SOUTH ASIA INTELLIGENCE REVIEW
Weekly Assessments & Briefings
Volume 9, No. 14, October 11, 2010
assessments from SAIR can be freely published in any form
with credit to the South Asia Intelligence Review of the
South Asia Terrorism Portal
and their Mines
Ajit Kumar Singh
Research Fellow, Institute for Conflict Management
Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel were killed
when the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist)
cadres triggered a landmine explosion targeting a vehicle
carrying the ITBP personnel near Kohka village in the
Rajnandgaon District of Chhattisgarh on October 8. The
landmine was planted under a culvert just yards from
the Kohka Police Outpost. Earlier, on October 4, a landmine
blast triggered by the Maoists killed five Security
Force (SF) personnel at Perimili in the Gadchiroli District
of Maharashtra. On October 5, the Maoists triggered
a landmine in the Talewada Forest area of Gadchiroli,
injuring eight SF personnel, who were part of the rescue
team travelling in an anti-mine vehicle from Pranhita
headquarters at Aheri to Perimili, to retrieve the body
of a Policeman killed on October 4.
are only the latest among an endless and increasingly
effective series of landmine and improvised explosive
device (IED) attacks executed by the Maoists over years.
According to partial data compiled by the South Asia
Terrorism Portal (SATP), 442 persons have
while 422 have received injuries in a total of 380 incidents
of landmine explosion by the Maoists since 2005. 52
of these incidents were major (comprising of three or
more than three fatalities).
worst-affected States, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, together
account for 329 (74.44 per cent) of these fatalities.
However, Orissa (79) has witnessed the highest number
of landmine incidents, followed by Jharkhand (78) and
Chhattisgarh (78). Explaining the gravity of the situation
in the State, the Director General of Chhattisgarh Police
Vishwa Ranjan stated, on May 9, 2010, "Bastar region
is spread over nearly 40,000 square kilometres area,
of which up to 25,000 square kilometres is intensively
mined." Abujmadh in Chhattisgarh, which forms the
Central Guerrilla Base Area of the Maoists, is secured
by a complex system of landmines and IEDs throughout
this densely forested expanse of some 4,000 square kilometres.
use of landmines against the SFs has wide variants.
Small contingents of SFs passing through inhabited areas
are targeted with mines placed under the road surface,
and triggered without the militants engaging in any
direct confrontation with the Forces. When they take
on large contingents of SFs deeper in the forest, however,
landmines are used as a first shock, before engaging
the troops in gun battles. Significantly, in the country’s
worst Maoist attacks on April 6, 2010, in which 75 Central
Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel and a State Police
trooper were killed in an ambush in the thick Mukrana
forests of Dantewada District in Chhattisgarh, the Maoists
were aware of the CRPF movement and executed their attack
with fierce precision. They first blew up the SF’s anti-landmine
vehicle and then began firing indiscriminately. The
shocked and exhausted troopers had failed to follow
standard operating procedures, and were massacred. Similarly,
on February 9, 2010, an SF contingent was hit by a landmine
and then ambushed by Maoist cadres at a village in Dantewada
District, when they were on a search for 12 missing
tribals in pursuance of a Supreme Court order passed
on February 8.
of the major incidents of explosion orchestrated by
the Maoists against SFs include the following:
4, 2010: 11 personnel of the anti-Maoist Special Operation
Group (SOG) were killed and eight others were seriously
injured when cadres of the CPI-Maoist triggered a landmine
blast targeting a mini bus carrying the SOG personnel
at Tanginiguda on the Govindpalli Ghat road in Koraput
District of Orissa.
20, 2009: 12 CRPF personnel were killed in a landmine
blast triggered by the CPI-Maoist cadres at Tonagapal
in Dantewada District of Chhattisgarh.
12, 2009: CPI-Maoist cadres detonated a landmine in
the Nawadih area of the Dantewada District of Chhattisgarh,
killing at least 11 SF personnel and injuring eight.
10, 2009: 11 Policemen, including a CRPF Inspector,
were killed and six were injured, when CPI-Maoist cadres
triggered a landmine explosion targeting their vehicle
in West Singhbhum District of Jharkhand.
2009: 12 Policemen and a civilian were killed and seven
others injured in a landmine blast triggered by the
Maoists at Risgaon village in the Dhamtari District
of Chhattisgarh. The incident took place when the Maoists
blew up a Police vehicle carrying the Police personnel.
