Connect with us

INTERNAL CHALLENGES

Marxist Historians’ Fictitious Critique – I

Marxist historians' critique of the Ayodhya verdict is remarkable for the eminence of the critics and reliance on brazen lies about the verdict itself. It exposes  fault lines of the secularist discourse; it also raises concerns  about intellectual probity and writing of history itself.

Published

on

Marxist historians' critique of the Ayodhya verdict is remarkable for the eminence of the critics and reliance on brazen lies about the verdict itself. It exposes  fault lines of the secularist discourse; it also raises concerns  about intellectual probity and writing of history itself.

Historians’ critique— widely endorsed by mainstream media — relies on inventive assumptions: the verdict “ignored” evidence and relied on “Hindu beliefs”. [1]

The Allahabad High Court, while unanimously pronouncing that Babri Mosque was built over temple(s), rejected historians’ narrative ruling out ‘Ram temple or any temple”. [2]Relying on Prof. D.N.Jha and others work, Muslim parties pleaded that Babri Masjid was built in 1528 on virgin land. [3]This argument collapsed.


Excavations showed that Babri Mosque was built atop a previous structure, which was conceded by archaeologists of Muslim parties. Archaeological Survey of India said this structure, dated to 10th -12th century, had “distinctive features associated with temples of north India”. Professors Irfan Habib and Suraj Bhan came up with a new theory: the excavated structure could be a Sultanate period one-wall Kanati mosque or a roofless Idgah, presence of animal bones and use of surkhi-lime established exclusive Muslim presence. Muslim parties, significantly, did not plead this theory. Historians’ critique reiterates these formulations: the one that was conceded and another that was not even pleaded!

They alleged that Justices Sudhir Aggarwal and Dharam Veer Sharma’s inference of a Hindu temple (a)“takes no account of presence of animal bones and use of ‘surkhi’ and lime mortar” which are “characteristic of Muslim presence”; (b) relies on “manifestly fraudulent” inferences about “debated” pillar bases and  (c) with “no proof” accepts Hindu “belief”. Historians also alleged that the verdict converted Hindu “belief” into an argument for property entitlement. Each of these allegations is baseless.

Prof Romila Thapar heads the list of “impartial” critics which includes several historians and archaeologists who deposed on behalf of pro-mosque parties.[4]


Animal Bones a ‘decisive’ evidence?

Historians have alleged that finding of animal bones — “decisive evidence” that established Muslim presence and ruled out a temple — was ignored by the verdict. Whereas, the verdict examines this evidence in abundant detail. The verdict cites Muslim parties’ contention that animal bones were found in “NBP, Gupta, post Gupta, Early Medieval, Medieval and Mughal levels”; that “bone fragments with cut marks are a sure sign of animals being eaten at the site and, therefore, rule out the possibility of a temple existing at the site at relevant time”; that “animal sacrifice has not been claimed for any Ram temple” and that ASI did not get bones examined scientifically, hence its report was tainted.[5]

Muslim parties’ claims were contradicted by their own archaeologists. Prof. Suraj Bhan and Dr. Jaya Menon deposed that animals were sacrificed in certain temples. Dr. R.C.Thakaran said he had read excavation reports on temple sites where animal bones had been found though, in those cases, there was no dispute about Idgah/mosque.[6] Dr. Supriya Verma said “bones are not associated with any particular community” and “tell us about the food habits of the society”.

Justice Aggarwal observed that examination of animal bones – reported from fills brought from neighbouring areas to level the ground – will throw light “only about the area of their origin”, they will have “no bearing on the nature of the layers of the excavated site”, hence objections against ASIs inference on grounds of animal bones had “no substance”. Further,  

“it is not the case of the plaintiffs (Suit-4) or other witnesses that bones in such abundance could have been found in Islamic religious place i.e. Mosque, Idgah etc. The Islamic scriptures clearly show place of worship cannot be used for residence purpose or for eating, sleeping etc. It is prohibited.” [7] 

Justice Sharma observed:


“Bones have been found in and from the layer of the Gupta period when Islam had not come into existence from which fact it is crystal clear that the user of the flesh of those creatures if any were not the Muslims”. He further said, Lord Ram himself used to hunt; saints, cows, parrots etc. attached to a temple are buried in temple compound, hence bones can be found at a Hindu Shrine, but not at a mosque site, for,  “building mosque over bones is strictly prohibited.” [8] 

The judge also cited a Supreme Court verdict:

“In Rg. Vedic times goats, sheep, cows, buffaloes and even horses were slaughtered for food and for religious sacrifice and their flesh used to be offered to the Gods.” [9]Justice Aggarwal concurred: partaking animal flesh as prasad and depositing bones below the floor of temples where animal sacrifice was practiced was well known. [10]

Relying on a precedent[11] that documents collected incidentally during execution of a ministerial task do not constitute evidence Justice Sharma observed:

“ASI excavation team was not appointed to collect the bones from the different strata and get those bones chemically examined. ASI excavation team has collected bones and made inventory thereof which was not necessary for drawing the conclusion that whether there was any existing structure prior to 16th century or not. As such challenge to the ASI report on this superficial ground is liable to be rejected.”[12]

Historians’ allegation – animal bones ignored – is baseless; their claim that animal bones ruled out a Hindu temple is contrary to the deposition of their archaeologist co-signatories as also living tradition of animal sacrifice in several temples to celebrate Lord Ram’s return to Ayodhya.[13] 

The ‘Islamic’ Surkhi-lime

Historians’ allegations that the court ignored surkhi and lime mortar are baseless, and, misdirected.  Muslim parties contended that use of surkhi-lime mortar was a distinctive feature of Islamic construction and “no single example is offered by the ASI of any temple of pre-Mughal times having such a lime-surakhi floor”.[14] The Hindu parties’ countered: Lime-surkhi was used in temples from pre-Mogul, indeed pre-Islamic times. Pre-6th century construction at the disputed site itself used surkhi-lime, brick temple of Gupta period in Bhitari (Gazipur, UP) used sand and lime in 6:1 ratio, 10th century A.D. Lingaraj temple at Bhubhaneshwar used lime plaster with 3:1 lime-silica ratio.[15] They also cited Marxist historian Prof. R.S.Sharma’s work according to which in Basti and Mathura “flooring was made of brick concrete mixed with lime” which “indicates the use of Surkhi” during “early centuries of Christian era”. [16]  Pro-mosque experts conceded use of lime mortar in India from pre-Islamic times. Prof. D. Mandal said:

“Lime mortar was definitely used from Neolithic period." [17] 

Prof. Suraj Bhan concurred:

“lime mortar was found to have been used in the 3rd century ADduring the Kushana period in Takshshila and Pakistan, but its use was very limited.”[18]

“Whether lime mortar or lime plaster was from a particular period or not”, Justice Aggarwal observed, was a “subsidiary” question since the “experts of the objectionists parties” had admitted that the disputed structure was not built on unoccupied land and that there existed a previous structure whose walls and foundations were used by the disputed structure. [19]Besides, the judge observed, evidence on Kanati Mosque-Idgah theory – since it had not been pleaded before the court — was impermissible in law.

