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Assam: Proxy Insurgency In The Hills

The peace talks with Naga groups, including NSCN-IM, need to be expedited.



On May 20, 2020, the Dimasa Students Union (DSU), All Dimasa Students Union (ADSU), and Dimasa Mothers Association (DMA) began a three-day sit-in demonstration in front of the Dima Hasao Deputy Commissioner’s Office, demanding a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into the abduction and murder of former Dima Halim Daogah-Nunisa (DHD-N) leader Santosh Hojai by unidentified assailants on April 24, 2020. The sit-in-demonstration concluded on May 22, 2020, with the submission of a memorandum of demands to Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal through Deputy Commissioner Paul Baruah. Apart from the CBI enquiry, other demands included the immediate arrest of the culprits, compensation to the family of the deceased and justice.

Earlier, on May 14, 2020, a 36-hour-long Dima Hasao bandh (shutdown strike)called by the Halali Progressive Welfare Society (HPWS)against the abduction and murder of Santosh Hojai led to deserted streets in the District. HPWS’ formationwas initially announced in the form of Halali Progressive Group and formally launched at the official disbanding ceremony of DHD-N. Dilip Nunisa, former ‘chairman’of DHD-N has been the ‘president of the HPWS since its inception. DHD-N was dissolved on March 9, 2013.

Significantly, unidentified persons abducted Santosh Hojai from his house in Damadi Hawar village under Harangajao Police Station in Dima Hasao District on April 24, 2020. His body was later recovered from the Langting area of the District on April 30.

The ongoing protest in the District can disrupt the peace established in the District established since 2010. DSU ‘general secretary’ Pramith Sengyung, warned, on May 1, 2020:

Kidnapping and killing of an innocent person like Hojai, who was a businessman, a father of three and a former DHD leader, can destabilise peace in the district.

Meanwhile, former DHD-N militants as well as the family members of the deceased blame a local Police official for the killing. The HPWS’president’, Dilip Nunisa, asserted:

It (the bandh) is in protest against the kidnapping and killing of Santosh Hojai former DHD cadre, businessman, and social worker. What happened to him is condemnable. His wife registered a case at the Harangajao Police Station but the accused Surya Kanta Morang [Deputy Superintendent of Police posted in the District] has not been arrested.

Two officials of the Dima Hasao District – Superintendent of Police (SP) Bir Bikram Gogoi, and Deputy SP (DySP) Surya Kanta Morang -have since been transferred by the Government to other units outside the District. On May 4, 2020, the Gauhati High Court, while hearing the petition of Santosh Hojai’s wife Jayanta Hojai, constituted a Special Investigating Team (SIT) headed by the Deputy Inspector General-Southern Range (DIG-SR) Dilip Kumar Dey to probe the incident.

In the meantime, Police have questioned Kanchan Naiding, a militant of Dimasa National Liberation Army (DNLA), a nascent militant outfit active in Dima Hasao and Karbi Anglong Districts, in connection with the case. No further update on DNLA’s involvement in the killing is available.

Previously, on April 24, 2020, a joint team of the Assam Police and Indian Army units (Military Intelligence and Para Special Forces) killed two DNLA militants, identified as ‘2nd Lieutenant’ Gadayeng Dimasa aka Rupson Thousan (32) and ‘Area commander’ Elwin Jidung (31), at Dugoidisa village in Misibailam under the Dhansiri Police Outpost in the Karbi Anglong District. An M-16 and an AK-47 assault rifle were recovered from the slain cadres. Another DNLA cadre, Devlin Hojai, managed to escape from the encounter site, according to sources.

On April 23, 2020, DNLA threatened to stop coal mining in Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao Districts. In a release to the media, DNLA warned, “if anyone defies, there will be no mercy and action will be taken.”

On February 27, 2020, suspected DNLA militants opened fire at a vehicle belonging to a road construction company in the Mailoo area under Langting Police Station in Dima Hasao District. However, there was no report of any casualty in the incident. A worker of the road construction company said that the armed militants took them to a jungle area and told them to ask the owner of the company to give ransom money.

