Friday, December 3, 2010

Terrorist groups update (December 4, 2010)

1) UNLF saga: A couple of days back, Sana Yaima (the UNLF "Chairman") was declared arrested from Motihari in Bihar by the NIA, after he had allegedly crossed over from the India-BD border. Linky

“I was detained in Bangladesh on September 29,” Yaima told reporters outside the special NIA court here, where he was produced by the investigation agency. The militant leader was remanded in 13-day NIA custody in connection with a case registered here. He has been booked under Sections 120(B)/121/-121(A)/122/468 IPC and under Section 10/13 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act on charges of illegal activities against the government of India, extortion and other illegal acts. He will be produced in the special court on December 16. The court asked the NIA to interrogate the militant leader only in front of his advocate.

Two points are in order at this stage. Even if the Opposition has meritoriously brought the Parliament to a stalling over the 2G/Adarsh/CWG/other scams, both the BJP and the CPI have batted/given an inclination of batting for the "rights" of terrorists over the rights of the State's subjects who have suffered under these same terrorists. The highlight reel for the adage that all politics is regional will get another Exhibit.

While the news of Yaima's arrest has been floating around for a couple of months now, and noone had expected Sana Yaima to be held for too long, why NOW is an important question. The son of Sana Yaima had claimed that (Linky) the involvement of Amnesty International on the whereabouts of Sana Yaima had been the reason for the NIA's turn in the sequence of events. That claim seems far-fetched to me, especially given Amnesty's unbelievable credentials. It was also not the fear of BJP/CPI's involvement and/or the impending raising of this issue in the Parliament by the BJP/CPI-combine that moved NIA to bring forth the official arrest, but fear of the Judiciary. What I believe seems to have brought a closure to this saga seems to be the following: Linky

The Imphal bench of Gauhati High Court today directed the Union home ministry, the external affairs ministry and the Manipur government to file affidavits on the status of Sana Yaima, the chairman of United National Liberation Front (UNLF). A division bench, comprising Justice T.N.K. Singh and Justice A.C. Upadhyai, ordered submission of the affidavits on December 6, the day the court fixed for the next hearing of the case. The division bench also issued a notice to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), seeking a report on the status of a complaint lodged by R.K. Ongbi Ibemnungshi in connection with the disappearance of her husband.

The court passed the directives following a habeas corpus petition filed by Ibemnungshi, the militant leader’s wife, on October 29, seeking a directive from the high court to the home ministry, external affairs ministry and Manipur government to produce Sana Yaima. Ibemnungshi withdrew the habeas corpus petition on November 5 and filed a second habeas corpus the next day, this time making the NHRC one of the respondents.

The most important moral of this story is this. Habeus corpus is powerful; use it if you have to, even terrorists have certain rights as subjects of the country. Inspite of a thousand and one aberrations, India is still a land run by laws and rules that have been codified by the Constitution and by acts of precedence. It is easy to miss this aspect in our quest for change on the ground in India via acts of political activism. While there may be some merit in political activism, legal activism trumps most things at most times. Every tom, dick and harry (inspite of religious, casteist, linguistic and philosophical predilections that are at variance with each other) has to obey the law, especially if the Judiciary gets actively involved in enforcing the law. The fact that there is a HUGE legal backlog means that punishment can be belated, but it is not meant to be denied.

Some history on the whine profile of the UNLF:

The UNLF is the oldest and the most influential of the nearly 19 odd rebel groups in Manipur. It has been fighting for the separation of the majority Meitei community of Manipur from India since its inception in 1964. The UNLF says that Manipur was forcibly merged with the union of India in 1949. Yaima is a member of Manipur’s royal family. His arrest is a big blow to the outfit, many of whose top leaders, including vice-president Tomba Singh and secretary Joy Singh, are already behind bars. “With Meghen’s arrest, almost all the top brass of the UNLF barring just one or two are in jail,” a senior Manipur Police official said. Meghen is a post graduate in International Relations from Jadavpur University in Kolkata.

