INDIA: News Briefs
NSCN-K ends its ceasefire with Government of India: The Khaplang faction of Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-K) 'chairman' S.S. Khaplang on March 27 unilaterally abrogated the 14-year cease fire with the Central Government.SS Khaplang also expelled two leaders of the outfit's Cease Fire Supervisory Board (CFSB), Y. Wangtin Naga and P. Tikhak, on the same day. Meanwhile, Coordination Committee (CorCom), a conglomeration of six Imphal valley (Manipur) based militant groups, on March 29 welcomed the decision of NSCN-K. The constituents of CorCom are Kanglei Yowel Kanna Lup (KYKL), People's Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK), Progressive faction of PREPAK (PREPAK-PRO), Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP), United National Liberation Front (UNLF) and Revolutionary People's Front (RPF). Nagaland Post, March 29, 2015.
413 fatalities in militant attacks in North East India in 2014: Due to various terror attacks, 413 people died in North East India in 2014. Assam is the worst sufferer of human casualties in terror attacks among all Indian states. In 2014, Assam accounted for 168 deaths in 246 insurgency incidents. As many as 144 deaths were at the hands of IK Songbijit faction of National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB-IKS). A security official stated that "The focus on the northeast, though emphasized by this government, has been far behind both the emotional and physical investments the Centre has made in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) and J&K over the years. Times of India, March 28, 2015.
Popular Front of India's role in 2011 Mumbai, 2012 Pune, 2013 Hyderabad blasts found, say Intelligence Agencies: Almost three months after the Bengaluru Police busted the 'explosives module' of Indian Mujahideen (IM), agencies have found strong evidence of involvement of Islamic fundamentalist group Popular Front of India (PFI) in 2011 Mumbai bombings, 2012 Pune blasts and 2013 Hyderabad Dilsukhnagar twin bomb blasts. While it is already known that IM's Riyaz Bhatkal, Yasin Bhatkal, Tehsin Akhtar, Assadulah Akhtar and Waqas planned these bombings, the responsibility of procuring explosives was given to PFI. Times of India, March 27, 2015.
ISI may target Indian assets in Afghanistan, says Intelligence source: Having failed to execute any major terror strike in the Kashmir Valley in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) over the last few months and increase militant activity in the region, Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) is now hatching a major conspiracy to target Indian assets in Afghanistan, including the embassy and consulates, said top Intelligence sources. Intelligence sources said that security at these installations has been beefed up considerably in wake of these fresh inputs and even the staff working there has been advised to remain on high alert. Asian Age, March 27, 2015.
Cyber crime cases under IT Act continue to rise, according to NCRB data: Data available with the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) shows that cyber crime cases registered under Information Technology (IT) Act witnessed a steady increase from 1,791 in 2011 to 2,876 in 2012 and 4,356 in 2013. According to details, arrests too headed north from 1,184 in 2011 to 1,522 in 2012 and 2,098 in 2013. In comparison, Indian Penal Code (IPC) was a less chosen tool to book cyber criminals. As many as 422 cases were registered in 2011 under the relevant sections of IPC dealing with cyber crimes, as against 601 in 2012 and 1,337 in 2013. Similarly, arrests under IPC rose from 446 in 2011 to 549 in 2012 and 1,203 in 2013. Times of India, March 25, 2015.
Dialogue only in atmosphere free of terror and violence, Indian Prime Minister Modi writes to his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif: On March 23, Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote to Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif emphasising the significance of bilateral dialogue in an "atmosphere free of terror and violence". While India did not officially protest against the Hurriyat leaders' meeting with Pakistani High Commissioner Abdul Basit, the government warned Islamabad that there is no scope for "misunderstanding or misrepresenting India's position on the role of the so-called Hurriyat''. This was after Basit said India had no objection to his meeting with the separatists as he urged the media not to turn a "non-issue into an issue". Times of India, March 24, 2015.
Government will go for revocation of AFSPA in phased manner after consulting the Army Commanders, says Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohmmed Sayeed: Chief Minister Mufti Mohmmed Sayeed on March 23 said that his Government will go for revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in phased manner after consulting the Army Commanders as they have expressed their apprehensions over it. Mufti Sayeed said "Some areas where situation has improved will be de-notified from Disturbed Areas Act. By gradual process, I can't do it in one go. But I will do it. Some Army Commanders are apprehensive over this move. They will be taken on-board over the decision. I will do it with their (Army's) consultation and after taking them on board." Daily Excelsior , March 24, 2015.
'Islamic State failed to attract Indian Muslims', states Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh: Union Home Minister (UHM) Rajnath Singh on March 19 reiterated his faith in the patriotism of Indian Muslims and asserted that influence of Islamic State (IS) was negligible on Indian youth. He, however, cautioned the global community on the appeal of IS among the young and educated and found the threat of do-it-yourself lone wolves real. Times of India, March 20, 2015.
