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Censorship by Murder

08 September, 2015

Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management

On September 2, 2015, four eminent personalities, including Chittagong District Court's Additional Public Prosecutors Ashok Kumar Das and Chandan Bishwas; the Vice-Chancellor of Premier University, Chittagong, Dr. Anupam Sen; and International Crime Tribunal's Prosecutor Rana Dasgupta received death threats in the form of SMS text messages from the banned terrorist formation, Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT, Volunteer of Allah Bangla Team).
Assam: NDFB-IKS: Caught in a Vice

08 September, 2015

Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management

On September 3, 2015, a cadre of the IK Songbijit faction of National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB-IKS), identified as Bhaigo Boro alias B. Bilaigra, was killed in an encounter with the Security Forces (SFs) at Saumukhi Nala near Diglipara village in Kokrajhar District. He was reportedly involved in the December 23, 2014,massacre of Adivasis (the "tea tribes" from Central India, who were brought into the Northeast to work on plantations by the British prior to India's independence) in which 69 people were killed at several places in the Chirang, Sonitpur and Kokrajhar Districts.
Strategic Folly

18 August, 2015

Research Fellow, Institute for Conflict Management

Among a range of indicators of deterioration of the security situation in Afghanistan came the announcement of the death, at least two years earlier, of Mullah Omar, the so-called Amir ul Momineen (Leader of the Faithful) and 'supreme commander' of the Taliban; a contested succession for leadership of the group; and the rising spectre of the Islamic State (IS, formerly Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham, ISIS) in the Af-Pak region. These developments promise enduring troubles, even as they give signs of the unraveling of Pakistan's strategy of orchestrated negotiations and proxy war against Afghanistan.
Punjab: Proxies Gone Wild

18 August, 2015

Editor, SAIR; Executive Director, Institute for Conflict Management & South Asia Terrorism Portal

The Home Minister of Punjab Province, Colonel Shuja Khanzada (Retd.) and 22 others, including Deputy Superintendent of Police Shaukat Shah, were killed, and another 23 were injured, in a suicide attack on August 15, 2015. According to reports, the attacks took place when between 50-100 people were attending a jirga at Khanzada's political office in the Shadi Khan Village of Attock District. Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mushtaq Sukhera subsequently disclosed, "There were two suicide bombers, one stood outside the boundary wall and the second one went inside and stood in front of the Minister. The blast by the bomber standing outside ripped the wall which caused the roof to fall flat on the Minister and people gathered there." Sukhera added that Police were investigating whether the attacker inside the building detonated a bomb.
Islamist Backlash, Measured Justice

12 August, 2015

Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management

On August 7, 2015, Niladri Chattopadhyay Niloy alias Niloy Neel (28), a secular blogger and a Gonojagoron Mancha (People's Resurgence Platform) activist was hacked to death at his Goran residence in the Khilgaon area of the national capital, Dhaka, in broad daylight. Later in the evening, a group identifying itself as Ansar-al-Islam, Bangladesh chapter of Al-Qaeda in the Indian Sub-continent (AQIS), claimed responsibility for the murder in an email sent out to almost all media outlets. The email declared: "Alhamdulillah! Mujahidin of Ansar-al-Islam (AQIS, Bangladesh Branch) carried out an operation to slaughter an enemy of Allah and His Messenger (peace & blessings be upon him), whose name is Niloy Chowdhury Neel."
Nagaland: Tentative Accord

12 August, 2015

Editor, SAIR; Executive Director, Institute for Conflict Management & South Asia Terrorism Portal

A 'historic accord' was signed between the Government of India and the largest rebel Naga group, the National Socialist Council of Nagalim - Isak Muivah (NSCN-IM) on August 3, 2015, at once raising hopes and apprehensions against the context of what has been India's most enduring insurgency. While few details of the actual contents of the agreement are yet available, the Centre's principal interlocutor R.N. Ravi has clarified that the 'accord' is, in fact, a "framework agreement" that spells out the terms of a "final settlement". Reports suggest that such a final settlement would be worked out in three months, and would exclude any claims to sovereignty or alterations in state boundaries.
Decisive Moment