Thus, the allegation that the court took “no account of” arguments about surkhi and lime mortar, besides being incorrect, is also misdirected.

Faulting Judges for ‘ignoring’ Idgah that wasn’t pleaded


 The manner in which Professors Irfan Habib and Suraj Bhan propounded the hitherto unheard of Kanati Mosque – Idgah theory betrays their attitude to history. As Prof. Suraj Bhan told the court:

“I and Prof.  Habib had given this statement that remains of old mosque or Eidgah had been found beneath the disputed site and not of any temple.If this propaganda that remains of temple were found at the disputed site, had not taken place, there would have been no occasion for me and Prof. Irfan Habib to give the above statement.” (Justice Aggarwal, Para 3826; emphasis ours)

A new theory concerning a sensitive temple-mosque dispute declared to the nation to counter media reports! Prof. Suraj Bhan conceded that he challenged ASI’s report “based on my knowledge existing prior to the submission of ASI’s report in court.” That Prof. Suraj Bhan challenged ASIs report without reading it did not go down well with the court. Justice Aggarwal, referring to Prof. Suraj Bhan’s allegations of bias and lack of professionalism in ASIs report, noted:

“We find on the contrary, predetermined attitude of the witness against ASI which he has admitted.” (Justice Aggarwal, Para 3826)

Deposition on this theory evidently led to an odd situation. Amidst opposition by Hindu parties to evidence on it, Dr. Jaya Menon said:

“It was Dr. Supriya Varma and myself, who, for the first time, said that there was an Idgah under the disputed structure. I did not know that the plaintiffs of OOS no. 4 of 1989 had not claimed any Idgah under the disputed structure."[20] 

 Justice Aggarwal recorded:

“Normally, it does not happen but we are surprised to see in the zeal of helping their clients or the parties in whose favour they were appearing, these witnesses went ahead than what was not even the case of the party concerned and wrote totally a new story. Evidence in support of a fact which has never been pleaded and was not the case of the party concerned is impermissible in law.” (para 3986).

Historians’ critique impliedly – and Prof. Irfan Habib, in his writings, explicitly – have assailed the verdict for “ignoring” Idgah-Kanati Mosque theory. Doesn’t matter that it was not even pleaded by the Muslim parties! None of the judges gave any finding on it. Historians’ allegation that the court – or rather two judges – “ignored” evidence about Idgah is misdirected and bizarre, to say the least.

Wishing away Pillar Bases

Contrary to historians’ allegations, their professorial archaeologist co-signatories affirmed the integrity of excavations and conceded pillar bases. "In my presence, nothing took place such as the said archaeologists building something secretly or forcibly, Prof. D. Mandal told the court.[21]Prof. Suraj Bhan concurred:

“The ASI Report had a feature not amenable to criticism. It was that they (the excavators) have discovered many walls and floors and some pillar bases beneath the Babri mosque, and all these constitute evidence.” [22] 

Dr. Supriya Verma said pillar bases that form “part of the Z series of trenches are acceptable to me” [23], Dr Jaya Menon, on being shown Plate no. 36, 37, 38 of the ASI report said “all these photographs areinsitu photographs of pillar bases”.[24]

Pillars hardly needed to be found. Fourteen kasauti pillars, with engravings of Hindu Gods and Goddesses, were used in Babri Mosque itself, they are detailed in narratives from late 18th century onwards, their pictures were on record and are available online in annexures to the verdict. Some pillars and their fragments were also found. As Dr. Jaya Menon acknowledged: “The motif of Ghat (pot) is visible on this pillar…”[25]

The “debate”, if any, related to only four of the fify pillar bases excavated by ASI.[26]Justice Aggarwal, while not agreeing with allegations about creation of pillar bases, observed

“even if, for a moment, we assume” that the experts thought pillar bases in trenches G-2 and F-6 were created, “that will not be sufficient to belie and also cannot explain several other pillar bases found by ASI whereagainst no such complaint is there.” (Justice Aggarwal, para 3895)

Historians have chosen to orchestrate disproven – and rather dubious — allegations of two of their archaeologist co-signatories.  Dr. Supriya Verma and Dr. Jaya Menon alleged – on the basis of “close observation” – creation of pillar bases in trenches G2, ZF1, F3 and F6. On examining site records, the court found that the experts were not even  present at the site on the days pillar bases were discovered in these trenches. Dr. Supriya Verma admitted:

“I do not know as to when the trenches referred in para 3 of objections dated 7th June, 2003 were excavated, since I was not present at the time of excavation of above referred trenches”.[27] 

Justice Aggarwal also noted a pattern: allegations about creation of pillar bases mostly related to trenches where GPR survey had reported anomalies and there was a likelihood of finding pillar bases.

“It can easily be appreciated that the mind of two experts instead (of) working for the assistance of the Court in finding a truth, tried to create a background alibi so that later on the same may be utilized to attack the very findings.”[28] 

The experts did precisely that. [29]

Converting possession into ‘belief’

Historians have, rather mischievously, argued that the verdict offered “no proof” of antiquity of “Hindu belief” in Lord Ram’s birth-site being the disputed site.  The relevant issue, as framed by the court, was: “Have the Hindus been worshipping the place in dispute as Sri Ram Janam Bhumi or Janam Asthan and have been visiting it as a sacred place of pilgrimageas of right since times immemorial?”[30] This, obviously, wasanissue of evidence, not belief per se.