30, 2008: 12 Police personnel were killed when the vehicle
they were travelling in was blown up in a landmine blast
in the East Singhbhum District of Jharkhand.
16, 2008: CPI-Maoist cadres killed 17 personnel of the
Special Operations Group (SOG) of the Orissa Police
in a landmine blast in the Malkangiri District.
2, 2007: Around 100 cadres of the CPI-Maoist ambushed
a Police party near Pamedu Police Station in the Bijapur
District of Chhattisgarh and killed 16 Policemen, including
six CRPF personnel. The Maoists first triggered a landmine
explosion and then indiscriminately fired on the Policemen
2, 2006: 14 Police personnel belonging to the Special
Task Force of the Jharkhand Police were killed and three
injured in a landmine blast detonated by suspected CPI-Maoist
cadres at Kanchkir in the Bokaro District.
1, 2006: At least 12 Police personnel were killed when
CPI-Maoist cadres triggered a landmine explosion in
the West Singhbhum District of Jharkhand.
3, 2005: 23 CRPF personnel and two from the State Police
were killed in a landmine explosion triggered by the
CPI-Maoist near Padeda village in the Dantewada District
5, 2005: CPI-Maoist cadres killed the Munger Superintendent
of Police, K.C. Surendra Babu, and six Police personnel
in a landmine explosion near the Bhimbandh area of the
District in Bihar.
have also used landmines and IEDs against civilian targets.
Some of the most significant of these incidents include:
3, 2010: Five persons of a private security agency travelling
by a car were killed when CPI-Maoist cadres blew up
a culvert with a landmine near Pirtand in Giridih District
16, 2009: Five poll officials, including a zonal officer
identified as A.K. Acharya, were killed and many others
injured when CPI-Maoist cadres blew up a van ferrying
election officials by triggering a landmine blast at
Phulwera village in the Rajnandgaon District of Chhattisgarh.
2006: In a landmine explosion triggered by the CPI-Maoist,
12 members of a marriage group were killed between Halebada
and Patha villages in Gadchiroli District of Maharashtra.
25, 2006: 11 persons were killed and four others sustained
injuries in a landmine blast triggered by the CPI-Maoist
in Kanker District of Chhattisgarh.
28, 2006: At least 25 tribals were killed and 40 others
sustained injuries in a landmine blast triggered by
the CPI-Maoist near Eklagoda village, in the jurisdiction
of Arabore Police Station of Dantewada District in Chhattisgarh.
range of improvised devices, including camera flashes,
wires, switches, holders, batteries and cell phones
have been used by the Maoist to rig explosions and,
as Dantewada Superintendent of Police (SP) Rahul Sharma,
notes, "landmines are the Maoists’ favourite weapon."
A June 18, 2010, report by the office of Secretary General
Ban Ki-moon, submitted to the UN Security Council, noted:
"The Naxals [Maoists] have admitted that children… were
provided with training to use non-lethal and lethal
weapons, including landmines."
bury their landmines even under concrete roads, in addition
to placing them under kacha (non-metalled) roads.
Unsurprisingly, the Union Government on October
28, 2009, had warned that incidents of landmine explosions,
ambushes and train blockages would increase.
and greater degree of use of landmines by the Maoists
in their fight against the establishment has become
a major concern for the authorities. To counter this,
according to a November 24, 2007, report, the Jharkhand
Police decided to form motorcycle squads arguing, "In
jungles, Maoists detonate vehicles by triggering landmine
blasts. But it will be difficult to blast bikes." But
this is, at best, a shot in the dark. Chhattisgarh Police
DGP, Vishwa Ranjan, on May 9, 2010, notes, "The big
problem is, we have no technology and resources to de-mine
the massive forested pockets. Without taking out landmines
it's literally impossible to go after them (the Maoists)
freely in thickly forested areas where Maoists are always
ready with a booby trap."