On January 25, 2020, DNLA called a 24-hour bandh in the Dima Hasao and Karbi Anglong District of Assam to commemorate ‘Dimasa Martyrs Day’. On January 25, 2018, two protestors belonging to the Dimasa community, Probanta Hakmaosa and Mithun Dibragede, were killed at Maibang Railway Station in Dima Hasao Districtwhile protesting against the Naga Framework Agreement .

DNLA announced its formation on April 15, 2019. According to partial data compiled by the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), since its formation, DNLA has been found involved in six incidents of terrorism (data till May 24, 2020). These include one incident of killing which resulted in the death of two DNLA militants.

DNLA is led by its ‘chairman’ Naisodao Dimasa. Other prominent leaders include ‘army chief’, Gajaw Dimasa; ‘information Secretary’, Ringsmai Dimasa; and ‘home secretary’, Kharmindao Dimasa. A militant, Babu Hojai, who surrendered on September 17, 2019, claimed that DNLA had a cadre strength of 90 militants.

Though the DNLA calls itself an armed organisation of the Dimasa tribe fighting to establish a ‘sovereign Dimasa Homeland’ in areas supposedly comprising the Dimasa inhabited areas of Karbi Anglong, and Dima Hasao Districts, it is widely believed that it is a creation of the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak Muivah (NSCN-IM) with the objective of establishing a ‘proxy insurgency’ in the Hill Districts of Assam. DNLA’s creation helps fill the vacuum in local insurgent activities in the Hill Districts created by the disbanding of various factions of DHD.

Reports also point out that a section of the NSCN-IM leadership led by Phungting Shimrang (the former ‘commander-in-chief’ of the Naga army) and ‘Brigadier’ Chiphemi Shimrang had helped in the formation of DNLA. Both these Naga insurgent leaders are now believed to be in China.

DNLA has also admitted the role of NSCN-IM. DNLA’s ‘training instructor’ Betsing Jidung aka Master Dimasa aka John Dimasa disclosed, after his arrest on August 13, 2019, that NSCN-IM had raised, trained, armed and sheltered their cadres, but that it did not do this for free. DNLA had to buy their weapons: INR 150,000 per AK-47 type rifle and between INR 250,000 to INR 300,000 each for a US-made M16, M4 rifle. Also, DNLA ‘army chief’ Minom Phonglosa aka Gajaw Dimasa, revealed that he had a meeting with NSCN-IM ‘Brigadier’ Chiphemi Shimrang near the outfit’s Hebron Camp in Dimapur District, Nagaland. Shimrang asked Phonglosa to target Security Forces (SFs) using high grade explosives like Research and Development Explosives (RDX) and Tri-Nitro-Toluene (TNT).

In fact, reports indicate that NSCN-IM and DNLA have operated together at least once. The then Dima Hasao, SP, Bir Bikram Gogoi, had disclosed that, according to inputs, a joint team of DNLA and NSCN-IM was behind the February 26, 2020attack (above).

An immediate reason for NSCN-IM’s help for setting up of a Dimasa militant formation is likely to put pressure on the Government to restart the stalled Naga peace talks .Although, the NSCN-IM and the Government of India (GoI) on October 30, 2019 had agreed to sign a peace agreement within the parameters of the 2015 Framework Agreement , issues of a separate constitution and flag have not been resolved.

NSCN-IM’s cold calculations from a military strategic point of view will be to fan a possible rise in violence and ethnic tensions in the sparsely populated Hill Districts of Assam with new armed groups, giving the Naga insurgent group more room to manoeuvre. It is pertinent to recall here that all the major militant formations that were once active in Assam’s tribal dominated Hill Districts have signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) or Suspension of Operation (SoO) Agreements with the Government.

NSCN-IM had earlier  also facilitated the emergence of new militant groups in this region. These included the Rengma Naga Hills Protection Force (RNHPF). RNHPF was formed with the help of NSCN-IM to protect the ‘interests’ of the Rengma Naga people living in Karbi Anglong. The formation of several other groups that operated in the region was also supported by NSCN-IM. Prominent among these were Black Widow (BW), Hill Tiger Force (HTF),and Dimasa National Revolutionary Front (DNRF).

