INDIA News Briefs
Union Cabinet gives its nod to proposed Indo-Bangla extradition pact: The Union Cabinet on January 24 gave its nod to a proposed extradition treaty with Bangladesh paving the way for deportation of key United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) militants jailed there, Government sources said. The cabinet approved the draft treaty at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The treaty is likely to be signed during Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde's visit to Dhaka on January 28. Sentinel Assam, January 25, 2013.
Six Maoists killed in Maharashtra: Security Forces killed six Communist Party of India-Maoists (CPI-Maoist), including three senior cadres, in the forests near Jimulgatta in Aheri tehsil (revenue unit) of Gadchiroli District in the morning of January 20 and recovered all their bodies. The encounter between at least 12 Maoists armed with self-loading rifles, 303s and other crude arms and the elite C-60 commandos equipped with sophisticated arms lasted for half-an-hour. Among the senior cadres killed were Muneshwar Lakda alias Shankar (divisional committee member of Aheri Local Guerilla Squad), Chandrayya Kodape alias Vinod ('commander' of Aheri dalam), Vinod's wife Geeta Usendi ('deputy commander' of a platoon), Mohan Kowase alias Tulsi ('deputy commander' of Aheri dalam). All the Maoists were in uniform. Times of India, January 21, 2013.
Centre to counter LWEs through development efforts: The Central Government has decided to counter the Left-Wing Extremists (LWEs) through its development efforts in LWE affected areas, as it believes such efforts will weaken the rebel base. Jairam Ramesh, the Rural Development Minister, said "We are making a special effort to bring development in the Naxal [LWE]-affected areas. We are hoping that it will pay dividend." Outlook, January 20, 2013.
US to pursue case against six accused in 26/11: The US on January 18 aid that it would continue its hunt for Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI) chief Ilyas Kashmiri, Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) handler Sajid Mir and four others involved in the November 26, 2008 (26/11), Mumbai (Maharashtra) terrorist attacks that killed 166 people, including six Americans. US prosecutors have named the six individuals - Ilyas Kashmiri, Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed alias Pasha, Sajid Mir, Abu Qahafa, Mazhar Iqbal, and Major Iqbal - as involved in the conspiracy and declared them fugitive. Kashmiri, according to media reports, died in US drone attacks, the rest are said to be in Pakistan. Indian Express, January 19, 2013.
RBI alerts banks on FICN circulation on Indo-Nepal border: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has alerted all the braches of banks in north Bihar adjoining Indo-Nepal border to take serious precaution in transactions of currencies at their counters as this area has been marked as sensitive for circulation of Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN). The RBI circulated a letter directing the banks to take extra precaution in transaction of notes of denominations of INR 100, 500 and 1000 and install machines to check fake notes. Times of India, January 16, 2013.
Four States to raise anti-Naxal forces on lines of Greyhounds of Andhra Pradesh: The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (UMHA) has cleared a proposal whereby four States - Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha and Bihar - affected the most by the Naxal [Left Wing Extremists (LWE)] violence will raise specialized forces trained in guerrilla warfare and equipped with modern weaponry to take on the extremists. To be raised on the lines of Andhra Pradesh Police's Greyhounds special force that managed to neutralise the Naxalites in the State, the project has the backing of the Centre as LWEs now possess modern weapons and communication equipments to take on even well-equipped central paramilitary forces. The Hindu, January 16, 2013.
Two Indian soldiers killed by Pakistani troopers at LoC in J&K: On January 8, almost a dozen of Pakistani troopers breached the Line of Control (LoC) at Mankot sector in Mendhar tehsil (revenue unit) of Poonch District, ambushed an Indian Army patrol, killed two Indian troopers (beheading one of them, while mutilating other), injured another two of them, and took the head of one while fleeing back to Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK). An unnamed senior officer without saying that head of one of the trooper was taken by the Pakistan Army confirmed that body of one Indian trooper was badly mutilated. The killed troopers were identified as Lance Naik Hem Raj and Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh.
Meanwhile, reports suggested that Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) founder and Jama'at-ud-Da'awa (JuD) chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed provoked the Pakistani soldiers to fire on Indian troops as part of his plans to begin jihad (holy war) in Kashmir. Reports say Saeed was inciting LeT's BATs (Border Action Teams), consisting of jihadis and trained militants to step up activity along the LoC. The intelligence alert from Jammu that spoke of Saeed's presence along the LoC also warned of escalating action being contemplated by the Pakistan Army-BAT combine. Also, Hafiz Saeed and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) 'supreme commander' Syed Salahuddin have reportedly told a delegation of separatists leaders from Jammu and Kashmir that armed militancy would revive in the Valley in 2014. Daily Excelsior; Sahara Samay; Tehelka, January 9-11, 2013.
10 troopers and four civilians killed as Maoist attack SFs in Jharkhand: At least nine Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel, one Jharkhand Jaguar trooper, four civilians and two Communist Party of India-(Maoist) cadres were killed as Maoists attack SFs at Karmatiya forests of Latehar District on January 7-8. Around 300 CRPF and Jharkhand Jaguar personnel treaded deep into the Karmatiya jungles as part of a combing operation when Maoists started indiscriminate firing from tree tops and hills. Over 600 Maoists, led by senior leaders, were present in the Latehar jungles. CPI-Maoist central committee member Arvind was the leader behind the attacks, said Police sources. Many of the Maoists were dressed like SF personnel. Times of India, January 8-11, 2013.
Draft agreement signed with ANVC and ANVC-B in Meghalaya: The Union and State Government on January 5 signed a draft agreement with both Achik National Volunteer Council (ANVC) and Breakaway faction of ANVC (ANVC-B) for expansion of powers of the Garo Hills Autonomous District (GHADC). The final Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) will be signed after the draft agreement gets the mandatory approval of the State Cabinet and the Union Cabinet. Shilong Times, January 6, 2013.
Additional 10,000 paramilitary troops to be inducted into counter-LWE operations: The Central Government has decided to induct 10,000 more Central Paramilitary Forces to counter Left Wing Extremism (LWE) operations during the first quarter of this year (2013), with the aim of limiting LWE domination to the jungles of Bastar in Chhattisgarh, Odisha and parts of Jharkhand. Commenting on the move, a senior Union Ministry of Home Affairs (UMHA) official said, "The idea is to constrict the arc of Naxal influence to the tri-junction of south Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Jharkhand, thus ending the CPI-Maoist's long-cherished dream of a Red corridor from 'Pashupati to Tirupati'.". Times of India, January 4, 2013.
Police to be recalled from 'Red Zone' to meet shortage, says Odisha DGP: Asserting that the Maoist violence in the state has come down considerably, Director General of Police (DGP) Prakash Mishra on January 2 said sections of the armed Police, deployed in 'Red Zone', would be diverted to Police Stations to overcome manpower crisis. "The Maoist menace has declined in our state. Now we plan to bring some sections of the armed forces to assist personnel at police stations," Mishra said. Times of India, January 3, 2013.