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management
of the United Nation’s Mission in Nepal (UNMIN), originally
intended to end on January 23, 2008, was extended for
the seventh time on September 15, 2010. A meeting of the
United Nations Security Council (UNSC) at the United Nations
(UN) headquarters in New York formally extended UNMIN’s
term by four months. As per this agreement, the integration
of Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M)
combatants is to be completed by January 15, 2011, while
any difficulties faced by the Nepal Army (NA) were to
be settled through ‘political consensus’.
the first ever extension of the tenure of the UNMIN came
to the floor when the UNSC unanimously extended UNMIN’s
mandate for six months on January 23, 2008 (UNSC Resolution
1796). The second extension was done on July 23, 2008,
through the UNSC Resolution-1825; the third was on January
23, 2009, by UNSC Resolution 1864; the fourth, on July
23, 2009, vide Resolution 1879; the fifth was on January
21, 2010, by UNSC resolution 1909; the sixth, on May 15,
2010, vide UNSC Resolution-1921; and the seventh on September
15, 2010, vide UNSC Resolution 1939.
on September 11, 2010, a joint letter was given by the
Government of Nepal and the UCPN-M to the UN’s Secretary
General regarding UNMIN’s tenure extension. With this,
the row over the term and mandate of UNMIN, which had
become a bone of contention between the UCPN-M and the
other political parties and the Government of Nepal in
recent times, has been settled, for now.
a special political mission in support of the peace process
in Nepal, was established in response to the letter to
the Secretary-General of the UN, sent on August 9, 2006,
in which the Seven Party Alliance (SPA) Government and
the UCPN-M requested the UN’s assistance in creating a
free and fair atmosphere for the election to the Constituent
Assembly (CA) and for the entire peace process. UNMIN
was established on January 23, 2007, by UNSC Resolution
1740, with the following mandate:
the management of arms and armed personnel of the
Nepalese Army (NA) and the People’s Liberation Army
(PLA) of the Maoists, in line of the with the provision
of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA)
the political parties through a Joint Monitoring Committee
(JMC) in implementing their agreement on the management
of arms and armed personnel.
in the monitoring of the cease fire agreement.
technical assistance to the Election Commission (EC)
in the planning, preparation and conduct of the election
of the CA in a free and fair atmosphere.
in the year 2010, UNMIN has been given three extensions,
raising valid concerns regarding the organization’s success
in fulfilling its purpose. UNMIN’s successes include the
completion of the verification of PLA cadres in December
2007. UNMIN also successfully monitored CA elections in
2008. On the integration of the NA and the PLA, however,
it has failed abjectly.
the principal reason for the increasing lack of consensus
on UNMIN’s tenure and mandate, in the recent times. The
difference of the opinion comes from four quarters: the
UCPN-M, the caretaker Government, the NA and the Nepali
opposition to the extension of the UNMIN’s term comes
from the NC. The NC spokesperson, Arjun Narsingh, KC,
on August 22, 2010, declared that the NA cannot be kept
under the UNMIN: "In the past, there was a monarchy,
now time has changed. So it is irrelevant to keep the
NA under any monitoring." It is useful to note that,
during the sixth extension of UNMIN’s mandate, NC ministers
had raised this point before Prime Minister, Madhav Kumar
Nepal. NC maintains that NA and the PLA combatants cannot
be given equal status.
the NA has raised serious reservations regarding UNMIN’s
tenure. The Defence Minister of the caretaker Government,
Bidya Bhandari, stated on August 30, 2010, that the NA
cannot be under UNMIN’s purview. She also argued that,
once UNMIN’s tenure is over, it can only be extended for
a period of three months, with a revised mandate. She
claimed that the NA and the PLA cannot be put at equal
footing, since the Maoists are using the combatants to
strengthen their political position. The Chief of the
Army Staff (CoAS) Chhatraman Singh Gurung also held to
the same stand, when he met the leaders of different political
parties and lobbied to block the extension of UNMIN’s
current mandate. According to the CoAS, UNMIN’s term cannot
be extended, and PLA combatants should be monitored by
a secretariat to be formed under the Army Integration
however, are keen on UNMIN’s continuance till their political
interests are fulfilled. For the Maoists, once PLA combatants
are ‘integrated’, the Party will have a major stake in
all aspects of the political affairs of the country. Time
and again, the Maoists have stressed the positive role
UNMIN played in the peace process in Nepal. In response
to the Government’s stance on UNMIN’s status, the UCPN-M
chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal aka Prachanda wrote
a separate letter to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon,
on September 9, 2010, stating that the Government had
sent a letter without proper consultation with the political
parties, and requested a six months extension of UNMIN’s
term to take the peace process to its logical conclusion.
