Assam blasts :New Terror group emerges few more suspects

31 10 2008
Guwahati, Oct 31 (PTI) Little-known Islamic Security Force-Indian Mujahideen (ISF-IM) today claimed responsibility for the serial blasts that killed 77 people in Assam and warned of more such attacks.
In an SMS message sent to local ‘News Live’ television channel, the ISF-IM claimed responsibility for yesterday’s blasts and threatened to carry out more bomb explosions in several parts of the country.

The message said, “we thank all our holy members and partners” for successfully carrying out the task.

The SMS was received on the mobile of the channel’s input desk from a Reliance connection with the number 98646-93690.

The mobile phone was subsequently switched off and security forces traced it to Moirabari in Central Assam’s Nagaon district registered in the name of one Nazir Ahmed.

Police officials are investigating the matter.

The outfit was formed in 2000 in Lower Assam’s Bodo-dominated areas “to counter” the Bodo Liberation Tigers (BLT) and NDFB militants, police sources said.

The full text of the SMS is: “We, ISF-IM, take the responsibility of yesterday blast. We warn all of Assam and India for situation like this in future. We thank all our holy members and partners. AAamin.” PTI

Here are some of the main groups suspected to be behind the attacks:
Source: Reuters

* ULFA The United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) is Assam’s major separatist group that has been fighting since 1979. It accuses New Delhi of plundering the state’s mineral resources and giving back nothing in return. ULFA is often blamed for attacks in Assam, but the group has denied responsibility for the Oct 30 blasts.

* HuJI Harkat-ul-Jehad al Islami (HuJI) is a Bangladeshi militant Islamist group that has often been suspected of attacks on Indian cities. HuJI has been linked to ULFA. Assam has a long-simmering conflict between its indigenous population and Bangladeshi immigrants, many of them illegal. Mainly Hindu tribesmen fear being overrun by Muslims, who make up 40 percent of the state. Indian police say HuJI is also connected to the little-known Indian Mujahideen group, which claimed responsibility for a series of bomb attacks in Indian cities in 2008. HuJI was blamed for the 2004 bombing of a political rally addressed by former prime minister Sheikh Hasina and an attack on Bangladeshi born British High Commissioner Anwar Chowdhury.

* Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen (JuM) is another Bangladeshi militant Islamist group trying to turn the mainly Muslim country into a sharia state. Members of the group exploded more than 500 bombs across Bangladesh simultaneously in August 2005, killing six people. Some of its top leaders have been hanged but law enforcement agencies say hundreds of militants remain in hiding.

* Lashkar-e-Taiba Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a Pakistani militant group which New Delhi says plays a leading role in supporting an insurgency in Indian Kashmir, may not be directly linked with the Assam bombs, but the group has ideological links with HuJI. LeT is also said to train ULFA cadres. New Delhi has accused LeT of involvement in attacks across India in the past. The group, which figures on the U.S. list of terrorist organisations, is officially banned in Pakistan. But India says it still operates there with impunity after changing its name. Indian police say the outfit is also connected to the Indian Mujahideen, a new group which has claimed responsibility for a slew of attacks in India since last year.

(Compiled by Matthias Williams; Editing by Krittivas Mukherjee and Sanjeev Miglani)

Assam blasts and More blasts: Chronology

30 10 2008

Watch BBC Video

Watch IBNLIVE video

Source: Reuters

A chronology of some of the major attacks in India in the past five years:

March 13, 2003 – A bomb attack on a commuter train in Mumbai kills 11 people.

Aug 25, 2003 – Two car bombs kill about 60 in Mumbai.

Aug 15, 2004 – A bomb explodes in the northeastern state of Assam, killing 16 people, mostly schoolchildren, and wounding dozens.

Oct 29, 2005 – Sixty-six people are killed when three blasts rip through markets in New Delhi.

March 7, 2006 – At least 15 people are killed and 60 wounded in three blasts in the Hindu pilgrimage city of Varanasi.

July 11, 2006 – More than 180 people are killed in seven bomb explosions at railway stations and on trains in Mumbai that are blamed on Islamist militants.

Sept 8, 2006 – At least 35 people are killed in a series of explosions, including one near a mosque, in Malegaon town, 260 km (160 miles) northeast of Mumbai.

