB-IKS) militants shot dead 67 Adivasis at five different places in Sonitpur and Kokrajhar Districts. Times of India, December 29, 2014.

Dawood Ibrahim tracked in Karachi and is expanding real-estate empire, says report: Mail Today accessed a series of never-heard-before tapes from a website giving an insight into the life of Dawood Ibrahim. Dawood has been tracked in Karachi (Sindh) and is heard expanding his real estate empire. In the tapes, Dawood is having conversation with key associates Javed-who manages his business interests in Dubai and Yasir, son of an influential Pakistani-who is his financial analyst based out of Dubai. The tapes indicate that he is fearless and ruthless and is on a real estate-buying spree in Dubai. Mail Today, December 27, 2014.

IS emerged as threat factor in Indian security radar in 2014, says report: Terror outfit Islamic State (IS) appeared to have emerged as a threat factor in the Indian security radar during 2014. The arrest of a Bangalore-based executive, Mehdi Masroor Biswas, who was operating a pro-IS Twitter handle to propagate the ideology of the Middle-East terrorist group, climaxed some disquieting events earlier in the year. Times of India, December 25, 2014.

Four Indian Armed Forces personnel spying for Pakistan caught in last two years, states Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar: Four Armed Forces personnel have been arrested in last two years for spying for Pakistan, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar informed Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Indian Parliament) on December 23. One of the accused was dismissed from service later. Manohar Parrikar told that three personnel were arrested in 2014 while one was arrested in 2012. Times of India, December 24, 2014.

Six Pakistani espionage modules neutralised in 2014, states Minister of State for Home Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary: Minister of State for Home, Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary informed Lok Sabha (Lower House of Indian Parliament), "During the current year-2014 (till December 17), six Pakistani espionage modules have been neutralized in the country resulting in the arrest of six persons along with information and documents relating to various establishments in the country. Out of these six accused, five are Indian and one is a Sri Lankan national". Times of India, December 24, 2014.

NGOs involved in global jihad recruitment, says report: As the National Investigating Agency (NIA) investigates case of Areef Majeed the youth from Kalyan who returned to India after joining Islamic State (IS), they have stumbled upon various Non-Governmental Organisation's (NGO) which help such a cause. There were a large number of Wahabi scholars who had visited India in the past couple of years and according to an Intelligence Bureau (IB) report the number was around 25000. One India, December 23, 2014.


Nepal can't afford even 7 Pradeshes, says PM Sushil Koirala: On December 26, Prime Minister (PM) Sushil Koirala said even seven Pradeshes will be more than necessary for a small country like Nepal. Inaugurating the 41st general convention of Nepal Jaycees in Banepa of Kavre, Koirala said Nepal cannot afford as many as seven Pradeshes once it adopts the federal structure. "Top political leaders are holding a discussion to reduce the number of Pradeshes," Koirala said. Himalayan Times, December 27, 2014


49 militants and nine civilians among 58 persons killed during the week in FATA: At least 12 militants were killed and five Security Forces (SFs) were injured when SFs repulsed attacks on two check posts in Shindara and Khazana Kandao area of Orakzai Agency in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on December 27.

At least 23 militants were killed during airstrikes conducted by military fighter jets targeting militant hideouts in Madakhel, Lataka and Basikel areas of Dattakhel in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) of on December 26.

Seven terrorists were killed and five others sustained injuries in two United States (US) drone attacks targeting two compounds of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan-Punjab Chapter militants (also known as Punjabi Taliban) in the Shawal area on December 26.

Six militants were killed in a clash during a search operation in Halki Gandhab area of Mohmand Agency on December 23.

Security personnel recovered six bullet-riddled bodies from the Yakagund area of Mohmand Agency on December 23. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, December 23-29, 2014.

1,990 missing persons traced this year in KP and FATA, says Peshawar High Court record: The missing person's cases and decisions of provincial and national importance remained the focus of the Peshawar High Court (PHC) during 2014 as 1,990 people were traced out and 12 of them got released through political administration and Police. As per record of the PHC, the law enforcing agencies submitted a list of 934 missing persons in the court in October, who had been traced and shifted to various internment centres being run under the Home Department Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) Additional Chief Secretary under the special law called Action (in Aid of Civil Power) Regulations 2011, for FATA and Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA). The News, December 29, 2014

Ministry of Finance and SBP directed to investigate accounts in order to stop terror funding: In order to stop the flow of funds to terror outfits, Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif on December 26 constituted a Special Committee for the implementation of the National Action Plan on counter-terrorism, the specifications of which would be finalised in a follow-up meeting scheduled for December 27, 2014 at the Prime Minister's House in Islamabad, while the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and Ministry of Finance have been directed to stop terror funding. Daily Times, December 27, 2014.

