INDIA: News Briefs

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400 police stations to be built in 10 naxal-affected states, reveals RTI query: To strengthen the security situation in 10 naxal [left Wing Extremism]-affected states, the Centre has given approval for setting up of 400 Police Stations and posts there, an RTI query has found. According to information received from the Left Wing Extremism Division of Union Ministry of Home Affairs, the Government is building 400 fortified police stations in the 10 states, each of which will be allocated INR 20 million each. The 10 states identified under the plan are Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. The Centre would bear 80 per cent of the cost of construction, while the state, the remaining 20 per cent. Times of India, May 31, 2015.

No Army role in anti-Naxal operations, says Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar: Ruling out the possibility of deploying Army in anti- Naxal [Left Wing Extremism (LWE)] operations, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on May 27 said if demanded, armed forces would extend "logistical support" and "provide training" to Police in tackling the menace. "Foreigners are not involved in it (Naxal movement). We use army where outside forces are involved. We use army against terrorists in Kashmir," Parrikar said. Indian Express, May 28, 2015.

AFSPA to be lifted in Tripura: The Tripura Government on May 27 decided to lift Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA) from the State. Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, who is also the Home Minister of the State, said this decision was taken in the meeting of the council of ministers. At present, out of the total 74 Police Station areas in the State, AFSPA was in force in 30 Police Station areas - it was fully operational in 26 Police Station areas and partially in the remaining four. Indian Express, May 28, 2015.

India to ask Pakistan to freeze assets of three terrorist fugitives, says report: Indian Government is planning to ask Pakistan's help to freeze the funds and assets of three of its most-wanted fugitives - mafia don Dawood Ibrahim, Chief of Jamaat-ud Dawa (JuD) and founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) Hafiz Saeed and LeT operational commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi - who have been accused of being involved in various terror attacks in India. According to report, the Indian Government has yet to communicate its decision via diplomatic channels. But it is hoping Islamabad would cooperate. Channel News Asia, May 25, 2015.

Gujarat and Mumbai on terrorists' radar, warns Intelligence Bureau: The Intelligence Bureau (IB) have warned of a terror attack possibly in Gujarat or Mumbai (Maharashtra) in September-October this year (2015). The alert issued by the IB apparently states that a Pakistan-based terror group is planning to target Gujarat or Mumbai. The alert mentions that six to nine terrorists could enter into India through the sea route from Karachi or via the land border in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). Times of India, May 21, 2015.

JMB planned sabotage to counter Bodos in Assam, reveals arrested 'ideologue': The Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) 'ideologue' Lal Mohammed alias Ibrahim, who was arrested on April 18 by Jharkhand Police has told interrogators that the JMB's sabotage plans in Assam was to counter Bodo aggression. Notably, JMB modules detected so far in Assam - in Barpeta and Nalbari Districts - are around Bodoland Territorial Area District (BTAD). Ibrahim is learnt to have recruited more than 150 persons, including women for jihad in India since 2010-2011. The Sentinel, May 21, 2015.

NIA files charge sheet in case related to Islamic State: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on May 20 filed a charge sheet in a case related to the Islamic State (IS). According to the charge sheet the IS was planning to carry out attacks within India. The NIA had registered the case on November 28, 2014.  Times of India, May 21, 2015.

LeT training and assisting Khalistani terrorists in Pakistan, reveals KTF 'chief' Jagtar Singh Tara during his interrogation: The Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) is training and assisting Khalistani terrorists in Pakistan, Jagtar Singh Tara, 'chief' of Khalistan Terrorist Force (KTF), who was arrested in a joint operation of Punjab Police and the Royal Thai Police in January 2015, said during his interrogation. The report also said that Tara had told LeT that he did not have enough foot soldiers in Punjab to carry out attacks. LeT had then offered to send both 'hardware' as well as fidayeen attackers. According to Tara as many as six LeT men were backing KTF. Times of India, May 20, 2015.

71 villages in Tamil Nadu identified which could become Maoist base: In an attempt to thwart Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) incursion in under developed tribal settlements across the Coimbatore District, Tamil Nadu Q branch Police have identified and forwarded a list of 71 tribal villages to the District administration, seeking their immediate intervention. The Police have asked the revenue and other related departments to speed up the implementation of Government schemes mainly pertaining to basic amenities like issuing ration cards, health and rural connectivity. Times of India, May 20, 2015.

