INDIA: News Briefs
From Miscellaneous Sources
Bhopal: 30 Years Of Struggle And Survival: “If you believe in corporate accountability, environmental health and justice, social justice, reproductive justice, human rights and a toxic-free future for all, the Bhopal gas disaster is an issue that should matter to you.” - Reena Shadaan. READ MORE
‘Forest Man’ From Kerala: Almost 40 years ago, Abdul Kareem bought five acres of land in what was then a sparsely inhabited area in Kasargod district in Malabar, northern Kerala. Shortly after, he bought some more land, and in just a few years, his 30-odd acres were transformed into a thick, vibrant forest, making Abdul Kareem one of the few people in India to have actually created a forest—and that too almost single-handedly! READ MORE
Upcoming Elections In Kashmir: My own commitment to understand the social and political phenomena in Kashmir has been fundamentally shaped by the very identity of belonging to the State. The first observation which needs to be highlighted is simply that the haste for conducting elections in Kashmir despite a massive flood disaster is nothing but the result of ego-politics and purely based on political motives. READ MORE
Humayun's Tomb set to get site museum: Delhi's first site museum for a world heritage monument promises to be nothing less than a world class experience. Designed on lines similar to the Aga Khan Museum, inaugurated in Toronto days ago, it, too, will sport naturally-illuminated galleries set amid a Mughal-inspired landscape. READ MORE
Should India Legalize Sex Work?: A recent remark made by Lalitha Kumaramangalam, chairperson of the National Commission for Women in India about the need for legalization of sex work invited a huge controversy. Currently a special panel appointed by the Supreme Court of India is preparing potential amendments in the existing Indian laws to make sex work safe. READ MORE
Human Trafficking In India: Human trafficking is one of the major concern of twenty first century that has taken a rapid pace with the advent of the free movement and free trade under the shadow of globalisation. One should not be confuse about Human Trafficking as a form of human smuggling and migration. On the one side, smuggling involves illicit crossing of nation-state border with proper intention and concensus of the indiviual and migration is nothing, but voluntary movement of indiviuals. On the other side, Human-trafficking has been subjected to the act without the wishes of the indiviuals leading to vulnerability and exploitation. READ MORE
Sikkim's Inclusion In NE Is Racism As Well: “We are the eight…we are united” goes the anthem of the John Abraham-owned Northeast United football club. The song, which features several singers of the North east region of India invokes the eight states to put up a united show in the Indian Super League. The football team, with its motto “8 states, 1 united” is one of the first to officially present the region to the nation as a union of eight states and not seven. READ MORE
12 persons killed in Jammu and Kashmir: On November 27, four militants who infiltrated from across the border amidst ceasefire violations by Pakistan, carried out attack killing including five civilians and three Army soldiers at border village of Kathaar in Arnia sector, close to the International Border, of Jammu District. The attack ended with last of the four militants killed by the Security Force personnel on November 28. Daily Excelsior, November 28-29, 2014.
Tripura-based militants have 32 camps in Bangladesh: Border Security Force Inspector General (BSF-IG), Tripura Frontier, B. D, Sharma, stated that Tripura-based militant organisations still have 32 hideouts in Bangladesh. Biswamohan faction of National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT-BM) has maximum number of shelters or camps. Assam Tribune, November 29, 2014.
NSG chief states that militancy is a cottage industry in North East India: National Security Guard (NSG) Director General J. N. Choudhury on November 28 stated that militancy has become a "cottage industry" in North East India. He stated, "In northeast, militancy has become almost a cottage industry where extortion and abduction for ransom is seen as an easy means for money." Business Standard, November 29, 2014.
'Checks are in place to prevent illicit fund flows', states Union Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha: On November 28, Union Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha in a written reply to Lok Sabha (Lower House of Indian Parliament) informed that to prevent illicit money flows into capital markets, authorities have put in place advanced risk management mechanism and other systems. "SEBI [Securities and Exchange Board of India] maintains constant vigil in the market, and in case of any abnormality, takes appropriate action against the concerned entities," Sinha said. Business Standard, November 29, 2014.
424 ceasefire violations along IB and LoC in Jammu and Kashmir between August and November 17, 2014, Government informs Raja Sabha: There were 363 ceasefire violations along the International Border (IB) and 61 along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir with Pakistan between August and November 17, 2014, the government told the Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Parliament) on November 27. In a written reply, Union Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh said that government continues to take all necessary steps to safeguard India's territorial integrity and safety and security of people. Times of India, November 28, 2014.
