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Weekly Assessments & Briefings
Volume 8, No. 35, March 8, 2010

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 Terrorism to "Agitational Terrorism" in Kashmir
Ajaat Jamwal
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management

On October 31, 2009 the General Officer Commanding in Chief (GOC-in-C) of the Army’s Northern Command, Lieutenant General B S Jaswal, described the ongoing phase of the separatist campaign in the Kashmir Valley as "agitational terrorism". The conceptual perspective behind this formulation has not been publicly articulated by the Army top Brass, but there is certainly evidence to suggest the graduation of the terrorist movement into a more complex and comprehensive assault against state authority, with mass mobilization campaigns harnessed to compound calibrated terrorist violence on the ground.

The Special Director General of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) Zone, N.K .Tripathi, on February 3, 2010, disclosed the manner in which terrorist regimes were crafting public demonstrations and protests, in conjunction with focused violence. Tripathi confided that Pakistan’s covert agencies had been hiring people in Kashmir to pelt stones on security forces: "Our officers have told us that stone throwers are being paid money. All of us know where the money is coming from. Pakistan and its security agencies, having failed in sustaining the militancy, have adopted the new technique of stoning us." To the question, whether hawala money was being circulated for stone pelting, Tripathi responded, "perpetrators of the militancy have evolved several ways for funding and Hawala is, of course, one of them." He disclosed, further, "During the last one and a half years, nearly 1,500 CRPF personnel have been injured while performing their duties in the State, while their vehicles have been targeted 373 times."

Inspector General of Police (IGP), Crime Investigation Department, Kashmir, A.G. Mir, revealed another interesting dimension of the ongoing campaign, the interesting nexus between the drugs and the public protests. "There is a co-relation between addiction and stone throwing, and those addicted to prescription drugs, cannabis, or opium, find stone pelting a lucrative way to support their habit. They show bravado under the influence of drugs, they feel they are invincible. That’s why they indulge in risk taking behaviour. We have found that there are people who organize these events and mobilize people for political gains. They distribute Rs. 100 to 300 [about USD 2 to 6] to each protester." The conflict environment is conducive to addiction, with unrelenting tension and uncertainty, and soaring unemployment rates. The young seek escapism, Mir reasons, and wants to prove its worth through deeds on the street.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has added the weight of his opinion to the contention that the street protests are an orchestrated campaign, and that ‘gangs’ of stone throwers are being paid by the forces inimical to peace in the State. The State Government, which is yet to fully recover from the "India ragdo" (rub out India) campaign in Shopian, does not appear to have any effective response to the new phenomenon of what is being dubbed ‘agitational terrorism’.

The protests against the killing of a youth, Mohammad Arif Ayub, who was hit by a tear gas shell on May 22, 2009, during one such protest and died on May 26, 2009, in a local hospital, highlights the vicious loop of self-sustaining demonstrations in the Kashmir Valley. On the other hand, the February 22, 2010, death of an eleven-day-old infant, Baby Irfan, during a scuffle between the child’s parents and a stone-throwing gang in Baramulla, exposed the nature of these protests as orchestrated campaigns rather than spontaneous outbursts. The baby’s grieving parents openly blamed the separatist leaders for forcing them to participate in their demonstration.

‘Agitational terrorism’ is a far more sophisticated phenomenon than is currently being recognized by authorities. Over-ground support structures of terrorism, including separatist and religious extremist political formations, civil rights NGO’s, media organisations, subversive elements within the Government, international organizations operating from various countries in the West, have all been cast into roles in this campaign. Public protests and hartals (strikes), have been transformed into an assault on the credibility and symbols of the state. The sheer persistence of the campaign is remarkable.

