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Jammu and Kashmir: TRF: The New 'Front'

Sanchita Bhattacharya Research Fellow, Institute for Conflict Management
The Resistance Front (TRF) is the product of one of the several efforts, often repeated over the past two decades by Rawalpindi, to give terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) an ‘indigenous’ face, and to provide Pakistan’s deep state, an alibi. According to intelligence sources, the outfit emerged as an online virtual identity, acting as a mouthpiece for major Pakistan-based terror outfits such as Hizbul Mujahideen (HM), Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). Thereafter, it has sought to claim a number of terrorist attacks executed by cadres of these groupings.
Kerala: Creeping Intrusions
On March 11, 2020, a Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadre, identified as P. Srimathi (27), was arrested by the personnel of Tamil Nadu ‘Q’ Branch near Attappady forests in Palakkad District. According to a Police Official, Srimathi was a member of the Kabani and Bhavani Dalam (armed squad) of the CPI-Maoist. She was wanted in over 20 cases registered both in Kerala and Karnataka, and was on the watchlist of Police of both the States for long.
Clearing the Mess
On February 22, 2020, in response to reports of an attempted terror attack, the Maldives Police raided three houses on the Naifaru island of Lhaviyani Atoll. According to the Police, the residences were of three individuals accused of planning to set off an explosive device on the island.
Sindh: Relative Calm
A Policeman, identified as Rehman Bangash, was killed by unidentified assailants outside his residence in the Pehlwan Goth area of Gulistan-e-Johar in Gulshan Town, Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh, on February 5, 2020.
Assam: Balancing Ethnic Antagonisms
On January 30, 2020, at least 1,615 cadres of four factions of the Bodo militant formation, the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), surrendered arms at a ceremony held in Guwahati in Kamrup (Metro) District. Those who surrendered included 836 from the Dhiren Bodo faction of NDFB (NDFB-DB), and the Gobinda Basumatary led Pro-Talks faction (NDFB-PTF); 579 from the Ranjan Daimary faction (NDFB-RD); and 200 from the Saoraigwra faction (NDFB-S). Significantly, the 1,615 surrendered militants deposited just 178 weapons and 4,803 rounds of live ammunition.
Exemplary Record
On December 29, 2019, Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) arrested five cadres of Allah’r Dal (The Army of Allah) while they were holding a clandestine meeting in the Labanchora area of Khulna District. RAB recovered some leaflets of the organisation from their possession.
Defenseless Elders
Tribal leader Malik Khan Gull and his son were killed in an explosion in the Tank area of Dera Ismail Khan District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) on November 25, 2019. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack thus far.
Heresy, Thy Name
On October 25, 2019, an Ahmadi place of worship located in Chak 161 Murad in Hasilpur village of Bahawalpur District in Punjab was demolished by the Police. The ‘operation’ was led by the Assistant Commissioner of Hasilpur, Mohammad Tayyab.
Endangered Health
On October 11, 2019, a doctor, identified as Mohammad Ali, was assassinated by Taliban terrorists in the Payencha region of Dolina District in Afghanistan’s Ghor Province. Taliban terrorists have been repeatedly targeting health workers, including doctors and nurses, as well as medical facilities across Afghanistan. Facing constant threat, intimidation and harassment from the Taliban, several healthcare practitioners have resigned and health centres have been shut down, depriving civilians of access to healthcare.
Maharashtra: Rebellion Halted
In the intervening night of February 1 and 2, 2019, two villagers, identified as Nirmal Goswami and Samru Kosmi, were shot dead by Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadres, over suspicion of being ‘Police informers’, near Markegaon village in Dhanora Tehsil (revenue unit) in Gadchiroli District. Superintendent of Police (SP) Shailesh Balkawade disclosed,
Jharkhand: Visible Improvement
On January 4, 2019, the Security Forces (SFs) killed an ‘area commander’ of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist), identified as Chander Singh Bhokta aka Ganju, in an encounter in the Kurkheta forest area under Zori-Hunterganj Police Station limits in the Chatra District of Jharkhand. Ganju, a native of Birlutudag village under the Rajgir Police Station of the District, was operating in the Koleshwari zone along the Jharkhand-Bihar border. SFs recovered one INSAS (Indian Small Arms System) assault rifle from the encounter spot.
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