Feb 19, 2007 – Two bombs explode aboard a train heading from India to Pakistan; at least 66 passengers, most of them Pakistanis, burn to death.

May 18, 2007 – A bomb explodes during Friday prayers at a historic mosque in the southern city of Hyderabad, killing 11 worshippers. Police later shoot dead five people in clashes with hundreds of enraged Muslims who protest against the attack.

Aug 25, 2007 – Three coordinated explosions at an amusement park and a street stall in Hyderabad kill at least 40 people.

May 13, 2008 – Seven bombs rip through the crowded streets of the western city of Jaipur, killing at least 63 people in markets and outside Hindu temples.

July 25 – Eight small bombs hit the IT city of Bangalore, killing at least one woman and wounding at least 15.

July 26 – At least 16 small bombs explode in Ahmedabad in the state of Gujarat, killing 45 people and wounding 161. A little-known group called the “Indian Mujahideen” claims responsibility for the attack and the May 13 attack in Jaipur.

Sept 13 – At least five bombs explode in crowded markets and streets in the heart of New Delhi, killing at least 23 people and injuring more than 100. The Indian Mujahideen again claim responsibility.

Oct 30 – Eleven bomb blasts in quick succession rip through the main city of India’s troubled northeastern Assam state and three other towns, killing at least 39 people and wounding 210.

Baghdad in Guwahati, 50 killed, 300 injured by Krishna Das from Guwahati |

30 10 2008

Recent blasts that rocked Assam: (Source: NDTV)

  • On September 30, two powerful bomb blasts rocked Tinsukia killing 5 and injuring 52; a third blast damaged a natural gas pipeline.
  • On September 24 in Darrang, one person was seriously injured when a bomb exploded at a local theatre in Udalguri district.
  • On August 15, three bombs tagetted Independence Day parade grounds at lower Assam’s Dhubri and Chirang district, injuring one person.
  • Thursday, 30 October , 2008, 17:27


    Baghdad in Guwahati, 50 killed, 300 injured

    For pictures of the blast site: BBC NEWS

    Guwahati: It is Baghdad in Guwahati. Three back to back major car bombs followed up by two booby- trapped bombs and if that was not enough seven more bombs in other parts of Assam saw at least 50 dead and 300 injured.

    Images of Guwahati serial blast

    This was the worst Assam had seen in its 20-year insurgency and contrary to government claims, the ordinary people believe it as an HuJI attack and Congress government was protecting them by bringing ULFA’s name into picture.

    With the intensity, timing and ground position of the ULFA coupled together, the needle of suspicion points at the militants of the Islamic organizations that have been taking wings under a blind government of Assam that is keen to defend itself than tackling terrorists.

    Major terror strikes in India

    “Let them protect the Islamic militants. Congress is not interested in national security. They are more interested in their vote bank and see the results today,” said the AASU Adviser Dr Samujjal Bhattacharya.

    Rhetoric apart, Assam was ripped apart by the most devastating terrorist attack of its history when 12 synchronised blasts took place in lower Assam – five in Guwahati including Ganeshguri, Panbazar and Fancy Bazar, three at Kokrajhar, and two at Barpeta Road and Bongaigaon – leaving at least 50 dead and injuring more than 200.

    18 serial blast shook Assam

    Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi confirmed that 48 people dead so far but the toll should go up as at least 50 others were struggling for life in very critical position. He appealed the political parties to stay calm.

    “According to information received here, there have been 12 bomb blasts at Guwahaun gogoi, ti, Kokrajhar, Barpeta Road and Bongaigaon in which 48 persons lost their lives and more than 300 sustained injuries,” he said.

    In fact militant’s booby trapped Ganeshguri by blastinbg three back to back bombs. With 19 bomb blasts over a period of last six years the Ganeshguri point of the Guwahati city is arguably one of the most bombed place of country.

    But today’s blast was the worst. “I have seen almost all of these blasts but this was the worst. Today, the cars caught fire and at least 10 persons were charred to death instantly. The previous blasts were of low intensity and did not cause such damage,” said Rabiram Nath, the fruit vendor who escaped because he had gone inside of his shop.

    Everybody in the busy Ganeshguri point have become numbed to this fear. “With so many bombs going off everywhere, the fear factor has actually gone. It has become part of our life but today’s blast was horrible. I had never seen something like that. One of the injured man’s severed leg flew almost 20 feet and came near our shop,” said Joynal Abedin, employed at a biscuit shop in the area.