India and China face the threat of growing extremism and terrorism whose source is in the same region, states Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 15 said both India and China face the threat of growing extremism and terrorism whose source “is in the same region”. Modi asserted that India and China face instability in their “shared neighbourhood” that can threaten the security and slow down the economies of the two countries. “The spreading tide of extremism and terrorism is a threat we both face for both, its source is in the same region,” he said. Asian Age, May 16, 2015.

Lakhvi released due to inefficiency of Pakistan agencies, asserts Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju: India on May 14 said it was the "irresponsible and inefficient" handling by various agencies in Pakistan which led to the release of 26/11 (November 26, 2008) Mumbai (Maharashtra) terror attack mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi from jail. Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju also said, "We have given all relevant papers, all evidence against Lakhvi. But Pakistani agencies did not produce these evidence properly before court, which resulted in his release from jail. They handled the case in a very irresponsible and inefficient manner". PTI, May 15, 2015.

India and China discussed counter-terror cooperation along with other issues: Seeking to rebuild the trust deficit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised the border dispute issue with Chinese President Xi Jinping as they met at a guesthouse in Xi’an on May 14. Apart from discussing border issues, financial investments, river water sharing and maintaining peace and tranquility, the two leaders discussed increasing cooperation on counter-terrorism. The issues of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, United Nations Security Council reforms and India’s Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG) membership were also discussed. The Indian Express, Hindustan Times, May 15, 2015.

Intelligence Bureau to constitute a core team to track Dawood Ibrahim, says report: The Intelligence Bureau (IB) has now decided to constitute a core team that will work exclusively on tracking Dawood Ibrahim and his every movement and activity. Intelligence sources said the team will be part of the operations wing of the country’s premiere intelligence agency and its mandate will be to provide regular updates on Dawood to government agencies. Even though different divisions in the IB and the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) monitor activities of key terrorists and subversive elements like Dawood, there is no dedicated team that specialises in monitoring the don’s activities.  Asian Age, May 15, 2015.

Government successful in dealing with terror threats to coastal security, states Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju: Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju on May 13 said government has been successful in dealing with threats to coastal security in the recent past, but did not disclose details on security grounds. Rijiju stated, “I can tell this august House that in the last 11 months, we have been successful in dealing with all the threats we have...I don’t want to claim credit for that. It is the duty of the government to secure the country and we are committed to that.” He refused to divulge details on grounds of security. The Indian Express, May 14, 2015.

Funding for Police modernisation programme continues, says Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh: Non-plan funding to States for Police modernisation programme would continue, even though the central share of funding the scheme has stopped after implementation of the 14th Finance Commission recommendations, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on May 13. The 90:10 funding pattern would continue for category-A states such as Jammu and Kashmir and eight in the Northeast, the Minister said during Question Hour in the Lok Sabha (Lower House of the Parliament). Business Standard, May 14, 2015.

Dawood Ibrahim in Pakistan, will not rest till he is brought back asserts Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh: Union Home Minister (UHM) Rajnath Singh on May 11 asserted that the government would do everything to bring Dawood Ibrahim to justice. "India has credible information about his presence in Pakistan... Despite overwhelming documentary and other evidence handed over to Pakistan, Pakistan has failed to locate Dawood Ibrahim and initiate legal process," Singh told Lok Sabha (Lower House of Indian Parliament). Times of India, May 12, 2015.

10 PFI activists sentenced to eight years imprisonment in Kerala professor palm chopping case: A Special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court at Ernakulam in Kerala on May 8 sentenced 10 convicts, in a case of palm chopping of a Professor, to eight years of rigorous imprisonment. Three others were sentenced to two years of rigorous imprisonment. Earlier, on April 30, the Court had found 13 persons guilty of various charges, including terrorism and criminal conspiracy, in the cases related to the chopping of the palm of T J Joseph, a professor with the Newman College in Thodupuzha in Idukki District, by the activists of radical outfit Popular Front of India (PFI) on July 4, 2010. New Indian Express, May 9, 2015.

