January 25, 2021 03:54 (IST)
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Reversing Reconciliation

A fast-unto-death protest started by five undergraduates of the Jaffna University came to an end soon after Vice Chancellor of the University S. Srisatkunarajah laid the foundation stone for the reconstruction of the Mullivaikkal Memorial within the university premises on January 11, 2021.

Punjab: SFJ: Struggling for Relevance

On December 18, 2020, the National Investigation Agency (NIA), filed a chargesheet against 10 accused, including designated terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun of the banned secessionist organization – Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) – before the NIA Special Court at Mohali in the Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar District of Punjab. Originally registered by Punjab Police at Sultanwind Police Station, Amritsar (City) on October 19, 2018, the case was subsequently re-registered by the NIA (RC-19/2020/NIA/DLI) on April 5, 2020. The case relates to a series of acts of violence including acts of arson in Punjab in 2017-18, carrying out propaganda activities, both online and on ground campaigns in support of SFJ and the purported ‘Referendum 2020’. These acts were committed by a gang of radicalised Sikh youth under the direction and financial assistance from SFJ handlers located abroad, as part of an organized conspiracy by the accused for the launch of a concerted secessionist campaign for the creation of ‘Khalistan’.

The Shadow of International Terror

Bangladesh Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal on December 1, 2020, disclosed that the government was moving to re-activate the investigation of 83 cases of Hefazat-e-Islam's (HeI) 'terrorist activities' in 2013, adding,

ULFA-I: Major Setback

The Indian Security Forces (SFs) with active cooperation of their Bangladeshi counterparts have successfully secured custody of Drishti Rajkhowa aka Monoj Rabha, the ‘deputy commander-in-chief’ of the Independent faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA-I). Rajkhowa, along with four of his accomplices, surrendered before Indian Security Forces (SFs) on November 11, 2020, in Meghalaya, along the India-Bangladesh Border. A day later, on November 12, he ‘formally’ surrendered to the Unified Command at the Army’s Red Horns Division at Rangia in the Kamrup District of Assam. His accomplices were identified as Yashin Ali, Rup Jyoti Rabha, Babul Rabha, and Rahul Hazarika.

Turmoil in Helmand

Several parts of Nawa and Nad Ali Districts of Helmand Province were cleared of the Taliban in the ongoing operation by Afghan Security Forces (SFs), the Ministry of Defense said on October 28, 2020. The operation was launched on October 26, in these two districts as well as in Lashkargah city, the capital of Helmand, to retake the areas that had fallen to the Taliban two weeks ago, a statement by Ministry of Defense read, adding, “More than 100 Taliban fighters were killed and wounded in the operation.”

Bangladesh-China: Diplomacy looks simple but demanding

Some time at the end of December 71, just after independence, I decided to visit the famous American journalist Edgar Snow. He spent his last days in Eysins on Lac lemon not far from Geneva.

How to cope with China’s ‘Wolf Warrior’ Diplomats?

A new expression has recently appeared in the media and international diplomatic circles: ‘wolf warrior’ a term for the new and very assertive Chinese diplomats, who use Twitter and other social media platforms to prey on any person, legal or physical, which criticizes China or the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Nepal: China’s new satellite state

China’s policy of corrupting the political class of a country, especially those that are economically fragile, is well known. Many countries in Africa, South & South East Asia and Latin America have fallen prey to these Chinese machinations and some are now neck deep in Chinese debt.

The Calculus of Violence

On July 24, 2020, four Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) personnel were killed and four were injured in a Taliban attack on their outpost at Kharistan village in Ghor Province.

Arunachal Pradesh: NSCN-IM Depredations

On July 11, 2020, a combined team of the Assam Rifles and the Police, killed six National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) cadres in in an encounter, at a place near Nginu in Longding District. The deceased cadres were identified as - Somaya Shatsang, Ashak Wangsa, Somipam Shaiza, Sawang Pansa, Lentsuba Lalii and Paogouhao Lhangum. Arunachal Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP), R.P. Upadhyaya disclosed,

Meghalaya: Revival Attempts

On June 11, 2020, unidentified miscreants hurled a petrol bomb at the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL) office located in the Kharmalki area of the State capital, Shillong, in the East Khasi Hills District.

IS-KP: Another Weapon in the ISI Armory

On June 12, 2020, at least four civilians, were killed in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attack that occurred at Sher Shah Suri Mosque in the Kart-e-Char area of Kabul city in Kabul Province. The blast took place when people were offering Friday prayers, killing four worshippers, including the prayer leader Imam Maulavi Azizullah Mufleh.

Northeast: Consolidating the Peace

The declining trend of insurgency-linked fatalities in the Northeast, established since 2015, continued through 2019 as well. According to partial data compiled by the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), the Northeast recorded a total of 34 fatalities (18 civilians, five Security Force (SF) personnel and 11 insurgents) in 2019, as against 73 fatalities (20 civilians, 15 SF personnel, and 38 insurgents) recorded in 2018.

Punjab: No Place for Minorities

On March 31, 2020, a crowd of Islamist radicals attacked the Gurudwara in Nankana Sahib city. The crowd gathered in the evening in front of the main entrance of the Gurudwara and started throwing stones. The extremists threatened to eliminate every single Sikh faithful from the city and announced that they would give the location with an Islamic name.

Impending Folly

On February 29, 2020, the United States (US) and the Afghan Taliban inked a comprehensive peace agreement (CPA) paving the way for withdrawal of “all military forces of the United States, its allies, and Coalition partners, including all non-diplomatic civilian personnel, private security contractors, trainers, advisors, and supporting services personnel within 14 months following announcement of this agreement”. There were 16,551 foreign troops from 38 countries , including 8,000 US troops, in Afghanistan as on February 29, 2020.