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Pulwama Redux Prevented By Indian Forces

Curiopedia
  • Wanted terrorist Riyaz Naikoo was among the three militants killed in the intensified operations of the Indian security forces in south Kashmir early this week. The hiding terrorists were cornered in Pulwama’s Beigpora village when the operation was launched.
  • According to the 2011 census Pulwama district has a population of 560,440. This gives it a ranking of 537th in India (out of a total of 640). The literacy rate of the district is 63.54%.
  • In 1831’s Battle of Balakot, Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s army defeated Syed Ahmad Barelvi and his army. After 2019 Pulwama attacks, a JeM terrorist training camp in Balakot was bombed out by India warplanes

Gurudwara attacked in Kabul by Terrorists; 25 Killed

On 25th March 2020, 25 Sikhs were killed in a terror attack on a Gurudwara in Afghanistan’s Kabul. Islamic State (IS) has taken responsibility for the attack, however, some experts do not rule out the possibility of involvement of Pakistan’s Haqqani group which is backed by ISI.

Crux of the Matter

Persecution of Minority
The population of the minority community of Sikhs in Afghanistan has been dwindling at a fast rate, with only a couple of thousands of them remaining in Kabul.

On Wednesday, 25th March, 4 terrorists entered the Har Rai Sahib Gurudwara in Kabul at 7:45 AM Afghan time and opened fire. A Sikh local Mohan Singh who was in the Gurudwara while the attack began, said that there were gunshots followed by explosions, which he believes were hand grenades.

There were more than 100 people inside the Sikh temple, of which 25 fell victim to the terrorists and 10 were seriously injured. The Afghan Security forces reached the scene and rescued more than 80 people. After a 6-hour long standoff, the 4 terrorists were killed.

Thin Veil of the Real Attacker
Taliban issued a statement saying it had nothing to do with the attacks. Islamic State (IS) later claimed responsibility. IS stated that the attack was revenge against Indian actions in Kashmir. However, some experts have not debunked the notion that Pakistan’s ISI backed Haqqani group could be behind the attack. Leader of Haqqani Group, Sirajuddin Haqqani is also the Deputy Leader of the Taliban and both groups are allegedly funded by Pakistan’s ISI. Experts believe that behind the veil of various terror group names stands Pakistan.

Recent Geopolitical History
Agencies around the world condemned this terrorist attack. India introduced the Citizenship Amendment Act in December 2019 to give such persecuted minorities in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh a fast track towards Indian citizenship.

While the US-Taliban Peace Deal seems to be falling apart, terrorism continues in Afghanistan. Earlier this month, another minority community of Shia Muslims was targeted by a body of IS, resulting in the death of 32 people.

Curiopedia

Sikhism in Afghanistan is limited to small populations, primarily in major cities, with the largest numbers of Afghan Sikhs living in Jalalabad, Ghazni, Kabul, and to a lesser extent Kandahar. These Sikhs are Afghan nationals who speak Dari, Hindi and in their native Punjabi but also Pashto. Their total population is around 1,200 families or 8,000 members. There were over 20,000 Sikhs in Kabul in the 1980s, but after the start of the Civil War in 1992, most had fled. Seven of Kabul’s eight Gurdwaras were destroyed during the civil war. During the 1980s Soviet-Afghan War, many Afghan Sikhs fled to India, where 90% of global sikh population lives; a second, much larger wave followed following the 1992 fall of the Najibullah regime. Sikh gurdwaras (temples) throughout the country were destroyed in the Afghan Civil War of the 1990s, leaving only the Gurdwara Karte Parwan in Kabul. Under the Taliban, the Sikhs were a relatively tolerated religious minority, and allowed to practice their religion. However, the Sikh custom of cremation of the dead was prohibited by the Taliban, and cremation grounds vandalized. In addition, Sikhs were required to wear yellow patches or veils to identify themselves. They are centred today in Karte Parwan and some parts of the old city. There is no exact number of Sikhs in Kabul province. More Info

Naxals Attack Indian Troops Even as the Country Enters COVID-Lockdown

Naxal Attack

In one of the worst Naxal attacks in two years, 17 soldiers were killed and 15 severely injured after a fierce gun battle between Naxals and security forces took place in the dense forests of Bastar, Chhattisgarh.

