Country Reports on Terrorism 2010 - India
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Publication Date||18 August 2011|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2010 - India, 18 August 2011, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4e524829c.html [accessed 30 July 2014]|
Overview: In 2010, India continued to see a reduction in the number of deaths attributable to terrorist violence, as it ramped up its counterterrorism capacity building efforts and increased cooperation with the international community, especially the United States. However, the loss of nearly 1,900 lives (civilian, security forces, and terrorists) still made India one of the world's most terrorism-afflicted countries. Sustained violence in Kashmir over a six-month period and attempted infiltrations from Pakistan across the Line of Control remained serious concerns for the Indian government. In May, an Indian court convicted and sentenced to death the lone surviving attacker of the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks. A February bombing in Pune killed 17, and a December improvised explosive device (IED) explosion in Varanasi killed two people. The perpetrators for both attacks remained at large at the end of the year.
The Maoists/Naxalites, whom Prime Minister Singh has called India's greatest internal security threat, were active in 2010, especially in the eastern part of the country. They increasingly directed their attacks at Indian security forces but also used IEDs to blow up railways and other infrastructure projects. Indian security forces successfully ensured security at a number of major events, including the 2010 Hockey World Cup and the 2010 Commonwealth Games, without incident. Throughout 2010, Indian authorities arrested numerous suspected militants, uncovered several arms caches, continued to develop a new internal security force, implemented improved border security measures mainly along the Pakistani border, and tightened laws to counter terrorist financing. In July, the U.S.-India Counterterrorism Cooperation Initiative was signed, which set the stage for greater cooperation on counterterrorism issues between the two governments.
2010 Terrorist Incidents: On November 22, the Government of India reported that at least 577 civilians had been killed, while more than 260 Special Forces personnel had also lost their lives across the country due to Naxalite violence in 2010. During that same period, at least 137 members of the Communist Party of India (CPI)-Maoist (aka the Naxalites) were killed. Between February 7 and February 9, the CPI-Maoist called a three-day strike. Railway tracks were blown up, railway stations attacked, bombs were placed on railway property, and railway officials were assaulted. Terrorist attacks in 2010 included:
On February 13, 17 persons, including two foreigners, were killed and over 40 injured in a bomb blast in the popular German Bakery near the Osho Ashram in Pune.
On April 17, two crude bombs exploded in quick succession outside the M. A. Chinnaswamy cricket stadium in Bangalore, minutes before an Indian Premier League match was to begin, leaving 15 persons injured and creating panic in the packed venue. A third crude bomb was found near another gate to the stadium.
On May 17, an IED was used to blow up a civilian bus killing 15 civilians and 16 policemen/Special Police Officers (SPOs) and injuring 12 civilians and an additional 16 policemen/SPOs in district Dantewada, Chhattisgarh.
On May 28, the Howrah-Kurla-Jnaneshwari Express train was derailed after terrorists removed a portion of the track. The derailment led to a collision with a goods train, leading to the death of 147 persons and injuries to over 150. Maoist/Naxalites were believed responsible for the derailment.
On September 19, two gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire at the entrance of Jama Masjid, a famous mosque and tourist site in old Delhi, injuring two tourists from Taiwan.
On December 7, two persons including a woman and an 18-month old child were killed and 30 injured in a blast in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. The Indian Mujahedin claimed responsibility for the blast.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: In January, a Delhi court sentenced two Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT) militants to seven years of imprisonment for possession of the explosive RDX in connection with a conspiracy to carry out a suicide attack at the Indian Military Academy in 2005. In May, the Special Sessions Court in Mumbai sentenced to death the lone surviving LeT militant involved in the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab.
Throughout the year, India worked to improve its counterterrorism readiness. The Ministry of Home Affairs Annual Report 2009-2010 stated that in response to the November 26, 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, Quick Reaction Teams have been set up in four regional hubs (Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, and Hyderabad) with 1,086 trained personnel and an additional team on standby at the Delhi airport, ready to deploy during an emergency.
The Indian government continued erecting fences along its borders with Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Countering Terrorist Finance: The on-site visit for India's Financial Action Task Force (FATF) mutual evaluation concluded in December 2009, and the report was adopted by the FATF plenary in June 2010. At the FATF plenary, the FATF also granted India full membership. India presented a detailed action plan covering the period June 2010 to March 2012 to better meet FATF's anti-money laundering/countering terrorist finance standards. FATF concluded that as of October 2010, India was on track with its action plan. India's Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) is a member of the Egmont Group and regularly shared information with foreign FIUs over the Egmont Secure Web on terrorist financing cases.
Regional and International Cooperation: On July 23, the India-U.S. Counterterrorism Cooperation Initiative was signed. This initiative allows for greater information-sharing, and the sharing of best practices in the areas of investigations, forensic science, countering terrorist finance, cyber security, mass transit and rail security, port and border security, and maritime security.
During his November visit to India, President Obama and Indian Prime Minister Singh announced the establishment of the U.S.-India Homeland Security Dialogue (HSD). The Indian Ministry of Home Affairs and the United States Department of Homeland Security will co-lead the HSD, which will provide a forum for sustained U.S.-India engagement on homeland security issues to facilitate security cooperation.
During the December 2010 visit of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, France and India agreed to enhance their operational cooperation to accelerate the process of extradition requests, combat money laundering for terrorism, and enforce international sanctions regime against terrorist organizations. Both countries reinforced the importance of adhering to sanctions against al-Qa'ida and the Taliban as established by UNSCR 1267.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: Countering extremist ideology has become an important part of India's counterterrorism strategy. The Ministry of Home Affairs continued its Surrender-cum-Rehabilitation policy, which encouraged misguided youths and militants to surrender, while offering to provide them rehabilitation and assistance in transitioning back into the population. On February 7, Chief Minister of Assam Tarun Gogoi informed Chief Ministers gathered for the Conference on Internal Security that 14,913 militants had surrendered in Assam since 1991. In November, the Manipur State government stated that 128 youth who belonged to a communist party had successfully completed a 90-day behavioral, spiritual, and technical training program allowing them to be placed in reputable companies like the TATA Group, LG, and Hitachi.