    Meanwhile, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today reviewed the law and order situation of the state following the serial blasts and expressed dismay over the police’s utter failure to stop the bombings.

    He summoned the top brass of the Assam police as well as senior of the state officers and gave them a dressing down. The Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh is arriving tomorrow for an on the spot assessment of the situation. According to the Chief Minster’s office, more para-military forces were being dispatched form neighbouring states to help the state police.

    The attack had left the state administration shattered and the security apparatus collapsed as angry mob attacked police and journalists while setting at least half a dozen government vehicle on fire, forcing authorities to open fire and finally clamp indefinite curfew in the Guwahati city.

    The blasts have brought Guwahati to a halt with all telephone lines jammed and traffic to a standstill. Business and offices were closed down immediately and thousands of people were left stranded on the roads as public transport was cancelled.

    Authorities clamped curfew to stop spreading panic in the state and to check violent angry mobs from attacking government properties. With wailing ambulances and fire brigades rushing from one point to another, the town of Guwahati wore a ghastly war zone look – a sight that is sure to haunt the town folks for days to come.

    Additionals from Express India

    ULFA denies hand in blasts, offers solace to aggrieved

    Guwahati, October 30: The banned ULFA denied its involvement in the serial blasts that rocked Assam killing 56 people and injuring over 350 people. “The ULFA is in no way involved in the blasts in Guwahati, Bongaigaon, Barpeta and Kokrajhar and we condemn the incidents,” an e-mail statement signed by Aanjan Borthakur of the group’s central publicity unit said.

    The group also offered its deep condolences to the family members of those killed in the blasts and wished for the speedy recovery of the injured.

    The ULFA urged the authorities to ensure proper treatment of the injured. Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and government spokesman Subhas Das had earlier claimed the hand of “anti-national extremist elements” in the blasts while Kamrup (Metro) Deputy Commissioner Prateek Hajela claimed the HuJI was involved in the serial blasts.

    Pushing Hindus into a corner -Tarun Vijay

    28 10 2008

    October 27, 2008
    One Diwali the highly revered monk of Hindus, Swami Jayendra Saraswati, was arrested while performing puja. The secular world celebrated it as a victory of law and constitutional propriety. When nothing was proved, all the chargesheets turned bunkum, the Supreme Court gave a verdict favouring the swami’s release on bail, but no one retracted the strong, often abusive words used for the Hindu monk. It was met with silence as if nothing important had happened.

    One Krishna Janmashtami night, another ochre-robed reformist monk, Swami Lakshmanananda, was murdered along with an aged Hindu nun, Ma Bhaktimoyee, in his ashram. Secularists tried to direct and guide the entire investigation till the arrested murderers confessed that swami’s work among tribals made prosylitisation difficult and hence they took the violent way.

    The media linked the violence post-Lakshmanananda’s murder to various Hindu organisations and completely ignored the brutal killing of the sanyasi and the lady monk.

    This Diwali, Hindus were labelled as ‘terrorists’.

    There is a university in Delhi [Images] which gets a large amount of Saudi grants, and which thought it appropriate to honour a Muslim painter whose nudes of Hindu gods and goddesses and Mother India were opposed by Hindus, with a Doctor of Philosophy degree, honoris causa. The same university’s vice chancellor, in a display of public affection for those students arrested for treason by a Congress government, declared that he will fund their ‘struggle’ as they are his ‘children’ and they would be considered innocent till proved guilty.

    The secular world applauded his decision as bold and highly moral.

    A Hindu sadhvi has been arrested for her alleged involvement in the Malegaon blasts. But not a single Hindu organisation came out in her support saying she remains a member of the global Hindu fraternity and would be considered innocent till proved guilty and hence shall provide all the financial assistance to her.

    I was thinking, suppose I start a ‘support Pragya fund’ how any Hindu saints and ashrams and mutts and leaders would come out in support? Doesn’t she deserve help and support till proved innocent?