Evidence on Ayodhya, and indeed Lord Ram’s birthplace, as a pilgrimage pre-dated Babar’s arrival in India. Such evidence included Sikh religious records on Guru Nanak visiting Ayodhya in 1510-11, bathing in Saryu river and having darshan of Lord Ram (i.e. Ram’s idol). [31] The tradition of pilgrimage, judges note, continued despite demolition of the temple and construction of a mosque at the site.

* Excavation of a 10th-12th structure with distinct temple features at the site and discovery of a ‘Vishnu Hari Temple’ inscription, authentically dated to that period, discovered at the site. [32]

* William Finch, in India from 1608-11, mentions reverence for Lord Ram’s birthplace in ruins of his ‘castle and houses’,  presence of Brahmins and practices associated with major Hindu pilgrimages: Brahmins recording names of visitors who bathe in river Saryu. This custom, Finch records, was said to be continuing for four lac years.[33] (Finch, judges note, makes no mention of mosque)

* Austrian Jesuit priest Joseph Tieffenthaler, sometime during 1766-71, observed Hindus worshiping at the ‘three-domed Mohamadden temple".

“On the left is seen a square chest, raised, five inches from the ground covered with lime… The Hindoos call it Bedi, the cradle; and the reason is, that there formerly stood here the house in which Beshan (Vishnoo) was born in the form of Ram …They still pay a superstitious reverence to both these places; namely, to that on which the natal dwelling of Ram stood, by going three times round it, prostrate on the earth.”[34](This account, Justice Aggarwal notes, is the earliest mention of a mosque at the site)

*Tiefenthaler also wrote:

“On the 24th of the month Tshet (Choitru), a large concourse of people celebrate here the birth-day of Ram, so famous throughout India.”

*Gazetteer of India — published in 1854, republished in 1858 – says: a ‘quadrangular coffer of stone’, pointed out as “the cradle in which Ram was born” is “accordingly abundantly honoured by the pilgrimages and devotions of the Hindoos.”[35]

* P. Carnegy, Commissioner, Oudh, wrote: “Hindus and Mahomedans alike used to worship in the mosque-temple” upto 1855 when violent clashes occurred. British rule put up a railing “within which in the mosque the Mahomedans pray, while outside the fence the Hindus have raised a platform on which they make their offerings”, Carnegy wrote in his report in 1870. [36] (This is the earliest reference cited by Muslim parties on namaz being offered at the site, Justice Aggarwal notes.)

*Disregarding the Iron-grilled partition put up in 1856-57, Hindus and Sikhs installed the ‘nishan’ of Lord Ram and were performing puja inside the mosque, Mohammad Asgar, alleged keeper of the mosque, said in his complaint dated 30th November, 1858. The complainant wanted the ‘nishan’ and those praying inside the mosque to be removed. Judges note that there is no evidence of any eviction having taken place. [37]
 

*From 1856 to 1934 too there is evidence of Hindus worshipping in the inner courtyard. Further, there is “no evidence on record” suggesting any restriction on praying inside the building. “It was the admitted case of Muslim parties and their witnesses that the doors of the iron grilled dividing wall were never locked until December 22, 1949”, Justice Aggarwal observed.[38]  Interestingly whereas Justice Aggarwal observed that from 1855 till 1934 there is “no evidence whatsoever that Namaz was actually offered in the inner courtyard”, Justice Khan concluded that “till 1934 Muslims were offering regular prayers”.

* Post-1934 riots till 1949, Hindus were worshiping in the inner courtyard on a regular basis, Muslims were offering namaz “only on Fridays”, Justices Sudhir Aggarwal and S.U. Khan inferred. [39]

Yet, historians claim that the verdict offers ‘no proof’ of antiquity of Hindu ‘belief’! Lest the word ‘proof’ cause any confusion, the verdict cites Section 3 of the Indian Evidence Act, which says:

"A fact is said to be proved when, after considering the matters before it the Court either believes to exist or considers itsexistence so probable that a prudent man ought, under the circumstances of the particular case, to act upon the supposition with its existence." (emphasis ours) 

Evidence cited by the verdict, as is obvious to any prudent person, more than adequately measures up to legal test.

Flawed assumptions about law

Marxist Historians then proceed into the legal terrain on erroneous assumptions about the facts of the verdict as also law. They voice concern that “such belief” was “converted” into an argument for property entitlement.  Firstly, the court did not go merely by “belief”; it went by evidence of possession/use of place for worship. Secondly, it did not go by evidence of possession by Hindus alone, but by both communities. Thirdly, possession is an eminently valid legal argument in a suit for title. The bench unanimously inferred that none of the litigants could prove their title, the property was ‘nazul’, i.e. government property, and, since the state did not stake its claim the court went by well established principle, ‘possession follows title’. Justices Sudhir Aggarwal and S.U.Khan’s majority verdict – on evidence of possession – ordered a three-way division.  Outer courtyard was undisputedly in possession of Nirmohi Akhara; in the inner courtyard, including the building, Hindus and Muslims had been praying. The court’s order that the area worshiped as Lord Ram’s birth-site[40]under the central dome be included in the 1/3rd share of Hindus is consistent with Supreme Court verdict which held:

"Places of worship of any religion having particular significance for the religion stand on a different footing and have to be treated differently and more reverentially".[41]

Incidentally, the Supreme Court judgment – delivered on an appeal in connection with this very case – was relied upon by all the three judges.  One is at a loss to figure out which aspect of three-way division is contrary to evidence, law or “secular values”.

Historians’ allegation that the verdict — which is on a civil suit — gave “legitimation” to demolition of  Babri Mosque in 1992 and did not affix liability for the demolition is wide off the mark for that was beyond the scope of the civil suit.

Let’s also briefly look at the larger picture from the standpoint of “Hindu values”, wherein, desecration or demolition of places of worship is abhorred. It can well be argued that the judges unanimously held that Babri Mosque was built over temple(s) with two judges categorically ruling that a Hindu temple had been demolished to build the mosque. The bench also unanimously held that Hindus have been continuously praying at the site. The judges who inferred that Muslims too prayed at the site observed that they did so intermittently. Pro-temple lawyers argued that the Hindu temple was usurped by Muslims and used for prayers on the strength of Mughal/British rule. From the standpoint of equity – and secular respect for all communities right to their places of worship – the inference should be obvious. A speculation: What if the Supreme Court decides that the site legitimately belongs to the Hindus? Would that, then, be a blow to “secular values”? Or a recognition of rights of all religions to their places of worship consistent with secular values? 

