SOUTH ASIA INTELLIGENCE REVIEW
Weekly Assessments & Briefings
Volume 9, No. 17, November 1, 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
Sabotaging the Future
Ajit Kumar Singh
Research Fellow, Institute for Conflict Management
aged 10 and 11 years, a woman employee and a villager
were killed when a grenade landed in the classroom of
a tribal school on the outskirts of Savargaon village
on the Maharashtra-Chhattisgarh border on October 8,
2010. Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist)
cadres lobbed the grenade into the school during the
course of an encounter with Security Forces (SFs) close
to the school building. Three SF personnel were also
killed in the fighting.
on October 28, one Police Constable was injured when
an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) exploded while
it was being defused near the Jordi School building
under Madanpur Police Station in the Aurangabad District
of Bihar. The bomb disposal squad had been called in
after four bombs, planted by the Maoists, were found
in the school. The remaining three other bombs were
are far from isolated incidents. According to a United
Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation
(UNESCO) report, nearly 300 schools were reportedly
blown up by Maoists between 2006 and 2009. According
to the Police, the Maoists have destroyed over 150 schools
in Bihar, and 20 in Aurangabad District alone. An affidavit
filed by the Chhattisgarh State Government in the Apex
Court on April 14, 2008, had noted: "They (Naxals) destroyed
55 primary school buildings in the last three years."
H.R. Gourela, Deputy Commissioner of the Scheduled Tribe
Welfare and Development Department of Narayanpur District
in Chhattisgarh on October 19, 2009, had stated, "Under
Narayanpur District, around 77 concrete buildings [schools]
were either damaged or demolished. We are continuing
schools in alternative buildings made of tin-sheds."
7, 2009, Chhattisgarh Education Department officials
claimed that the Maoists, over the preceding two years,
had set ablaze 80 school buildings in just the Dantewada
and Bijapur Districts. A November 6, 2009, had noted
that the Maoists had blown up more than 30 school buildings
in Jharkhand over the preceding five years.
data compiled by the Institute for Conflict Management
documents at least 109 school buildings destroyed by
the Maoists since 2006. Of these, three incidents were
reported in 2006; 22 in 2007; seven in 2008; and 59
in 2009. The Maoists have, thus far, blown up 18 schools
in the year 2010 (till October 31). The largest number
of these incidents was recorded in Jharkhand, at 45
schools blown up over these years; followed by Chhattisgarh,
at 26; Bihar, at 22; Orissa at 15; and one in Maharashtra.
attacks were principally carried out with IEDs known
locally as 'can bombs' – metal cans packed with explosives.
Reports indicate that the Maoists primarily used gelignite,
dynamite, potassium nitrate, ammonium nitrate and emulsion
explosives in their attacks on the schools.
worryingly, at least 24 teachers have been killed by
the Maoists in 34 attacks on teachers during this period.
Three students and two school employees were also killed
in three separate attacks.
schools and educational properties is an integral element
of Maoist strategy, at once destroying what is the central
structure in most villages, creating widespread fear,
demonstrating Maoist capacities and the infirmity of
the state’s agencies, and, crucially, expanding the
rebels’ recruitment pool of frustrated and idle youngsters.
Human Rights Watch, in its December 9, 2009, report
quoted a Government official as stating, "If they want
to attack any Government infrastructure then a school
building is very handy, because they are all over now...
This is one place were the Government gives no resistance.
If you attack a Police station, you will get resistance.
But in a remote area a building with no security is
very easy [to target]."
however, claim that they attack schools because these
have become ‘police camps’. A CPI-Maoist Information
Bulletin editorial in November 2008 thus claimed: "No
school was destroyed by the Maoists if it was not used
by the Police as its camp. You cannot show a single
instance where we had destroyed a school that was really
meant for education purpose." Most attacks on schools
have occurred in the night, to avoid innocent fatalities;
nevertheless, a large proportion of Maoist attacks have
destroyed schools in which there was no Police or Security
Forces (SF) presence.
teacher absenteeism on the plea of Maoist violence has
enormously compounded the direct disruption of the educational
infrastructure with devastating consequences for the
lives and prospects of thousands of school children.