28 political workers, militants among 458 convicts on death row in Sindh: According to statistics revealed on December 25 at least 28 activists of political parties, banned religious organisations and sectarian outfits are among the 458 convicts on death row in Sindh Province. Of these, the mercy appeals of eight convicts are pending before the President and one before the Army General Headquarters. Consolidated statistics show that the major prisons in Karachi, Larkana, Hyderabad and Sukkur Districts house 458 such prisoners, who were awarded death sentences by the Sessions Courts and the Special Anti-Terrorism Courts (ATC) over the years. Tribune, December 26, 2014.

Military courts imperative to punish terrorists, says Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique: Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique on December 15 said that there was a difference between martial law and establishment of military courts in the prevailing circumstances. He said that military courts were imperative to punish terrorists and they were not aimed at singling out political opponents. He said that the decision to setup military courts was taken by the political leadership for the betterment of Pakistan. The News, December 26, 2014.

No armed group will be allowed to dictate its agenda, says Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Pervaiz Rashid: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Pervaiz Rashid while addressing a candlelight vigil at National Broadcasting House in Islamabad on December 25 in memory of the victims of December 16, 2014, terrorist attack on Army Public School in Peshawar said that no armed group would be allowed to dictate its agenda and disturb the peace of the country. Rashid said the country has resolved that it would not allow the formation of armed groups to dictate to the nation about its way of life and relations with neighbours. Dawn, December 26, 2014.

Terrorism, extremism to be rooted out, says CoAS General Raheel Sharif: The Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif on December 25 expressed the resolve that terrorism and extremism would be rooted out from the country. He paid rich tributes to the political leadership of the country for their spirit and unwavering resolve to rid Pakistan of the menace of terrorism through reforms and administrative measures, says an ISPR press release. He expressed these views while chairing a high-level security meeting. General Sharif reiterated his resolve in unequivocal terms to root out the menace of extremism and terrorism from the country. The News, December 26, 2014.

NACTA asks Provinces to conduct social audit of all banned organisations to find out if they are working under new names: The National Counter-Terrorism Authority (NACTA) on December 25 asked all the Provinces to conduct a social audit of all the 60 banned organisations to find out which of them are working under new names so that the law and the latest decisions announced by the Prime Minister after parliamentary parties meeting can be implemented. "Not only all the 63 organisations (three were placed under observation in 2012) mentioned in the NACTA list of proscribed organisations as available on its official website are banned, their affiliates cannot work with any other organisation or with a new organisation using different names. The News, December 26, 2014.

Senate demands banning of foreign funding to madrassas involved in militant activities: Accusing the Government of failing to take quick action after the December 16, 2014, Peshawar school terrorist attack, legislators in the Upper House of Parliament on December 23 demanded the Government ban foreign funding to those madrassas (religious seminaries) who were involved in any type of militant training. They said that after the Peshawar incident, it was right time for the Government to "clean" those madrassas who were involved in preparation of jihad (holy war) in neighbouring countries, especially India and Afghanistan. Daily Times, December 24, 2014.

Enemies hiding in cities to also face Zarb-e-Azb, says Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif: Pakistan, Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif said on December 22 that the second round of operation Zarb-e-Azb would target terrorists hiding in cities and villages as part of renewed strategy on security for the elimination of terrorism and maintenance of law and order in the country. He expressed these views while chairing a meeting to review the anti-terrorism strategy during which he emphasised that decisive action would be taken against terrorists. Daily Times, December 23, 2014.

5,419 terrorists detained in Punjab jails, informs Punjab Government to the Provincial Assembly: The Punjab Government on December 22 confirmed in Punjab Assembly that the process of capital punishment in the Province has been started and as many as 5,419 terrorists are detained in different jails of the Province, and about 57 appeals of mercy of terrorists have been rejected. Parliamentary Secretary Nazar Gondal further told the House that the government had withdrawn the initial notification regarding ban on capital punishment to the accused persons in jails so now the process to give death penalty to the terrorists have been restored. Daily Times, December 23, 2014.

Conviction rate highest in Balochistan, zero in Islamabad, reveals official statistics: The Anti-Terrorism Courts (ATCs) in the Federal Capital have not convicted even a single terror suspect whereas the conviction rate remained the highest in Balochistan from 2008 to 2014 followed by Sindh, the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), an analysis of official statistics of terrorism cases revealed. As far as the number of under-trial cases is concerned, Sindh stands at the top, and the Punjab, KP, Balochistan and the Federal Capital follow. The News, December 23, 2014.


Ban Ki-moon wants Sri Lanka to back human rights probe: United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-moon still wants Sri Lanka to cooperate with the ongoing human rights investigation on Sri Lanka mandated by the UN Human Rights Council despite President Mahinda Rajapaksa saying he will not back the investigation. The President has said he will let local laws to deal with any human rights violators and not agree to a UN probe. Colombo Page, December 24, 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.

South Asia Intelligence Review [SAIR]

K. P. S. Gill

Dr. Ajai Sahni

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