(To be continued)


[1] Joint statement by 45-odd intellectuals including historians Romila Thapar, Irfan Habib, D.N.Jha, K.N. Panikkar K.M. Shrimaliand Arjun Dev, published in several newspapers.
[2] Justices Sudhir Aggarwal and Dharam Veer Sharma inferred that a Hindu temple was demolished to build Babri Mosque, Justice S.U.Khan inferred that the structure beneath the mosque was a temple, but could “also” be a Buddhist temple and that this structure was not demolished.
[3]D.N.Jha, Suraj Bhan, R.S.Sharma and Athar Ali’s  booklet, ‘A Historians Report to the Nation’ in 1991was, as the verdict records, “heavily relied upon” by Muslim parties. The authors claimed: “1.No evidence exists in the texts that before the 16th century (and indeed before the 18th century), any veneration attached to any spot in Ayodhya for being the birth-site of Rama. 2.There are no grounds for supposing that a Rama temple, or any temple, existed at the site where Baburi Masjid was built in 1528-29.”
[4] The critics who deposed before the court are: historians Suvira Jaiswal and Shireen Moosvi and arhcaeologists Prof. Suraj Bhan, Prof. D.Mandal, Dr. Supriya Verma, Dr. Jaya Menon, Dr. R.C.Thakran, Dr. Ashok Dutta and Dr. Sita Ram Rao.
[5]  Justice Sudhir Aggarwal’s verdict, Para 3960
[6] Justice Sudhir Aggarwal’s verdict, Para 3969.
[7]  Justice Sudhir Aggarwal’s verdict, Para 3968
[8] Justice Dharam Veer Sharma’s verdict Pg 82-83
[9]Supreme Court verdict in Mohd. Hanif Quareshi v. State of Bihar AIR 1958 cited in Justice Sharma’s verdict on Pg 82-83
[10] Justice Sudhir Aggarwal’s verdict, Para 3969-70
[11] Jagat Bhai Punja Bhai Palkhiwala & Ors. v. Vikram Bhai Punja Bhai Palkhiwala & Ors, Gujarat, 1985.
[12]Justice Sharma’s verdict, Page 50;
[13]Animal sacrifice in temples on Diwali continues to be  reported from Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Tripura. During four-day celebrations, cattle, goat and sheep are sacrificed in temples amidst singing of mantras in Ani and Nirmand (Kullu district), Shillai (Sirmaur) and Chopal (Shimla) district in Himachal Pradesh where this festival, interestingly, commences on the dark ‘Amavasya’ night, a month after Diwali in the rest of India; news of Ram’s return to Ayodhya, according to folklore, reached here later (Deccan Herald, December 4, 2011) .  Animal sacrifice in connection with Diwali continues in Udaipur in South Tripura, where buffaloes, goats and pigeons are sacrificed at night in the presence of thousands of devotees at Tripura Sundari Temple  (Hindustan Times, Oct 17, 2009), this practice continues in Kartarpur near Jaipur, Rajasthan (The Hindu, Nov 1, 2010). Sacrifice of animals in temples and public places during ‘Ayudha Puja’ continued till recently in Karnataka, where it was banned in 2007 (The Hindu,Oct 19, 2007)
[14] Justice Sudhir Aggarwal’s verdict, Para 3991, 4.5 and also in Annexure 3, Pg 56
[15] "Town planning,building and building materials" by H.C.Bhardwaj, cited in Justice Aggarwal’s verdict, Para 3991, X-XV
[16]Perspectives in Social and Economic History of Early India by R S Sharma, Pg 181, cited in Justice Aggarwal’s verdict,  Para 3991, IX
[17] Prof. D. Mandal deposed: “I agree with the observation of Prof. H.C. Bharadwaj at page 73 of his article that gypsum mortar/plaster was used in the Harappan period. I agree with the observation in the latter part of this para that gypsum was used as mortar in the Kalibangan period also. . . .Lime mortar was definitely used from Neolithic period." (Justice Aggarwal, Para 3799)
[18] Justice Sudhir Aggarwal’s verdict, Para 3799
[19] Justice Aggarwal’s verdict, para 3986
[20] Justice Sudhir Aggarwal’s verdict, Para 3983
[21] Justice Sudhir Aggarwal’s verdict, Para 3799-b
[22] Justice Sudhir Aggarwal’s verdict, Para 3719
[23] Justice Sudhir Aggarwal’s verdict, Para 3737
[24] Justice Sudhir Aggarwal’s verdict, Para 3738.
[25] Justice Sudhir Aggarwal’s verdict, Para 3959
[26] Of these four pillar bases, according to Justice Aggarwal’s verdict, three were in trench F-6 and one in trench G-2. 
[27] Justice Sudhir Aggarwal’s verdict, Para 3715
[28] Justice Sudhir Aggarwal’s verdict, Para 3990
[29] Dr. Supriya Verma and Dr. Jaya Menon, writing in EPW Dec. 11, 201, implied that they were present at the site when they claimed to have made close observation but did not sign the register. However, Dr. Supriya Verma, has deposed that she was “not present” at the site when pillar bases were excavated. The experts have also erroneously claimed that Justice Aggarwal upheld their allegations about creation of pillar base in trench F6 whereas the judge clearly said “we are not agreeable to the allegation”, but “even if, for a moment, we assume….”.
[30] Issue No. 14, OOS 4 of 1989
[31] Justice Sudhir Aggarwal’s verdict, Para 4384
[32]The inscription was deciphered by Epigraphist Dr. K.V. Ramesh, whose expertise was accepted by rival parties. Justice Sharma saw the inscription as evidence of Ram temple at the site; Justice Aggarwal said the inscription, though authentic, “by itself” was not conclusive evidence that such a temple existed at the site itself. For, the inscription had been found among the debris on Dec 6/7, 1992. 
[33] Finch wrote: “Heere are also the ruines of Ranichand [S] castle and houses, which the Indians acknowled[g]e for the great God, saying that he tooke flesh upon him to see the Tamasha of the World. In these ruines remayne certaine Bramenes, who record the names of all such Indians as wash themselves in the river running thereby, which custome, they say hath continued foure lackes of yeeres”
[34] Justice Sharma’s verdict, Pg 55-56
[35]  Justice Sudhir Aggarwal’s verdict, Para 4224
[36] Justice Sudhir Aggarwal’s verdict, Para 4258
[37] The context is spelt out in a letter by a local thanedar to his superiors on October 28, 1858: “Today Mr. Nihang Singh Faqir Khalsa resident of Punjab, organised Hawan and Puja of Guru Govind Singh and erected a symbol of Sri Bhagwan, within the premises of the Masjid. At the time of pitching the symbol, 25 sikhs were posted there for security.” (para 2961-62)
[38] Justice Aggarwal, para 1903
[39] Justice S.U.Khan’s verdict, Pg 231
[40] Justices Aggarwal and Sharma held that on the portion of the site believed and worshipped as Lord Ram’s birth place since time immemorial stood the central dome of the mosque, Justice Khan held that it was so worshipped only since recent times.
[41] Dr. M. Ismail Farooqi Vs. Union of India, SC 1994

