December 02, 2022 14:19 (IST)
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Assam: Lost Opportunities

Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management Unidentified militants hurled a grenade at the house of a businessman, identified as Biren Agarwal, located in the market area of Sepon village in Sivasagar District, killing his younger brother, Situ Agarwal, and their driver, Dimbeswar Bhuyan, on February 13, 2015. The locals claimed that the Independent faction of United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA-I), which remains active in the area, had recently demanded extortion money from the businessman's family. The family had refused to make the payment.

Bihar: Self-Goals

Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management Two troopers of the Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) - Constable Gulab Yadav and Constable Narottam Das - were killed and another 12 were injured when Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadres blew up a mini-bus carrying personnel near Nandai on the Imamganj - Dumaria route in Gaya District on February 24, 2015. The unit also came under fire from the Maoists after the improvised explosive device (IED) blast. According to Police sources, there was 'heavy force mobilization' in the area in the wake of an encounter in the vicinity a day earlier. The site of the explosion was part of an area believed to be safe, with regular traffic flows, and was not, prima facie in the 'vulnerable' category, which is why the COBRA unit took the liberty of travelling in a mini bus. A measure of complacency may also have crept in because of the decline in Maoist violence in the State in 2014.

Mizoram: Unsettled Peace

Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management The 20-year long insurgency in Mizoram (1966-86), led by the Mizo National Front (MNF) was resolved as far back as in 1986, and the State has, since, been at peace in terms of that stream of insurgency. Nevertheless, the ethnic polarization and tensions provoked by the MNF insurgency continue to trigger occasional violence linked to a range of other armed groups, some of them located in and operating from neighbouring States.

Maharashtra: Maoists: Weakening Base

Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management On January 22, 2015, Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadres burnt around 14 vehicles of an Andhra Pradesh-based private company engaged in road construction on the Gharanji-Pustola stretch in Dhanora tehsil (revenue unit) of Gadchiroli District of Maharashtra. The Maoists also roughed up a few labourers during the attack. Eight tractors, two trucks, one road roller, two JCB machines, a pickup van and two motorcycles belonging to the workers were among the vehicles which were set on fire.

Punjab: Nucleus of Terror

Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management On January 16, 2015, at least three Shia Muslims were shot dead in Rawalpindi District while they were returning home from a religious gathering. The victims were identified as lawyer Fayyaz Hussain Shah (40), and his two nephews Mir Ghazi Shah (20) and Mir Hamza Shah (22). The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) 'spokesperson' Muhammad Khorasani claimed responsibility for the attack saying that lawyer Fayyaz Hussain Shah was active in his Shia community and was also a local leader of the Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

Bucket list for Obama-Modi Republic Day Summit

The 2015 Republic Daycelebrations of India will mark the beginning of a new era of Indo-US relationship with the US President gracing the occasion as its guest of honour for the first time. Sujeet Sarkar explores the emerging possibilities of this growing tie and enlists the agenda lying ahead for both the incumbent leaders.

Jharkhand: Strategic Silence

Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management In a change for good, the five phase Assembly Election in Jharkhand held in the month of November and December 2014 passed off peacefully, with a record voter turnout of 66.47 per cent. According to the Jharkhand Chief Electoral Officer P.K. Jajoria the State has not recorded this high a polling in any election - Assembly or Lok Sabha - since the creation of the State in 2000. Significantly, Inspector General (IG) of Police (Operations) M.L. Meena, who was a nodal officer in the Election Cell, added, "Since 1996, no election had been peaceful. Casualties were reported in 2009 and 2005 Assembly and Lok Sabha polls from Palamu, Dhanbad, Giridih, Khunti and Dumka." In the General Elections to the Lok Sabha (Lower House of Parliament) held in April-May 2014, eight persons - five Jharkhand Armed Police (JAP) personnel, two poll officials and a cleaner of the minibus in which they were travelling - died in a landmine blast by the Maoists in the Shikaripada Police Station area in Dumka District on April 24.