    Unlike the sweet little students of the university’s vice chancellor, who were arrested from the area of the Batla House encounter, Pragya was in Surat [Images], giving a religious discourse when the Malegaon blasts occurred in September. Her bike had been sold years before. No one said the blasts were organised to make Hindu law applicable or turn the nation into a Hindu state. No one had quoted Hindu scriptures to justify what would be termed as a ghastly act, inhuman and un-Hindu.

    Yet, there was a virtual celebration in the so-called secular camp, they were over-joyous as if they have reached the moon. Got it, they said, what we were saying for years! The usual suspects were on our TV screens, delightedly giving interviews and the media lapped up crispy descriptions like Hindu terror, Hindu bomb, Saffron terrorism. When they quote the Quran, seculars cry don’t label them Islamic terrorists, but Hindus being Hindus must be termed as Hindu terrorists to keep a ‘balance’. So those who insult the memory of a martyred police officer show their glee over having succeeded in bringing the term ‘Hindu terrorism’ in vogue. What greater shield could an Islamic terrorist have wished for!

    They were itching for this day � and they have got it.

    Last year too the 2006 Malegaon blasts were blamed on Hindus. Later the agencies proved they were done by SIMI [Images]. This year, Union ministers were demanding the ban on SIMI be lifted in spite of truckloads of evidence of the organisation’s involvement in deadly blasts and waging war against the State, the most heinous crime in any part of the world. And the investigations, gathering of proof and the hard, difficult investigation, were done by government agencies.

    The same honourable members of the Union cabinet demanded banning Hindu organisations, in spite of having no evidence of their involvement in violent activities or working against the Indian State. Those who ignore the Supreme Court’s verdict on a terrorist who was accused waging war against the State, demand that Hindu organisations be banned for their patriotism. Once they drove out the tricolour folks from the Kashmir Valley, now they assassinate their morale in the rest of the country.

    For the sake of Muslim vote-bank, SIMI had to be helped and Hindu organisations needed to be shown as being involved in anti-national activities. The balancing had to be achieved, like the U C Banerjee Commission. Much before the honourable commission could start work on Godhra, leaders were declaring during the Bihar election campaign — many of whom loved to be seen with an Osama look-alike — that the Godhra train inferno was a creation of Hindus so that they could get a chance to pounce on Muslims.

    So much for their secular credentials!

    This time, too, they had tremendous amount of pressure to nurse their vote-banks. Elections are right here, campaigning has begun, chances look very bleak seeing the public mood, and voters seem already restless with high prices, growing inflation and an insecure atmosphere. Hence a communal divide would help. If such considerations can be credited as having instigated the ‘creation’ of a Hindu or ‘Saffron’ terrorism, would it be a far-fetched conclusion?

    The intelligent people who could create a Bhindranwale, or a Raj Thackeray [Images], to ‘defeat’ one or the other political opponent, could also be trusted to repeat the feat elsewhere.

    So, this time, the police version is not to be distrusted or questioned. The first suspicion about police action is reserved for the Batla House fraternity. Hindu monks do not deserve it.

    The term ‘Hindu terrorism’ looks so attractive to secularists. Proof, evidence, and final acquittal may take year. But the articles, front page edits, condemnations, further isolation, and cornering of the saffron side, would help someone. That’s enough for today.

    That this way may turn more dangerous tomorrow is not understood by the perpetrators of the secular pogrom of words against the Hindu Right. Every nation has a soul and a colour. India’s soul is Hindu civilisation and the colour is saffron. Samuel Huntington described America as a Latin Christian nation, and it doesn’t make her any less to give other communities second-class citizenship.

    It may be the first time in its four hundred years of democratic history that a Black might be sworn in as President, who would take oath on the Bible. Who would demand that it’s an unhealthy tradition, as non-Christians also built America? Traditions, colours and the inner core are always sacred and nations preserve them at all costs. If the same elements are humiliated and turned into icons of shame, nothing remains except a dead, meaningless smoke of rootless words.

    India’s Hinduness is that essential element to define this nation. We can’t be explained through Saudis, Marx or Bethlehem. Or through Arabic or Latin or Persian. India is explained by the Ganga, Krishna, Ram and Gandhi. By Kumbh Mela, Sanskrit chanting, lighting of the lamp, Namaste, the Vedas, Guru Nanak’s teachings, Guru Gobind Singh’s valour, Buddha’s global message of peace and compassion and Mahavir’s ahimsa. India is deciphered by Dhammapad, the Gita, the Guru Granth Sahib and a divine love that saw the emergence of Radha and Meera. That fired the imaginations of doyens like Tagore and Vivekananda. Together they make a mutually supportive group of Indian streams of faith that welcomed and accommodated without murmur all other ways of worship brought here through various means.