A total of 1,540 strikes have been organized in the Kashmir valley between January 1990 and December 2009, according to the State Government. 207 strikes, the highest number for any year, were organized in 1991, when militancy was at its peak. Strikes on Republic Day and Independence Day, February 11 (the day when the Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front founder Mohammad Maqbool Bhat was hanged in Tihar jail in 1984), May 21 (the death anniversary of Mirwaiz Mohammad Farooq), July 13 (martyrs day), October 27 (the day when troops landed for the first time in Kashmir to repulse the Pakistani attack in 1947) have been annual rituals since 1990. However, after a dramatic decline between the 2002-2007 period, the incidence, and more significantly, the scale and virulence of these demonstrations, is building up again.

Separately, 2,005 demonstrations and processions were organized through 1990-2009, with the highest number of 416 processions and demonstrations occurred in 1992.

Crucially, however, the statistics relating to hartals/strikes are an underestimate, particularly over recent years. Official figures only reflect formal hartal calls. In the present situation in the separatist central command structures in the Valley ordinarily maintain an ambiguity, with formal hartal calls only issued occasionally. Instead, ‘civil curfews’ are imposed selectively area-wise to project separatist capabilities to paralyze all aspects of activity across the Valley.

The number of strikes registered a sharp decline after 2004. This was a time when the credibility of the separatist leadership, across the spectrum, had been eroded because of rampant corruption and doubts about their integrity among common Kashmiris. There had also been a significant build-up of public resentment against such disruptive demonstrations. Succeeding years have seen strikes confined to local areas, without separatist leaders committing themselves to formal calls for wider hartals. Indeed, even through the major agitations of recent years, this pattern of a more localized and informal character of mass mobilization has been in evidence. For instance, both during the Anti-Amarnath Land Transfer Agitation in 2008 and the agitation following the alleged rape and murder of two women in Shopian District in 2009, such demonstrations were fragmented. During the Amarnath agitation, the people of Anantnag, the base camp of the Amarnath pilgrimage, demonstrated little inclination to respond to calls to march to Muzaffarabad. During the Shopian agitation, the Shopian leadership accused the Valley separatist leadership of failing to support them. However, while formal hartal calls by the separatists have decreased, selective public protests and strikes have multiplied.

Terrorist violence has been systematically employed as a prelude or aftermath to these campaigns, though such activities may occasionally coincide with the agitational phases as well. This violence serves two purposes. One, it acts as a force multiplier, adding fuel to public protests. This is often compounded by the intentional confusion that may be created in the wake of such attacks. The terrorist killing of civilians during the Shopian agitation in the Pulwama District was itself pinned at the door of the Government, provoking further public uproar. Two, while the mobilization is ordinarily over a specific local issue, it is projected as a widespread revolt against India, and is also harnessed to the broader separatist agenda of forcing the Government to initiate or advance a formal Indo-Pak dialogue on the ‘Kashmir issue’. Mass mobilization backed by calibrated violence helps preserve terrorist cadres in the State, particularly at a time when the ‘international jihad’ is focused on destabilizing Afghanistan. What is sought to be projected as an intifada (popular uprising imitating the Palestine movement) in Kashmir, serves to demoralize the state machinery, particularly when the Government response vacillates between a near-total retraction of authority, on the one hand, and heavy handed crackdowns and indefinite curfews, on the other.

The situation takes a particularly bizarre turn when the State Government appears to be flirting with both sides – the separatists and the nationalists. The entire agitation in Shopian crystallized around the death of two women – Nelofar Jan (23), wife of Shakeel Ahmad Ahangar, and her sister-in-law Asiya Jan (18) – after their alleged rape by the personnel of the State Police, on May 29, 2009. But the entire focus of the radical reaction was the Army and the Central Paramilitary Forces (CPMFs). As the campaigns lampooning Indian sovereignty assumed a new stridency in the State, the manifest ambiguity of the State Government’s response created a precarious situation. The decision not to hoist the National Flag at Lal Chowk in Srinagar on Republic Day, January 26, this year, was the first time this had happened since the creation of the Republic in 1951, sending out a message, at least to the separatist constituency, that the Indian will was weakening. Crucially, this happened over a case that was an evident fraud, as the Central Bureau of Investigation determined that the vaginal swabs of the two women in the Shopian case were actually planted by the woman doctor who was examining them, and there is sufficient evidence to suggest that a case of accidental death was deliberately distorted by the separatists as one of rape and murder. The Government’s craven responses only have emboldened the planners behind the ‘agitational terrorism’. By and large, it is the state’s agencies that have accorded disproportionate political and administrative attention to these agitational maneuvers. In the Shopian case, for instance, long before investigators had been able to establish anything concrete in the case, and just a day after the bodies were recovered, a Press Conference was addressed by a State Cabinet Minister, followed shortly thereafter by another by the Chief Minister, catapulting this incident onto the national centre stage.