SFs have proactively tracked the DNLA since its formation. In a significant achievement, on January 30, 2020, SFs arrestedDNLA ‘army chief’ Minom Phonglosa from Hatuka Forest in the Karbi Anglong District. However, other major figures of the group -‘chairman’ Naisodao Dimasa and ‘home secretary’Kharmindao Dimasa,remain elusive.

The containment of DNLA activities in the Hill Districts is crucial to ensure that the peace established as a result of the disbanding of DHD factions is not derailed. Further, the peace talks with Naga groups, including NSCN-IM, need to be expedited, even as strict action against errant elements is taken, so that the new armed formations are not incubated, and incipient groups do not get logistical and material support once formed.

Disclaimer: The facts and opinions expressed in this article are strictly the personal opinions of the author. League of India does not assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information in this article.

Published with permission from South Asia Intelligence Review of the South Asia Terrorism Portal.

Giriraj Bhattacharjee

Giriraj Bhattacharjee is a Research Assistant at the Institute for Conflict Management, New Delhi.

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Ahmedabad Church Pastor Booked Under POSCO For Sexual Abuse Of Minor

He made the minor girl’s nude videos and threatened her to convert her religion to Christianity.



AHMEDABAD (Gujarat): In a sordid tale of criminal-religious nature, a pastor of Khlesia Church in the Rabari Colony area of Ahmedabad metropolitan area sexually abused a minor girl, made her nude videos, and threatened her to convert her religion to Christianity. Gulabchand, the accused priest sent video clips to victim girl’s relatives after which this crime came to light.

The 16-year old girl, a student of class 11th in a local school, has filed a complaint in city’s Ramol police station against a pastor of Ecclesia Church which is located in Rabari Colony area.

According to the police, a first information report (FIR) was filed on the night of August 31, under Indian Penal Code sections 354D for stalking, 354C for the dissemination of victim’s pictures to a third person without her consent and 506 for criminal intimidation along with sections of the Protection of Children against Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

“The matter came to light when the parents of the minor approached the police station and registered a complaint. The pastor will be interrogated about all of these allegations. We can’t reveal too much about this case since it is a religious matter,” local police officials told upon repeated queries.

According to the complaint, the accused pastor, who was in possession of naked pictures of the victim girl had forced her to embrace Christian faith.

The girl stated in her complaint:

On December 25 last year, I visited a church… where the pastor asked me to call my parents to church next time. Later, the pastor kept on calling my parents and one day, they organised a religious ceremony at our house.

Later, on the pretext of speaking to my father, the pastor used to call on his number and talk to me.

He used to say that he loves me and demanded my private pictures. He also started doing video calls to my phone and made obscene demands. He threatened me that if I revealed it to my father then he will circulate my private pictures. Almost a fortnight ago, one of my relatives contacted my father and said that he received an obscene picture of mine. Later my father received another obscene picture of mine on his phone and asked me about it. It was then that I told him about the pastor.”

The Case:

The victim minor girl had visited the said church on December 25, 2019, with a lady in the neighbourhood. The church pastor Gulabchand acted friendly with her and asked her to bring her parents too to the church.

The girl, however, did not mention this to her parents. A few days later, Gulabchand’s relative called the victim girl’s father over the phone and invited him to the said church. The next month, the victim girl visited the said church with her parents.

The accused pastor took the opportunity to get close to the family and later visited the minor girl’s place with his relatives and aides to do Christian bhajans.

After this, pastor Gulabchand would often call up the minor girl. He even sent a photograph sending kiss and saying, “I love you“.

Quite disturbingly, Gulabchand would also stalk the minor girl and ask her to undress over video calls.

The Church Pastor would issue death and defamation threats to the minor girl if she revealed anything to her father — and coerce her to adopt Christianity.

It could well be the Christian version of ‘Love Jihad‘ wherein the entire sequence of events could well be a well-calibrated plan of manipulating the minor by both brainwashing her and threatening her via sexual abuse.