    Every single persecuted community in the world found a respectable space here, while they were brutalised, uprooted, converted and ‘museum-ised’ in other countries. The legacy of tolerance and plurality is the legacy of the Hindus and all those faiths born and flowered here. It made Taj Mahal [Images] possible and Jesus adored by a non-Christian majority. You deny them this place of honour, make them shrink in a defensive shell, and you lose India.

    For just a comeback to power? And how!

    Ram Sethu [Images] becomes a target of destruction, Ram is denied, Ram’s history linked with the bridge is mocked at, Sita’s persona is caricaturized in public, the shrinking Hindu population and their conversion become victory signposts of the secularists, Hindus driven out of Kashmir are deleted from all lists of secular concern, Hindu temples are taken over by the atheist State and their revenue used on non-Hindu areas, while not a single non-Hindu place of worship is taken over or ‘managed’ on similar grounds by the governors! More than sixty thousand Hindus have been killed by terrorists in various actions during the last three decades, five lakh have been uprooted and turned refugees, but no one shares their grief or respects their courage, but terms them terrorist in a matter of 24 hours, that too relying on media hype and an election platform?

    After centuries Hindus got freedom that should have meant a free space for them to flower their culture, language and traditions. After all, the invaders came to attack and loot them and raze their temples. Wasn’t it a matter of logical right that they should have been honoured for exemplary resistance and resilience and showing an extraordinary tolerance towards all those communities whose leaders had been in the forefront to deprive them of basic human rights? But instead, the victims were portrayed as aggressors and humiliated for their colour and faith. What has changed since Ghauris and Ghaznavis and the inquisitionist Portuguese left?

    They killed us but never portrayed Hindus as terrorists. This secular dispensation is celebrating Diwali with that label gifted to Hindus. It will not remain unanswered. Hindus as a mainline faith never never never believed in any kind of cowardice that’s the hallmark of terrorism we see today. Killing innocents, shooting at fellow citizens and the dreaded midnight knocks just for the reason they wear a different faith.

    If that was the case, the way Islamists quote from religious scriptures and declare their religious intentions while committing ghastly acts of violence, how much ever disapproved of by their co- religionists living and enjoying democratic freedoms, Hindus too would have shown the same streaks immediately after their women were gang-raped and kids murdered in Kashmir. There was no revenge in the rest of the country. Not a single Hindu soul would ever justify any act of terrorism ever (and please don’t refer to exceptions to corner Hindus, see the principal stream). Born reformists, they would revolt if anyone did that.

    But I am afraid the secular hate-mongers are pushing Hindus into a difficult corner without a space to be heard. Not a single ‘mainline’ newspaper publishes their views, though any number of assaults on them are a matter of routine. This is creating a grave situation and it’s a warning signal that can be ignored only at the peril of the nation’s great legacy of plurality.

    Tarun Vijay is a director of the Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation

    Blasts: Sadhvi, 2 others charged with murder

    28 10 2008

    Source: Rediff

    October 24, 2008 18:27 IST
    Last Updated: October 24, 2008 19:30 IST
    A young sadhvi suspected to have links with a Hindu right wing group and two other men were slapped with murder charges on Friday after they were arrested for their alleged involvement in the Malegaon blasts in which the police said the deadly RDX was used.

    Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur along with Shamlal Sahu and Shivnarayan Singh, all hailing from Madhya Pradesh [Images], were produced before a chief judicial magistrate K D Boche in Nashik in Maharashtra which remanded them to police custody till November 3.

    Public prosecutor Ajay Miisar said the crime committed by the three was a “serious offence” and they were booked under charges of murder, attempt to murder and voluntarily causing grievous hurt under IPC Sections 302, 307 and 326 respectively.

    The sadhvi, who is based in Indore but who regularly visited Surat [Images] to give lectures, was picked up from the diamond city by the Anti Terrorist Squad of the Mumbai police. Shamlal Sahu and Shivnarayan Singh were brought from Indore in MP for questioning to Mumbai. The arrests were made in the last one week.