Some IS sympathisers are under surveillance in India, states Minister of State for Home Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary: Minister of State for Home Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary said in Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Indian Parliament) that intelligence and security agencies have foiled the plans of some youths to travel to Syria and Iraq, and they are under counselling and being monitored at present. "A certain number of ISIS sympathisers is also under surveillance by security agencies," he said. Jagran, March 19, 2015.
CPI-Maoist trying to form new corridor to connect Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Odisha, says CRPF DG Prakash Mishra: The Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) outfit is planning to form a new corridor to connect Jharkhand, Odisha and Chhattisgarh through the districts of Sambalpur and Deogarh, said Director General (DG) of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Prakash Mishra on March 18. He further said "The CRPF is ready to foil any such attempt by the banned outfit." Indian Express, March 19, 2015.
60 militants trained at terror launch pads across the border waiting for an opportunity to sneak into Jammu and Kashmir, reveal Home Ministry officials: Home Ministry officials revealed that at least 60 militants belonging to Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) groups are being trained at terror launch pads across the border, waiting for an opportunity to sneak into Jammu and Kashmir. The officials said that according to intelligence inputs, the militants were looking for opportunities to enter India through both the International Border (IB) and the Line of Control (LoC). India Today, March 19, 2015.
UMHA issues advisory to J&K Government to watch Masarat Alam Bhat's activities: The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (UMHA) has issued an advisory to the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Government asking them to keep a close watch on the activities of freed separatist leader Masarat Alam Bhat and his associates. The UMHA feels that Alam and his associates are detrimental to the public order and the unity and integrity of the country, particularly J&K. The J&K Government, following the advisory, has told the Centre that Alam's activities are under surveillance and legal action would be initiated against the separatist leader in case of any adverse activities. India Today, March 13, 2015.
AQIS 'chief' spent several years in ISIS linked HuM camp in PoK, says report: The head of al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), Asim Umar, spent several years working at an Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)-linked facility run by the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM), which trained Kashmir jihadists, suicide-bombers targeting western forces in Afghanistan, and western jihadists. Indian-born cleric Asim Umar, served at the HuM’s Batrasi camp in Mansehra District in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), one of three similar facilities run by the organisation, the sources said. It is also reported that Fazl-ur-Rahman Khalil, the founder of HuM, had carried out secret talks with al-Qaeda on behalf of the ISI. Indian Express, March 13, 2015.
Vested interests attempting to "communalise" situation, says Nagaland Chief Minister: Nagaland chief minister T.R. Zeliang on March 11 stated that vested interests from his state were attempting to "communalise" the situation. Earlier, an Assamese man, who was accused of raping a Naga girl was lynched by a mob in Dimapur on March 5. Asked whether any militant had been arrested, a Senior Police officer skirted the question. Sources alleged that militants had not only instigated the mob to take the law into their hands but had spearheaded the lynching. Telegraph, March 12, 2015.
More than 1,000 killed in ethnic clashes, bomb blasts in Assam over 15 years: Assam witnessed eight ethnic clashes over the past nearly 15 years between 2001 and February 24, 2015, which claimed 535 lives. During this period, 810 bomb blasts also occurred in the State in which 471 persons (395 civilians and 76 security personnel) were killed. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rockybul Hussain tabled these statistics on the floor of the Assam Assembly on March 9 while replying to a question. The Hindu, March 12, 2015.
Coastal Security Surveillance Radar Project launched by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Seychelles: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Coastal Surveillance Radar Project in Seychelles on March 11 describing it as another symbol of the cooperation between the two countries. "Our security partnership is strong. It has enabled us to fulfill our shared responsibility to advance maritime security in the region," Modi said, calling the country as a trusted friend and strategic partner. Times of India, March 12, 2015.
Pakistan should hand over Lakhvi to India or The Hague, says top US Congressman: Pakistan should hand over November 2008 Mumbai (26/11) terror attacks machinator Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi to India or allow the International Criminal Court at The Hague to probe him, one of Washington's most influential politicians on foreign relations said on March 10. According to the report, the comments by Ed Royce, chairman of the United States (US) House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, are the clearest yet by a senior American Congressman echoing India's demand for Pakistan to allow New Delhi a chance to try Lakhvi. Telegraph, March 12, 2015.
Pakistan High Commissioner meets Kashmir separatist leader to brief issues discussed between India and Pakistan: Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit on March 9 met Kashmir separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and briefed him about the issues discussed between India and Pakistan during India’s Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar’s visit to Islamabad. The two also discussed various developments in Jammu and Kashmir, where a political row has erupted over the release of mastermind of street violence across the Kashmir valley in 2010, Masrat Alam Bhat, during the meeting which lasted for more than half an hour. Daily Excelsior, March 10, 2015.
593 companies of CAPFs have been deployed in 10 Left Wing Extremism affected states: Presently, a total number of 593 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) have been deployed in 10 Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected states for assisting the state police in conducting anti-LWE operations in the state. With effect from 01.4.2014, the rate of recovery of deployment charges for each Battalion (of 7 coys) have been fixed at Rs 43.10 crore per annum, in addition to actual cost of transportation/ movement of the Battalions, with 5% annual increase for the subsequent five years from 2014-15 to 2018-19. Business Standard, March 7, 2015.
