Sectarian Spite

Tushar Ranjan Mohanty Research Associate; Institute for Conflict Management

At least 20 persons were killed and more than 30 injured on October 5, 2017, when a suicide bomber struck outside the Dargah (Sufi shrine) of Pir Rakhyal Shah in the Gandawa area of Fatehpur, a small town in the Jhal Magsi District of Balochistan. The deceased included at least three children. Four of the injured people died later, two each on October 6 and October 7, raising the death toll to 24.

Chhattisgarh: Insecure in Sukma
On September 21, 2017, Security Forces (SFs) killed an 'area commander' of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist), identified as Podiyam Bheema, during an encounter in the forests between Pidmel and Palamdgu villages under Polampalli Police Station limits in Sukma District. SFs later recovered the dead body of the slain Maoist along with three country-made firearms, explosives and other materials. The slain Maoist was handling operations in at least 10 villages in the area.
Manipur: Violent Highlands
Suspected militants of the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak Muivah (NSCN-IM) attacked a combined team of the banned terror outfit People's Liberation Army (PLA) and the Manipur Naga People's Front (MNPF) at Makan village in Kamjong District near Border Pillar No, 8 along the Indo-Myanmar border, on September 12, 2017. NSCN-IM cadres killed five militants of the rival groups, identified as PLA 'sergeant major' Richard aka Wareppam Dinesh, PLA 'sergeant' Lalloi aka Khundrakpam Sunil, PLA 'private' Nanao aka Moirangthem Tomba, PLA 'private' Sinthouba aka Konjengbam Shyamsundar and MNPF cadre Raikham Jajo aka Nimai Jazo. The NSCN-IM militants took away the weapons of their slain rivals.
Meghalaya: GNLA: Rapid Erosion
The Supreme Court on September 1, 2017, dismissed a Special Leave Petition (SLP) moved by the Meghalaya Government for the cancellation of bail granted to Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) founder 'chairman' Pakchara R. Sangma akaChampion Sangma. The Apex Court rejected the plea arguing that, since Sangma was already in jail under other charges, the plea was infructuous.
Telangana: Inherent Threat
On August 16, 2017, orchestrating the first violent incident of the current year (2017) in the State, suspected Naxalites [Left Wing Extremists (LWEs)] of the Red Flag faction of the Communist Party of India-Marxist-Leninist-New Democracy (CPI-ML-New Democracy-Red Flag), killed a farmer, identified as Rayala Bhaskar (55), of Narsampet, a hamlet under Pandurangapuram Gram Panchayat (village level local-self government institution) and a supporter of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), at Narsampet village in Palwancha mandal (administrative sub-division) in Khammam District. According to reports, around 15 Naxalites owing allegiance to CPI-ML (New Democracy) Ravi Dalam (armed squad) allegedly barged into Bhaskar's house of and dragged him out before battering him to death in full public view. The Naxalites were said to have nursed a grudge against the deceased for reportedly seeking the help of the members of Chandranna faction of the CPI-ML (New Democracy), to resolve an internal issue in the village. CPI-ML (New Democracy) had split into two in 2013 - CPI-ML (New Democracy) led by Chandranna and (CPI-ML-New Democracy-Red Flag) led by Rayala Subhash Chandra Bose aka Ravi.
Darkening Horizons
On August 5, 2017, the Taliban and Islamic State (IS, formerly, Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham, also Daesh) jointly massacred 50 men, women and children in the remote Mirzawalang village of Sayad District in northern Sar-e-Pul Province. The majority of those killed were Shias. Most were shot but some were beheaded.
J&K: Onslaught against Hizb-ul-Mujahideen
On August 3, 2017, two Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) terrorists, identified as Aaqib Ahmad Itoo and Suhail Ahmad, were killed in an encounter with Security Forces (SFs) at Gopalpora village in the Damhal Hanji Pora area of Kulgam District. Their bodies were recovered along with two AK 47 rifles.
Punjab: Reverses amid Gains
At least 26 persons, including nine Policemen, were killed and another 56 were injured, in a suicide blast near the Arfa Karim IT Tower on Ferozepur Road, Lahore, the provincial capital of Punjab, in the afternoon of July 24, 2017. The suicide attack was carried out during the demolition of the old fruit and vegetable market. The suicide bomber, aged between 16 and 18 years, apparently riding a motorcycle, reached the spot where the Police were standing guard to avert any retaliation from the owners of the buildings being demolished. The bomber - wearing a suicide jacket containing at least 12 kilogrammes of explosives and shrapnel - triggered the blast at 3:55 pm (PST). An hour after the incident, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack, stating that it had been carried out by its member Fida Hussain Sawati, and released his photograph on social media. However, on July 25, law enforcement agencies identified a new terrorist network, Taliban Special Group (TSG), an offshoot of TTP, as being responsible for the July 24 attack. This was the first assault by TSG, which reportedly includes some highly trained suicide attackers.
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