Patterns of Global Terrorism 1996 - India

India continues to face security problems because of the insurgency in Kashmir and separatist movements elsewhere in the country. Numerous small bombings and assassination attempts against local politicians occurred throughout the year, but particularly during the fall, when the first legislative assembly elections since 1987 were held in Kashmir and the newly elected state government was installed. A militant group based in Pakistan calling itself the Jammu and Kashmir Islamic Front (JKIF) claimed responsibility for car bombings in New Delhi in January and May and a bus bombing in Rajasthan in May that killed at least 40 people. Kashmiri militants, believed to be associated with the Pakistan-based Harakat ul-Ansar (HUA), may have killed the four remaining Westerners – one US citizen, two Britons, and one German – whom they captured in July 1995 hiking near Srinagar, Kashmir, although their deaths have not been confirmed. Another US citizen managed to escape, but a Norwegian hostage was killed in 1995.

The Government of India has been largely successful in controlling the Sikh separatist movement in Punjab State, but Sikh groups claimed to have worked with the Kashmiri JKIF to bomb targets in New Delhi.

Other insurgent groups in the northeastern state of Assam and the southern state of Andhra Pradesh attacked security officials, rival political leaders, civilians, and infrastructure targets throughout 1996. Insurgents in Assam damaged oil pipelines for the first time in November. In Andhra Pradesh, the Naxalite People's War Group staged several attacks on police and local political leaders from September through November after a previous ban on the group was reimposed.

The Indian and Pakistani Governments each claim that the intelligence service of the other country sponsors bombings on its territory. There were reports that official Pakistani support to militants fighting in Kashmir, including the HUA, continued well into 1996. Pakistan alleged in a detailed press report that India sponsored a series of bombings in Pakistan's Punjab Province from late 1995 to mid-1996 in which at least 18 civilians were killed.


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