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.
On May 19, 2020, six Frontier Corps (FC) soldiers were killed when unidentified militants targeted their vehicle using improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in the Mach District of Balochistan on May 19, 2020. No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.
On May 16, 2020, Police arrested two people from the Lamchari village of Matlab Dakkhin upazila (sub District) in Chandpur District in a case filed under the Digital Security Act (DSA). The arrestees – Sumon Biswas and Adhir Chandra Mallik – had been allegedly making derogatory comments about Islam, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the Bangladesh Police on Facebook for the preceding few days.
The world has, especially in recent years, woken up enough to the threats posed by Pakistan’s sponsorship of terrorism to mount a semblance of a concerted pressure upon the country to mend its ways.
On March 21, 2020, a Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) couple, identified as Gandrakoti Mallesham alias Mallaiah alias Kiran (35), and his wife Chintha Srilatha alias Hyma (34); surrendered to the Police at Hanamkonda in Warangal District. Mallesham, a native of Intikanne village under Kesamudram Mandal (administrative sub-division), held the posts of ‘divisional committee member, DCM’ and was also in charge of the ‘central regional bureau (CRB) – communication’. He carried a reward of INR 400,000 on his head, while, Srilatha, a native of Rampur village under Kothaguda Mandal in Mahabubabad District, held the post of the ‘DCM’ of the ‘Dandakaranya Special Zone Committee (DKSZC)’. She carried a reward of INR 100,000 on her head.
Relying to a question in the Lok Sabha (Lower House of Indian Parliament), the Government on March 18, 2020, asserted that “steadfast implementation of the National Policy and Action Plan-2015 has resulted in consistent decline in LWE [Left Wing Extremism] related violence in the country” including in Andhra Pradesh. However, the fatalities in year 2019 suggest an upward trend.