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INTERNAL CHALLENGES

Inter-State Coordination Key To Addressing Residual Violence In Dantewada

Lack of proper coordination between the various Maoist-affected States remains the principal cause of continued Maoist violence.

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On October 8, 2019, a ‘deputy commander’ of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist), identified as Kawasi Deva, was killed by the Security Forces (SFs) in the Katekalyan Forest area near Pitepal village of Dantewada district in Chhattisgarh. The slain Maoist was carrying a cash reward of INR 800,000 on his head.

The Deputy Inspector General (DIG, Anti-Maoist operations), P. Sundarraj disclosed that “hundreds of District Reserve Guard (DRG) personnel were out on the mission, based on specific input about rebels camping in the said forest.”

When they spotted the Maoists and challenged them a gun-battle broke out in which the Maoist ‘deputy commander’ was killed and a DRG trooper was injured.


On September 19, 2019, the dead body of a civilian, identified as Budhram Tati, with his throat slit, was found near Perpa village in the Kirandul Police Station limits in Dantewada District. A Maoist pamphlet found near the body read: “Whoever works as a ‘police informer’ for money will meet the same fate.” The date of Tati’s abduction is not known.

On September 14, 2019, the body of a civilian identified as Mirya Manjal, was found near a private firm’s plant under Kirandul Police Station limits in Dantewada District. A Maoist pamphlet found near the dead body accused Manjal of being a ‘police informer’.

According to partial data collated by the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), at least 21 fatalities (four civilians, five SF personnel and 12 Maoists) were recorded in Dantewada District in 13 incidents of killing since the beginning of 2019 (data till October 12, 2013).



During the corresponding period of 2018, at least 23 fatalities (10 civilians, eight SF personnel and five Maoists) were recorded in 16 incidents of killing. In the remaining period of 2018, another 10 fatalities (six civilians and four Sf personnel) were registered in three incidents of killing.

Since March 6, 2000, when SATP started compiling data on Naxalism [Left Wing Extremism]-linked violence, Dantewada recorded 1,135 fatalities (338 civilians, 409 SF, personnel and 382 Left Wing Extremists) in such violence.

Ironically, Dantewada is one among 31 Districts, out of a total of 132 affected Districts spread across 14 states, where the overall SF:Maoist kill ratio is in favour of the Maoists.

Not surprisingly, it is the worst affected District in terms of overall fatalities, followed by Bijapur (747 fatalities) in Chhattisgarh, and Gadchiroli (601) in Maharashtra.

More worryingly, in terms of overall civilian fatalities, the District stands at number two, with 338 such fatalities. Paschim Medinipur (West Medinipur) in West Bengal recorded the maximum of 438 fatalities. Significantly, out of 438 fatalities recorded in the Paschim Medinipur District, 148 fatalities were recorded in a single incident.

On May 28, 2010, suspected cadres of the CPI-Maoist triggered a blast on a railway track causing the derailment of 13 coaches of the Howrah-Kurla (Kolkata to Mumbai) Lokmanya Tilak Gyaneshwari Super Deluxe Express, between the Khemasoli and Sardiya stations near Jhargram in Paschim Medinipur District, killing 148 people.


The security situation in Dantewada has, however, improved considerably, as in the case of the Maoist threat in the rest of the country. Fatalities declined from a peak of 273 in 2006 to 33 in 2018.

Incidents of killing came down from 61 in 2006 to 19 in 2018. Major incidents (each involving three or more fatalities) fell from 32 in 2006 to four in 2018. Overall violent incidents came down from 86 in 2006 to 49 in 2018.

The District, which was once the epicentre of violence in Chhattisgarh (which itself has been the nucleus of Maoist violence) has become much more peaceful. Significantly, at the peak, the District alone accounted for 77.33 per cent of total fatalities recorded in the entire State. The figure had reduced to 13.3 per cent in 2018.

Nevertheless, several worries persist. Overall fatalities which had come down to a low of five in 2013 have increased continuously since then, on year on year basis, barring 2017.

Indeed, Dantewada is one among 90 Districts in 11 States that continue to be considered affected by Naxalism, according to a Government release of February 5, 2019, and is on the list of ‘30 worst affected districts’ released by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs on August 1, 2018.

Dantewada falls within the troubled Bastar Division of Chhattisgarh, which remains the principal challenge for the State. The District shares borders with by Bijapur, Sukma, Bastar and Narayanpur – all four Districts of Chhattisgarh that are on the list of ’30 worst affected Districts’ in the country.

Indeed, highlighting the challenges due to its geographical location, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel stated, on October 10, 2019,

Chhattisgarh shares border with Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh. The movement of Naxal leaders and weapons is happening across borders.

Dantewada is listed as one of the Aspirational Districts included in the ‘Aspirational Districts Programme’.

The programme focuses on five main themes – Health & Nutrition, Education, Agriculture & Water Resources, Financial Inclusion & Skill Development, and Basic Infrastructure, which have a direct bearing on the quality of life and economic productivity of citizens.

The geographical location, as well as the socio-economic condition of the District, makes it a natural interest area for the Maoists.

The literacy rate in Dantewada was 42.12 per cent according to the 2011 Census, as against 70.28 per cent in Chhattisgarh and 74.04 per cent for India as a whole. Per capita income in the District at that time was INR 2,170, against sate average of 4,559 and all India average of INR 5,331. On the entire range of social services, the District was severely disadvantaged.

While a great deal has been done to contain violence, even as the Maoists suffer reverses across the wider region that they long dominated, the absence of unified action and a sustained administrative-developmental thrust has allowed the Maoist menace to linger on.