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this writing are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of League of India, its Editorial Board or the business and socio-political interests that they might represent.

This article was first published at the author's blog here

Raman Nanda

Raman Nanda is a freelance journalist and broadcaster. An eminent name in the world of journalism, he has worked with, among others, the Times of India, Outlook, BBC World Service and Lok Sabha Television.

Continue Reading
Comments

INTERNAL CHALLENGES

India’s Northeast And The Border Disputes

The disputes largely pertain to Assam and the four states that were carved out of it.

Published

on

Decades-old inter-state border disputes, which have the potential to provide new spaces to terrorist formations, threatening the tenuous peace in India’s troubled Northeast, have once again come to the fore.

The Assam-Mizoram border flared up on October 9, 2020, when, according to Mizoram Government, officials of the Karimganj District, Assam’s Forest Department and Assam Police set ablaze a farmhouse owned by John Zolawma of Thinghlun village in Mizoram’s Mamit district, along the Assam-Mizoram border. Many plantations, including over a thousand betelnut plants, were destroyed by the Assam officials. Subsequently, according to reports, clashes erupted between the locals. However, officials on the two sides met and the situation was controlled.

But the ‘peace’ did not last long.


Clashes again erupted in the night of October 17, 2020. There were several versions of this incident. Deputy Inspector General of Police, Southern Assam, Dilip Kumar Dey, explaining the incident claimed that a COVID-19 testing centre had been set up by the Mizoram Government at Lailapur (Cachar District, Assam), 1.5 kilometres into Assamese territory, on October 16, to test samples of Mizoram-bound truckers and other people. “The testing centre was set up unilaterally and under the pressure of Mizoram’s NGOs,” Dey claimed, despite the Cachar Police’s strong objections to the setting-up of the centre without the permission of the Assam Government.

Following this, Day asserted, some youths from Mizoram came to Lailapur on October 17 and attacked truck drivers and villagers, and burnt more than 15 small shops-cum-houses. An unnamed police officer in Cachar claimed that more than 50 people, mostly truck drivers, were injured when assailants from Mizoram threw stones and bricks at them.

Villagers of Mizoram’s Mamit District, which is contiguous to Cachar, however, alleged that miscreants from Cachar came to their villages and attacked shops and houses, causing huge damage.


According to a third version, three persons were reportedly injured when several huts made by some people of Lailapur in Cachar District were set ablaze by some people from the Mizoram side who claimed that the huts were made in the ‘disputed border area’ of Assam and Mizoram.

Subsequently, the people of Lailapur clashed with residents of neighbouring Vairengte in the Kolasib district of Mizoram, in which seven persons from the Mizoram side were injured.

Meanwhile, both Governments have blamed each other.

The Mizoram State Cabinet on October 18 blamed the Karimganj and Cachar District administrations in Assam for the flare-up.

In a statement released after a Cabinet meeting, the Mizoram Government said that the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (UMHA) had been informed of the “transgressions committed by the government of Assam”. The statement said that essential supplies had been choked off by a road blockade “organised by Assam” on interstate highways. It also announced that security would be beefed up in the “affected border areas”. Soon thereafter, the Mizoram Government deployed additional troops along the Border.


On the other hand, on October 18, the Assam Forest and Environment Minister Parimal Suklabaidya blamed the incident on “miscreants from the other side of the border.”

Both sides, however, discussed the issue after the intervention of the Union Government on October 21 and some sort of normalcy was briefly restored.

On October 22, however, bomb blasts took place in a school located in the Khulicherra area in Assam, near the Assam-Mizoram border. Assam’s Additional Director General of Police, Law and Order, Gyanendra Pratap Singh stated: “The blasts that damaged the property of the government school was possibly triggered by the miscreants to frighten the border residents.”

Tension further escalated on October 30 after two farmers were kidnapped “by the people belonging to Mizoram” while they were working at their paddy field at Tulartal village. An Assam Government release stated that people in Tulartal, Baghewala, Singua and Lailapur areas were “being terrorised by Mizo miscreants and to reassure(d) them that the state government is with them”.

At the time of writing, tension continues to prevail along this border. National Highway 306, Mizoram’s lifeline, remains closed with around 300 goods-laden vehicles stranded on either side of the border. The people sitting on the blockade in Assam are reportedly demanding the withdrawal of Mizoram’s security personnel from Assam’s territory.

On the other hand, Mizoram Home Minister Lalchamliana asserted that his administration would not call off security personnel from the border with Assam till normalcy is restored.

If the blockade prolongs, it will be difficult for Mizoram, which secures all its essentials, food grains, fuel and various other goods and machines through this highway.

The people in the region, which like other areas, are already facing economic hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will have to go through face challenges. Both the tensions on the border and the greater strains imposed on the people open up the possibilities of a revival of dormant terrorist groups in the region.

Such groups would also secure some support as a result of claims by locals that current clashes along the border were not an issue between Assam and Mizoram, but the act of “illegal Bangladeshis” on the Assam side, who they blame for the current flare-up.


B. Vanlaltana, president of the Mizo Zirlai Pawl, a Mizo student organisation, asserted, “Illegal Bangladeshis are creating all this trouble. They come and destroy our huts, cut our plants and this time pelted stones on our policemen.”