A December 20, 2009, report, for instance, said that
hundreds of poor school children in Bihar’s Aurangabad
District had appealed to CPI-Maoist cadres not to target
or damage educational institutions. In an open letter
to the Maoists, the school children urged the rebels
not to deprive them of education by destroying their
the Government has taken some steps to undercut the
Maoist justification for their attacks on the educational
infrastructure. A May 22, 2010, report noted that the
Jharkhand Police had vacated 28 of 43 schools previously
occupied by SFs in Maoist-affected Districts of the
State, and were in the process of vacating another 13.
The Chhattisgarh Government, however, in an affidavit
filed in the Supreme Court on October 27, 2010, conceded
that, due to administrative exigencies and lack of infrastructure,
it was housing SF personnel involved in anti-Maoist
operations in 31 schools, ashrams (residential
schools) and hostels. The Government, nevertheless,
claimed that it had made alternate arrangements to ensure
that the presence of troopers in these premises did
not affect the education of children
also extort money meant for school education and infrastructure.
According to a July 23, 2009, report, the Maoists in
Jharkhand were demanding money from schools from the
grants received by them from the Government. In Latehar,
they demanded INR 50,000 as ‘levy' from a school and
threatened dire consequences in case they were not paid
the demanded amount. The school had been granted INR
6.3 million for construction and development of the
are also allegations regarding the Maoists looting foodstuff
meant for students of several State-run schools and
hostels for tribal boys and girls located in remote
areas. An August 29, 2009, report indicates that the
Orissa Government asked Collectors of all the Maoist
insurgency-affected Districts to verify such allegations.
Scheduled Tribe and Scheduled Caste Development Department
Secretary Ashok Tripathy disclosed, "Letters have been
sent to all the collectors to verify allegations that
Maoists forcibly eat food meant for school children
living in hostels."
2010 UNHCR Report titled Education Under Attack 2010
– India, gives a snapshot of the sheer range and
virulence of disruptive Maoist actions against the education
the whole of 2009 at least 50 schools were attacked
in Jharkhand and Bihar. Maoists torched the house
of a parateacher in Chowka, Jharkhand, and beat
him up. In April 2009, a boy in Mandar, Jharkhand,
was reported to have been tortured for refusing
to join the Naxalites' children's brigade. In
Bihar, four schools were blown up and a generator
was seized from one of them. In Chhattisgarh State,
a 15-year-old student was shot three times and
stabbed by Maoist guerrillas in front of his teacher
and classmates after finishing an examination
in March 2009.
circumstances have been exploited for significant recruitment
of child soldiers by the Maoists. The UNHCR Report thus
notes that, in 2008,
Chhattisgarh, Maoists were reported to have used
children under 12 "in droves". Children, aged
6 and above, were indoctrinated and trained as
informers; then, from age 12, were recruited into
the ranks and trained to use arms and explosives.
report, however, also observes that, "Government-backed
Salwa Judum vigilantes have used children to attack
Naxalite-influenced villages, and state police have
used child recruits for anti-Naxalite combing operations..."
Nations report on Children and Armed Conflict – 2010,
moreover, expressed concern over the recruitment and
use of minors by the Maoists in some Districts of Chhattisgarh,
noting that there were credible reports that youngsters
were being abducted and forcibly recruited from schools.
The Report notes:
National Human Rights Commission… stated in its
submission to the Supreme Court in August 2008
that the Naxals forced many families to send at
least one adolescent boy or girl to join their
ranks. Other credible reports indicate that many
children are abducted or forcibly recruited from
schools. The Naxals have claimed that children
were used only as messengers and informers, but
have admitted that children were provided with
training to use non-lethal and lethal weapons,
the West Bengal Police on August 6, 2010, intercepted
seven van-loads of school children at Dahijuri who were
on their way to Jhargram town to participate in a rally
organised by the Maoists. The students from the Ranarani
School at Andharia alleged that some unidentified persons
forced them to attend the rally and had also arranged
for the vehicles.
