INDIA: News Briefs
ISI gave INR 260 million to IM 'chief' Riyaz Bhatkal for anti-India operations, say Agencies: The Inter-Services-Intelligence (ISI) gave around INR 260 million to Indian Mujahideen (IM) 'chief' Riyaz Bhatkal in the last three years for anti-India operations, a recent intercept from Pakistan by central intelligence agencies has revealed. Riyaz, based in Karachi, used to send funds to Yasin Bhatkal, Assadullah Akhtar, Tehsin Akhtar alias Monu, Zia-ur-Rehman alias Waqas, Shaquib and others (all arrested now) through Western Union money transfer and hawala dealers, sources said. Times of India, March 31, 2014.
IM planned to target foreigners at tourist places, says report: The Indian Mujahideen (IM) planned to hit tourism in India by targeting famous places like the Taj Mahal in Agra (Uttar Pradesh) and Pushkar in Rajasthan. Arrested 'chief' of IM's 'India operations' Tehseen Akhtar alias Monu has disclosed that he had conducted the recce of Agra and Pushkar in December 2013 along with some other places like Jodhpur, Bharatpur and Gopal Garh. Times of India, March 27, 2014.
CPI-Maoist appoints new 'spokesperson' for Dandakaranya region of central India: The Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) has appointed a new 'spokesperson' in Dandakaranya in central India. Following their decade-old ritual, the new 'spokesperson' has been named after the first tribal martyr in Dandakaranya in the 1980s, Gudsa Usendi. The previous Gudsa Usendi, G.V.K. Prasad, who surrendered recently, has been identified as a "traitor and class enemy" by Ramanna, the 'party secretary' in Dandakaranya. The Hindu, March 25, 2014.
"Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India", asserts External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid: External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid has said that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. He stated, "Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India - there is no question of anybody interfering with this idea. The US knows this very well". Salman Khurshid was responding to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's March 24 statement where he sought US intervention in settling the Kashmir dispute complaining that India was hesitant whenever it wanted to talk on the vexed issue. Indian Express, March 24, 2014.
New airstrip soon for reconnaissance in LWE-affected areas: The Central Government has expedited the process of shifting the airstrip for aerial reconnaissance Drones in Left-Wing Extremism (LWE)-affected areas. "The airstrip for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) is expected to be functional within three months. The new airstrip will enable effective reconnaissance of the Naxal-infested regions," said an official. The Hindu, March 22, 2014.
Four Northeast militant groups to participate in the deliberations for creation of an umbrella organisation in Myanmar: Representatives of Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland- Khaplang (NSCN-K), Independent faction of United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA-I), IK Songbijit faction of National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB-IKS) and the Manipur-based People's Liberation Army (PLA) will participate in the deliberations for creation of an umbrella organisation in Taga of Sagaing division in north-western Myanmar on March 20. The meeting is likely to be convened by NSCN-K 'chairman' S.S. Khaplang, an influential leader in parts of northern Myanmar. Telegraph India, March 20, 2014.
NGOs vulnerable to money laundering and terror financing, according to UMHA: With voluntary organisations receiving more than INR 115 billion of foreign funds annually, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (UMHA) has warned that the Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) in India were vulnerable to risks of money laundering and terror financing. "While it is not proper to make sweeping generalisations, it is necessary to note that the NGO sector in India is vulnerable to the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing," its annual report said. Oman Tribune, March 20, 2014.
Centre deputes 70 IPS officials and 6,000 troops to assist the Election Commission in ensuring free and fair elections in insurgency prone areas of the country: The Centre has deputed 70 Indian Police Service (IPS) officers of Inspector General level and 6,000 troops to assist the Election Commission in ensuring free and fair elections in insurgency prone areas of the country. A majority of these IPS officers will be deputed in the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) affected regions of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Bihar, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. DNA, March 19, 2014.
SEBI tightens norms to check money laundering and terror funding, says report: Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on March 12 tightened norms aimed at countering money laundering and terror financing through the capital markets and asked market entities to conduct detailed risk assessment of their clients, including those linked to countries facing international sanctions. Besides, stock exchanges have been asked to monitor the compliance of various entities through half-yearly internal audits and inspections and keep SEBI informed on these issues. Zee News, March 13, 2014.
