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INTERNAL CHALLENGES

Maoists Trying To Set Up Base In Kerala-Karnataka-Tamil Nadu Tri-Junction?

At least 16 Naxalite front organisations that double up as human rights organisations in the KKT region.

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In a successful operation conducted by the Security Forces (SFs) against the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist), in Kerala, SFs killed at least four Maoist cadres in two successive encounters in a forested area in Manjakkatty near Agali town under the Attappady Taluk (revenue sub-division) in the Palakkad District of Kerala on October 28-29, 2019.

According to the Police, two units of the ‘Thunderbolts’ – the commando wing of the India Reserve Battalion (IRB), an elite anti-Maoist formation, were on routine combing operations in the area, when a seven-member Maoist squad, the Bhavani Dalam (armed squad) of the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) of CPI-Maoist, opened fire at them. Police recovered four firearms including an AK-47 rifle from the encounter site.

The four slain Maoists were identified as Karthik aka Karthick aka Karthi, Rema, Aravind aka Suresh and Manivasagam aka Manivannan. Knowingly, of the four Maoists, Manivasagam, the leader of the Bhavani Dalam, was the CPI-Maoist State ‘secretary’ in Tamil Nadu before the formation of the Western Ghats Special Zonal Committee (WGSZC).


Earlier, in a combing operation on March 6, 2019, a CPI-Maoist leader identified as C.P. Jaleel was killed in an encounter between the Maoists and the Thunderbolts Force near a private resort at Lakkidi, located near the forested locality of Vythiri in Wayanad District. Two Police officers were also injured during the encounter.

Police and the Thunderbolts were camping in the area as they received information that the Maoists were likely to arrive there.

As a group of five armed Maoists reached near the resort, an encounter started, and gunfire continued till the early hours of March 7, 2019. Jaleel’s body was recovered near the resort after the encounter.



These are the three incidents of Left-Wing Extremism (LWE)-linked killings in the Kerala-Karnataka- Tamil Nadu (KKT) tri-junction, since the beginning of the current year (data till November 3, 2019).

Significantly, there were no such killings through 2018 or 2017.

The last such killing reported in the area was on November 24, 2016, in which Kuppu Devaraj aka Shanker, a senior CPI-Maoist leader and ‘central committee’ member and Ajitha aka Latha aka Meera, a woman leader, were killed in an encounter with the Kerala Police, inside the Padukka Forests in the Nilambur Forest Range in Malappuram District.

Since March 6, 2000, when the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP) started compiling data on Naxalism [Left Wing Extremism, LWE]-linked violence in these three states (Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu) constituting the KKT tri-junction, has resulted in 46 fatalities in 26 incidents of killing, (eight civilians, nine SFs, and 29 LWEs).

However, the KKT tri-junction accounted for a minuscule 0.43 per cent of total Maoist-linked fatalities recorded across India during this period (All-India fatalities at 10,483, including 3,752 civilians, 2,564 SF personnel, 3,911 Maoists; and 256 not specified; data till November 3, 2019).

Significantly, the SF: Maoist kill ratio in the KKT tri-junction has been overwhelmingly in favour of SFs, at 1:3.22.

According to a November 24, 2013, report, the rebels are setting up a base in the tri-junction area, which falls between Wayanad and Kannur districts of Kerala; Mysore, Chamarajanagar and Kodagu Districts in Karnataka; and The Nilgiris District of Tamil Nadu. Wayanad (Kerala) and The Nilgiris (Tamil Nadu) are the only two Districts which share borders with these three States. The remaining LWE-affected Districts of these three States share borders with these two Districts.


The report also indicated that the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (UMHA) had sent advisories to the State Governments concerned and asked them to take necessary preventive measures to foil any efforts by the Maoists to start their activities in their areas. The advisor observed:

It is imperative at this juncture that all efforts be focused to check the activities of the outfit in the initial stage. If necessary, a joint police operation of the three States may be conducted to maintain the dominance of the administration and thwart any attempt by CPI (Maoist) to build their hideouts or organisation at this strategic trijunction.”

According to a December 25, 2018, report, the Maoists are expanding in this region because of three principal reasons:

  1. The nature of the area that the rebels are exploiting – places which have the least Government penetration and, consequently, maximum dissatisfaction against the State.
  2. The Maoist ‘division’ working specifically on this region is being squeezed by SFs on all sides in the Bastar area of Chhattisgarh and finds safe haven in the KKT tri-junction.
  3. The unexplored forest areas in the tri-junction region are an attractive prospect for the Maoists to set up bases. SFs have little knowledge of the topography of the area, and this has facilitated rapid Maoist expansion here.

A December 17, 2018, report suggested that intelligence shared by Police departments of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka with central agencies indicated that the Maoists are getting familiarised and trained according to the terrain.

Arms training is regularly undertaken in the dense Wayanad Forest.

Intelligence reports indicate that, due to frequent operations by Anti-Naxal [Left Wing Extremism, LWE] Forces and the Special Task Forces (STFs) of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, the Maoists were forced to flee towards the jungle areas of Kerala.

However, “But for Kerala, combing operation is new to them and requires assistance. Kerala has vast jungle areas that are left unexplored.”

Interestingly, incidents of killing have taken place in Wayanad and Palakkad, which have been included in the revised list of Left-Wing Extremism (LWE)-affected Districts in the country covered under the Security Related Expenditure (SRE) scheme, by UMHA on April 16, 2018.

Though the number of LWE-affected Districts had decreased from 126 in 10 States to 90 in 11 States, three Districts (Malappuram, Palakkad and Wayanad) from Kerala have been added for the first time to the revised list.

There is no District from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu listed in the UMHA’s current list of 90 District in 11 States.

LWE violence has been recorded only in Kerala and not in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, though the three States are included in the KKT tri-junction. Importantly, the Maoists had merged with the Communist Party of India-Marxist Leninist – Naxalbari (CPI-ML-Naxalbari), under the CPI-Maoist banner, on May 1, 2014, with the aim of securing a foothold in the KKT tri-junction area. According to official data disclosed by then Union Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs Hansraj Gangaram Ahir, Kerala has accounted for 23 incidents of Maoist-related violence since 2014: eight in 2014, 10 in 2015, five in 2016, and none in 2017 (data till December 15, 2017). Ahir further disclosed that no violence had been reported in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu since 2014. This is confirmed by violence data recorded by SATP.


On July 2, 2019, UMHA, directed Central Forces and State Police personnel deployed in LWE-hit areas to make a decisive push to tackle CPI-Maoist in the limited geographical areas to which they had retreated in the wake of their shrinking influence over the past five years. This includes the KKT tri-junction, where the Maoists are trying to set up bases.

In an earlier annual assessment of LWE activities, by the Institute for Conflict Management (ICM), it was mentioned that there are at least 16 Naxalite front organisations that double up as human rights organisations in the KKT region.

Intelligence agencies also disclosed that there are around 80 Naxalites operating in the Western Ghats region, who frequently move across the KKT region.

These cadres were mostly confined to Kerala, after Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, put the heat on them.

The Maoist threat is far from over. It is, consequently, imperative that the political and security establishments of the three States controlling the KKT tri-junction keep a constant vigil on the sustained Maoist efforts to spread their influence in this strategic region.

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.

Deepak Kumar Nayak

Deepak Kumar Nayak is a research assistant at Institute for Conflict Management and is involved in research and documentation of Left Wing Extremism (LWE) and insurgency in Northeast of India.

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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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