Samuela Zoramthanpuia, general secretary, Mizo Zirlai Pawl, adds, “Most of them are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh who claim to be locals. They are not Assamese or Indians.”

It is useful to recall that the “foreigners’ issue” led to the emergence and sustenance of several insurgencies and terrorist groups in the region.

Meanwhile, Meghalaya has also demanded the resolution of its border issue with Assam. It may be mentioned that Assam and Meghalaya have at least 12 areas where there are boundary disputes. Both states have adopted a policy where one state cannot carry out developmental activities in these areas without informing the other.

On October 31, 2020, Assam Minister of Finance, Health, Education and PWD, Himanta Biswa Sarma, stated that the border issue would be resolved on priority by UMHA, soon after the upcoming Assam Assembly Elections, as “some groundwork has already been done by MHA [UMHA] for a larger solution”. Biswa Sarma elaborated:

“After the Assam elections, you will see an active dialogue between all northeastern states. [Union] Home Minister Amit Shah has asked all states already and he has done his homework on this. Immediately after Assam elections, the Home Ministry’s topmost agenda will be resolving the border disputes across the northeast… We don’t want to initiate a dialogue process across northeast immediately since the Assam government will be there only about three-four months and so it’s better that the dialogue should start with the new government.”

Similarly, Union Joint Secretary (Northeast), UMHA, Satyendra Garg, stated, on October 22:

“We will be working for a permanent solution. I am hopeful that the border dispute between Mizoram and Assam will be permanently resolved by March or later next year.”

It is pertinent to recall here that inter-state border disputes in the region largely pertain to borders between Assam and four other states – Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Nagaland – each of which was who carved out of undivided Assam.

Manipur and Tripura, which were princely states, were not part of Assam, and do not have any border issues with Assam.

The moot question, however, is, why did the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Government not try to resolve these issues earlier, if it is so sure of resolving the issues soon after the elections? The BJP has been in power in Assam since 2016 and at the Centre since 2014. Are the current flareup and the promises of early resolution an election gimmick?

New Delhi appears to neglect the reality that these issues have the potential to push the region back into turmoil at any stage and should be handled with utmost care. Embroiling the region in divisive electoral politics is fraught with untold risks.

It is to be noted that the inter-state boundary dispute between Assam and Nagaland is the most prominent and has resulted in the most violence, mainly backed-by terrorist groups.

Indeed, in August 2014, in a series of violent incidents, 20 persons were killed: 14 Adivasis (tribals from Central India settled in the Northeast region) killed by miscreants from Nagaland; and another six persons killed in a clash with the Police. Several others have been injured in the disputed ‘B Sector’ of the Assam-Nagaland border in the Golaghat District. Following the incidents, Nagaland and Manipur were cut-off by road after an economic blockade was imposed against Nagaland by various Assam-based organizations.

There are other inter-state border disputes in the region, including those between Mizoram and Tripura, one of which has flared up since August 2020, when both sides reasserted their respective claims over Phuldungsei village in the Jampui Hill Range, falling along the border of the two states. The situation worsened when “Songrongma”, a Tripura based tribal organisation, declared it would construct a Shiv Temple and do community activities in the area on October 19 and 20. Authorities in Mizoram issued prohibitory orders in the area on October 16.

The proposed construction had been planned without the permission of the Mizoram Government and was “against the interest of the local community”, and could “harm the peace and tranquillity in the region”, the order said.

Earlier, on October 8, Mizoram Home Secretary Lalbiaksangi had written to his Tripura counterpart Barun Kumar Sahu, asking him to intervene and stop the proposed construction, since any activities on the disputed inter-state border could result in law and order problems.

Though the order was withdrawn, with the Mizoram Government claiming that this was done as the organisation has called off its plans to build the temple, the fact is that Tripura had sent a letter to Mizoram saying that “the prohibitory order issued by the Mamit district magistrate, Mizoram. on 16 October is indicating areas of North Tripura district of Tripura state in his order, which is highly objectionable“.

Mizoram has now demanded that Tripura withdraw its Forces deployed in the area during the tensions. Mizoram Home Secretary Lalbiakangi, in a letter dated October 28, to Tripura Home Secretary Barun Kumar Sahu, demanded, “As the area in which the TSR [Tripura States Rifle] is positioned and new constructions being made is inside Mizoram, you may shift the TSR from Thaidawr Tlang [Phuldungsei village is known by this name in Mizoram] to a location inside Tripura and stop and remove all constructions at this location.”

Though the Tripura Government has not responded so far, an unnamed Tripura official was quoted as stating, “It doesn’t work this way, that anyone comes one fine morning and claims a part of our state as theirs. Denying the claim is also an acknowledgement of dispute. This is a part of Tripura.”

The relative peace in India’s Northeast remains extremely fragile, and is at continuous risk, particularly as a result of rampant divisive politics, the enduring neglect of a number of simmering disputes, and the protraction of the many agreements arrived at between the Government (both State and Central) and various currently dormant insurgent formations.

These various issues demand urgent attention, in good faith, lest the gains of the past decade are compromised.

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".

Continue Reading

INTERNAL CHALLENGES

Paresh Baruah’s ULFA-I Trying To Get On Feet From China?

At present, the approximate cadre strength of ULFA (I) is said to be around 250.

Published

on

On October 4, 2020, an Assam Rifles (AR) trooper, Havildar Birendra Singh Yadav, was killed while another trooper was injured when terrorists ambushed their vehicle (a water tanker) near Hetlong village in the Changlang District of Arunachal Pradesh.

Later, the Independent faction of United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA-I), in an email sent to the media, claimed that it, along with the Yung Aung faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang (NSCN-K-Yung Aung) and Revolutionary People’s Front/People’s Liberation Army (RPF/PLA), had jointly carried out the attack. NSCN-K-Yung Aung also sent an email reiterating the same claim.

On July 29, 2020, three AR personnel were killed and another five injured when terrorists ambushed their vehicle at Khongtal village in the Chandel district of Manipur. ULFA-I subsequently sent an email claiming that it, along with the Manipur Naga People’s Front (MNPF) and the RPF had jointly carried out the attack.