the gravity of the situation, the Government has announced
a ‘multi-pronged strategy’ that includes setting up
of secondary schools, girl’s hostels and reconstruction
of buildings damaged by extremists, to improve educational
facilities in 35 Districts worst affected by Maoist
activities. The Ministry of Human Resource Development
(HRD) has accorded ‘top priority’ to these districts
under new schemes such as the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha
Abhiyan (National Secondary Education Campaign, RMSA),
Model Schools and the Girls' Hostel Programme. Under
RMSA, which aims at universalising secondary education
in the country by 2020, as many as 384 schools have
been approved for these affected Districts in 2009-10.
Similarly, under the Model Schools Programme, 32 schools,
out of a total of 327 sanctioned in 2009-10, are located
in these Districts. Another 21 model schools are to
be set up in seven Maoist-affected districts of Chhattisgarh.
44 girls' hostels have also been sanctioned for these
35 Districts. The Government categorised these as Special
Focus Districts under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (Universal
Education Campaign) and has allocated additional funds
for the creation of new primary schools, maintenance
of existing infrastructure and providing other facilities.
The expenditure on construction activities under these
programmes can account for up to 50 per cent of the
total funds allocated under the SSA in these Districts.
unless the security situation improves dramatically,
additional allocations and schemes will have little
– if any – impact on the grounds and would, indeed,
tend to augment the pool of extractable resources for
Maoist extortion. The Maoists have established their
disruptive dominance across vast areas, and these have
been transformed into an amorphous frontline of conflict
in which the education, the prospects and the lives
of children are routinely placed at risk.
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty
Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management
On June 14,
2009, the Pakistan Army made the absurd claim that its
operations had rendered the Swat Valley free of militants.
Between June 14, 2009, and October 31, 2010, however,
according to partial data compiled by the South Asia
Terrorism Portal (SATP), 1,041 persons were killed
in the Valley, including 907 militants, 105 civilians
and 29 Security Forces’ (SF) personnel, in a least 159
incidents. In the wider Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP, formerly
known as the North West Frontier Province) province within
which Swat is located, fatalities over this period totalled
at least 2,985, including 1,778 militants, 962 civilians
and 245 SF personnel, in 2349 incidents [these may be
significant under-estimates, as information flows from
regions of conflict in Pakistan are erratic and unreliable).
Some of the
major incidents during this period include:
2010: Five militants were killed in an encounter with
the Security Forces (SFs) in the Chaparyal and Kharerai
areas of Matta tehsil (revenue unit) in the Swat
District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
October 9, 2010:
Five militants belonging to the Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP)
Swat chapter were killed in a clash with SFs at Totano
Bandai in Swat District. The SFs recovered a cache of
weapons. Sources said that the slain militants had entered
Swat from the Dir District.
July 15, 2010:
Five persons were killed in a suicide attack near a busy
bus stand in Mingora, the headquarter of Swat District.
May 30, 2010:
Swat Scouts killed 22 TTP militants in a six-hour battle
in Mulla Khel, Rangi Kandu, Mir Garh, Drai Choti and Sumpag
areas. The SFs also destroyed 12 terrorist hideouts in
May 1, 2010:
Seven persons, including three TTP militants, were killed
and 16 people, including seven SFs, were injured in a
suicide blast and a retaliatory clash between SFs and
TTP at a commercial plaza in Mingora city.
March 13 2010:
At least 17 persons, including two Policemen and an Army
trooper, were killed in a suicide attack at a checkpoint
manned by Police and military personnel at Mingora town.
2010: 13 persons, including three SF personnel and four
women, were killed and 41 others injured when a suicide
bomber hit a SFs convoy at the Nishat Chowk of Mingora.
2009: SFs killed 13 militants during raids at two locations
in the Swat.
2009: 12 militants were killed in clashes with the SFs
in Karakar and Shamozai Gharai while 14 bodies were found
dumped in Charbagh's Gulibagh area in the Swat Valley.