29 July, 2015

Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management

On July 20, 2015, at least 62 persons, including three Security Force (SF) personnel, were injured when agitating cadres of Terai-based parties clashed with the Police in several areas of Janakpur, Mahottari, Parsa and Saptari Districts in the Terai region of Nepal.
Punjab: Complacence Kills

29 July, 2015

Publisher, SAIR; President, Institute for Conflict Management

A day-long standoff between the Punjab Police and three terrorists who had holed up in an abandoned housing complex in the Dinanagar Police Station campus in the Gurdaspur District of Punjab in the early hours of July 27, 2015, ended with the killing of the last of the three terrorists just after 5 pm. A Superintendent of Police and three Home Guards also lost their lives in this gratuitous attack, which included the killing of three civilians in random shootings by the terrorists that led up to the final denouement at the Police Station. Separately, five bombs were found and defused on the Amritsar-Pathankot railway track in Gurdaspur, and initial speculation has linked these to the same group.
APJ Abdul Kalam: The man with an ignited mind

28 July, 2015

"To succeed in life and achieve results, you must understand and master three mighty forces-desire, belief, and expectation."

These were some powerful words of APJ Abdul Kalam from his book Wings of Fire. And these words defined the man who rode truly in the wings of fire and ignited young minds with words and his body of work.
Chhattisgarh: Uncertain Rumblings

21 July, 2015

Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management

The Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) abducted four auxiliary constables [former Salwa Judum cadres] of the Chhattisgarh Police near Sukanpali village under Kutru Police Station area in Bijapur District on July 13. Their dead bodies were found strewn on a road near Gudma village, close to the place of abduction, two days later. Maoists claimed responsibility for the killings, accusing them of participating in anti-Maoist operations. According to reports, Maoists stopped a passenger bus on the Kutru-Sukanpali road, in the evening of July 13 and abducted Mangal Sodi and Majji Rama who were travelling in it. A few minutes later, Raju Tela and Jayram Yadav, who were travelling on a motorcycle, were abducted from the same location. Three of them were posted in Kutru Police Station and one was posted in Bedre. They were returning to their base camps after collecting their salaries.
Meghalaya: Prospective Gains

21 July, 2015

Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management

On July 9, 2015, Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team of Meghalaya Police killed a Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) 'commander', identified as Savio Marak, at Rengregre village in East Garo Hills District. Inspector General of Police (Operations) G.H.P Raju disclosed that Savio, a former Meghalaya Police constable was wanted in several cases of murder, abduction, bombings and extortion in the Garo Hills region. Savio had deserted the Police Force in February 2011, while on duty at a relief camp for victims of the Garo-Rabha ethnic clashes during the month of January 2011.
Gathering Momentum

14 July, 2015

Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management

On July 7, 2015, after weeklong deliberations, the Constituent Assembly (CA) endorsed the preliminary draft of the new Constitution, clearing the way for public consultations on its provisions. Further, on July 9, 2015, the CA endorsed an action plan for publicizing the draft Constitution and provided 15 days to the Committee on Citizen Relation and Public Opinion Collection to gather people's views on the document and submit its report to the CA.
Default Settings

14 July, 2015

Editor, SAIR; Executive Director, ICM & SATP

India's policy on Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), on terrorism, and on the principal sponsor of terrorism in South Asia - Pakistan - has often been criticized for its inconsistencies. Over the past years, however, an increasing consistency has been evident - though perhaps not in any particularly constructive sense: the consistency of a pendulum, swinging with insistent regularity from one extreme to the other. Another Swing of the Pendulum, November 3, 2003
Maoists: Chhattisgarh: Limited Gains, Repeated Errors

07 July, 2015

Three cadres of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist), including two women, were killed in an exchange of fire between the Maoists and the Security Forces (SFs) near Jinipa under Tarlaguda Police Station limits in Bijapur District on June 12. Apart from the bodies, Police recovered five weapons from the spot. While the two women cadres are yet to be identified, the third Maoist was identified as 19-year-old Kodamagundla Vivek, a dropout from Osmania University who had played a major role during the students' agitation for Telangana in 2012-14. He belonged to Suryapet in Telangana.
Darkening Shadows