Significantly, after the demise of Shangwang Shangyung Khaplang, the ‘chairman’ of the Khaplang faction of the NSCN (NSCN-K) on June 9, 2017, and the subsequent internal feud within the NSCN-K, the ULFA-I ‘commander-in-chief’ Paresh Baruah seems to have emerged as the leader of the Indian Insurgent Groups (IIGs) in Myanmar. This is evident with both Naga and Manipuri groups carrying out joint strikes, especially with the ULFA-I, after June 9, 2017.  Altogether 31 fatalities (one civilian, 20 SF personnel and 10 militants) have been registered in nine such joint strikes since that date.

Meanwhile, in the operations by the Myanmar Army (Tatmadaw) in January 2019 targeting IIGs, ULFA-I suffered the most. According to an affidavit filed by the Assam State Government in September 2020, before the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) tribunal, Tatmadaw operations targeting IIG camps in the Taka area of Sagiang Region had damaged the “Lungmark, Taka and Nilgiri camps of ULFA -I. Several cadres also deserted the outfit.”

Since the operations in Myanmar, 85 ULFA-I militants have surrendered (data till October 9, 2020). 51 of them surrendered in 2020, all in Assam.

In 2019, 34 ULFA-I cadres had surrendered (33 in Assam and one in Arunachal Pradesh). 35 ULFA-I militants had surrendered before the operations, since August 8, 2012, when ULFA-I was formed. Six ULFA-I militants surrendered in 2018, two each in 2017 and 2016, one in 2015, five in 2014, 18 in 2013 and one in 2012.


The group’s activities on the ground almost came to a halt after the Tatmadaw operations.

The July 29, 2020, attack (above) was the first reported attack resulting in fatalities in which ULFA-I was involved.

However, during the intervening period, ULFA-I took advantage of several opportunities to regain its hold in the region. One such opportunity was the passing of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019 by the Parliament in December 2019 (in the Lok Sabha on December 9 and Rajya Sabha on December 11). ULFA-I declared itself in favour of the agitation that followed the passing of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019, which spread across the Northeast region and was particularly intense in Assam.

ULFA-I ‘commander-in-chief’ Paresh Baruah warned on December 11, 2019:

“The ULFA-I will not sit idle if a protesting student or any Assamese for that matter is assaulted. We appeal to Bhaskarjyoti Mahanta, Director General of Police (DGP) of Assam Police, not to lathi-charge people taking to the streets and vehemently opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. The DGP should control his police force and not harass innocent protesters.”

The enactment of CAA 2019 on December 12, 2019, when it received the President’s assent, is seen by groups representing ‘indigenous’ interest as a measure that not only legitimises present ‘illegal’ migrants, but also invites future migrations from neighbouring Bangladesh. The resultant demographic shift, they fear, will deprive indigenous populations of their political, cultural and ethnic rights. ULFA-I is trying to exploit such fears for its own ends.


Not surprisingly, ULFA’s support to the CAA agitation helped the outfit regain some support among the locals and to recruit new cadres.

Significantly, the State Government called-off the Rongali Bihu (April 14-20, 2020) celebrations citing COVID-19, but has now allowed the Durga Puja celebrations, albeit under restrictions, despite the situation on the ground being relatively worse.

Obviously, one of the reasons behind the Assam Government’s recent decision was intended to keep all dominant linguistic/ethnic groups happy before the upcoming State Assembly Elections in 2021, which are likely to be fought on identity issues.

Not to miss the opportunity, ULFA-I on September 4, 2020, urged the Assam Government to cancel the Durga Puja celebration this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, stating:

“The Assam Government had called-off the Rongali Bihu [Assamese harvest festival] amid the coronavirus pandemic and now to they have allowed celebrating the Durga Puja which is not acceptable.”

ULFA-I also stated that Assamese nationalism is not religion centric. The militant group further alleged that the State government is allowing Durga Puja celebration to please Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s extremist Hindu agenda.

Obsessed with a polarizing electoral strategy, the dominant political establishment is failing to understand the degree to which providing such opportunities is helping ULFA-I gain more support and revive its strength.

Meanwhile, according to a Union Ministry of Home Affairs (UMHA) notification dated, September 18, 2020:

“The ULFA(I) led by Paresh Baruah is currently based in Ruili, Yunnan Province, China is continuing with violent activities including extortion, recruitment and procurement of arms. The members of ULFA(I) are active in Upper Assam districts of Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Charaideo, Sivasagar, Lower Assam districts of Goalpara, Dhubri and Guwahati city, bordering areas of Udalguri, Darrang, Sonitpur, Lakhimpur districts of Assam besides in the bordering areas in districts of Tirap, Changlang, Longing, Namsai in Arunachal Pradesh, Mon district of Nagaland and Assam-Meghalaya-Bangladesh border.”

It added, “At present approximate cadre strength in ULFA (I) is around 250”.


It is imperative for the political establishment government to ensure that disruptive and polarizing strategies do not create opportunities for relatively marginalized insurgent formations to restore their legitimacy among the population.

Unfortunately, with Assembly Elections scheduled for 2021, such hopes are unlikely to be met, putting increasing pressure on SFs to deal with the consequences.

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.

Continue Reading

DEFENCE-SECURITY

The India-Pak IB At Punjab Is Now The More Active Border

Given Pak’s incessant efforts to create turmoil in Punjab, the security forces will have to step up vigilance.

Published

on

On August 22, 2020, Border Security Force (BSF) personnel shot dead five unidentified armed Pakistani intruders in the Tarn Taran District of Punjab. A BSF spokesperson said that after suspicious activity was noticed near the India-Pakistan International Border (IB) in the region, the troopers “cordoned the area and challenged the intruders to stop and surrender. The Pakistani armed intruders did not pay any heed to the challenge and opened fire on the BSF troops resulting in a gun-battle.”

Later, the troopers recovered dead bodies of five slain intruders along with nine packets containing 9.92 kilograms heroin, an AK-47 rifle, four 9mm Beretta pistols, and some ammunition.

This was the most violent incident, in terms of the number of fatalities, recorded along the India-Pakistan International Border in Punjab, since 2000, according to data compiled by the Institute for Conflict Management (ICM).


The worst previous incident was recorded on January 21, 2014, when BSF troops deployed in the area of Border Out Post (BOP) Naushera Dhalla in Amritsar District, shot dead three Pakistani intruders and recovered 20 kilograms of narcotics and ammunition.