Crux of the Matter

Troops Trapped
On March 21, 2020, nearly more than 500 soldiers of District Reserve Group (DRG), Special Task Force (STF), and Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) had gone on a search mission to the dense forests of Kasalpad after receiving a tip that large number of Maoists are going to gather there. However, they did not find any and while they were returning, they were ambushed and cornered in Sukma’s Minpa by approximately 250 Naxals.

Heavy firing between the troops and Naxals lasted for more than 2 hours. During the attack, 3 personnel were killed, whereas 14 others were missing. Bodies of these 14 jawans were found in the forest by search teams. Another 15 soldiers were severely injured. Chhattisgarh DGP Awasthi said that the attack was carried out the 1st Battalion of CPI (Maoist), Madavi Hidma. Reportedly, the Naxals stole 12 AK 47 Assault Rifles, 1 Excalibur rifle, 1 INSAS rifle, and 1 Under Barrel Grenade Launcher from the slain troops.

Reduced Naxal Violence
Last such attack was witnessed in the same region in July 2018. In that ambush 24 CRPF personnel were killed. On 1st May 2019, an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast occurred in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli. This Maoists-orchestrated attack killed 15 Policemen and 1 individual.

However, the number of attacks in recent years has reduced. As per the data by South Asian Terrorism Portal (SATP), the number of violent incidents in 2015 was 1,089, in 2016 – 1,048, in 2017 – 908, and in 2018 – 883. In the year 2010, there were 2,213 violent attacks, the highest since the formation of CPI(M) in 2004. In 2011 – 1760, in 2012 – 1,136, and in 2013 – 1,145 attacks were reported as per SATP.

The attacks come at a time when the threat of the Coronavirus pandemic hovers over India’s head. Even as India tries to stop the community spread of the virus, such attacks pose a massive threat to the rising number of cases in India, that have crossed the 400-mark.

Wondering what is Coronavirus? How does it spread? Which age group does it affect the most? During self-quarantine, read Summachar’s complete coverage on Coronavirus here.

Curiopedia

Naxalites are a group of far-left radical communists, supportive of Maoist political sentiment and ideology. Their origin can be traced to the splitting in 1967 of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), leading to the formation of the Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist). Initially the movement had its centre in West Bengal. In recent years, it has spread into less developed areas of rural central and eastern India, such as Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh through the activities of underground groups like the Communist Party of India (Maoist). Dalits and other lower-caste members have also joined the militant movement. The Naxalite–Maoist insurgency again gained international media attention after the 2013 Naxal attack in Darbha valley resulted in the deaths of around 24 Indian National Congress leaders, including the former state minister Mahendra Karma and the Chhattisgarh Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel. More Info

Pakistan's FATF Drama

In a recent FATF meet to decide Pakistan’s fate, the FATF decided to keep Pakistan on the Greylist. However, if Pakistan is not added back to the whitelist until April 2020, it will by default end up in the Blacklist.

Crux of the Matter

What is FATF Blacklisting?
Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body that sets legal, operational, and regulatory, standards and norms to combat terror financing, money laundering, and other associated threats to maintain the integrity of the global financial system. Established in 1989 by G7 members and few other member nations, FATF provides policy suggestions for fighting the crimes mentioned above and the proliferation of mass-destruction weapons.

Countries that do not adhere to the standards and norms set by FATF are issued sanctions and are put on Blacklist. Blacklist includes countries that do not comply with the set norms and support money laundering activities, terror financing and other such activities. These countries are called Non-Cooperative Countries or Territories (NCCTs). Currently, North Korea and Iran are on FATF Blacklist.

Greylist countries are those that are a growing threat to international financial security because of the ongoing terror financing and money laundering activities. Greylisting is a warning. A country that fails to put curbs on the mentioned activities, is shifted to Blacklist.

A Greylisted country might face these restrictions:

  • Economic sanctions from supranational bodies like World Bank, International Monetary Fund, etc.
  • Loan curbs from supranational bodies.
  • Trade curbs by FATF member nations and other nations.
  • General international curb.

Why Pakistan?
In June 2018, FATF put Pakistan on the Greylist and asked it to strengthen its structural and regulatory environment to properly identify, assess, and combat Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating Financing of Terrorism (CFT). FATF presented Pakistan with a 27 point Action Plan, the covering or compliance of which before October 2019 would decrease chances of Pakistan being added in the Blacklist. As of mid-2019, Pakistan did not comply with 25 of 27 action points that included regulatory and legal action against terrorist group leaders, money laundering, and terror financing.