07 July, 2015

The Islamic State (IS) has started making significant territorial gains within war-torn Afghanistan. IS, according to the US Department of State's Country Reports on Terrorism 2014, has emerged as the most dreaded global terror outfit, and has captured large parts of Syria and Iraq. According to June 2015 reports, fighters loyal to IS have seized sizeable territories in Afghanistan as well. Reports citing witnesses, who have fled from Nangarhar Province due to fierce clashes between forces loyal to IS and those loyal to the Afghan Taliban, claim that IS has pushed the Taliban out from areas previously under Taliban control. Haji Abdul Jan, a tribal elder from Achin District (Nangarhar Province) stated,
Islamists: Terror Heists

24 June, 2015

On June 7, 2015, a team of Detective Branch (DB) of Police arrested nine militants of the Bangladesh Jihadi Group (BJG) from capital city Dhaka's Banashree and Sutrapur areas, while they were preparing to execute bank robberies. A huge quantity of bombs, explosives and books on jihad (holy war) were seized from their possession. While six of the arrestees - identified as Kazi Iftekhar Khaled aka Khaled aka Ifti, Fahad bin Nurullah Kashemi akaFahad aka Kayes, Mohammad Rahat, Din Islam, Ariful Karim Chowdhury aka Adnan and Nurul Islam - were picked from the garage of a Banashree apartment, another three - identified as Mawlana Nurullah Kashemi, Delwar Hossain, and Yasin Arafat - were arrested from Sutrapur. Sanwar Hossain, Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC, South Dhaka) stated that Rahat, Fahad and Khaled were experts in making bombs.
Disturbing Trend

24 June, 2015

On June 16, 2015, cadres of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) killed a 42-year old Christian pastor, Ramesh Majhi, of Puijhari village under the M. Rampur Police Station limits in Kalahandi District of Odisha, suspecting him of being a 'Police informer'. A Maoist poster recovered near the body stated that Majhi was punished at the Praja Court ('people's court') for working as a 'Police informer'.
Jharkhand: Sustained Offensive

16 June, 2015

Twelve Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadres, including a 'zonal commander' identified as Anurag Yadav aka RK aka Doctor, who was carrying a reward of INR 1 million on his head, were killed by a joint team of Palamu Police, Jharkhand Jaguars and Commando Battalion of Resolute Action (CoBRA) personnel at Bakoria village near the Palamu-Latehar border in the Palamu District of Jharkhand at around 01:00 hrs [IST] on June 9, 2015. Confirming the incident, Palamu Superintendent of Police (SP) Patel Mayur Kanaiya Lal stated, "The encounter took place in Bakoria village, about 140 km from Ranchi. All the bodies have been recovered." Two INSAS rifles, an American 30-06 Springfield rifle, four .303 rifles, a semi-automatic rifle and cache of ammunition were recovered from the encounter site.
Political Breakthrough

16 June, 2015

In a major breakthrough, paving the way for promulgating a new Constitution, four major political parties - the Nepali Congress (NC), Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML), Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M) and Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Loktantrik (MJF-L) - signed a 16-point agreement on June 8, 2015. The agreement was signed by the NC President and Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, CPN-UML Chairman K.P. Oli, UCPN-M Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal aka Prachanda and MJF-L Chairman Bijay Kumar Gachhadar.
Balochistan: Sanguinary Faultlines

09 June, 2015

In another act of targeting settlers from outside Balochistan, Baloch insurgents shot dead 22 Pashtuns on May 29, 2015, all of them daily wagers and labourers, who were travelling in two passenger buses en route to Karachi (Sindh) from Pishin District (Balochistan), in the Khad Kucha area of Mastung District. At least 15 to 20 militants, wearing Security Forces' (SF) uniforms, came in three pickup trucks and abducted some 35 passengers. The militants subsequently killed 22, and set free another five. The fate of the remaining eight is unknown.

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