More recently, in the Wamiq Ahmed case (killed in teargas fire on January 31, 2010), the Director General of Police (DGP) was specially flown into Srinagar to review the security situation, while the Advisor to the Chief Minister, a State Cabinet Minister and a Minister of State, offered clarifications on the action in which the youth was killed by a teargas shell during a protest demonstration. The disproportionate political focus on such incidents demonstrates the degree to which the Government remains unprepared to deal effectively with the emerging trends in separatist mobilisation.

Ironically, while the State Government is now accepting the phenomenon of organized stone pelting campaigns at the highest level, it is still not geared up to document these campaigns for a coherent security evaluation.

A section of the Press has also become a willing dupe, and in at least some cases, partner, to these campaigns. In one case, for instance, on February 4, 2010, a local daily carried a photograph of CRPF and J&K Police personnel catching hold of a stone-pelter. The caption, however, read: "SHO Nowhatta rescuing a youth from the clutches of CRPF personnel. The youth was caught by CRPF during a protest demonstration and was being beaten by CRPF". Separatist propaganda often finds preferential placement in several local newspapers, even as a number of high profile ‘civil right activists’ with known pro-separatist leanings issue partisan statements that are totally divorced from the realities of the ground. Such projections go virtually uncontested by the state’s agencies.

The emerging trends in ‘agitational terrorism’ can only be understood within the context of the wider security situation in the J&K. There was, for instance, a 30 per cent increase in infiltration along the International Border (IB) and the Line of Control (LoC) in J&K in 2009, as compared to 2008. There were 342 recorded incidents of infiltration in 2008 and 485 in 2009, according to official sources. The security agencies are certain that more than 300 terrorists successfully crossed over to the Indian side in these attempts – and this is a minimal assessment. According to official data (up to November 2009) 273 terrorists sneaked back to Pakistan, 93 terrorists were neutralised during infiltration, and 152 were killed across the State. According to State Government assessments, at least 600-800 terrorists are currently operating in the State, though this may well be a gross underestimate.

In the first month of 2010, there were 25 infiltration attempts by militants from across the border, backed by five incidents of ceasefire violation by Pakistani Forces. The first two months of the year have already witnessed a steep increase in encounters, grenade attacks and militancy-related deaths. According to a Government release, till February 2010, "More than 30 active militants, 2 former militants, 5 civilians and 9 security personnel, including an Army Captain, were killed in various militancy-related incidents in the State.’’ According to SATP data, till March 7, 2010, fatalities in the year had already mounted to 64, including 43 terrorists, 14 SF personnel, and seven civilians.. On January 6, militants in the Valley executed a ‘fidayeen’ attack, the first in two years, at Lal Chowk, the heart of the summer capital, Srinagar. Significantly, 30,000 troops were withdrawn from the twin border Districts of Rajouri-Poonch in 2009. SFs accept that at least 50 infiltration routes exist along this border.

It is unsurprising that the Multi Agency Centre (MAC), a conglomerate of central intelligence agencies, which recently reviewed infiltration activities on the Indo-Pak border, cautioned the Centre about the possibility of a ‘more violent summer’ ahead. The assessment was based on the premise that terrorists took about six months to settle down, and would gear up to launch attacks by summer. It is expected that such attacks would be coordinated with a rising tide of street agitations, as terrorism and public mobilization campaigns are deployed in tandem by separatist controllers.