The Maoists, it seems, are aware of the fact that once
UNMIN is out of Nepal, the integration of PLA combatants
with the NA will face a combined opposition from all sides.
however, remains very keen to continue its mission in
Nepal. During her visit to Nepal in March 2009, the UN
High Commissioner to Nepal, Navi Pillay, asked the Nepali
Government for a further extension of its mandate for
a clear three years, after its scheduled expiry in June
2009. More recently, UNMIN Chief Karin Landgren met CA
Chairman Subas Nemwang on August 27, 2010, to press for
a decision on UNMIN’s term extension. Later, she held
a series of meetings with different political parties
in this regard. On September 1, 2010, Landgren briefed
the UNSC on the peace process in Nepal and the works undertaken
by the mission.
rising suspicions that UNMIN is getting involved in the
internal affairs of the country. Prof. Nischal Nath Pandey,
Director of the Centre for South Asian Studies, Visiting
Faculty to National University, Singapore, told this writer,
on February 11, 2008, that there were reports that some
of UNMIN arms monitors had gone to India on tourist visas
to meet some underground leaders of the Terai (Madhesh)
groups. UNMIN’s credibility has been further undermined
by the fact that both the NA and the PLA had announced
fresh vacancies for recruitment, in clear violation of
the UNMIN mediated agreements in this regard.
original tasks – verification of PLA combatants and arms,
and the successful conduct of CA election – have been
accomplished. A future and constructive role in Nepal
can only be based on a political consensus within the
leading parties in Nepal – and this has been entirely
elusive, even in the election of the Prime Minister to
form a Government. It is unlikely, within the present
and fractious atmosphere, that UNMIN can make any significant
difference to developments in Kathmandu.
Fatalities: Major Conflicts in South Asia
October 4-10, 2010
data compiled from English language media sources.
red corner notice issued
against five Pakistani nationals
including two serving Army
on October 7 issued red
corner notices against five
Pakistani nationals, including
two serving Army officers,
for their alleged role in
plotting terror attacks
in India, including the
attacks in Mumbai on November
26, 2008 (also known as
October 8, 2010.
issues fresh terror alert
to the States: The
Centre on October 3, asked
all the States to put targets
which were reconnoitred
by the American born Lashkar-e-Toiba
(LeT) operative David Coleman Headley alias Dawood
Gilani under extra security
cover, and step up their
overall vigilance in view
of general threats.
October 6, 2010.
tell cadres to repeat Dantewada-like
Communist Party of India-Maoist
(CPI-Maoist) has called
upon its cadres to repeat the
Dantewada like attack (in
which 75 Central Reserve
Police Force and one State
Police personnel were killed
in Chhattisgarh in April
2010) as a counter offensive
to Operation Green Hunt
taken up by the Government
to crush the Maoist movement
in the Dandakaranya region.
October 8, 2010.
enjoy 'urban support', claims
new CRPF chief: New
Central Reserve Police Force
(CRPF) chief K. Vijay Kumar,
on October 6, said Communist
Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist),
who posed a "formidable
challenge" for Security
Forces, have "urban connections",
which provide them logistics
and financial support. Times
October 7, 2010.
kangaroo courts executed
21 people in 2010, says
Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram:
Home Minister P. Chidambaram,
on October 1, said, 21 persons
had been executed in full
public view by the Communist
Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist)
in kangaroo courts
(people’s courts) till August
October 5, 2010.
and Malegaon blasts were
planned in Gujarat Ashram,
confirm witnesses: Key
witnesses in the bomb explosion
cases in Ajmer Dargah
(Shrine, October 11, 2007)
and Malegaon (September
29, 2008) disclosed that
the plotting of these two
incidents was carried out
at Shabri Dham Ashram
(hermitage) in the Dangs
region of south Gujarat.
October 9, 2010.
Musharraf’s remarks confirm
India's position, says Centre:
Government of India, on
October 6, officially reacted
to former Pakistan President
Pervez Musharraf's admission
that Pakistan had trained
militants and pushed them
into Jammu and Kashmir by
stating that his assertions
had only vindicated India's
October 7, 2010.
nod for creation of BRO-type
agency for Naxal-hit States:
Government, on October 8,
approved in principle the
creation of an agency similar
to the Border Roads Organisation
(BRO) for developing road
infrastructure in Naxal
[Left Wing Extremism]-affected
October 9, 2010.
Under Secretary General
for Political Affairs B.