2) HNLC saga: Linky

Former urban affairs minister and Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement legislator, Paul Lyngdoh, today lodged a complaint with Meghalaya Speaker Charles Pyngrope against former self-styled chairman of the proscribed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC), Julius K. Dorphang, for allegedly causing a breach of privilege. The complaint came after Dorphang lashed out at Lyngdoh yesterday, after the latter took on incumbent urban affairs minister, Founder Strong Cajee, on the floor of the House for allegedly extending political patronage to surrendered HNLC cadres.

Lyngdoh also said he had wanted information about the procedures followed by MUDA in allotting the fee collection lease from its parking lot at Khlieh Iewduh to Tyllilang Welfare Association (TWA), an organisation of surrendered militants. MUDA allegedly gave the lease to TWA before the expiry of the lease agreement entered with the previous party.

3) ULFA talks: Linky

The prospect of Ulfa general secretary Anup Chetia being handed over to India by Bangladesh before the outfit’s central committee leaders are released appears remote, as sources have said that the Centre does not want to rush things, even though it has initiated talks with the Bangladesh government on the issue. The much-anticipated peace talks are likely to be held between January and February, though Dispur had earlier indicated a December start.

Ulfa chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa had allegedly insisted on Chetia’s presence during the peace talks, sources said. However, the Centre would like to be doubly sure of Chetia’s point of view. “Talks are at a very advanced stage with Dhaka to get Chetia home, but we have to be doubly sure that Chetia and the jailed leaders are on the same wavelength. So far, the signals are positive and we hope the talks can start by February,” one of the sources said.

Earlier, it was reported that: Linky

Inspector-general of BSF (Assam and Meghalaya frontier), R.C. Saxena, said efforts are still on to get Chetia handed over to India before commencement of the tripartite talks, adding that a team from the ministry of home affairs had gone to Dhaka to discuss the modalities of the hand-over with the Bangladesh government. “There are chances of getting him before the commencement of the talks in January,” he said.

4) NDFB talks about talks: Linky

In another insurgency-related development, National Democratic Front of Boroland anti-talks faction chief Ranjan Daimary said the possibility of talks would depend on the recently constituted Bodo National Conference (BNC), dropping the hint that the new umbrella organisation would play a significant role in initiating the parleys. Daimary was produced at the TADA court here in connection with three cases registered against him in the city, seeking the court’s nod to start prosecution. Daimary’s lawyer Manas Sarania told The Telegraph the case would come up for hearing on January 10. Sarania will also file a petition seeking Daimary’s bail next week.

5) DHD saga: Meanwhile the NC Hills scam continues in the Assam State Assembly with the AGP honchos Prafulla Ku. Mahanta and Chandramohan Patwary and the KMSS leader Akhil Gogoi on one side and Tarun Gogoi and Hemanta Biswa Sarma going hammer and tongs at each other.

As the very-well informed Wasbir Hussain writes, there is more to the NC Hills scandal than the misgovernance in Assam: Linky

The CAG report basically points out two things — that the District Council had got an amount of Rs 272 crore from the State Government in excess of the budgetary allocation between 2007 and June 2009; and that there has been gross financial irregularities in the district, leading to strong chances of financial misutilization or misappropriation. In fact, it is now confirmed that there has been a big financial scam in the district council although the extent of the scam will come out now that the CBI too is on the job. Excess receipt of funds is nothing new but what is actually significant is the financial misappropriation that the CAG report has prima facie found. Since both the CAG audit and the CBI probe are being carried out at the behest of the Assam Government and the Centre, it remains to be seen if the probes are taken to their logical conclusion.
The NIA has named 16 people in its charge sheet, accusing them of having links with the Jewel Garlossa faction of the Dima Halam Daogah (DHD-J) and funding the rebel group by diverting funds meant for the NC Hills District Council through various means, including hawala transactions from Guwahati and Kolkata. What I found most significant in the charge sheet is the NIA’s description of accused number four, Mohet Hojai, the former chief executive member (CEM) of the NC Hills District Council. Hojai has not just been identified by the NIA as the former CEM, he has also been identified as a DHD-J member. In fact, the NIA has said in its charge sheet that it was under Mohet Hojai’s orders and direction that government officials and contractors had encashed money through cheques issues issued in the name of non-existent people and by using false and fabricated documents. If we put two and two together — the findings of the Special CAG Audit and that of the NIA — it would emerge that embezzlement of public funds did take place in NC Hills and that large chunks of these funds were diverted to the DHD-J militant group that had carried out a reign of terror in the district until the security crackdown, leading to the arrest in Bangalore of its chief Jewel Garlossa in June 2009 and the subsequent surrender by more than 300 DHD-J cadres on October 2, 2009. Significantly, the NIA has established the fact that funds received by the DHD-J reached the hands of known arms dealers and were used to procure weapons and ammunition for the group. Look at this observation by the NIA on its charge sheet: “The main activity of DHD-J was to siphon off government funds through extortion and with the help of elected members of the Council, contractors and government servants in order to finance their subversive activities…” These facts shows it was a heady cocktail of funds, guns and power that had engulfed the district’s governance and administration.