Regrettably, even as these tactics secure increasing traction on the ground, and are widely projected through the media to demonstrate the vulnerabilities of the Indian state, the strategic and tactical response to these new maneuvers remains incoherent. If this does not change before the next wave of coordinated street and terrorist violence swells, many of the gains that have been consolidated since the democratic process was restored in J&K in 1996, would be at risk of being frittered away.

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Treacherous Frontier
Sandipani Dash
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management

Myanamar – one of India’s strategic neighbours on her Northeastern frontier – shares a 1,643 kilometer long border abutting the Indian States of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram. This South East Asian neighbour now remains the lone safe-haven for militant groups operating in India’s Northeast, since their alternative refuge in Bangladesh was shut down by the Shiekh Hasina regime (camps in Bhutan were shut down earlier, in a military campaign in 2003). Aggravating the problem is rising evidence of Chinese mischief in supplying arms to insurgent groups operating across the Myanmar corridor.

India and Myanmar have a clearly demarcated – though indiscernible – border across mountainous and densely forested terrain. There has always been considerable cross-border movement down the entire length of the border between consanguineous tribes that straddle the frontier region. Naga armed groups, especially the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang (NSCN-K), retain strong affinities with Kachin tribals in Myanmar. The border regions offer safe haven to a number of insurgent groups in India’s Northeast, and provide bases for illicit trade, including arms- and drug-running. There is large-scale ingress or egress of men and material, substantially controlled by insurgent groups, across the India-Myanmar border, which takes advantage of the 10 kilometers zone within which free movement is permitted on both sides of this border.

Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, addressing the Conference of Chief Ministers on Internal Security in New Delhi on February 7, 2010, said that the almost unchecked trans-border movement of Indian insurgent groups and the continued existence of their camps in Myanmar constituted a real threat to internal security of Manipur and the Northeast region:

It is no secret that most arms and ammunition used against our Security Forces (SFs) and the State Police Forces are smuggled in from Myanmar. It is also known that whenever our Army, Assam Rifles and the State Police launch operations, the militant groups seek and find shelter in neighbouring areas of Myanmar… Another serious angle is the active involvement of these insurgent groups in smuggling of huge quantities of narcotics like heroin. The proceeds are being used to finance the procurement of sophisticated weapons and maintaining their leaders in foreign countries and their cadres in India.

Meanwhile, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of 3 Corps, Lieutenant General N.K. Singh, responsible for counter-insurgency (CI) operations in the Northeast, declared that there were approximately 40 to 50 camps of Northeast-based militant groups in Myanmar. Of these, he indicated further, 25 to 30 were identified as bigger camps or of established nature, while the remaining were ‘temporary’. Confessional revelations by arrested cadres of various armed groups operating in Assam, Manipur and Nagaland consistently indicate that militant training remains an ongoing process in the camps located in Myanmar territory.

While there were a number of militancy related incidents reported along India-Myanmar border in 2009, the major (incidents involving three or more fatalities) among these included:

March 16: Three suspected militants were shot dead by the Assam Rifles personnel near Kwatha village while trying to infiltrate into Chandel District in Manipur from the Myanmar side of the border, along with weapons.

June 20: At least 10 cadres of an unspecified militant outfit were killed in a clash in Manipur along the India-Myanmar border.

December 24: Six suspected People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK) cadres were shot dead by the Assam Rifles personnel at Sajik Tampak area of Chandel District in Manipur along the India-Myanmar border.

There has been a perceptible move by the Northeast militants to shift their bases from Bangladesh to Myanmar in the wake of the crackdown by Dhaka. The Inspector General of the Border Security Force (BSF) for the Assam-Meghalaya, frontier Prithvi Raj, expressing concern over an exodus of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) militants to Myanmar to escape the ongoing operations by the Bangladeshi Security Forces, in December 2009, stated, "It is quite natural that the militants look for new pastures to continue their future activities." An ULFA cadre, Gobin Ojha alias Kiran Jyoti Gogoi (29), while surrendering at BSF headquarters in Shillong in Meghalya, disclosed, "Myanmar continues to be a safe haven for the ULFA cadres after the ongoing crackdown on militants by the Bangladeshi security forces." Ojha said three camps of the ‘28th battalion’ of the ULFA were in Myanmar, located adjacent to the camps of the NSCN-K. There were 110 ULFA cadres in the three camps and, among the prominent leaders housed there, were Konkon Gohain, Bijoy Chinese, Myanmar camp ‘commander’ Bijoy Das and Montu Saikia, he said. He also disclosed that new cadres had to trek several days to reach the camps set up in a forest area in Myanmar.