ED registers case against HM 'chief' Syed Salahuddin: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on March 11 registered a money laundering case against ten people, including Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) 'chief', Syed Salahuddin, for allegedly funding terror activities in the country from across the border. The ED was prompted to register the case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after taking cognisance of an FIR registered by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) against the ten persons in 2013. The NIA had filed the case in connection with its probe into cross-LoC trade. Indian Express, March 12, 2014.
Maoists kill 16 persons including 15 Security Force personnel in Chhattisgarh: Fifteen Security Force (SF) personnel were killed in a Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) ambush on March 11 in Sukma District of south Chhattisgarh. One civilian, Vikram Nishad, also died in the crossfire, while three others were injured. Additional Director-General of Police Mukesh Gupta said 11 of the personnel who died belonged to the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), while four were from the Chhattisgarh Police. The Hindu, March 12, 2014.
CPI-Maoist 'internal document' asks cadres to target 12 political leaders before general elections: An internal document prepared by the Central leadership of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) has asked its cadres to boycott the Lok Sabha (Lower House of Indian Parliament) elections and specifically names 12 political leaders who are to be targeted along with Security Forces (SFs). The document gives out names of some political leaders in Hindi codes, "Nare, Baba, Nunu, Ram, Ud, Ani, Binde, Prah, Jeev, Lal, Prem, Shai" who are to be "eliminated at any cost despite them having security cover." Indian Express, March 12, 2014.
ISI wanted IM chief Riyaz Bhatkal's family to take refuge in Pakistan, reveals arrested IM's 'India operation' chief Yasin Bhatkal: Arrested Indian Mujahideen's (IM) 'India operation' chief Yasin Bhatkal during interrogation said that Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) wanted IM 'chief' Riyaz Bhatkal, who is in Pakistan, to convince his family in Karnataka to cross borders and join him in that country. Riyaz who felt the ISI proposed this in order to gain control over the terror outfit rebuffed the suggestion because his family had strong local roots. Riyaz was planning independent setting for his terror outfit with the help of al Qaida so that they could not depend on ISI. Times of India, March 11, 2014.
Increase in Pakistan-printed FICNs smuggling to India, says report: Smuggling of Pakistan-printed fake Indian currency notes (FICNs) from abroad has shown an increase. The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has found that neighbouring Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh among others have fast emerged as new routes for smugglers to push Pakistan-printed FICNs. Besides, the smuggling of FICNs is being routed to India via Vietnam and Malaysia. The DRI officials claimed to have found, in almost all the cases registered within the country, that the seized FICNs were printed in Pakistan. Times of India, March 10, 2014.
India along with other BIMSTEC countries agree to ratify anti-terror pact: India along with other BIMSTEC (The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) countries on March 4 agreed to expedite the ratification of the BIMSTEC Convention on Cooperation in Combating International Terrorism, Transnational Organised Crime and Illicit Drug Trafficking. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in his address, had called upon the member countries to seek early ratification of the anti-terror treaty and early signing of the Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters." Assam Tribune, March 5, 2014.
NDFB-IKS most active militant group in Assam, says report: Security sources stated that the I K Songbijit faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB-IKS) is the most active militant outfit in lower and northern Assam region and the recent killing of an Additional Superintendent of Police in Sonitpur Gulzar Hussain on January 28 gave the outfit a 'new lease of life'. However, sources said that the killing was not a planned one and the militants managed to get the Police Officer by chance when he was leading an operation. Assam Tribune, March 5, 2014.
IM harbored plans to create new hideouts in Tibet, Nepal and Azerbaijan, says report: Indian Mujahideen (IM) harboured plans to create new hideouts in Tibet, Nepal and Azerbaijan. It also planned to free its operatives lodged in various by ramming bulldozers to bring down jail walls. The 277-page National Investigation Agency (NIA) chargesheet filed against Yasin Bhatkal says: "Yasin informed Riyaz [Riyaz Bhatkal] that he had learnt to operate bulldozer. It drinks 200 litres per day, but can be used to break wall of the jail." Times of India, March 1, 2014.