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Country Reports on Terrorism 2011 - India

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 31 July 2012
Cite as United States Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2011 - India, 31 July 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/501fbcb62.html [accessed 31 October 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Overview: In 2011, India increased its counterterrorism capacity building efforts and cooperation with the international community, including the United States. Two important exchanges took place between the Indian and U.S. governments – the U.S.-India Counterterrorism Joint Working Group meetings in March and the launch of the U.S.-India Homeland Security Dialogue in May. To deter threats from terrorist groups such as Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT), the Homeland Security Dialogue in May – led by the U.S. secretary for homeland security and the Indian home minister – focused on ways to cooperate on a broad basis to exchange information and best practices with a view toward preventing attacks in both countries.

While the number of deaths attributable to terrorist violence was lower than in 2010, the loss of over 1,000 lives (civilian, security forces, and terrorists) still made India one of the world's most terrorism-afflicted countries and one of the most persistently targeted countries by transnational terrorist groups such as LeT. Terrorist strikes during 2011 in Mumbai and Delhi, as well as Maoist/Naxalite violence in other parts of the country, further underscored the fact that India is a target for terrorist attacks. The Maoists/Naxalites, whom Prime Minister Singh has called India's greatest internal security threat, continued to be active, especially in the eastern part of the country. Indians living in Naxalite areas were often caught between the demands of both the Maoists and the security forces. Sporadic violence in Kashmir and attempted infiltrations from Pakistani territory across the Line of Control (the border along Jammu and Kashmir) also remained serious concerns for the Indian government. The trade talks with Pakistan provided hope for reduced tensions between the two countries, but terrorist opponents of better Indian-Pakistan relations, such as the LeT, have long planned to derail any progress by launching new attacks.

2011 Terrorist Incidents: The Government of India reported a marked decline in the number of violent civilian and security force deaths by insurgents in the northeastern part of the country. There were also far fewer violent incidents in Jammu and Kashmir. Maoist/Naxalite violence also declined. Through November 2011, there were over 1,550 incidents involving Naxalites that resulted in over 500 deaths as compared to 2010, when 2,006 incidents involving Naxalites resulted in over 93 deaths.

Significant terrorist attacks included:

  • On July 13, three serial bomb blasts in the span of 10 minutes ripped through three of the busiest hubs in Mumbai – Zaveri Bazar, Opera House, and Dadar – killing 17 people and injuring 131 others.

  • On September 7, at least 12 people were killed and approximately 91 others injured in a powerful blast outside the Delhi High Court.

  • On November 30, a suspected separatist bomber was killed when an explosive device he was carrying to plant at a festival in Manipur exploded, just days ahead of Prime Minister Singh's visit there. Authorities reported that two persons were injured.

  • On October 12, a suspected terrorist plot was foiled in Ambala, Haryana, with the recovery of over five kilogram explosives and detonators from a car parked outside the city's Cantonment railway station.

Legislation and Law Enforcement: As part of the strategy to increase border security, the Ministry of Home Affairs Department of Border Management is building fences and roads and installing floodlights along the Indo-Pakistan and Indo-Bangladesh borders.

Throughout 2011, Indian authorities arrested many suspected terrorists. In February, the Bombay High Court upheld the death sentence imposed by the trial court on Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone surviving Pakistani gunman of the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, who had previously confessed his involvement. In October, the Supreme Court temporarily stayed his execution to obtain the amicus curiae opinion (a brief from a "friend of the court") from a court-appointed advisor. In addition to the assistance already provided in the investigation, the United States provided Indian authorities extensive access to convicted terrorist David Headley to assist them with their prosecutions of other Mumbai suspects.

In August, the Supreme Court upheld the death sentence imposed on LeT member Mohammad Arif, aka Ashfaq, for the December 2000 attack at the Red Fort, in which three army personnel were killed. Also in August, a trial court in Mumbai convicted and sentenced two persons to ten years' imprisonment for carrying out an explosion and planting explosives in theaters in different cities of Maharashtra in 2008.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) continued its initiatives to strengthen the national security apparatus and meet the challenges posed by international terrorism. The Cabinet Committee on Security gave approval in principle to establish the National Intelligence Grid, a platform for information-sharing between law enforcement, intelligence services, and other government agencies. The government established a new National Investigative Agency (NIA) branch office in Assam, one of the states in the northeast. MHA also completed the design and development core software for the Crime and Criminal Tracking and Network System, bringing the system for tracking criminal records one step closer to operational status. India continued to participate in the Department of State's Antiterrorism Assistance program.

Countering Terrorist Finance: India is a member of both the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering, a FATF-style regional body. In December, the NIA developed a Terror Funding Template and circulated it to law enforcement officials throughout the country to assist in gathering information on the sources of terrorist funding when interviewing terrorist suspects. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2011 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.

Regional and International Cooperation: India is a founding member of the Global Counterterrorism Forum and was active on international counterterrorism issues in its capacity as a non-permanent member of the United Nations (UN) Security Council and as Chair of the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee.

The Indian and Bangladeshi governments signed the India-Bangladesh Coordinated Border Management Plan in July, which aims to synergize the efforts of both countries' border security forces for more effective control over cross-border illegal activities. India also signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Combating International Terrorism with the Maldives and a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty in Criminal Matters with Indonesia. During the 17th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation summit held in November in the Maldives, India and Pakistan had constructive discussions, with Islamabad assuring New Delhi that the terrorists behind the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks would be brought to justice soon.

Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: India's counter radicalization and violent extremism efforts are mostly directed by state and local authorities; under the Indian Constitution police and public order issues are state functions. The Indian government has programs that attempt to rehabilitate and integrate various groups, mostly insurgents, back into the mainstream of society, such as the "Scheme for Surrender cum-Rehabilitation of militants in North East." While not a counter radicalization scheme per se, it is directed at disaffected members of Indian society who support separatist and at times violent movements.

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