Subsequently, another ULFA militant, Jatin Shaw alias Alput Thapa (25), while surrendering before the BSF in Shillong, confessed that the NSCN and ULFA were operating collectively in the forests of Myanmar, adding further that some 20 to 25 cadres from Arunachal Pradesh were also undergoing training at different camps there. Army intelligence sources had indicated earlier that ULFA had set up camps at Kachin in eastern Myanmar, jointly with the Manipur-based People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and United National Liberation Front (UNLF). One SF source commented, "It is back to square one for ULFA. During its initial days, the outfit had its training camps in Kachin but later shifted to Bangladesh. Now, the outfit is back to Kachin, which is indeed disturbing news for us."

There has been an increase in gun-running across the India-Myanmar border, due to the steady procurement of arms by Northeast militants from the common neighbor, China, over the years. Sources indicate that a major modernization drive in the Chinese Army has released vast quantities of old weapons, some of which are being offloaded to arms dealers, to reach militant groups. Weapons, including AK series and M-15 rifles, LMGs and ammunition, discarded by the Chinese Army, are still good enough for militant groups. The managers of the Chinese State-owned weapons’ factories are reportedly involved in such clandestine arms supply. There is official confirmation of frequent visits by Northeast Indian militant leaders to China. The ULFA ‘commander-in-chief’ Paresh Barua had been traced to Ruili in the Yunan Province of China, bordering Myanmar. Military sources indicate, "Most of the arms deals are struck at Ruili and from there the Chinese arms are brought to Bamo in Myanmar, from where they are routed to different places, mostly through the Irrawaddy and its tributaries. ULFA and other militant outfits of the northeast also bring their arms and ammunition through this route… Since the Myanmar junta and… (Myanmarese) rebel groups are in ceasefire, the Indian insurgent outfits, like NSCN-K, ULFA, and Meitei groups of Manipur, have found safe haven in the areas under control of the Kachin and Wa rebels (in Myanmar)." Sources mentioned, further, that after the Bangladesh Government had stepped up action against the ULFA, Barua shifted base to the China-Myanmar border and also set up camp in rebel-administered areas in Myanmar's Kachin territory.

The United Wa State Army (UWSA), a Chinese speaking ethnic warring group in north Myanmar, has acted as a broker for Chinese-produced arms, as well as to sell weapons from their own arms factory near Panghsang bordering China. A Jane's Intelligence Review report in 2008 detailed UWSA’s involvement in trafficking weapons to Myanmar and Indian insurgent groups. While the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), based in the same northern part of Myanmar, claims to have severed ties to insurgents in India, it is still believed to retain these linkages, and could be another possible conduit for weapons. Confirming KIA’s persisting alliance with the NSCN-K during the course of the Naga group’s recruitment drive in Arunachal Pradesh, an unnamed senior Police official, in December 2009, disclosed that newly recruited NSCN-K cadres had undergone training under the guidance of the KIA in the Sagaing region of Myanmar: "NSCN-K has turned to the Kachin Independent Army for logistical help to build up bases in the twin Districts of Arunachal Pradesh — Tirap and Changlang — and heavily armed KIA fighters have already entered these two Districts along the Indo-Myanmar border." Armed KIA cadres also venture into the Northeast region. For instance, on May 9, 2009, a KIA cadre was shot dead by Assam Rifles personnel during an encounter at Sekmaijin in Thoubal District in Manipur. One AK 56 Rifle with magazine, one grenade launcher, one M-97 rifle, US made 40-mm Springfield armoury pistol, 15 live rounds of AK-56, three 40-mm live ammunition, and three fire cases were recovered from the possession of the slain Kachin insurgent.