Redefining Social Responsibility: Integrating CSR in the Ethos of the Organisation

In India, historically, Corporate Social Responsibility has been perceived as charity and/or philanthropy. However, in the last few years, corporate responsibility has gained significance in India as companies realize that for participation in the global economy, investment in sustainability is essential. It is still, however, at an experimental phase, as few companies have a well considered corporate responsibility strategy. This could also emanate from the fact that as recent as 2012 most companies in India had a lack of clarity on the definition of CSR, its agenda and reporting, hence leading to a lack of unified view. This was evident from a CRY commissioned research on corporate perceptions of CSR.

The Hatred Comes Home

In a barbaric act of terror, a seven-member suicide squad of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) killed at least 133 school children and nine staff members, including the Principal, in an attack at the Army Public School (APS), Peshawar (capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, KP) on December 16, 2014. Another 121 persons, including 118 students and three staffers sustained injuries. The attack, which started at about 10 am (PST), ended after more than eight hours, when the seven-member suicide squad was eliminated. Nine personnel of the Special Services Group (SSG), a special operations force of the Pakistan Army, including two of its officers, sustained injuries during the operation. An estimated 1,100 students and staff members were inside the school at the time of the attack, of which some 960 were rescued.

Chhattisgarh: The Same Trap, Again

In a guerrilla ambush, showing sufficient elements of mobile warfare, the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadres killed 14 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel including two officers, Deputy Commandant B.S. Verma and Assistant Commandant Rajesh Kapuria, and injured another 14 on the outskirts of Kasalpar village, near Chintagufa and Chintalnar, close to the Dornapal-Jagargunda Road in Sukma District, on December 1, 2014. CRPF Deputy Inspector General (DIG) D. Upadhyay disclosed that the Maoists looted 10 AK-47s, including three UBGL (Under Barrel Grenade Launcher) attachments, 900 rounds, 30 UBGL grenades, an INSAS LMG with 300 rounds, an INSAS rifle with one magazine, four bullet proof jackets, a GPS and two binoculars, after the encounter.

Will the Unity Government Deliver for Afghanistan?

Afghanistan may be rejoicing with the formation of a unity government after a month of political deadlock and uncertainty, but the same may not augur well for the country in the long run, says Sujeet Sarkar who works as an international advisor on governance and civil society and has authored the acclaimed book: In Search of a New Afghanistan.

Pakistan: Under Siege

For over three weeks, beginning August 16, 2014, Constitution Avenue in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad, have been the epicenter of violent demonstrations. Thousands of demonstrators, belonging to the Imran Khan led-Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri's Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), have thronged the venue. Constitution Avenue, also called Shahra-e-Dastoor, is the main road in Islamabad where prominent Government institutions, including Parliament House, Pakistan Secretariat, Supreme Court, Prime Minister's House, President's House, and Diplomatic Enclaves, are situated. The entire area has been designated the 'Red Zone' of Islamabad.

Odisha: Maoists - Hanging on a Thread

Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadres abducted and killed a tribal, identified as Madan Hantal (35), of Karanjuguda village under Malkangiri Village-79 (MV- 79) Police limits in Malkangiri District on July 8, 2014. The Maoists had abducted Madan on July 6 and his bullet ridden body was found lying in a pool of blood a few metres away from the village. A letter left by Maoists at the spot declared that Madan had been 'punished', as he was passing information to Police. "We had warned Madan many times to maintain distance from Police but he didn't listen to us. Anyone who will try to act as a 'Police informer' will meet the same fate," the one page letter read. Police denied the Maoist allegation that the deceased was a 'Police informer'.

India's clear and present danger in Afghanistan

The attacks on Indian consulates would continue in Afghanistan, says Sujeet Sarkar who works as an international advisor on governance and civil society and has authored the acclaimed book "In search of a new Afghanistan".

Communalism and Indian politics

Communalism is a libertarian socialist political philosophy coined by Murray Bookchin. According to dictionary 'Communalism' is a system according to which each commune is different from each other.