Other prominent incidents of violence include:

October 26, 2013: BSF troops shot dead three Pakistani smugglers near the Mullankot border outpost in Amritsar District and recovered 24 kilograms of heroin and arms and ammunition.


March 29, 2012: BSF personnel killed three intruders and recovered 10 kilograms of heroin and one pistol from the check post near pillar number 72/17, close to the Sundergarh border outpost near the India-Pakistan International Border.

March 19, 2012: A patrolling party of the BSF shot dead three Pakistani intruders near Amarkot village in Amritsar District and recovered 22 kilograms of heroin.

According to partial data compiled by ICM, since 2000, at least 22 violent incidents have been reported along the IB in Punjab (data till August 30, 2020). These incidents have resulted in a total of 33 killings (all intruders) and two injuries (both intruders), and 13 arrests.

It has been found that the perpetrators in most of these violent incidents along the border were Pakistani intruders attempting to smuggle ‘composite consignments’ [weapons/drugs/Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN)] into the State, and thereafter, further into the rest of India, in order to help Pakistan-backed terrorist groups replenish their coffers as well as their armouries.

Indeed, on August 23, 2020, a day after the gun battle at the Border, BSF personnel detained four persons after a raid in the remote rural belt along the IB in Tarn Taran for their links with the five slain Pakistani intruders in the District. The Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Dhruman Nimbale, later disclosed,:


“Prima facie it appears to be an attempt to push narcotics from the Pakistan side in connivance with drug smugglers on this side of the border. Also, we unlocked the two mobile phones recovered from the scene. The call details and data led us to some border-belt residents. The phones have been sent for technical forensic examination, as it may lead us to more drug operators.”

On December 10, 2019, Parliament was informed that, according to the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) data, large quantities of drugs had been recovered from Punjab between 2015 and 2018. These included a total of 5,414.5 kilograms of Ganja (cannabis); 1,830.72 kilograms of Heroin; 1,669.41 kilograms of Opium; 168,420.32 kilograms of Poppy Husk and Poppy Straw; and 15,888,517 tablets of all type.

SFs had arrested a total of 46,909 persons in drug-related cases over this period.

Recently, on March 4, 2020, the Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Indian Parliament) informed that a total of 991.64 kilograms of Ganja (cannabis); 116.98 kilograms of Hashish; 894. 95 kilograms of Heroin, 361.57 kilograms of Opium; 31,559.155 kilograms of Poppy Husk and Poppy Straw; and 79,20,932 tablets of all type were recovered in 2019. SFs arrested a total of 10,057 persons in drug-related cases in 2019.

According to a data released by the BSF, as on August 23, 2020, around 357.931 kilograms of heroin worth INR 17.89 billion in the international market have been recovered by the BSF in the State during the current year. Meanwhile, according to the Punjab Police data, 662 kilograms of heroin was recovered in the State between January 1 and July 31, 2020. This included 209 kilograms recovered by the BSF. In 2019, a total of 1,096 kilograms of heroin was recovered in the state, including a single day recovery of 532 kilograms on June 29, 2019.

SAIR has already highlighted the increasing use of the air and water routes to smuggle ‘composite consignments’, the former using drones.

More recently, according to an August 23, 2020, report, the BSF issued an alert that “Pakistan’s ISI plans to pump in a massive consignment of drugs, arms and ammunition inside India with the help of drones”.

The intelligence wing of BSF also alerted the Security Forces (SFs) that Pakistan intended to use drones to attack security establishments near the IB in Jammu and Kashmir’s RS Pura and Samba sectors. The possibilities of such attacks in Punjab cannot be ruled out.

Further, according to an August 17, 2020, report, intruders from Pakistan were trying to use water channels to push ‘composite consignments’ into Indian territory. In this context, an unnamed BSF official stated:

“Enhanced vigilance by the BSF has thwarted the attempts from Pakistan to push consignments of contraband items into India and that is why they have now chosen riverine areas to push such consignments.”


Indeed, sources indicate that at least 72 incidents of seizures of ‘composite consignments’ were reported from border districts of Amritsar, Ferozepur and Gurdaspur between 2009 and 2019. The recoveries included drugs such as of heroin, opium, etc.; and weapons and ammunition including AK-47/56 rifles, pistols, and RDX, as well as counterfeit currency (Fake Indian Currency Notes, FICN).

Pakistan’s external intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) uses the services of a common network of ‘drug smugglers/couriers’ to push in ‘composite consignments’ into Indian Punjab from Pakistan, exploiting gaps along the land and riverine border.

The ‘drug smugglers/couriers’ working under the ISI’s aegis also throw the consignment over the Border fence in areas where infiltration is not suspected. Their Indian partners later collect the goods.

Meanwhile, according to an August 24, 2020 report, in a drive against the use of drones by the Pakistani operatives, the BSF, with the help of other security agencies is conducting anti-drone tests along the India-Pakistan border to shoot down any drone carrying weapon-load for terrorists in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir.

To combat the narcotics menace in the State, the Narcotics Control Bureau had recently decided to undertake efforts and coordinate a crackdown along with the Punjab Special Task Force and the BSF, against drug traffickers and syndicates that operate along the India-Pakistan border.

Significantly, the Chief Minister of Punjab, Captain Amarinder Singh, declared on June 26, 2020:

“…while the back of the drugs mafia had been successfully broken, the war is still continuing, with narco-terrorists from across the border continuing to push drugs into Punjab, using drones and other routes.”

The Security Forces have demonstrated their capabilities in neutralizing narco-terrorist networks and have neutralized numerous attempts by cross-border operatives to push ‘composite consignments’ into Punjab.

However, given Pakistan’s incessant efforts to create turmoil in Punjab, the security agencies will have to step up vigilance to neutralize every attempt to destabilize the situation in the State.

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.

Dr Indrajit Sharma

Indrajit Sharma is associated with the South Asia Terrorism Portal at the Institute for Conflict Management, a New Delhi based think tank focusing on Conflict and Terrorism in South Asia. He holds an M.Phil. and a PhD in Security Studies from Central University of Gujarat, Gandhinagar, India.

Continue Reading

Most Read This Month

error: Content on this news portal is protected!