2009: Troops killed 13 TTP militants in two separate clashes
2009: Eight militants were killed and four were arrested
during search operations in the Swat District.
A total of 21
suicide attacks were recorded in KP, of which three occurred
The Swat Valley,
with an area of 5,337 square kilometres and population
of 1,257,602, is an Administrative District in the KP
Province of Pakistan, located 160 kilometres from the
national capital, Islamabad. It is the upper valley of
the Swat River, which rises in the Hindu Kush range. The
capital of Swat is Saidu Sharif, but the main town in
the Valley is Mingora. It was a princely State in Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa, until it was dissolved in 1969. The rough
terrain and thick forests of Swat provide extensive safe
havens for Islamist extremist terrorists.
in Swat is the first serious insurgent threat from pro-TTP
forces in what are described as ‘settled areas’ of Pakistan.
TTP militants established effective control of the Swat
Valley in 2007. By the end of October, 2007, fighting
erupted in the District, with a large TTP force, under
the command of Maulana Fazlullah (who was subsequently
killed on May 26, 2010), trying to impose Sharia law in
the area. Around 3,000 paramilitary soldiers were sent
to confront the TTP rebels and, after almost a week of
heavy fighting, the battle came to a standstill with both
sides suffering heavy casualties. Then, on November 1
and November 3, 220 paramilitary soldiers and Policemen
surrendered or deserted after a military position on a
hill-top and two Police Stations were overrun. This left
the TTP in control of most of Swat.
to Maulana Fazlullah, including some foreign fighters,
after taking control of a series of small towns and villages,
began to impose their version of ‘strict Islamic law’
in November 2007. In mid-November the Army was deployed
in strength, backed by helicopter gunships, to crush the
uprising. By the beginning of December, the Army declared
victory, claiming to have reclaimed Swat, having killed
400 pro-TTP militants and lost just 15 Pakistani soldiers
and 20 civilians. Despite this ‘success’, TTP militants
quickly re-entered Swat over the coming months and once
again began engaging the SFs in battles that lasted throughout
On April 26,
2009, the Pakistani Army started Operation Black Thunderstorm,
with the aim of retaking Buner, Lower Dir, Swat and Shangla
Districts in KP from the TTP. The Operation ‘cleared’
the Lower Dir District of militants by April 28 and Buner
by May 5. On May 5, operations were commenced to retake
Swat and later on Shangla. On May 23, the battle for Mingora
started and by May 27, the Army claimed that 70 per cent
of the city had been ‘cleared’ of militants. On May 30,
the Army declared that the city of Mingora had been ‘taken
back’ from the TTP in what was described as a ‘significant
victory’. Sporadic fighting, nevertheless, continued on
the city's outskirts.
In all, according
to the military, 128 soldiers and more than 1,475 militants
were killed and 317 soldiers were wounded during this
phase of operations. 95 soldiers and Policemen were captured
by the militants, of whom 18 were rescued, while the fate
of the others remained unknown. 114 militants were arrested,
including some local commanders. At least 23 of the militants
killed were foreigners. Sporadic fighting throughout Swat
continued up until mid-June. On June 14, the Operation
was declared over, with the Army claiming it had ‘regained
control’ of the region. Small pockets of TTP resistance,
nevertheless, remained, and the military continued with
‘mopping up’ operations. On October 8, 2009, General Officer
Commanding (GOC) Major General Ashfaq Nadeem declared
that peace had been restored to "95 per cent areas" of
the District. He insisted, moreover, that a majority of
the militants had either been killed or arrested, or had
surrendered, during the Army offensive. Information Minister
Iftikhar Hussain went a step further to rule out the possibility
of the TTP reorganising in Swat, claiming that the SFs
had ‘dismantled their networks’ in the Valley. "The militants
cannot dare reorganise. Their network has been smashed,"
the Minister said. Hussain, however, justified the Operations,
recalling that the Government had "accepted all demands
of the terrorists" but still they continued killing innocent
people of Swat. "We had no other option than to opt for
military operations when the terrorists were least concerned
about civilians' lives," he added.