This is not the first time Pakistan is under Greylist. In 2008 and from 2012-15, Pakistan was on the Greylist. In the current greylist period, Pakistan might face the risk of downgrading its credit score by international agencies like Moody’s and Fitch. FATF member nations and other world nations might impose a trade restriction on Pakistan. Economic sanctions could be placed by the World Bank, IMF, etc.

After Pakistan failed to comply with the October 2019 deadline, it was given an extension of another 4 months after which in a FATF meet at Paris, Pakistan’s fate was decided. In the FATF meet in Paris, the organization noted that Pakistan has made progress on 14 of the 27 action plans. Pakistan had sentenced LeT leader Hafiz Saeed a few days before the FATF meeting. With the vote of countries like Malaysia and Turkey, Pakistan saved itself from going to the Blacklist. However, if Pakistan is not added back to the Whitelist before April 2020, it would automatically be blacklisted.

Geopolitical Game
India has been staunch on blacklisting Pakistan after the Pulwama and Balakot attacks. India has alleged Pakistan of financing terrorist groups like Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), and Hizbul Mujahideen (HM). US has been putting a lot of pressure on Pakistan as part of US’s agenda to curb terrorism.

China, which is also the chair of the FATF, had always backed Pakistan in FATF. However, China along with Saudi Arabia seems to have aligned with US, European Union, and India to put a leash on Pakistan’s money laundering and terror financing activities.

Curiopedia

Lashkar-e-Taiba, literally Army of the Good, is one of the largest and most active Islamist terrorist organizations in South Asia, operating mainly from Pakistan. It was founded in 1987 by Hafiz Saeed, Abdullah Azzam and Zafar Iqbal with funding from Osama bin Laden. Its headquarters are in Muridke, near Lahore in Punjab province of Pakistan, and the group operates several training camps in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. Lashkar-e-Taiba has been accused by India of attacking military and civilian targets in India, most notably the 2001 Indian Parliament attack, the 2008 Mumbai attacks and the 2019 Pulwama attack on Armed Forces. Its stated objective is to introduce an Islamic state in South Asia and to “liberate” Muslims residing in Indian Kashmir. More Info

Jaish-e-Mohammed, literally “The Army of Muhammad”, is a Pakistan-based Deobandi jihadist Islamic Jihadis group active in Kashmir. The group’s primary motive is to separate Kashmir from India and merge it into Pakistan. Since its inception in 2000, the terror outfit has carried out several attacks in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It projects Kashmir as a “gateway” to the entire India, whose Muslims are also deemed to be in need of liberation. After liberating Kashmir, it aims to carry its ‘jihad’ to other parts of India, with an intent to drive Hindus and other non-Muslims from the Indian subcontinent. It has carried out several attacks primarily in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. It also maintained close relations with Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and continues to be allied with these groups. Scholars state that JeM was created with the support of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), which uses it to fight in Kashmir and other places, and continues to provide it backing. The JeM has been banned in Pakistan since 2002, but resurfaced under other names. More Info

Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, meaning “Party of Holy Warriors” is a pro-Pakistani militant organization that is active in the regions of Jammu and Kashmir and seeks for the integration of Jammu and Kashmir with Pakistan. Founded by Muhammad Ahsan Dar in September 1989 with support of ISI, it is considered as one of the most important players that evolved the narrative of Kashmiri conflict from nationalism to the religious lines of jihad and is widely deemed as the military wing of Jamaat-e-Islami. Its headquarters are located at Muzaffarabad in Azad Kashmir and a liaison office is maintained at Islamabad, capital of Pakistan. The group has been designated as a terrorist group by India, the European Union, and the United States. It continues to operate within Pakistan. More Info

Former Top Cop Reveals Disturbing 26/11 Conspiracy

Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria‘s book titled ‘Let Me Say It Now’ has made a stunning disclosure that the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) had planned to project the 26/11 Mumbai attack as a case of ‘Hindu terrorism’.

Crux of the Matter

The Book Says…
According to the book, if the 26/11 Mumbai attack convict Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab would not have been caught alive he would have died as a Bengaluru resident Samir Dinesh Chaudhari with a ‘red thread tied around his wrist’ portraying his Hindu identity according to the plan. A picture of Kasab hints at the red thread on his hand.