LeT's 'operational commander' and mastermind of 26/11 attacks Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi's release from jail was mistake by Pakistan, says US: US ambassador to India Richard Verma on May 8 said release LeT's 'operational commander' and mastermind of 26/11 attacks Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi's from jail, was "a mistake" and his country has already shared its concern on issue with Pakistan. "We have shared our concern about this issue. We have raised it with the Pakistani government and we have been very clear that the perpetrators of those in the attacks of Mumbai have to be brought to justice," he stated. Times of India, May 9, 2015.

ULFA-I reiterates that it is not interested in 'so-called' dialogue with the Government: The United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I) on May 7 in a statement e-mailed to the media reiterated that it was not at all interested in 'so-called' peace-talks with the Government and vowed to continue with its 'revolution' till it achieved its avowed goal of restoration of 'sovereignty' of Assam. The ULFA-I statement came in reaction to a comment made by the Director General of Police (DGP), Khagen Sarma on May 6. The DGP had stated that doors had been closed for ULFA-I and its leader Paresh Barua for holding any dialogue. The Shillong Times, May 8, 2015.

'Not all Arunachal Pradesh Districts are under AFSPA', asserts Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiu: Kiren Rijiu, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs stated that that not all Arunachal Pradesh Districts are under Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA). "Now, only the areas falling under the jurisdiction of 16 Police stations in various Districts of Arunachal Pradesh bordering Assam have been declared as disturbed areas along with the whole of Tirap, Changlang and Longding Districts, for a period of six months," he stated. He also added that in order to control the anti-national and criminal activities of various militant groups including IK Songbijit faction of National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB-IKS), Independent faction of United National Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA-I), Khaplang faction of National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-K), various Districts of Arunachal Pradesh bordering Assam were declared as disturbed areas under the AFSPA for a brief period. Assam Tribune, May 6, 2015.

Dawood Ibrahim in Pakistan, asserts Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju: Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said Dawood Ibrahim lives in Pakistan and the Centre would continue to pursue the case very seriously. "Government's consistent stand is that he (Dawood) is in Pakistan and government of India has been providing information to Pakistan about his whereabouts and Pakistani agencies are not cooperating with Indian government. That is well known to everyone," Rijiju stated. Financial Express, May 6, 2015.

NSCN-K asserts it would never be cowed down by the threat of 'collaborators and traitors': Khaplang faction of National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-K) on May 4 stated that t would fight to the last remaining man and would never be cowed down by the threat of 'collaborators and traitors'. In its statement, it affirmed its 'determination' to uphold and carry on the struggle regardless of persistent 'anti-Naga' and anti-NSCN campaign launched by 'Naga collaborators' and 'Indian agencies'. The Shillong Times, May 5, 2015.

Eight Security Force personnel and one militant killed in Nagaland: Eight Security Force personnel and a militant were killed in two separate ambushes carried out by the Khaplang faction of National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-K) on May 3. The attacks took place in Mon District, along the India-Myanmar Border. Four Assam Rifles personnel went missing after the incident. Nagaland Post, May 4, 2015.

India welcomes UNSC stand on LeT 'military commander' Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi: India on May 3 welcomed United Nations Security Council's (UNSC) assurance that it would take up the issue of Pakistan-based 26/11 mastermind Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) 'military commander' Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi's release from a prison in Pakistan at its next meeting. Earlier, a UNSC committee assured India that it will take up the issue of Lakhvi's release. The assurance by the UNSC to take up the matter came after India's ambassador to the UN Asoke Mukerji wrote to the chair of the UNSC al-Qaida sanctions committee ambassador Jim McLay expressing concern over Lakhvi's release, stating that it violated the provisions of the committee concerning al-Qaida and associated individuals and entities. A Pakistani court had on April 9 set free Lakhvi. Times of India May 3-4, 2015.

UMHA advises all states to set up separate prisons for terrorists: The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (UMHA) advised all states to set up new security prisons outside cities for exclusively housing terrorists. It has asked them to give serious consideration for being implemented on priority. Till the time it is not possible, movement of high-risk prisoners should be restricted within the jails so that they cannot indoctrinate other prisoners, the UMHA has said. DNA, May 2, 2015.

[Source: SATP]


Vol. 12 - No. 1 - 2


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