The Army’s claims
notwithstanding, Swat Police Chief Qazi Ghulam Farooq
conceded on May 1, 2010, "Practically, it is impossible
to make the Valley 100 percent secure. You have mountains,
and forests that are very green and thick during this
part of the year and give you the best camouflage." However,
he claimed that, "The best thing is the residents, the
villagers want us to fight the militants. They let us
know if they find them anywhere." Media reports, nevertheless,
indicate that people in Swat have expressed strong reservations
over the role of the SFs and Police in the Valley. Locals
complained that, during the 2009 operations, local peace
committee members had supported the SFs but, in retaliation,
they had been targeted by the militants, and the SFs failed
to provide security.
activity escalates in Swat, the Army and Police, on October
11, started a two-day joint operation against the militants
in the Matta tehsil of Swat, as well as neighbouring
Mardan, the Ghuando, Shamozai and Shikray Baba areas of
Katlang tehsil, Sawaldher, Bakhshali and Guli Bagh,
after the killing of a renowned religious scholar and
Swat Islamic University Vice Chancellor, Muhammad Farooq.
At least 10 TTP militants and one soldier were killed
in the Operation in different parts of Mardan District.
Unconfirmed reports also suggest that 800 ‘suspected terrorists’
were arrested in the Operation.
however, is also little more than an eyewash. The revival
of the TTP in Swat and adjacent Districts is a growing
embarrassment for the Army, and underscores the continuing
difficulties that Pakistan faces in establishing Government
authority over areas where the military has claimed comprehensive
victories over the Islamist terrorists.
Fatalities: Major Conflicts in South Asia
October 25-31, 2010
Jammu and Kashmir
data compiled from English language media sources.
fears Chhittisinghpora-type attack during US President
Barack Obama's visit, says Union Home Secretary G. K.
Pillai: The Government
apprehends that Pakistan-based terror groups may try to
replicate Chhittisinghpora-type attack on civilians and
put the blame for such an incident on the Indian Army
to attract global attention to Kashmir in run-up to US
President Barack Obama's visit to India (November 6-8).
The Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) terrorists in Indian Army fatigues,
led by the outfit's ‘commander’ Yusuf Muzammil Muzammil,
had killed 35 Sikhs in March 2000.
Hindu, October 29, 2010.
has a 'Nepal set-up', reveals LeT operative David Coleman
Headley: The Pakistani American Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT)
operative David Coleman Headley revealed to the National
Investigation Agency in June 2010 about the existence
of the ‘Nepal set-up' of Pakistani spy agency Inter Services
Intelligence (ISI) which has its network in India, to
aid ISI as and when needed. Times of India, October
surveillance network station to be set up in Tarapore
in Maharashtra: India’s first station for the Coastal
Surveillance Network, proposed in the wake of the 26/11
attacks, would be inaugurated at Tarapore in Maharashtra
in 2010, Defence Minister A. K. Antony said on October
25. Times of India, October
Judum does not exist, says Chhattisgarh Government:
The Chhattisgarh Government in an affidavit filed
in the Supreme Court on October 28 said that the Salwa
Judum (anti-Maoist vigilante movement) does not exist
in the State and therefore the question of disbanding
it does not arise. The
Hindu, October 29, 2010.
PM Madhav Kumar Nepal accuses UCPN-M of preparing for
revolt: The caretaker Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal on October
28 claimed that the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist
(UCPN-M) are preparing for what they often call 'people's
UCPN-M chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal aka Prachanda
on October 29 rejected an invitation for a Constitutional
Council meeting to be held on October 31. Nepal News, October 29-30, 2010.
and nine civilian among 81 persons killed during the week
in FATA: At least six militants were killed and another
two injured when US drone fired two missiles on a militant’s
compound in the Haider Khel village of Mir Ali in the
North Waziristan Agency of Federally Administered Tribal
Areas (FATA) on October 31. In addition, three elders
of the Masozai tribe were killed and two others abducted
when militants attacked them in Zharaly area of Kurram
Agency. Also, three militants were killed and two others
injured when Security Forces (SFs) targeted their hideouts
in Mandal area of Salarzai tehsil (revenue unit)
of Bajaur Agency.
were killed and seven others injured when helicopter gunships
targeted their hideouts in Mandal area of Salarzai on
At least 12
militants were killed and six others injured when helicopter
gunships of Pakistan Army attacked militant hideouts in
Khadizai, Shahu Wam, Kasha and Saifal Dara areas of Orakzai
Agency on October 29.