Lynn Pascoe for ending impunity
in Nepal Army:
United Nations (UN) Under
Secretary General for Political
Affairs, B. Lynn Pascoe,
on October 7, said that
ending impunity and progress
on democratisation of the
Nepal Army (NA) are crucial
for the continuation of
NA engagement in UN peacekeeping.
October 8, 2010.
invites CPN-UML and UCPN-M
for discussing its 'consensus
Nepali Congress (NC) invited
Unified Communist Party
of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M)
and Communist Party of Nepal-United
Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML)
for discussing its recently
unveiled four-point ‘consensus
proposal’ for ending the
Prime Ministerial (PM) election
October 5, 2010.
militants and six SFs among
54 persons killed during
the week in FATA:
militants were killed and
three others injured when
US drones attacked a house
and a car in the Spinwam
tehsil (revenue unit)
of North Waziristan Agency
(NWA) in Federally Administered
Tribal Areas (FATA) on October
least five militants were
killed as helicopter gunships
targeted militant hideouts
in the Bara area of the
Khyber Agency on October
militants were killed when
a US drone fired two missiles
on a compound in Charkhel
village, about 25 kilometres
west of Miranshah in the
Dattakhel tehsil of
NWA on October 8.
US drone fired two missiles
on a militant compound in
Khaisoori town of Mir Ali
District in NWA on October
7 killing four militants
and injuring two others.
militants were killed in
two US drones attacks in
NWA on October 6. In addition,
three militants were killed
and four were injured during
a clash with Security Forces
at Ghanam Shah area of Baizai
tehsil in Mohmand
terrorists of German nationality
were killed when a US drone
fired two missiles that
struck a mosque in the Mir
Ali area of NWA on October
October 4-October 10, 2010.
trained militant groups
against India", admits former
President Pervez Musharraf:
President Pervez Musharraf,
on October 5, admitted that
Pakistan had trained militant
groups to fight in Kashmir.
On October 6, he warned
that "non-state actors"
wanted to take over the
country by weakening the
democratic system. Further,
on October 8, dubbing his
political detractors as
"cowards," Musharraf said
that the greatest threat
his country was facing was
"failure of governance",
rather than India or Taliban.
October 6-9, 2010.
steps up targeting of Indian
citizens and interests in
LeT steps up targeting of
Indian citizens and interests
October 7, 2010.
‘militant links’ worrying,
says Pentagon spokesman
Colonel David Lapan: Top US defence
officials are concerned
that some elements of Pakistan’s
Inter Services Intelligence
(ISI) may be interacting
improperly with Taliban
and other insurgent groups,
a Pentagon spokesman Colonel
David Lapan said on October
the ISI is pressing
Taliban commanders in Afghanistan to
fight the US and
allied troops and "kill
everyone" so that no peace
deal is cut to end the war
involvement, Times of
India quoting a The
Wall Street Journal report
said on October 7. Daily
October 8, 2010.
unwilling to pursue militants,
says White House assessment
new White House assessment
on October 5 concludes that Pakistan has
been unwilling to aggressively
pursue al Qaeda and Afghan
Taliban militants in its
October 8, 2010.
border situation ‘complex’,
says US: The
United States (US) on October
7 admitted the situation
in Pakistani tribal areas
was "difficult and
September 28, 2010.
‘adjustments’ needed in
Pak-Afghan strategy, says
US President Barack Obama:
President Barack Obama told
lawmakers on October 5 that
no changes were needed to
his Afghanistan and Pakistan
October 6, 2010.
searching evidence for a
second Sri Lankan Tamil
authorities are searching
for evidence of a possible
second ship suspected of
smuggling Sri Lankan Tamil
migrants to Canada.
chief Sarath Fonseka loses
his parliamentary seat:
Lanka' ex-Army chief Genearl
(retired) Sarath Fonseka
lost his seat in Parliament
in accordance with an ordinance
which clearly states that
if a member is jailed he
loses his seat immediately.
Fonseka is in jail after
President Mahinda Rajapakse
on September 30, 2010 signed
the paper endorsing the
military court order sentencing
Fonseka for a period of
October 8, 2010.
parties ask Government to
institute civil administration
in the North:
Sri Lanka's Tamil Political
Parties Forum (TPPF) on
October 4 asked the Government
to start a civil administration
in the North after ending
the military administration.
October 6, 2010.
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