Chinese weapons in significant numbers are finding their way into the Northeastern States through five major routes, most of which pass through Myanmar territory. A senior intelligence official in Moreh, on February 21, 2010, revealed, "Around 80 per cent of the weapons seized or recovered from the militants in recent years have 'star' mark on them, which means they were manufactured in China." Over four dozen militant groups are active along the India-Myanmar border and they smuggle traditional weapons like AK series rifles, grenades, pistols, cartridges and bombs into India through four land routes and one sea route. Most of the weapons are brought from southwestern China's Yunnan province, which borders Myanmar, the official said. The weapons are smuggled into India via Ukhrul, Moreh in Chandel, and Churachandpur, the Districts of Manipur bordering Myanmar, and some parts of Mizoram. The sea route involves Bangladesh's Chittagong port, from where the weapons are sent to militants in the Northeast. Though some weapons are of other origin, the majority of them are Chinese, he added: "Militants have their camps just inside the Myanmar territory at a distance of few kilometres from the Indian border. Some camps are as close as three-four kilometres from the international border."

The paramilitary Assam Rifles is deployed for CI and border guarding role on the India-Myanmar border. Out of a sanctioned strength of 46 battalions, 31 battalions are for CI and 15 are for the border guarding role. Nevertheless, the Assam Rifles is too pre-occupied with the CI operations to attend to the Myanmar border.

Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) sources indicate that the reconnaissance survey and trace cut (RSTC) of the border fencing between border pillar (BP) Nos. 79 and 81 at Moreh in Manipur is under way for preparation of the detailed project report (DPR). The work on the construction of the fencing would start after approval of the cost estimates/DPR by the Technical Committee and the High Level Empowered Committee. Meanwhile, the Manipur Government has asked the MHA to erect fencing on the Manipur side of the border for a distance of another 10 kilometers between BP Nos. 79 to 81. Manipur Director General of Police Y. Joykumar said that activities of militant groups and other insurgency related problems in the State would be reduced by 80 per cent, if the neighbouring border of Myanmar is effectively sealed. He also stated that the successful plugging of the porous border would enormously increase the possibilities of finding a solution to the problem of insurgency within the succeeding two to three years. With regard to the fencing of border areas in Nagaland, GOC, 3 Corps, Lt. Gen. N.K. Singh indicated that the Government had failed to demonstrate any keenness to fence off the Nagaland-Myanmar borders so far.

There have been several declarations for strategic cooperation and co-ordination across the India-Myanmar border, but progress at the follow up level to concretise the joint CI operation on a sustained and priority basis has been slow paced. A piecemeal approach to the border safeguards mission, consequently, persists. The existing insecurity that has, for years, permeated this strategic frontier region, consequently can be expected to persist in the foreseeable future.


Weekly Fatalities: Major Conflicts in South Asia
March 2-7, 2010



Security Force Personnel







Jammu and Kashmir




Left-wing Extremism






West Bengal


Total (INDIA)











Provisional data compiled from English language media sources.


Talks held between Union Government and NSCN-IM: The first round of talks between the Union Government’s newly appointed interlocutor R. S. Pandey and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM) were held in New Delhi on March 2. The NSCN-IM submitted a list of 30 demands including sovereignty for Nagaland. Government’s interlocutor, however, conveyed to them that there was no possibility of sovereignty for Nagaland and the talks could be held around granting more autonomy. The Centre offered more autonomy for Nagaland under Article 371 (A) of Indian Constitution but won’t integrate Naga-inhabited parts of Arunachal to Nagaland. The Centre prepared a 29-point counter proposal for the discussions, which included financial sops and greater autonomy. Nagaland Post; Times Now, March 3, 2010.

