SOUTH ASIA INTELLIGENCE REVIEW
Weekly Fatalities: Major Conflicts in South Asia
May 20-26, 2013
Top Congress leaders among 28 persons killed by Maoists in Chhattisgarh: Top Congress leaders, including State Congress Chief Nand Kumar Patel, senior Congress leader Mahendra Karma (founder of Salwa Judum, an anti-Maoist vigilante group) and former Congress Member of Legislative Assembly, Uday Mudliyar, were among 28 persons killed when heavily-armed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadres ambushed a convoy of the leaders inside a dense forest in Sukma District on May 25. Former Union Minister V C Shukla was among 30 others injured in the incident. "Bodies of 28 people, including of Congress leaders, workers and security forces, were recovered," said Chief Minister Raman Singh. Times of India; The Hindu, May 26-27, 2013.
Five coal labourers shot dead in South Garo Hills District in Meghalaya: Five coal labourers were reportedly shot dead by armed militants, suspected to be from United Achik Liberation Army (UALA), in Nangalbibra region of South Garo Hills District in the afternoon of May 20 in retaliation for the quarry owner's failure to pay up extortion money on time. The armed group is said to have served demand notes on coal mine owners throughout Nangalbibra region in the month of April and amounts ranging from INR 500000 to INR 10 million had been demanded by the outfit. Shilong Times, May 21, 2013.
Four SF personnel and a militant killed in Jammu and Kashmir: Four Security Force (SF) personnel and a militant were killed in an encounter at Buchoo village located in Tral area of Pulwama District on May 24. An Army spokesman said the troops had launched an anti-insurgency operation following a tip off about presence of militants in the area. The spokesperson said, "As the troops were laying the cordon around the village, the militants hiding in the nearby forest opened firing, resulting in death of the three jawans (troopers)." One of the injured troopers died later in the day, while the SFs shot dead a militant identified as Saifullah Ahangar. The Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) claimed responsibility for the attack. Times of India; The Hindu, May 24-25, 2013.
Cyber command for country soon, says Defence Minister A K Antony Antony: Defence Minister A K Antony on May 25 said that India will soon form a cyber command to handle the online threats being faced by the country. "We have already got a mechanism for cyber security but we are augmenting it further and the forces are finalizing a proposal for a cyber command," said, adding, "We have enough strength in securing our borders across the land, seas and air. We will now strengthen our cyber defence, though we were a bit delayed on that front." Times of India, May 26, 2013.
UPPK signs tripartite MoU with Central and State Government in Manipur: United People's Party of Kangleipak (UPPK), on May 24, signed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Central and Manipur Governments joining the peace process during a home coming ceremony in Imphal. The arms laid down by the UPPK were a total of 37 weapons including one SLR, 21 HK-33 Rifles, 4 Pistols, 2 lathod guns, one each of M-22 Rifle, AK-56 Rifle, Type 81 Rifle, A-4 Rifle, A-1 Rifle, MG A-2, MG M-23, MG MK-3 and RPG. In addition to many hand grenades, the UPPK has also brought 5742 rounds of 5.56mm ammunition and 507 rounds of 7.762mm ammunition. Bonbihari, 'president' of UPPK said that UPPK group had decided on the path of peace as the general public does not like bloodshed. Kangla Online, May 25, 2013.
We will write the constitution from the streets itself, says CPN-Maoist-Baidya: Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist-Baidya (CPN-Maoist-Baidya) Mohan Baidya said on May 21 that if the demands put forth by his party goes unaddressed then it will through the strength of a nationwide movement create the basis to write the new constitution "from the streets itself". He said the country won't get a way out of the present mess it is in until the current Khil Raj Regmi Government is pulled down and political parties appoint a new prime minister by holding a round table meeting. Nepal News, May 22, 2013.
29 civilians, three militants and one SF among 33 persons killed during the week in Sindh: At least seven persons, including an activist each of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jama'at (ASWJ), were killed in separate incidents in Karachi (Karachi District), the provincial capital of Sindh Province, on May 26.
At least four persons, including a Policeman, were killed in separate acts of targeted attacks in Karachi, on May 25.
At least four persons, including two militants, were killed in separate incidents in Karachi on May 24.
Eight persons were killed in separate incidents of violence in Karachi on May 23.
At least six persons, including activists of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and the Sindh Taraqqi Pasand Party (STPP), were killed in separate incidents in Karachi (Karachi District), the provincial capital of Sindh, on May 20. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, May 21-27, 2013.