On October 28,
at least 12 militants and a security official were killed
and 13 others, including five troopers, were injured in
attacks on SFs and air strikes by gunship helicopters
in Orakzai Agency. Five militants and a volunteer of the
local peace committee were killed and 14 others injured
in an encounter between SFs and militants in the Ambar
tehsil of Mohmand Agency. In addition, the Tehreek-e-Taliban
Pakistan (TTP) militants beheaded three "common criminals",
allegedly masquerading as TTP while stealing and kidnapping
for ransom, in the Yaka Ghaound area of Mohmand Agency.
militants were killed in two separate US drone attacks
in Datta Khel tehsil of North Waziristan Agency
on October 27.
and a soldier were killed in an encounter in Orakzai Agency
while five more militants were killed when SFs shelled
their positions in Kareer area of Safi tehsil in
Mohmand Agency on October 26.
Three TTP militants
were killed and two others were injured as their car hit a landmine
in Taanda village in Orakzai Agency on October 25. Dawn; Daily Times; The
News, October 25-31, 2010.
to move into Afghanistan to launch an "unending war" against
the Pakistani troops from there: The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on October 25 threatened
to move into Afghanistan and launch an "unending war"
against the Pakistani troops from there. A pamphlet purportedly
distributed by the "Mujahideen Shura of North Waziristan"
in the market in Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan
Agency, said the TTP asked Afghanistan President Hamid
Karzai to provide them shelter if an operation is launched
in the region. Indian Express, October
may attack Tablighi scholars in Punjab, reveals intelligence
intelligence report on October 28 revealed that four foreigners
have been given the task to assassinate two prominent
religious leaders of Tablighi Jama'at in Raiwind, a town
in the Punjab Province of Pakistan. Official sources said
that particulars of the four foreigners had been sent
to the Federal Investigation Agency to start surveillance
at the international airports of the country to arrest
News, October 29, 2010.
are a part of war on terrorism, says US ambassador to
Pakistan Cameron Phelps Munter: The newly-appointed
United States (US) ambassador to Pakistan, Cameron
Phelps Munter, on October 29 termed the drone attacks
as part of the war on terror and to be targeting the militants.
Daily Times, October
Agency holds TTP responsible for former Prime Minister
Benazir Bhutto’s murder: The Federal Investigation
Agency which has completed its probe into the assassination
of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on October 25
held the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) responsible
for her death in a gun-and-bomb attack. The investigation
report has accused slain TTP chief Baitullah Mehsud of
masterminding Bhutto's murder. Bhutto was assassinated
on December 27, 2007 after addressing an election rally
Dawn, October 26,
dismisses former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka's election
malpractice petition without trial: The Supreme Court on October 29 dismissed a petition filed
by the former Army Commander and defeated Presidential
candidate Geenarl (retired) Sarath Fonseka challenging
President Mahinda Rajapakse's re-election at the January
26 Presidential elections.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said that there should
be an independent investigation into what happened during
the decisive phase of Sri Lanka's war against the Liberation
Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2009. Colombo Page, October
IDPs will be settled by the end of 2010, says Government:
The Sri Lankan Government on October 25 said that
it plans to resettle all the Internally Displaced Persons
(IDPs) remaining in the welfare camps by the end of 2010.
According to the Ministry of
Resettlement the total number of IDPs remaining to be
resettled dropped to 18, 799 with the 17,641 people still
in the Vavuniya relief villages and another 1,158 IDPs
remaining in Jaffna. Colombo Page, October
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