Saturday, August 27, 2011

Terrorism and Internal Security: A MHA assessment

1) From SATP:

Assam Tribune reports that the Centre may have opened dialogue with some militant outfits, but according to an estimate of the Union Home Ministry, there are 79 militant groups including splinter factions, which are active across six North Eastern States. A detailed list of the militant outfits furnished by Minister of State for Home Affairs M Ramachandran in the Lok Sabha (lower house of Parliament) reveals that Manipur has the dubious distinction of having the highest number of 50 active militant outfits in the region including 22 valley-based and 27 hill-based outfits. One militant outfit, Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP) has 12 factions, while Kuki National Front (KNF) has four factions.

While Assam has five active militant outfits including United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), Black Widow (BW), United People's Democratic Solidarity (UPDS) and Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO), neighbouring Meghalaya has overtaken the State and now boasts of nine militant outfits. In neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh, apart from the two factions of National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN), NSCN-Isak-Muivah and NSCN-Khaplang, another militant outfit, National Liberation Front of Arunachal has reared its head in the State. Another interesting revelation is that barring Sikkim, rest of all the North Eastern States are now affected by militancy. Mizoram, which was given a peace bonus by the Planning Commission last year, now has three militant groups including Hmar Peoples Convention- Democracy (HPC D), Hmar National Liberation Front (HNLF) and Kamatapur Liberation Organisation (KLO). Nagaland and Tripura have six and three militant outfits respectively.

Meanwhile, the Minister said that there have been inputs suggesting liaison of top leaders of some of the militant groups in the North-east with the neighbouring countries like China and Myanmar.

More on this: Linky

Extortion, the government’s policy of pumping money and decades-long unresolved political problems have led to constantly proliferating rebel groups in this strategically important region. Ranjan Daimary of the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) was in Bangladesh before being handed over last year. No sooner was he arrested than his subordinate Songbijit took over and he is not ready for talks. As the government begins talks with one faction, another aspirant takes over and escapes to either Bhutan or Bangladesh or Myanmar.
The NSCN that was divided into two factions in 1988 (Isak-Muivah and Khaplang) further split this year into the Myanmar-based Khaplang faction and Khole Konyak-Kitovi Zhimomi faction in Nagaland. The Khole-Kitovi faction, which fired “chairman” S.S. Khaplang, has become an asset for peacemakers on the Indian side but Zhimomi’s brother-in-law and his junior Kughalu Mulatonu has defected to Khaplang’s side. The Federal Government of Nagaland or NNC has three factions. The People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak, one of the oldest outfits of Manipur, has three factions followed by four factions of the Kuki National Front and two of the Kuki National Army. The KCP, formed in April 1980, has split again and again like other outfits in Imphal valley.

2) On LWE, a MHA Press Release:

The level of Naxal violence and attack on security forces have declined this year. The year 2011 (up to August 15) has recorded 1128 incidents of naxal violence and killing of 93 security personnel compared to 1429 incidents of violence and killing of 218 security personnel during the corresponding period of 2010.

No operation codenamed ‘Operation Greenhorn’ has been launched by Government of India. However, anti-naxal operations are carried out by the security forces in the Naxal affected states on a continuous basis. At present, 71 Battalions of Central Armed Police Forces, 01 Nagaland India Reserve Battalion and 09 Commando Battalion for Resolute Action(CoBRA) have been deployed in Naxal affected states to assist state forces in anti-Naxal operations. Drones are not likely to be deployed in anti-Maoist operations. This was stated by the Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Shri Jintendra Singh in written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today.

More from MHA:

Clearly, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Orissa are doing far worse this year than the last. On the other hand, Chhattisgarh has shown some improvement even if not sufficient to breathe easy. On the other extreme, West Bengal's new government's talks with the maoists has brought the violence level down, but the status of Mamata Banerjee government's course of action still hangs in the balance as the game proceeds to the next stage.
3) ISI agents and Pak nationals (From MHA source):

The Government is aware of the nefarious designs and activities of the ISI and its agents. During the period 2001-2011 (till 31.7.2011) a total of 174 Pak backed espionage modules were neutralized by Central and State Intelligence and Security agencies. The Government has been pursuing a well coordinated and multi-pronged approach to tackle the activities of ISI. This inter-alia includes strengthening border management to check illegal cross border activities, strengthening the State and the Central intelligence machinery, close interaction and coordination between different agencies of the Centre and the State Governments for neutralizing plans of militants and ISI/anti-national elements, modernization and upgradation of police and security forces with advanced sophisticated weapon and communication system.
As per information available, 1283 Pakistani nationals remain untraced/missing as on 30th June, 2011. Intelligence agencies and State Police regularly make efforts to locate the missing Pakistani nationals and arrange to send them back to Pakistan once they are located. In order to help in better tracking of Pakistani nationals, an on-line system has been introduced, by which every Pakistani national seeking Indian visa is required to file details on-line. This process ensures that Intelligence agencies and State police have full details of the Pakistani nationals, including their photographs, even before they enter India, which would help them to track the Pakistani national after he/she arrives.

4) Pak prisoners:

As per information available, 360 Pakistani prisoners and 18 Pakistan fishermen(Totalling 378) are presently lodged in various jails in India. This includes 80 Pakistani prisoners lodged in Tihar jail in Delhi. State-wise details are given in the Annexure.

On behalf of 65 Pakistani nationals who are members of the Mehdi Foundation International (Gohar Shahis) presently lodged in Tihar Jail (which includes 12 children), a Writ Petition was filed in the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi seeking stay on their deportation apprehending that they will be persecuted in Pakistan. On this Writ Petition, the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi has granted a stay on their deportation, which is presently valid till 30.11.2011. In pursuance of the directions of the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has conducted refugee status determination in respect of these Pakistan nationals. Based on the report of UNHCR, Government has decided to accept them as refugees and to request UNHCR to locate a third country to which these persons can be sent. UNHCR has initiated actions to locate a third country where these Pakistan nationals could be sent.

No surprise that the border states and Delhi dominate the arrestee list.
5) Infiltration into J&K:

6) On AFSPA:

The Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA) is in force in the North-Eastern Region of the country. The Act is enforced in the following areas:-

(i) Entire States of Assam and Nagaland;
(ii) Tirap and Changlang districts of Arunachal Pradesh;
(iii) 20 km wide belt bordering Assam in the States of Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya;
(iv) The entire State of Manipur excluding Imphal Municipal Area; and
(v) Parts of Tripura as notified by the State Government.

The Union Government has received representations from various social organisations and public representatives to withdraw the Act. Many representations were received from different organisations including NGO’s in Manipur for repealing the Act. Government constituted a Committee under the Chairmanship of Dr. Justice Jeevan Reddy to review the provisions of the Act on 19th November, 2004. The Committee in its report submitted on 6th June, 2005 recommended repealing of the Act and suggested amending the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 by inserting a new chapter VI-A in respect of North Eastern States so as to provide for provisions contained in AFSPA. No final decision has been taken on these recommendations.

7) More on the theme of HR violations:

During the last three years, i.e., 2008-09 to 2010-11, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had registered 143 cases on the basis of suo moto cognizance. NHRC has not recommended action against the guilty persons in any of the 143 registered cases. However, during the above-mentioned period in six cases of proven violation of human rights, the Commission recommended a total monetary relief of Rs. 5,35,000/- for the victim/Next of Kin (NOK) of the deceased.

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