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Maoist-Affected Gadchiroli Will Be Transformed In Two Years: Nitin Gadkari

Extremism is coming down with infra projects coming up in these areas: MoS RTH Gen. V K Singh



NEW DELHI: Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari today inaugurated through video link, three important bridges and two road improvement projects in the Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra.

The Minister also laid foundation stones for four other major bridge projects across the rivers Wainganga, Bandiya, Perikota and Perimili.

These projects are considered crucial for improving mobility for socio-economic development of the Gadchiroli district.

The projects inaugurated today were:

  • 855-metre major bridge across Pranahita river on Nizamabad – Jagdalpur Road (NH 63) at a cost of Rs 168 crores,
  • 630-metre high-level bridge across the Indravati River near Patagudam on Nizamabad – Jagdalpur Road (NH 63) at a cost of Rs 248 crores.
  • 30-metre high-level bridge near Lankachen on Bejurpalli – Aheri Road,
  • Improvement of Bejurpalli-Aheri Road (SH 275) between Watra and Moyabinpeta
  • Improvement of Garanji – Pustola Road

Speaking on the occasion, Nitin Gadkari said with the construction of these key bridges, the National Highway connectivity in Maharashtra-Chhattisgarh –Telangana is complete now.

“This is a dream which has come true after nearly 25 years, when it was conceived when I was a Minister in Maharashtra”.

Gadkari said the total length of National Highway in Gadchiroli district has increased from 54 km to 647 km during his tenure.

Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has approved 44 road projects of 541 km length with an outlay of Rs 1,740 crores for Gadchiroli district.

“The all-weather road network in far-flung areas of Naxal affected districts like Gadchiroli will improve the socio-economic development in the region and in upcoming two years or so the Gadchiroli district will see an all-round transformation,” the  Minister remarked.

Gadkari wholeheartedly complimented the engineers and contractors who completed the construction of bridges in Gadchiroli, despite the fear of Naxals. He informed that the bridge across River Indravati was completed under very trying and warlike conditions. A police station had to be set up in order to help construct the bridge.

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari also laid the foundation stones for 4 Major Bridges on Perimilli, Bandiya, Pearikota and Waingagana River in the district.  The existing bridges across these rivers are narrow and often get submerged during monsoons.

The bridge across the Wainganga River of approximately 825 meters will improve the connectivity between Gadchiroli and Chandrapur District. The Minister also asked NHAI officials to utilize the saved amount of Rs.50 cr during the works of Major bridges to construct 14 Minor Bridges and ensure seamless transportation in otherwise inaccessible areas of Gadchiroli districts.

Gadkari also promised to approve the 35 km road development between Alapalli – Bamragarh this year and the remaining 65 km in the next financial year.

The Minister also sought the state Government’s nod to connecting Desaiganj – Brahmapuri with Nagpur under the Broad Gauge Metro connectivity plan, which would reduce the travel time to 75 minutes from the current 2 and a half hours.

Speaking about his vision for the development of backward areas in the capacity of an MSME Minister, Gadkari said with bamboo available in plenty, Gadchiroli can become the hub of Agarbatti manufacturing, whose import has now been stopped.

He said there is a scope to set up 100 units, which would give employment to local people. The Minister also said that he is initiating a project for the conversion of rice to ethanol in Gadchiroli as part of the biofuel development programme. “This will provide greater value for rice growers and also create jobs” he added.

Gadkari requested the State Public Works Minister Eknath Shinde to explore various avenues for job creation in Gadchiroli with a target of providing employment to 10,000 youth.

MoS RTH Gen V K Singh complimented the completion of developmental Road projects in the area, and said, this will go a long way in mainstreaming of people living in LWE areas. He said that an area progressed only when infrastructure is developed there. He said that with more and more infra projects coming up in these areas, the extremism is coming down gradually.

Maharashtra PWD Minister Ashok Chavan said road development in Gadchiroli would help industrial development, job creation and uplift of living standards of people, besides helping in the maintenance of law and order.