Union Government sanctions INR 6067 millions for Central Paramilitary Forces: Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on March 2 said that sanctions amounting to INR 6067 millions were issued in the month of February for acquisition of land and construction of buildings and barracks for Central Paramilitary Forces (CPMFs). Presenting the Union Ministry of Home Affair’s (MHA) report card in New Delhi, Chidambaram said that the sanction includes INR 3588 millions to the Border Security Force (BSF), INR 1543 millions to Assam Rifles, INR 737 millions to the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and INR 199 millions to the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). Chidambaram further said that sanction for the release of INR 26764000 to the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli under the Police Modernisation Scheme was issued on February 25. Sify News, March 3, 2010.

Union Government sets up combined SOGs to combat Left Wing Extremism: The Union Government has set up combined Special Operation Groups (SOGs) of State Police Forces and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Left Wing Extremism (LWE)-affected States, which will coordinate among themselves for joint operations. The SOGs will commence operations in seven most LWE infested States -- Jharkhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Orissa, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. The SOG teams would comprise of 40-50 selected personnel from the paramilitary and concerned State Police force.

Meanwhile, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs decided to send 2,000 more Paramilitary Force personnel, trained in jungle warfare, to Bihar and Jharkhand to help the Police counter the LWE violence. The Hindu; Times of India, March 4-5, 2010.

Lashkar-e-Toiba behind Kabul attack, says Afghanistan intelligence official: Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) was blamed by an Afghan intelligence official for February 26, 2010 car bomb and suicide attacks that killed 16 people, including nine Indians, in Kabul. Saeed Ansari, a spokesman for Afghanistan's intelligence service, said on March 2 that his agency has evidence that Pakistani nationals, specifically LeT militants were involved in the attacks. "We are very close to the exact proof and evidence that the attack on the Indian guest house ... is not the work of the Afghan Taliban but this attack was carried out by Lashkar-e-Toiba network, who are dependent on the Pakistan military," Ansari said in an interview. He also said that one of the attackers was heard speaking Urdu. As reported earlier, the Afghan Taliban militants already have claimed responsibility for the attacks. Times of India, March 3, 2010.

Maoists aiming to overthrow Indian State by 2050, says Union Home Secretary G. K. Pillai: The Union Home Secretary G. K. Pillai said in New Delhi on February 5 that the objective of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) engaged in an armed ‘liberation struggle' was to overthrow the Indian State by 2050, as indicated by documents seized from them. Pillai also said that an in-depth analysis of Maoist operations also pointed to assistance by former Army men. "It is quite likely that the violence will go up in 2010 or 2011 before the tide begins to turn," he said, adding that the Government would need seven to eight years to have full control over the areas lost to the Maoists. Pillai also said that the Bihar Government is a "little soft" in taking any "hard action" against Maoists since assembly elections are scheduled in 2010. The Hindu, March 6, 2010.

245 terrorists killed in 2009 in Jammu and Kashmir: Security Forces killed 245 terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir in 2009, when the number of infiltration attempts by militants from Pakistan went up marginally. "As per the statistics provided by the ministry of defence, the terrorists killed in Jammu and Kashmir are 245 in 2009, and 27 up to Feb 21, 2010," Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Maken told the Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Parliament) in a written reply. "Attempts at infiltration from across the Line of Control (LoC) [saw] a marginal increase during 2009," he informed, adding, that 342 incursion attempts were recorded in 2008 and 485 in 2009. Maken said that terrorist activities showed a 'declining trend - from 708 in 2008 to 499 in 2009' in Jammu and Kashmir.

Earlier, on March 2, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said militants are grouping in the Sopore area and Kulgam District. These areas are a challenge for us on the militancy front. We are taking extra measures to deal with the militants there. Referring to stone throwing incidents, he told the Legislative Council that his Government would not allow some 700 youths to disrupt the peace, adding, "They want a volcano to spread, but we will not allow that." The Hindu; Sify News, March 3-8, 2010.