BSF is planning to use laser walls to stop infiltration from Pakistan, say BSF officials: Border Security Force (BSF) is planning to use laser walls to stop infiltration from Pakistan. This is one solution BSF is exploring to implement more effective border checks. The laser wall will ensure that anyone approaching the border or breaking the beam in an unfenced zone sets off an alarm. Other than laser walls in unfenced areas, the force is considering anti-tunnel ground sensors and thermal sensors in the fenced stretches. Such technologies, sources said, are already in use in countries such as Israel. Times of India, November 27, 2014.
There is no intelligence inputs that IS outfit was trying to gain ground among youth in Kashmir, says UMHA: Union Ministry of Home Affairs (UMHA) on November 26, said that although some youths in Srinagar were found unfurling flags of the Islamic State (IS) on a few occasions during the past couple of months, there were no intelligence inputs that the outfit was trying to gain ground among the youth in Kashmir. Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju, in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha (Upper House), said, "Interrogation of the accused youths in these cases indicated that they had seen IS-related literature on social media and were fascinated by it."The Hindu, November 27, 2014.
71.28 per cent turnout recorded during first phase of polling for 15 Assembly Constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir: 71.28 per cent turnout was recorded during first phase of polling for 15 Assembly constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir held on November 25. People defied various odds including election boycott call given by the separatists and adverse weather conditions with cold wave sweeping many parts of the segments that went to polls on November 25. Daily Excelsior, November 27, 2014.
Coastal Security much stronger, says Government: The Government on November 25, said that the overall coastal and maritime security along the entire coast is "much stronger than before" as several steps have been taken in this regard. "At any given time, the entire west coast is under continuous surveillance by ships and aircraft of the Navy and Coast Guard", according to an official statement. The statement added that since 2008, coastal and maritime security has been strengthened substantially by "successful" implementation of technical, organisational and procedural initiatives by all maritime security agencies. NDTV, November 26, 2014.
JMB 'military chief' may be hiding in West Bengal, says report: Indian security agencies believe that the absconding ''Haath-Kata'' Nasirullah, who was training jihadis at Mukimnagar in Murshidabad District of West Bengal is none other than Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh ''military chief'' Sohel Mahfuz. Bangladeshi authorities have indicated that Mahfuz is the most important name on the list of 41 militants suspected to be hiding in India. Dhaka had handed over this list to India two days ago. Times of India, November 22, 2014.
OSAC report warns against terror threat in India: The US Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) raised concerns about terrorist activity in Hyderabad. While noting that the "most common regional terrorist threat" is that from the Maoists, the "India 2014 Crime and Safety Report: Hyderabad" also raises concerns about radical Islamist groups in general and the Indian Mujahideen (IM) in particular. Times of India, November 22, 2014.
SIMI fugitives behind Chennai blast, says Intelligence sources: According to the Intelligence sources, the twin blasts in the Bangalore-Guwahati (Kaziranga) Express at Chennai Central Station on May 1, 2014, in which one person died and injured 14 others, was reportedly carried out by the five fugitive terror suspects from the terror outfit Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), who had escaped from the District jail in Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh. The breakthrough in the investigation came after the Uttar Pradesh Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) tracked the call detail records of the suspects' mobile phones, which they had left behind. Deccan Chronicle, November 21, 2014.
FICN of INR 128.5 million recovered since January 2014, says report: According to the latest reports, Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) with a total face value of INR 128.5 million was recovered until September, this year (2014) alone from countries such as Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Thailand and United Arab Emirates (UAE), with Pakistanis acting as carriers in most cases. Most of these recoveries were made from outbound flights from Gulf nations, after they landed in destinations like Dhaka or Colombo. Times of India, November 20, 2014.
Afghanistan won't allow proxy India-Pakistan war, says Former President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai: Former President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, insisted on November 19 that Afghanistan would not allow itself to become the battleground in a proxy war between India and Pakistan after the imminent departure of US-led troops. Rejecting warnings by former Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf who said that India and Pakistan could co-opt allies among Afghanistan's main ethnic groups to effectively wage war against each other, saying such claims were "hurtful". "Of course Afghanistan will not allow a proxy war between Pakistan and India," Karzai said in an address to a think-tank, saying he was "sure" India wouldn't allow such a scenario either. The News, November 20, 2014.