MP Gadchiroli-Chimur Lok Sabha constituency Ashok Nete, other public representatives and officials of Central and State Government were present.

Wainganga Bridge Project:

Wainganga river, which divides Gadchiroli & Chandrapur Districts is one of the important rivers in the State of Maharashtra. Due to the current condition of the bridge situated on Wainganga, commuters are facing many difficulties. People living in the tribal-dominated areas of Ballarpur, Kothari, Gondpimpri & Ashti are facing challenges regarding employment opportunities, Import & Export of agricultural products, market access, medical amenities and transportation. To eliminate hardships of the people, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari proposed construction of an ambitious project to construct a bridge on Wainganga river, along National Highway 353 B, at a total cost of Rs. 99 Crore, to be completed by NHAI and PWD.

The proposed bridge will bring prosperity to small villages in the districts of Gadchiroli & Chandrapur.

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Pakistani Jaish-E-Mohammad Wanted To Spark India-Pakistan War: NIA Charge Sheet

“Pulwama repeat too was planned but was dropped as Pakistan panicked after India’s Balakot strike.”



NEW DELHI: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) today filed a charge sheet in February 2019 Pulwama terror attack case in which it named 19 people for carrying out the attack at Pakistan’s behest. The 13,500 pages charge sheet was filed before a special NIA court in Jammu.

Jaish Chief, Maulana Masood Azhar, his brothers Abdul Rauf Asghar and Ammar Alvi, and nephew Umar Farooq are among those named in the charge sheet by the agency. The charge sheet has been filed u/s 120-B, 121, 121-A, 122, 123, 307, 302 of the RPC, sections 7, 25, 27 of Arms Act, sections 3, 4, 5 & 6 of the Explosive Substances Act, sections 16, 17, 18, 18A, 18B, 19, 20, 21, 38 & 39 of the UA (P) Act, section 14C of Foreigners Act and section 4 of Jammu and Kashmir Public Property (Prevention of Damages) Act, 1985 against the following accused persons:

1. Masood Azhar Alvi, 52, Pakistani national
2. Rouf Asgar Alvi, 47, Pakistani national
3. Ammar Alvi, 46, Pakistani national
4. Shakir Bashir, 24, resident of Kakapora, Pulwama
5. Insha Jan, 22, resident of Kakapora, Pulwama
6. Peer Tariq Ahmed Shah, 53, resident of Kakapora, Pulwama
7. Waiz-ul-Islam, 20, resident of Srinagar
8. Mohd Abbas Rather, 31, resident of Kakapura, Pulwama
9. Bilal Ahmed Kuchhey, 28, resident of Hajibal, Lalhar, Pulwama
10. Mohd Iqbal Rather, 25, resident of Charar-e-Shareef, Budgam
11. Mohd Ismail, 25, Pakistani national
12. Sameer Ahmad Dar, 22, resident of Kakapora, Pulwama
13. Ashaq Ahmed Nengroo, 33, resident of Rajpura, Pulwama
14. Adil Ahmed Dar, 21, resident of Kakapora, Pulwama
15. Muhammad Umar Farooq, 24, Pakistani national
16. Mohd Kamran Ali, 25, Pakistani national
17. Sajjad Ahmed Bhat, 19, resident of Bijbehera, Anantnag
18. Mudasir Ahmad Khan, 24, resident of Awantipura
19. Qari Yasir, Pakistani national

Pulwama IED Blast Terror Attack in India

The charge sheet also names people who were arrested from Pulwama for providing shelter and shooting the last video of Adil Dar, the suicide bomber who used around 200 kgs of explosives in the vehicle that rammed into the CRPF convoy near Lethpora in South Kashmir.

The “blind case” was solved by the NIA after piecing together the electronic evidence and statements of terrorists arrested in different cases. As many as seven people have been arrested so far by the NIA in this case.

The Charge Sheet:

The investigation has revealed that the Pulwama attack was a result of a well-planned criminal conspiracy hatched by Pakistan-based leadership of terrorist organisation Jaish-e-Mohammad. The JeM leaders have been sending their cadres to the terrorist training camps of Al-Qaida-Taliban-JeM and Haqqani-JeM in Afghanistan for receiving training in explosives and other terrorist tactics.

