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Northeast: Talks and Some Trou...

Giriraj Bhattacharjee Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management

The Union Government is considering the partial removal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA)-1958 from the States of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. Media reports cited an unnamed Ministry of Home Affairs (UMHA) official as stating, "The notification extending AFSPA in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh is issued for six months after a review twice a year. We have reduced this duration to three months and see if it could be withdrawn completely from certain areas. For the time being, the proposal is only for the two States but we are also looking for a similar solution in Manipur."

FICN Flows and Terrorism
According to the latest Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) report released in March 2017, the number of Counterfeit Currency Reports (CCRs) in India's banking channels was 353,837 in Financial Year (FY) 2014-15. The number of such instances stood at 8,580 CCRs in 2007-08; 35,730 in 2008-09; 127,781 in 2009-10; 251,448 in 2010-11; 327,382 in 2011-12; 62371 in 2012-13; and 301,804 in 2013-14. FIU began compiling this data in 2007-08, when the Government mandated it to receive such reports from banks under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). [CCR is defined as the usage of a forged or counterfeit currency notes or bank notes as genuine or where any forgery of a valuable security or a document has taken place during a cash transaction at a bank.] The amount of Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICNs) detected were not specified in the report.
Sustained Progress
On June 21, 2017, the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) Amendment Bill was unanimously passed by Sri Lanka's Parliament. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, presenting the Bill to the House, declared, "This institution is paramount in order to put an end to the issue pertaining to the disappearance of persons as soon as possible." On August 11, 2016, despite objections raised by the Joint Opposition which alleged that the Bill will betray the military, the OMP Bill was passed in Parliament without a vote, after the Prime Minister convinced the Joint Opposition that, "This office is not vested with powers to take criminal actions or prosecute forces for war crimes, as some claimed. It would be purely a legal process." The OMP will identify appropriate mechanisms for and help search for and trace missing persons, submit recommendations to authorities to take measures on missing persons, protect the rights of missing persons and their relatives, identify channels through which missing persons and their relatives can obtain relief, collate data related to missing persons obtained by Government institutions and other institutions, and centralize all available data within its database.
What Pakistan Wants
In a scathing commentary on Pakistan's direct role in Afghanistan's continuing misery, Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani declared that Afghanistan could not "figure out" Pakistan's intention. Delivering a speech at the first meeting of the Kabul Process for Peace and Security Cooperation on June 6, 2017, Ghani stated,
Northeast: Persistent Anxieties
In the Northeast Security Review meeting, presided over by Union Home Minister (UHM) Rajnath Singh, held at New Delhi on May 16, 2017, security agencies demanded a greater presence of intelligence and Security Force (SF) personnel in five contiguous Districts of Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland along the Indo-Myanmar border. An unnamed official who participated in the meeting disclosed, "We have apprised the Home Minister of the security situation in the Northeast and informed him that all militant activities are being controlled from Arunachal's Tirap, Changlang and Longding Districts; and Nagaland's Mon and Tuensang Districts,". During the meeting it was emphasized that these five districts had emerged as the hub of the 'last remaining militants' in the Northeast.
Jharkhand: Internecine Carnage
On May 21, 2017, seven cadres of the Tritiya Prastuti Committee (TPC), a splinter group of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist), were killed in an exchange of fire between two of its own factions in the Keredari area of Hazaribagh District. Three of the slain cadres were identified as TPC 'zonal commander' Sagar Ganzu, 'area commander' Manish Mahato and 'commander' Jhonson. One severed head recovered from the spot is yet to be identified. The remaining three bodies were taken away by the rebels. The Police team recovered some empty cartridges, Naxal [Left-Wing Extremism (LWE)] uniforms, a blood-stained carpet and other items from the spot. Bhimsen Tuti, Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), North Chhotanagpur Division, disclosed that the group fought following a dispute on the sharing of money extorted from construction companies.
Border Disorder
Two Frontier Constabulary (FCB) soldiers were injured in cross-border firing in the Kurram Agency of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan, from the Khost Province of Afghanistan on May 12, 2017. The attack took place as FCB personnel were undertaking construction of a wall along the border on the Pakistani side.
Southern Perils
Media reports and confirmations to SAIR from family members of Islamic State (IS or Daesh) and al Qaeda recruits from the southern Indian State of Kerala, indicate that two Daesh volunteers and an al Qaeda volunteer were killed in three separate US drone attacks in Afghanistan and Syria in the month of April. Bestin Vincent akaYahya, who belonged to the Palakkad District was killed in US strikes in the Nangarhar Province in Afghanistan on April 29, 2017. Murshid Muhammed from Kasaragod District, who had also joined Daesh was killed in the second week of April 2017 (date not specified), again, in Nangarhar. Abu Thahir from Palakkad District had joined al Qaeda, and was killed in Syria on April 4, 2017.
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