22 civilians and two militants among 23 persons killed during the week in Balochistan: 13 persons, including 12 Balochistan Constabulary (BC) personnel, were killed and 17 others sustained injuries in an explosion caused by a bomb rigged to a rickshaw near Link Badini Road in the proximity of Bhossa Mandi on Eastern Bypass in Quetta (Quetta District), the capital of Balochistan, on May 23.
At least six persons, including five women, were killed and two others sustained injuries in a firing incident on Noorpur Road in Bakra Mandi area of Sibi District on May 23. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, May 21-27, 2013.
13 SFs, five civilians and four militants among 22 persons killed during the week in KP: At least six Policemen were killed and a District Police Officer (DPO) and his guard were injured when militants attacked their vehicles with rockets on the Indus Highway in Mattani area of Darra Adamkhel District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) on May 24.
At least three persons were killed in a suicide attack, targeting Hazi Hayatullah, leader of Afghan religious outfits Jamatul Dawa Alquran and Sunnah, on Pajagi Road in Saeedabad area of Peshawar (Peshawar District), the provincial capital of KP, on May 24. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, May 21-27, 2013.
TTP issues fresh threat to assassinate former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf: The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) issued a fresh threat to assassinate former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf, currently detained in his palatial farmhouse in Islamabad, over a string of high-profile cases. In a video posted on the jihadi website Umar Media, TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ihsan said, "Soon we will punish this Satan (Musharraf) to death for his wicked deeds. From Balochistan to Waziristan, Musharraf engulfed this country in blood and fire. He is the killer of hundreds of innocent students of Lal Masjid." This is the second video issued by the TTP with a threat against Musharraf. Before Musharraf returned to Pakistan from self-exile in March, the TTP had issued a video that said the militants had formed a special squad of suicide bombers and snipers to kill him. The Hindu, May 26, 2013.
Committed Pakistani jihadists with ties to Afghan militants have replaced the slain top al Qaida leaders in the Pakistan's tribal region, says report: The New York Times reported on May 26 that committed Pakistani jihadists with ties to Afghan militants have replaced the slain top al Qaida leaders killed by US drones in the country's tribal region. The paper said, "Although many senior leaders of al-Qaida sheltering there have been felled by CIA missiles, they have been largely replaced by committed Pakistani jihadists with ties that span the border with Afghanistan." Times of India, May 27, 2013.
US drone strikes have 'minimal' impact on militants recruitment, says ICG report: The United States (US) drone strikes in Pakistan have a "minimal" impact on militants' recruitment, the International Crisis Group (ICG) said in report titled "Drones: Myths and Reality in Pakistan". "The actual benefit to extremist groups, including in terms of recruitment, appears, however, minimal," the report said. Tribune, May 21, 2013.
Dialogue with Taliban best option to restore peace, says PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif: Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif on May 20 said that dialogue with Taliban is the best option to restore peace. "Forty thousand precious lives have so far been lost and the national economy is suffering a loss of billions of dollars (in the war against terrorism). Why should not (we) sit for a dialogue to restore peace," Sharif told his party's legislators-elect on May 20. "Is it a bad option?" he asked and then answered himself: "It is the best available option." He said gun was not a solution to any problem, adding, that the Taliban's offer for dialogue should be taken seriously. Every option should be explored to bring an end to the ongoing carnage in Karachi and tribal areas, he suggested. Dawn, May 21, 2013.
Government has not taken any decision to amend the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, says Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa: Petroleum Industries Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa on May 22 stated that the Government has not taken any decision to amend the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. "We are aware that the Tamil National Alliance [TNA] is not in favour of the proposed amendment to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. We assure that whatever change is decided by the [Parliamentary] Select Committee will be adhered to by the government," the Minister asserted. Minister Yapa also said the elections to the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) would be held in September 2013 as decided by the government earlier, and this would not change.
Meanwhile, United Nation Party (UNP) parliamentarian Lakshman Kiriella said on May 22 that the party believes that the devolution of power would address the ethnic issue and it was the best method to solve the ethnic issue in the country. The UNP parliamentarian said the war could have been ended before 2009 if the members in the present government in 2001-2003 had agreed with the devolution of power and helped the then UNP government to implement the 13th Amendment. Daily News; Colombo Page, May 23, 2013.
Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa opposes vesting Police powers with the provincial councils: Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has said that Police powers cannot be vested with the provincial councils. Rajapaksa has been quoted in the local media saying that he would never agree to the granting of Police powers to provincial councils according to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. According to Rajapaksa, at present no provincial council exercises police powers, and if they were to be granted such powers in future, such a measure could pose a serious threat to national security and he foresees a dangerous situation. He has added that if the councils were vested with police powers, a serious situation would arise with regard to the maintenance of law and order, and even the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) would become ineffective. Colombo Page, May 24, 2013.