Central schemes force Maoists to review strategy: Intelligence inputs coming from Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Intelligence Bureau have suggested that the growing alienation among tribal population in various Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) strongholds in Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and parts of Bihar and Maharashtra has forced CPI-Maoist to order a study of socioeconomic impact of the central development schemes. The study has been ordered by the Eastern Regional Bureau of CPI-Maoist that supervises Maoist activities in Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Assam, Eastern Uttar Pradesh and North Chhattisgarh, sources said. DNA India, March 7, 2015.
For first time in five years, attrition in paramilitary forces drops below 10,000: Thanks to a host of measures taken by the Government to ease pressure on Security Forces fighting the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) and positive expectations from the seventh pay commission, lesser number of men in uniform are hanging up their boots. For the first time in the past five years, the cumulative annual attrition from paramilitary forces has dropped below 10,000. According to latest home ministry data, in 2014, only 7,700 odd personnel quit various central armed police forces (CAPFs) as against over 11,000 in 2013 and 13, 000 in 2012. Times of India, March 6, 2015.
38,000 cyber fraud cases reported in four years, states Telecom and IT Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad: As many as 37,721 cyber fraud cases involving INR 4.97 billion have been reported by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the last four years, Telecom and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad informed Lok Sabha (Lower House of Indian Parliament) on March 4. Several cyber attack techniques are used in engineering these crimes and are normally reported as ATM/ debit card, credit card, internet banking frauds, Prasad said in a written reply to the House. Times of India, March 5, 2015.
Large number of Kashmiri youth joining the Army as an encouraging trend, says GOC Chinar Corps Lieutenant General Subrata Saha: Lieutenant General Subrata Saha, General Officer Commanding (GOC) Chinar Corps, while speaking to media persons on the sidelines of the passing out parade of the new recruits at Bana Singh Parade Ground at the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JKLI) Regimental Centre in Srinagar on March 4 said that large number of Kashmiri youth joining the Army as an encouraging trend. He said that from July to December 2014, 767 Kashmiri youth have enrolled for the Army and described the trend of large number of Kashmiri youth joining the Army as encouraging. DailyExcelsior, March 5, 2015.
Bangladesh seeks access from India to launch crackdown against militants: Inspector General (IG) of Border Security Force (BSF) Meghalaya Frontier, Sudesh Kumar, on March 4 stated that Bangladesh Government has sought access from the Indian Government to allow movement of its Security Forces (SFs) to enter inside the rugged terrain of Chittagong Hills Tract (CHT) in order to launch a crackdown against Indian rebels in CHT. "They (Border Guards of Bangladesh) have informed us about their willing to launch crackdown against the Indian rebels hiding in Chittagong Hills Tract. Nagaland Post, March 5, 2015.
Indian security agencies unearthed Pakistan based organisations involved in financial fraud: Indian security agencies have unearthed a major racket being operated by Pakistan-based organisations to cheat Indians through a network of their local operatives, who would open accounts with various banks in which the gullible victims would be lured to deposit substantial amount. "Investigations so far have revealed that Pakistan-based outfits used at least 1,162 accounts of their associates based in India to defraud gullible victims in the country over the years, though the number could be much higher. These accounts belong to 16 banks in India, including public sector banks," said a senior intelligence official. Deccan Chronicle, March 5, 2015.
Over 167 terrorist and linkman associated with December 23 Adivasi massacre arrested in past two months, says Assam Governor P B Acharya: Governor P B Acharya on March 2 stated that Security forces have arrested at least 167 terrorists and linkmen allegedly involved in the serial attacks on Adivasi people in many districts across Assam in the last two months. "Two of their leaders were also killed during the action by the security forces. On the insistence of the state government, the National Investigation Agency has taken up investigation and registered four cases against the terrorists," Acharya said. New Indian Express, March 3, 2015.
Increasing recruitment of educated youths in terrorist organizations represents one of the biggest challenges for Government, says DIG South Kashmir Ali Muhammad: Ali Muhammad, Deputy Inspector General (DIG), South Kashmir said that increasing recruitment of educated youths in terrorist organizations represents one of the biggest challenges for the Jammu and Kashmir Government. He said "Educated youth joining militancy is really a matter of concern for us. There is a need to change the mindset of the youth." The new Chief Minister (CM) Mufti Mohammad Sayeed may have stirred a controversy by appearing to thank Pakistan for allowing peaceful polls in the Valley, but data shows he will need to win over youths at home to make a success of his tenure. Economic Times, March 3, 2015.
UAV base set up in Chhattisgarh for anti-Maoist operation: In a boost to the anti-Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) operations, the base of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) has been set up in Chhattisgarh. The aerial vehicle quietly made its first test-reconnaissance from an airstrip in the Bhilai Steel Plant campus on February 27. The UAV will have its base station at a location in Nandini village of Bhilai, as a joint team of National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) and Indian Air Force (IAF) will handle its operations. Indian Express, March 3, 2015.