11,876 explosions claim 1,754 lives in two decades in Jammu and Kashmir: In a change of strategy to avoid casualties in its ranks, terrorists have triggered 11,876 explosions which claimed 1,754 lives while 15,589 others were injured during the last two decades in Jammu and Kashmir. According to the latest official data of the State Home Ministry, terrorists have now resorted to Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and grenade attacks to avoid direct conflict with Security Forces in the State since 1990. "Militants are using IEDs and grenades as a tool to cause casualties to security forces and civilians, and thereby avoiding direct conflict with security forces. This is the part of their target and hit strategy to avoid their own casualty," said an unnamed senior Police officer. Of these 11,876 explosions, 5,682 were caused by the IEDs and 6,194 by hurling of grenades. The highest number of explosions (1,522) took place in 1990, followed by 1,005 explosions in 1993, it said. Similarly, the maximum number of casualties reported was 153 killed and 1,021 injured in 1995. While 133 were killed and 1,443 injured in 2001, the report said, adding the number of blasts in those two years were 945 and 775, respectively. However, there was fall in grenade attacks during the past two years with 79 and 170 blasts in 2009 and 2008, respectively. Around 47 persons were killed and 208 injured in these grenade attacks, the report added. DNA India News, March 8, 2010.


59 militants and two SFs among 62 persons killed during the week in FATA: At least eight persons were killed and two injured as fighter jets pounded Taliban hideouts in the Hamdana area of Sararogha tehsil (revenue unit) in the South Waziristan Agency of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) at around 2pm (PST) on March 7.

At least 30 Taliban militants were killed when SFs retaliated against a predawn attack on Marjhana security post in the Chamarkand area of Safi tehsil, some 45 kilometres northeast of Ghallanai, in Mohmand Agency on March 5. An Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement said one soldier was also killed in the fighting. However, Taliban spokesman Akramullah Mohmand claimed that only four Taliban were killed in the fighting, while "11 security personnel died in the attack".

Nine Taliban militants were killed in the on going factional clash between followers of Noor Jamal alias Mullah Toofan and Mulla Rafique Mengal in the Neka Ziarat area of Kurram Agency on March 4. The Rafique Mengal faction had also ‘detained’ 11 cadres of the rival faction. While the Mulla Toofan group is associated with the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), the Rafique Mengal faction is associated with the Ishaat-e-Tauheed-Wa-Sunnah. Both factions are part of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

Seven militants, including a ‘commander’, were killed in a clash between two factions of militants in the Dogar area of Kurram Agency on March 2. The sources said the factions of militants headed by Noor Jamal alias Mulla Toofan and Mulla Rafique Mengal clashed in Dogar area using heavy weapons and ammunition. As a result, seven militants, including Qari Yousaf, were reported to have been killed. The Mulla Toofan faction claimed to have made 48 militants, including Mulla Rafique, hostage. Dawn; Daily Times; The News, March 3-8, 2010.

12 persons killed in suicide bombing in NWFP: 12 persons, including four women, were killed and 33 others injured when a suicide bomber targeted a Parachinar-bound civilian convoy carrying Shia passengers in the Tull area of Hangu in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) on March 5. Local administration officials said the suicide bomber blew himself up when the civilian convoy, on its way to Parachinar and escorted by the Frontier Corps, slowed down at a speed breaker near a petrol station, some two kilometres from Tull city. "The target was a Shia convoy. This is sectarian violence," Kohat Division Commissioner Khalid Umarzai said. Dawn; Daily Times; The News, March 3-8, 2010.

‘Azad Jammu and Kashmir’ remains a training ground for militants, says BBC report: The militant training camps for those fighting in Jammu and Kashmir (India) are once again being established in ‘Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK)’ and recruitment is also on the rise in Punjab, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) said on March 3. In its latest report, the BBC also mentioned that the United Jihad Council (UJC) meeting was held in Muzaffarabad in mid-January, chaired by former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lieutenant General (retired) Hameed Gul. The meeting decided that the freedom struggle or jihad should continue until the Indian occupation of Jammu and Kashmir comes to an end. According to the BBC, it looks evident now that the Kashmiri militant groups are once again working under the ‘patronage of the Pakistani establishment agencies’. DNA India News, March 4, 2010.

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

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