The main accused viz. Mohammad Umar Farooq also visited Afghanistan for explosives training in 2016-17. He infiltrated into India through International Border at Jammu-Samba Sector in April 2018 and took over as Jaish-e-Mohammad Commander of Pulwama. Mohammad Umar along with his Pakistani compatriots viz. Mohd. Kamran, Mohd. Ismail @ Saifullah and Qari Yasir and local associates viz. Sameer Dar and Adil Ahmad Dar planned and prepared for the attack on security forces using IEDs.

Accused Shakir Bashir, Insha Jan, Peer Tariq Ahmad Shah and Bilal Ahmad Kuchey provided all logistics and harboured the JeM terrorists in their houses. From December 2018 onwards, Shakir Bashir started doing reconnaissance of the movement and deployment of security forces on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway. Mudasir Ahmad Khan arranged Gelatin sticks and handed them over to Shakir Bashir. RDX was brought by the Pakistani terrorists who infiltrated into India. Shakir Bashir collected the explosive material i.e. RDX, Gelatin sticks, Aluminium power and Calcium-Ammonium Nitrate and stocked them at his house for making the IED.

In Jan. 2019, Sajjad Ahmad Bhat purchased a Maruti EECO car for the purpose of carrying out the IED attack. The car was kept in the front-yard of Shakir Bashir’s house. Waiz-Ul-Islam ordered 04 kgs of Aluminium powder from his Amazon account on the directions of accused Mohd. Ismail @ Saifullah and gave the same to him.

Towards the end of Jan 2019, Mohammad Umar Farooq, Sameer Dar and Adil Dar made the propaganda video clip of the suicide attack at Insha Jan’s house which was released immediately after the attack.

In the first week of Feb. 2019, Mohd. Umar Farooq, Sameer Ahmad Dar, Adil Ahmad Dar and Shakir Bashir made the IED using RDX, Calcium-Ammonium Nitrate, Gelatin Sticks and Aluminium Powder and assembled it in two containers, one weighing around 160 Kgs and the second one weighing around 40 Kgs. The two IED containers were fitted in Maruti EECO car and were ready by the morning of 6th Feb. 2019. However, because of heavy snowfall, the National Highway got closed for the vehicular movement.

On 14th Feb. 2019, as the National Highway opened, Shakir Bashir drove Adil Ahmad Dar till National Highway, after which Adil Ahmad Dar took charge of the vehicle and drove on to the National Highway and carried out the suicide attack by ramming the Maruti EECO car laden with 200 Kgs of high-grade explosives into a bus of the CRPF convoy, resulting in 40 CRPF personnel getting martyred and damage to the tune of Rs.32,90,719/- to the public property.

The investigation has revealed that the Pakistan-based JeM leadership consisting of Masood Azhar, Rouf Asgar and Ammar Alvi @ Chacha @ Chota Masood were continuously giving directions and guidance to the Pakistani JeM terrorists (who had infiltrated into India) both before and after the attack. They had also planned to carry out another suicide attack which got averted due to Balakot strikes and due to the killing of main conspirator Mohd. Umar Farooq by the security forces. Further, due to international pressure, Pakistan lied low.

The investigation also revealed a well-crafted mechanism by the Pakistani establishment to push terrorists into the Indian territory from the launch pads located in Shakargarh (Pakistan) opposite Samba-Kathua Sector in Jammu.

The NIA charge-sheet against 19 accused persons marks the culmination of year & a half long painstaking and meticulous investigation with valuable inputs received from other Central and State government agencies as well as foreign law-enforcement agencies. A lot of digital, forensic, documentary and oral evidence establishing a fool-proof case against the accused of this dastardly and barbaric attack has been collected. The charge-sheet has brought on record the all-out involvement of Pakistan-based entities to carry out terrorist strikes in India and to incite and provoke Kashmiri youth. NBW’s have been got issued against the absconding accused and further investigation in the case is continued.

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