West Bengal Madrasas imparted arms training to children, says report: Intelligence agencies tracking the October 2, 2014 Bardhaman (West Bengal) blast said that some madrasas (Islamic Seminary) in West Bengal had indoctrinated children to hatred and violence. The interrogation of terror suspect, Sujena Begum, wife of Sahanur Alom, has revealed that Simulia Madrasa used by Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) as terror training centre had admitted a few girls from Assam in the 11-18 age group. New Indian Express, November 20, 2014.
Global Terrorism Index report says in 2013 Maoists were main cause of terrorism related deaths in India: According to the Global Terrorism Index, 2014 report India was the sixth worst affected country by terrorism in 2013. The Global Index report said "The number of attacks also increased, with 55 more attacks in 2013 than 2012. However, the majority of terrorist attacks in India have low casualties. In 2013 around 70% of attacks were non-lethal. Communist terrorist groups are by far the most frequent perpetrators and the main cause of deaths in India. Times of India, November 18, 2014.
Bardhaman terror links spread to Jharkhand, says report: The officials of Central intelligence agencies have unearthed the network of Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) Bardhaman (West Bengal) terror modules link in Jharkhand. Sources in the government stated that JMB terrorists had opened two Jihadi Madrasas (Islamic seminary) in Sahibganj District of Jharkhand to recruit and train terror modules. The Bardhaman terror handlers were already operating two separate madrasas in Simulia and Murshidabad, which was primarily focusing on female Jihadis. New Indian Express, November 15, 2014.
Cyber attacks grown nearly five times in last three years, says report: Cyber attacks have grown nearly five times in the last three years and most of them have been found to be originating from the IP addresses located in China. "Most of the cyber attacks that we have tracked show IP addresses located in China but we are unable to establish if the attacker is from China. We need international cooperation for handling such crimes," National Technical Research Organisation NTRO Director of cyber security, Alok Vijayant said. Times of India, November 14, 2014.
CPI-Maoist in 'turmoil' but could attack soft targets, warns Union Minister of Home Affairs Rajnath Singh: The Union Minister of Home Affairs (UMHA) Rajnath Singh on November 12 said Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) was in "turmoil" due to growing desertions, absence of fresh recruitment and low morale among its armed cadres, but cautioned that it had the potential of bouncing back with a spectacular attack against soft targets in its stronghold areas. Times of India, November 13, 2014.
Assam Police keeping close watch on NGOs and madrasas to unearth jihadi links, states DGP Khagen Sarma: Assam Police is keeping a close watch on several Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and madrasas (Islamic seminary) across the state to unearth jihadi links, if any, Director General of Police (DGP) Khagen Sarma stated on November 12. A joint team of National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Assam Police has discovered valuable leads in the recent Bardhaman blast case, Sarma added. "We are scanning some NGOs, madrasas and other places which might have been used by jihadi elements as shelter and for funds," he said. Times of India, November 13, 2014.
India urges Myanmar to crack down on ULFA-I: During the interaction between Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi and Myanmar President Thein Sein on November 12 at Nay Pyi Taw in Myanmar, India has pressed Myanmar to mount a crackdown on the Independent faction of United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA-I) led by 'commander-in-chief' Paresh Baruah, besides Meitei militant outfits operating from Myanmar. According to sources, India asked the Myanmar President, Thein Sein to assist in getting six wanted militants including Jyotirmoy Bharali, who looks after the ULFA's Myanmar operations."The Assam tribune, November 13, 2014.
Government finds 'foreign hand' in radicalising youth in madrasas, says report: A discreet survey of the country's madrasas (Islamic seminary) by the government has reportedly found the foreigners teaching there, largely Bangladeshi instructors who have managed to acquire Indian identity documents, to be a key source of indoctrination among young Indian Muslims. The report, submitted to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (UMHA) in October, 2014, has flagged the mushrooming of unaided and unregulated madrasas along the Indo-Bangladesh or Indo-Nepal border in West Bengal, Assam and Terai region. Times of India, November 13, 2014.