All the key players are now in judicial custody, including Mohet Hojai, Jewel Garlossa and the DHD-J’s commander, Niranjan Hojai, besides at least two senior government officials. And yes, the cadres of the group who are lodged at designated camps in the district ever since their surrender more than a year ago, are getting restive and wants their detained leaders released. In fact, both the detained leaders and the cadres who are at the designated camps had resorted to a fast to press for the release of those of its members who are in jail. They want the ‘peace process’ with the group to begin and for this want their leaders freed. The government no doubt is in a catch 22 situation. Can it talk to the DHD-J after the NIA’s findings?

The talks aside, since the NIA probe has established clear linkages between politicians, bureaucrats and contractors, will the government now gather the will to let the law take its own course? Now, opposition leaders like Prafulla Kumar Mahanta want the jailed ULFA leaders to be granted general amnesty. The question is — can the government really act on such a demand and give amnesty to the jailed ULFA leaders and not do the same with the DHD-J leaders? Can the government afford to have different sets of approaches to different militant groups? The findings of the NIA and the CAG audit is a test of the Assam Government’s will in tackling corruption, financial mismanagement, and also to crackdown on the politician-militant-bureaucrat-contractor nexus in the State that has now been established.

6) The back-room parleying between the NSCN-IM and NSCN-K got nowhere in the Chiang Mai "Summit." Linky

A statement received here from Chiang Mai in Thailand signed by Quakers from the UK, Forum for Naga Reconciliation, Federal Government of Nagaland (Singnyu) and Government of the People’s Republic of Nagaland/National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang) called for sincerity, commitment, honest examination of prejudices and assumptions and greater transparency and willingness to admit mistakes. This was the ninth such meeting held since May 2008 as part of the Journey of Common Hope under the aegis of FNR, Quakers, American churches and several international organisations.
The NSCN (I-M) did not attend the meeting saying it was useless to meet at the lower level. The outfit said peace and reconciliation could progress if only top leaders of the Naga groups could meet and work out modalities. Swu and Muivah have been insisting that S.S. Khaplang, chairman of GPRN/NSCN, should meet them. Khaplang lives in the jungles of Myanmar.

Meanwhile, the post-blockade imbroglio of the Nagas in Manipur continues: Linky

The Nagas’ demand for an alternative administrative arrangement was discussed for the first time at a tripartite meeting between officials of the Union home ministry, Manipur government and a delegation of the United Naga Council at Senapati town today. Both sides described the talks as cordial and agreed to continue to talk over the matter. This is for the first time the matter was discussed across the table after Naga organisations in Manipur, spearheaded by the UNC, declared severance of all political ties with the Manipur government and demanded “an alternative administrative arrangement for the Nagas in Manipur in July”.
Political analysts and the Ibobi Singh government sees the demand for an alternative arrangement as a weapon to give more teeth to NSCN (I-M) in the ongoing talks with the Centre. The NSCN (I-M) is demanding a greater Nagaland by bringing the four Naga-dominated districts of Manipur — Senapati, Tamenglong, Chandel and Ukhrul — and Nagaland under one administrative unit.

