Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Updates (Oct 6, 2010)

a) While there is a kind of associative malady with the National Human Rights Commission, it does serve a useful purpose. Here is the list of states from which most complaints for HR violations were received by the NHRC for the year 2007-08.
1) Assam
2) Arunachal Pradesh
3) Andhra Pradesh
4) Bihar
b) CWG security Linky

Britain, America and Australia sent intelligence teams to India to help pre-empt terror attacks by Pakistan-based groups during the Commonwealth Games amid fears that another 26/11-type assault could trigger war between the neighbours, the Daily Telegraph reported today. The London daily said western and Indian security sources had revealed that the three countries sent about two dozen senior intelligence agents to Delhi last year as India’s preparations for the Games intensified. It’s not clear if the agents are still in India but co-operation between Indian and western security agencies have been growing since the November 2008 attack. Uncorroborated reports suggest help has also come from Israel’s Mossad.

This is what is going on wrt CWG security Linky

Security cover will be provided by 155,000 security personnel, including almost the entire 80,000 strength of the Delhi Police and 75,000 personnel from Central Police Organisations (CPOs) of the Union Government. Security arrangements around each of the games venues will be organised in four tiers or layers to minimise the probability of a terrorist strike. Mr. Neeraj Kumar, Special Commissioner of Police, has characterised these layers for all Games-related venues as outer, middle, inner and exclusive levels of security. In addition, extensive aerial reconnaissance by the Indian Air Force (IAF) will supplement arrangements on the ground.

The outer cordon, to be manned by CPOs like the CRPF, will comprise park-and-ride facility monitoring, access control measures like soft checking of tickets and surveillance through closed-circuit television cameras. In the middle cordon, spectators and visitors will be individually screened at a safe distance from the venue. At the inner level, tickets will be rechecked through barcode screening and spectators will be photographed for a quick comparison with a central data base on known terrorists being maintained by the National Counter-terrorism Centre (NCTC). Entry to the exclusive zone will be allowed after screening through door-frame metal and hand-held detectors, X-ray baggage scanners, manual frisking and CCTVs.

Inside the stadia, security personnel in plain clothes along with volunteers will escort guests and spectators to their enclosures. Vehicles of organisers, VIPs, visiting dignitaries, participants and their families will be checked through pre-allotted radio-frequency identification, under-vehicle and licence plate scanners. To prevent forcible entry, boom barriers followed by ‘tyre-killers’ and road blockers will be in place. Well-trained sniffer dog squads with a total of 123 canines will be employed extensively to detect explosives.

The games venues, residential complexes and parking lots will be sanitised and closed a week ahead of the Games. Antecedents of the hotel staff will be checked; food for the participants will be tasted by experts; and, the vehicles carrying the food will be escorted by security personnel. The 12 hotels where dignitaries and officials will be put up will be given extra security protection and access control besides their own in-house security measures.

At the Games Village, only designated vehicles will be allowed to enter. Only properly-screened supplies will be permitted inside the premises. The security arrangements at the Games Village include a three-meter perimeter wall along with 1.5 metre iron grills, CCTV surveillance, Quick Response Teams and teams to battle CBRN attacks. During the Games, there will be continuous patrolling both inside and outside the perimeter wall. Throughout the games, the complex will be monitored by helicopter-borne surveillance teams of the IAF.
An unprecedented security umbrella will be thrown over the entire city. Access to the city will be strictly controlled. Intra-city traffic will be carefully monitored. The security plan will be executed by the Delhi Police in coordination with various civic, medical, security and intelligence agencies. It will cover 12 competition venues, 15 stand-alone practice venues, the Games Village, 12 hotels for housing dignitaries, over 50 stand-alone parking sites, the media and logistics centres at Pragati Maidan exhibition grounds on Mathura Road and the Indira Gandhi International Airport where a new terminal that incorporates the best international aviation security measures was commissioned in July 2010.

Flaws in the chain of command for security have been reolved. A Command, Control, Communication, Coordination and Integration Centre has been set up at Delhi Police Headquarters. All the agencies responsible for security will remain interconnected through wireless sets, mobile phones, landlines and hotlines. Apart from aerial survey by the IAF, heli-borne assault teams from the National Security Guard (NSG) will be deployed during the Games and snipers will be positioned on rooftops. Army Special Forces may also be placed on stand by alert. Chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear (CBRN) and improvised explosives devices (IED) response teams will be deployed at selected locations. The Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) has been given the contract to set up an Integrated Security System for the Commonwealth Games for access control.

c) Wow, the NSCN guy was arrested by NIA, or so the Telegraph claims. I have nt seen any other lead on this. This is big NEWS folks, very big. Finally, MHA is starting to act up on the NSCN folks?! We will have to wait and watch. Linky

Antony Shing aka Ningkhan Shimrang, a leader of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) and also an alleged top arms supplier to several outfits, was apprehended by sleuths of the National Investigating Agency (NIA) somewhere in Bihar. He will be produced in an NIA court in Delhi later this week, sources told The Telegraph. He allegedly went missing from Kathmandu on September 27, two days before NSCN (Isak-Muivah) talks were to begin in New Delhi. Shing was the foreign affairs head of the NSCN (I-M) and Naga NGOs claimed he was on his way to New Delhi to attend the peace talks. Shing allegedly travelled to Kathmandu from Chiang Mai in Thailand on a Bangladeshi passport on September 27, but then went missing from Tribhuvan airport. The issue has already had an impact.

The Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) has accused the RAW and Nepal government agencies of illegally picking up and detaining Shing. Home ministry sources said they did not have any knowledge about the development. The insurgent leader, government sources alleged, supplied arms and ammunition to several outfits in the northeast, including Dima Halam Daoga (DHD-Jewel) and the National Democratic Front of Bodoland, besides NSCN (I-M). NSCN (I-M) general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah is said to have raised the issue during a meeting with interlocutor R.S.Pandey on Friday. However, since Pandey left for a trip abroad on Monday, reactions to today’s development may hang fire for another fortnight before the next round of talks in the last week of October.

The government has found ways to compel rebel leaders in the Northeast and those living abroad to use Indian passports and come to the negotiating table. NSCN (I-M) chairman, Isak Chishi Swu, will visit India for medical treatment this month but will travel on an Indian passport. General secretary Thuingaleng Muivah, too, travels on an Indian passport. Ulfa chief Paresh Baruah has a Bangladeshi as well as a Pakistani passport. Consequently, especially as India is increasingly being accepted as a regional power, travelling for the likes of Baruah or Swu is becoming difficult. Muivah was picked up in Thailand in 1997, travelling on a South Korean passport. He was released on intervention by Indian authorities back then.

d) Manipur editor held up and SC rules it blatant Linky

The Supreme Court today slammed the detention of an editor from Manipur under the National Security Act, 1980. Earlier on September 14, the court had set aside his detention on a plea from his wife. He should never have been detained under preventive detention and had his liberty curtailed by virtue of his incarceration under Section 3(2) of the National Security Act, 1980, the apex court said in an order made available today. The state government cannot pass a preventive detention order just because it cannot get enough evidence to sustain a conviction if a criminal case was to be initiated against a person, a bench, comprising justices D.K. Jain and H.L. Dattu, said.

“In India, utmost importance is given to life and personal liberty of an individual, since we believe personal liberty is the paramount essential to human dignity and human happiness,” it said. “The Constitution protects the liberty of an individual. Article 21 provides that no person shall be deprived of his life and personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.” In matters of preventive detention such as this, there is deprivation of liberty without trial. In every case of such detention, the authority making the order was required to communicate the grounds on the basis of which it was made and give him an opportunity to make a representation against the order as soon as possible, the court said. “It, thus, cannot be doubted that the constitutional framework envisages protection of liberty as essential, and makes the circumstances under which it can be deprived.”

The background: Ranjit Oinamcha, editor of eveninger Paojel, was detained on September 24, 2009. His wife Pebam Ningol Mikoi Devi challenged his detention in a habeas corpus petition, but Gauhati High Court rejected this. The state claimed that the detainee could not get enough money from his press to maintain it or support his family. He then contacted Irom Priyobarta Singh, a local, who got him in touch with N. Ibochouba Singh, finance-in-charge of the United National Liberation Front (UNLF), a banned outfit . He then allegedly extorted money from contractors and engineers by issuing demand letters printed at his own press.

He and Irom Priyobarta Singh were to receive a 10 per cent share of the extortion money. The extortion created a terror wave which was prejudicial to maintenance of public order, the grounds spelt out in the detention order said. The order also said on September 17, 2009, when a special investigation team came to the detainee’s house and arrested him, Rs 10,04,000 was seized as disclosed by Irom Priyobarta Singh. An FIR was registered and the detainee was arrested on September 18, 2009. The detainee claimed that he had kept the amount given to him by Irom Priyobarta Singh for safe-keeping. He denied involvement with the UNLF.

e) Puri temple tussle Linky

For the first time in the history of the 12th Century Jagannath temple in Puri, two groups of priests got involved in a brawl inside the sanctum sanctorum over sharing of donations today. The incident has shocked both priests and commoners across the state. While the scuffle left one priest with a bloody nose, the sacred ratna simhasan, or the platform on which the deities are installed, was desecrated with blood. This necessitated the performance of purification rituals. Although priests had fought over seva rights and dakshina (alms) in the past, this was the first time that the scuffle took place in the sanctum sanctorum, said Laxmidhar Pujapanda, the temple’s public relations officer.

f) GNLA comes into the focus again Linky

Amid the massive manhunt launched by the police to rescue abducted East Garo Hills DTO Robinus Syngkon from the clutches of the GNLA, police officer-turned-rebel and GNLA chairman Champion Sangma seems to have used his own network to outwit the police in its operations to trace the transport officer. The police operations based on its intelligence have so far failed to produce the desired result. A police source told this correspondent that it would not be easy for the police to find the abducted DTO. State Director General of Police (DGP) SB Kakoti, however, said the police was on the job and would be able to rescue the DTO.

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