Almost 31 months after the merger, the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) suffered a vertical split on December 22, 2020, with the rival factions of the party led by the two Co-Chairmen claiming their faction to be the authentic NCP in two separate Central Committee meetings held in the capital, Kathmandu. The faction led by Co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal removed K.P. Sharma Oli from the post of party Co-chair and unanimously nominated senior party leader Madhav Kumar Nepal as the new party Co-chair. On the other hand, Oli told his faction leaders that his faction was the authentic NCP and Dahal faction had no authority to call party meetings.
The untimely and unexplained death this week of Karima Baloch, the 37-year-old Baloch activist who had fled to Canada to escape persecution at the hands of Pakistani security agencies and was living as a refugee there, has sent shock waves across the sizeable community of Pakistani refugees who have been forced out of their hearths and homes with little option other than to seek shelter in perceptibly safer lands.
On December 22, 2020, an ‘area commander’ of the People’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI), a splinter group of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist), identified as Punai Oran, was killed in an exchange of fire with the Security Forces (SFs) at Chete village near Lodhma under Nagri Police Station limits in Ranchi District. Punai, carrying a reward of INR 200,000 on his head, was active in Ranchi, Gumla and Khunti, and had about 14 cases pending against him in Ranchi and other Districts. PLFI ‘chief’ Dinesh Gope had reportedly given one AK-47 rifle to Oraon, who used to extort money from businessmen and estate traders.
On December 4, 2020, a Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadre was killed in an exchange of fire with the Security Forces (SFs) in a forested area near Hakwa village under Gangaloor Police Station limits in Bijapur District, Chhattisgarh. The body of the Maoist, identified as Arjun, a ‘platoon commander’ of the Gangaloor ‘area committee’ of the Maoists, was recovered along with a firearm and explosives.
The just concluded 15th anniversary of the East Asia Summit (EAS), a premier forum in the Asia-Pacific region dealing with issues relating to security and defence and shaping a significant role in the strategic, geopolitical and economic evolution of East Asia, was held in the backdrop of geo-political turmoil caused by China’s extraordinary assertiveness on territorial claims, and a deadly virus wreaking havoc all over the region.
Decades-old inter-state border disputes, which have the potential to provide new spaces to terrorist formations, threatening the tenuous peace in India’s troubled Northeast, have once again come to the fore.
No single event has shaped the uncertainty of the future that the people of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) uncomfortably and hesitantly peek out towards than those that unfolded on 22 October 1947.
On September 20, 2020, Khango Konyak ‘president’ of his own faction of the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang (NSCN-K2) revoked the expulsion of Isak Sumi. A ‘deed of reconciliation’ was signed between the two leaders – Khango Konyak and Isak Sumi.
On August 22, 2020, Border Security Force (BSF) personnel shot dead five unidentified armed Pakistani intruders in the Tarn Taran District of Punjab. A BSF spokesperson said that after suspicious activity was noticed near the India-Pakistan International Border (IB) in the region, the troopers “cordoned the area and challenged the intruders to stop and surrender. The Pakistani armed intruders did not pay any heed to the challenge and opened fire on the BSF troops resulting in a gun-battle.” Later, the troopers recovered dead bodies of five slain intruders along with nine packets containing 9.92 kilograms heroin, an AK-47 rifle, four 9mm Beretta pistols, and some ammunition.
Tucked away in a small by-lane in Changklan Road in Thailand’s northern city of Chiang Mai is a nondescript restaurant called ‘Al Hussein’ that sells the typical Indian fare of naan bread and curry.
Even as normal life continues to be disrupted by the spread of COVID-19, the world is slowly realizing the indelible impact the virus has had on jobs, businesses, children and social life.
On July 14, 2020, five Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadres, identified as Jagdish aka Ratan Kawasi (30), Kamlesh aka Motu Ram Poyami (22), Dinesh aka Mani Ram Alami (24), Balku Kashyap (20) and Shivnath aka Manuram Poyami (25), surrendered before the Security Forces (SFs) in Dantewada District of Chhattisgarh. Superintendent of Police (SP) Abhishek Pallava disclosed that Jagdish was a ‘squad commander’ and carried a reward of INR 300,000 on his head. He was part of a Maoist team that ambushed SFs at Jhara Ghati in the Narayanpur area of Kanker District on January 16, 2007, killing seven SF personnel. Kamlesh was a ‘local operating squad (LOS) member’ and carried a reward of INR’ 100,000 on his head. Dinesh was the ‘president’ of the ‘Kranti Jantana Sarkar’ and carried a reward of INR 100,000 on his head. Balku and Shivnath were ‘jan militia’ members.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan last week chose what ought to be a hallowed hall in the National Assembly, the lower house of Pakistan’s Parliament, to describe Al Qaeda’s slain leader Osama bin Laden as a “shaheed” or a martyr.
On June 17, 2020, at least 10 Police personnel were killed when Taliban militants aggressively attacked their checkpoints in the Shurabak District of Kandahar Province.
On June 11, 2020, a People's Democratic Council of Karbi Longri (PDCK) militant was arrested from Therebasa in Karbi Anglong District. One pistol was retrieved from his possession.