7) LAEF: Linky

The chief of Garo hills-based militant outfit, the Liberation of Achik Elite Force, Nikseng G. Momin, along with another cadre were killed in an encounter with police in East Garo Hills today. The police said the militants were killed around 3am today after an exchange of fire with the police at Darugre reserve forest in the district.
According to the police, the outfit mainly consists of deserters of other militant groups in Garo hills. It was formed in 2005 by Peter Marak, a former police constable associated with the special operations team of Meghalaya. The major activity of the militant outfit was the grenade attacks on Tura Super Market in West Garo Hills, market places in Nangalbibra in South Garo Hills and Mendipathar in East Garo Hills on June 22, 2007 which claimed the lives of two civilians. While Marak, the self-styled commander-in-chief of the outfit was killed in July 2007 in a police encounter, his brother, Darong Marak, the self-styled chairman, was killed later by another militant of the same outfit over a quarrel over the sharing of an extortion amount.

Does that remind you of the Champion R. Sangma saga? You bet!!
8) Cooperation between BDR and BSF is a mixed bag: Linky

However, Saxena also acknowledged the proactive role being played by Dhaka to crack the whip on Northeast militant groups, which are operating from Bangladeshi soil. Moreover, he said a new battalion has been raised today, which would man the riverine areas in the Guwahati sector to thwart infiltration. Earlier, the BSF has been maintaining that infiltration from the riverine areas in the Guwahati sector cannot be fully curbed since fencing in such areas is not feasible.
Dhaka’s disrespect to the mutually agreed maintenance of status quo in places under its adverse possession has annoyed the BSF despite the general quiet on the Indo-Bangladesh border these days,. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the 45th anniversary of the Raising Day of the force, inspector-general of the BSF (Assam and Meghalaya Frontier), R.C. Saxena, said, “While we (BSF) discourage our people to go to places under our adverse possession, the Bangladesh Rifles men are doing just the opposite.”

Needless to say, Dhaka has handed over at least 20 top Northeast militant leaders and their families to India after capturing them in Bangladesh since the Sh. Hasina government took over.
9) The maoist resurgence: Linky

Andhra Pradesh has witnessed its first Maoist killings in four years, lending credence to fears of a rebel revival and large-scale violence in the state. In a series of strikes yesterday, Maoist guerrillas killed two men — one a small-time Telugu Desam Party leader and the other a former rebel — and kidnapped four in their erstwhile stronghold, the Karimnagar-Khammam-Warangal belt in Telangana.
Andhra police’s Greyhound commandos had driven most of the rebels out of the state in 2006, but they have been returning since October-November from three sides: Across the Chhattisgarh border to the Karimnagar-Khammam-Warangal region; From Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli to Adilabad in northern Telangana; From Orissa to the Vishakhapatnam-East Godavari coastal belt in the northeast. Since last month, the state government has suspended night bus services in these regions. Analysts said the rebels were moving into Andhra partly because of stepped-up police operations in Chhattisgarh.

Nepal-maoist nexus: Linky

Delhi police have arrested a Nepalese national who allegedly supplied explosives and detonators to Maoists in Bengal and Bihar. Officers said some 498 “non-electronic detonators” were seized from Loknath Panth, 42, who was arrested last night on his way to New Delhi railway station. He apparently meant to hand the detonators over to a contact at the station.

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At January 15, 2011 at 3:55 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

are there any terrorist organisations that have been created after the War on Terror began, if yes please can you name some?

At January 15, 2011 at 10:16 AM , Blogger Pax-Indica said...

The War on Terror is just another date in the whinefest profile of the North East. I am sure there are a few organizations that have been formed after the 9/11 period, some splinter and some regenerative. DHD split in 2003 into the Dilip Nunisa and Jewel Garlosa factions with the latter calling itself Black Widows, Karbi Longri North Cachar Hills Liberation Front was formed in 2004, Garo National Liberation Army was formed as recently as 2009, etc. But none of these events have any correlation with the War on Terror.


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