India and US step up cooperation to track Dawood Ibrahim, says report: India and the United States (US) stepped up cooperation to track Dawood Ibrahim, who generally lived at Karachi (Sindh) in Pakistan till recently, of late started shifting his base frequently and purportedly moved to different locations within and outside the neighbouring country. The officials of India and US may discuss the issue of bringing the elusive D-company chief to justice during the third round of bilateral Homeland Security Dialogue, which is likely to take place in New Delhi later this month or early next month. The dialogue will be co-chaired by Union Minister of Home Affairs Rajnath Singh and US Secretary for Homeland Security Jeh Johnson. Deccan Hearld, November 13, 2014.
'JMB planning to carry out terror attacks in India', says report: Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) allegedly involved in the October 2, 2014 Bardhaman blast, was planning to carry out terror attacks in India, in addition to the outfit's plans to trigger explosion in the neighbouring country. According to the sources who questioned Sajid, alleged to be a mastermind of the blast, JMB was trying to set up a terror network in West Bengal, particularly in three Districts of Murshidabad, Nadia, Malda, and in Assam through armed struggle besides having an 'Shariyat' rule in Bangladesh, official sources said. New India Express, November 13, 2014.
55 camps of North East insurgent groups in Bangladesh, says BSF official: A Border Security Force (BSF) official stated that "At least 55 camps of northeast India militants are still functional in different parts of Bangladesh and opposite to Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Assam's borders with Bangladesh". The northeast militant outfits running camps in Bangladesh territories include Isak-Muivah faction of National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM), United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT). Morunge Expres, November 11, 2014.
LeT and JeM operatives recruit local youths to trigger violence in Jammu and Kashmir, says report: Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) operatives are recruiting youths to trigger large-scale violence to thwart the poll process in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). Sources in the security establishment claim that with infiltration bid by terrorists organisations from across the border being effectively curbed by the alert forces on the International Border (IB) and the Line of Control (LoC), the terror groups are now vigorously pushing ahead their plan-B by intensifying their recruitment bid to carry forward their `bloody agenda'. Times of India, November 10, 2014.
KLF 'chief' and his aide arrested at Delhi airport: Punjab Police on November 7 arrested 'chief' of the Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF), Harminder Singh alias Mintoo, and his key aide Gurpreet Singh alias Gopi. Police traced and located the two in Thailand and coordinated with central agencies and Thai authorities. Mintoo, who was running active modules among Khalistani terrorists outside India, was arrested from Delhi airport. The arrest location of Gopi is still not specified. Indian Express, November 8, 2014.
LTTE active even after ban, says Government: The Union Government as well as Tamil Nadu State Government have submitted before a tribunal that as per the documents and oral evidence on record the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) continues to practice violent, disruptive and unlawful activities, which are prejudicial to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of India. However, a special tribunal constituted by the Delhi High Court has reserved its verdict on whether the Centre's ban on the LTTE needs to be upheld. Colombo Gazette, November 7, 2014.
Intelligence agencies warn of 'lone wolf' terror attacks on foreign missions in India: Fearing 'lone wolf' terrorist attacks on western targets in major metropolitan cities, central intelligence agencies have asked Police forces to take extra measures to secure embassies, consulates and nationals of such countries, especially the US. The target list includes Delhi, Mumbai (Maharashtra), Kolkata (West Bengal), Hyderabad, Bangalore (Karnataka) and Chennai (Tamil Nadu). Times of India, November 7, 2014.
IM-al Qaeda working together for big attacks, says report: Decrypted communications between Indian Mujahideen (IM) and al Qaeda and testimony from suspects have triggered alarm among intelligence officials in New Delhi, as the terror groups appear to be working together to launch major attacks in the region. The officials told that plots they had uncovered included the kidnapping of foreigners and turning India into a "Syria and Iraq where violence is continuously happening". Zee News, November 7, 2014.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh urges Interpol to keep tabs on jihadi activities on internet: On November 4, Union Minister of Home Affairs Rajnath Singh raised the issue of growing influence of global terrorist organisations on the internet and social media, and suggested that Interpol take the lead in surveillance of internet activity aimed at jihadi indoctrination and recruitment. Singh added the anonymity offered by the internet had facilitated communication between terrorists without the fear of being tracked by law enforcement agencies. Times of India, November 6, 2014.
JMB wanted to set up women wing in Assam, says Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi: Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said the Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) was trying to establish a women's wing in the state. "The JMB was trying to set up a women's wing in Assam. They have already attracted a number of youth from Assam, some of whom have also gone abroad to train in jihad," Gogoi said. He added, "They are most active in Barpeta District." Indian Express, November 4, 2014.