Indeed, on October 10, 2019, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel conceded that a lack of proper coordination between the various Maoist-affected States remained the principal cause of continued Maoist violence. Addressing this deficit could yield the much-needed breakthrough that could bring the threat of Maoist violence to an end.

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.

Ajit Kumar Singh

Dr Ajit Kumar Singh is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Conflict Management and is involved in research on conflicts in South Asia. After completing his M.Phil. on "Emergence of Afghanistan as Buffer between Tsarist Russia and British Indian Empire (19th Century)", from JNU, New Delhi, he was awarded Ph.D. on "The Ethnic Conflict and State Structure in Afghanistan: 1989-2001".

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INTERNAL CHALLENGES

Hizbul Mujahideen On The Verge Of Extinction In South Kashmir: JK Police Chief

The DGP said that this year started with several successful operations against the terrorists.

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SRINAGAR (Jammu-Kashmir UT): Jammu & Kashmir Director General of Police, Dilbagh Singh has said that the Hizbul Mujahideen outfit is on the verge of extinction in south Kashmir.

Describing yesterday’s killing of three Hizbul terrorists as a major success against terrorism and the outfit, DGP Singh warned that strict action shall be taken against all those who take up arms against the country.

Addressing a press conference at the Police Control Room in Srinagar yesterday, the DGP said, slain terrorists were involved in grave terror activities adding that killed Commander Wasim Wani was active since 2017.


The DGP said that 19 FIRs were lodged against Wasim including the killing of four civilians and four policemen.

Singh said, another terrorist Adil Bashir Sheikh from Zainapora Shopian was a former Special Police Officer who decamped with seven AK-47 rifles and a pistol belonging to security guards of a former PDP MLA. He was active since 2018.

DGP said that year 2020 started with an excellent anti-terrorism operations including the arrest of Hizbul top Commander Naveed Babu.



DGP said interrogation of Naveed helped police succeeding in busting two big terrorist hideouts in south Kashmir. Pertinently, a total of eight terrorists including seven of Hizbul and one of Jaish cadre, were killed in anti-terrorist operations this year till date.

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India Trends

Complaint Filed Against Shaheen Bagh Protesters For Road Blockade

The complaint states that immense inconvenience has been caused to commuters.

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NEW DELHI: A complaint has been registered against protestors in Shaheen Bagh area of Delhi for blocking the road while protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

According to Delhi Police, the complaint states that immense inconvenience has been caused to commuters as they have to take alternate routes due to ongoing anti-CAA protest in Shaheen Bagh area. For the past 35 days, people are forced to take alternate routes causing immense inconvenience, the complaint said.

The complainant has requested the police to lodge an FIR and remove the blockade immediately.


Southeast Delhi Deputy Commissioner of Police Chinmoy Biswal has said that talks are being held with the protesters to persuade them to stage agitation without blocking the roads.

His remarks come after the Delhi High Court asked the Delhi Police to look into the matter of blockage of Kalindi Kunj road due to the protest at Shaheen Bagh.

The court in its recent order had also directed the police to consider the plight of students who have to travel to schools and also have board examinations. Justice Navin Chawla had further directed the police to consider the representation of the Federation of Sarita Vihar Resident’s welfare association.



The association had moved the court claiming that there are many students who are facing difficulties during board examinations as the area is closed since December 15, due to ongoing protests against the Act.

On Sunday, people took out a candle march protest against the CAA, NRC, and NPR outside Jamia Millia Islamia to Shaheen Bagh, holding tricolors, and placards and posters reading ‘Save India, Save Constitution and Save Democracy’.

On Saturday, actor Sushant Singh joined protests at Shaheen Bagh and expressed solidarity with students.

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INTERNAL CHALLENGES

‘Dr Bomb’ Was Developing Low-Cost Bomb Using Ultra-Modern Technique: UP STF

Ansari, suspected of involvement in more than 52 blast cases across India, went “missing” on Thursday.

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LUCKNOW (Uttar Pradesh): The convict of Mumbai Blast Case Jaleesh Ansari who was arrested on Friday by a special task force of Uttar Pradesh police has made some startling revelations during interrogation.

He told police that he was planning to develop new technology of low-cost bomb-making.

STF SP Vishal Vikram Singh told media persons that Ansari has admitted his involvement in at least 15 cases of bomb blasts all over the country in which many innocent people lost their lives. These blasts occurred from 1989 to 1993.


Ansari revealed that he was developing an ultra-modern technique of bomb-making which needs simple chemicals and day to day use items.

The plan was to develop a low-cost bomb that can be made easily from the things available in the market and which will do maximum damage also.

Background:

A convict in the 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts case, Jalees Ansari, who went “missing” while on parole, was arrested on Friday from Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh, an official said.



Ansari (68), a Mumbai resident who was serving a life term in a Rajasthan jail, was nabbed in a joint operation of Maharashtra’s Anti-Terrorism Squad and the Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (STF).

Ansari, known as Dr Bomb for his suspected involvement in more than 52 blast cases across the country, went “missing” on early Thursday morning.

He was on 21-day parole and was expected to return to Ajmer Central Jail by Friday evening after the end of the parole period.

While on parole, he was ordered to visit the Agripada police station every day between 10.30 am and 12 pm to mark attendance, he said.

However, Ansari did not visit the police station on Thursday during the designated time, the official said.

The Crime Branch of the Mumbai Police, the Maharashtra ATS and other agencies launched a massive manhunt for the terror convict, he said.


Jalees was allegedly connected with terror outfits like SIMI and Indian Mujahideen and taught their members how to make bombs, which earned him the sobriquet Dr Bomb, he said.

He was also questioned by the NIA in 2011 in connection with the 2008 bomb blast in Mumbai, he said.

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