It was reported that the terrorists were provided with fake ID cards of Arunodaya College in Hyderabad and a similar one by the name ‘Samir Dinesh Chaudhari‘ was planned for Ajmal Kasab too.

There would have been screaming headlines on newspapers claiming how Hindu terrorists had attacked Mumbai. Over the top, TV journalists would have made a beeline for Bengaluru to interview his family and neighbors.

– Rakesh Maria in his book

Through the investigation, it was revealed that Ajmal Amir Kasab belonged to Faridkot in Pakistan and originally the terror attack on Mumbai was planned on the 27th day of Roza i.e. September 27, 2008.

Kasab’s Allegory of Cave
The former commissioner’s daily personal interrogation gave a deep insight into the psyche of how terrorist outfits operated. He says, “Our daily interactions forged some sort of a bond between Kasab and me, and soon Kasab began addressing me respectfully as ‘Janab‘ (sir).” 

In the interrogations, Kasab revealed that he had initially joined LeT for committing robberies and had nothing to do with jihad. After three rounds of training in Pakistan, he was given Rs 1,25,000 and a week-long family visit where he gave the money to his family for his sister’s wedding.

Kasab had a belief that Muslims were not allowed to offer namaaz in India, and mosques were locked up by the authorities. He had assumed that the azaan he heard five times a day in the crime branch lockup was his imagination.

The police officer Ramesh Mahale says that Kasab was bewildered when he saw the namaaz in progress when he took him to a mosque near Metro Cinema to clear his doubts.

The book also describes how Rakesh Maria made Kasab say ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ twice. Rakesh Maria revealed that keeping Kasab alive was his first priority. He writes that “Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Lashkar were upon eliminating him by hook or crook to obliterate the only living evidence of their heinous deed.”

The Dawood Ibrahim gang was given the responsibility to kill Kasab and thus fearing the security, Mumbai police had tried hard to not disclose any details in the media.

Political Twist
The disclosure has now taken a political turn wherein Union Minister Piyush Goyal has accused the Congress of plotting a conspiracy to project Hindu terror.

Why is Maria speaking now? As police chief, he should have spoken then and taken action. We condemn the Congress and P Chidambaram for trying to spin a web of lies. Terrorists have no religion.

– Union Minister Piyush Goyal

In 2010, Congress leader Digvijay Singh had linked the killing of Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare during the 26/11 terror attacks to the alleged threats Karkare had received from Hindu extremists while he had released a book “26/11 RSS Ki Saazish?” in Mumbai. He also had fiercely attacked radical Hindu groups and mainly RSS for what he termed as ‘majority terrorism’. It is to be noted that the book release featured Bollywood Director Mahesh Bhatt whose son Rahul Bhatt was good friends with LeT operative David Headley.

Curiopedia

Rakesh Maria I.P.S is the former Director-General of Home Guards and former Commissioner of Police, Mumbai. He belongs to the 1981 batch of the IPS. His first posting was as assistant superintendent of police in Akola, and then Buldhana. He came to Mumbai in 1986. As the Deputy Commissioner Police (Traffic) in 1993, he cracked the Bombay serial blasts case. He also cracked the 2003 Gateway of India and Zaveri Bazaar twin blasts case and was given the responsibility of investigating the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. He was appointed as the Commissioner of Mumbai Police on 15 February 2014 and retired on 31 January 2017 after 36 years of distinguished service. More Info

Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab was a Pakistani militant and a member of the Lashkar-e-Taiba Islamist militant organisation, through which he took part in the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks. He was the only attacker captured alive by police who had killed 72 people during the attacks. Kasab was found guilty of 80 offences, including murder, waging war against India, possessing explosives, and other charges. The court sentenced him to death on four counts and to a life sentence on five counts and Kasab was hanged on 21 November 2012 at 7:30 am and buried at Pune’s Yerwada Jail. More Info

Lashkar-e-Taiba is one of the largest and most active Islamist terrorist organizations operating mainly from Pakistan. The group operates several training camps in Pakistan occupied Kashmir. The group is responsible most notably for the 2001 Indian Parliament attack, the 2008 Mumbai attacks and the 2019 Pulwama attack. Its states its objective to introduce an Islamic state in South Asia and to ‘liberate’ Muslims residing in Indian Kashmir. The organization is banned as a terrorist organization by India, USA, UK, EU, Russia, Australia, and the United Nations. More Info