    Misar said the motorcycle used in the Malegaon blasts on September 29 in which five persons were killed belonged to the sadhvi. Besides having links with the Bharatiya Janata Party’s student wing the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad, she is suspected to be associated with the Indore-based radical Hindu Jagran Manch accused of involvement in the blasts in Malegaon as well as in Modasa in Gujarat in which one person was killed. The right-wing outfit has denied the charge.

    Misar claimed that following the Malegaon blasts the sadhvi, who also is believed to be a member of Surat-based Vande Mataram Sanghatan, had several telephone conversations — all lasting “400 minutes” — with the other two.

    Misar said forensic reports have shown that RDX was used in the Malegaon blasts.

    The state had asked for 14 days custody, but the court gave only 11 days’ custoday, he added.

    Pragya’s father Chanderpal Thakur said he does not believe his daughter was involved in the blasts.

    “Her nature would not have allowed her to do something like this. It is a different thing that she may have known about it but I don’t believe that she was involved,” he said.

    17 killed in bomb blast in Imphal

    21 10 2008

    PIC Source: AFP
    Indian paramilitary soldiers examine the wreckage of a motorcycle in which they believe explosives were hidden
    Watch the video

    Source: IBN LIVE and AFP
    New Delhi: At least 17 people have been killed and more than 30 injured in a bomb blast near Khuman Lapak Sports Stadium in Imphal (Manipur) on Tuesday evening. The blast took place at around 1915 hrs IST.

    Initial reports say the blast was triggered by an an improvised explosive device (IED), which was placed in a Luna moped. All the injured have been taken to Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal where the condition of six people is stated to be serious.

    Director General of Police, Manipur, Y Joykumar Singh confirmed to CNN-IBN that at least 17 people have been killed in the blast. A bomb had also exploded on Sunday night near Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh’s official residence. Militant outfit People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK) claimed responsibility for the blast near the Chief Minister’s residence.
    Indian troops and the police sealed off Imphal’s borders with adjoining towns and launched a manhunt for the bombers, officials said.
    The blast came two days after unknown guerrillas carried out a grenade attack outside the fortified home of Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh also in Imphal city. No one was injured in that explosion.
    No one has claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s attack, but 19 rebel groups in Manipur are spearheading separate campaigns pressing for changes ranging from homelands for tribal groups to the repeal of a draconian anti-terror law.
    “Today’s attacks appear to be the handiwork of a tribal (militant) group which we are jointly targeting,” a senior police official said from the neighbouring state of Arunachal Pradesh, without elaborating.
    Earlier this month, five people were injured in an explosion during a Hindu festival in Guwahati, the largest city in Assam state which adjoins Manipur. At least 50,000 people have lost their lives in insurgency-driven violence in six of India’s seven northeastern states since the country’s independence from the British in 1947. The militants say the northeast has been largely neglected by India’s political leaders, accusing them of focusing only on the development of the country’s relatively-wealthier eight northern states.
    A steady infiltration of migrants from neighbouring Bangladesh is another major cause of friction between ethnic tribal groups and Muslim settlers from across the two nations’ porous borders, analysts say.

    Blast near Manipur CM’s residence

    19 10 2008
    10/19/2008 9:18:29 PM

    Source: Times Now and CNN IBN
    (video here Watch )
    Related update

    A huge explosion was reported near Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh’s residence in Imphal at 8.30 pm tonight (Oct 19) when the state police were celebrating their raising day at their headquarters next door. According to the official sources, the explosion took place at a post office near the chief minister’s residence. However, no casualties have been reported.

    The explosion which took place at 8.30 pm, happened almost an hour after celebrations began at 7 pm, official sources said.

    “We are not certain about the nature of blast. Probably it was a Chinese grenade and a vehicle was used. We have deployed maximum force in the city. We have some suspects we will zero down on soon,” DGP Manipur Y Joykumar Singh told CNN IBN.

    The area which has witnessed a few such incidents in the recent past was declared off limits for public vehicles. The restriction was relaxed after the government faced criticism from the people.

    The explosion appeared to be of low intensity. It occured in a VIP area. One vehicle was partly damaged according to the sources. The police are in the process of questioning the suspects. The police are also investigating to identify whether this blast has link to the blast that happened earlier.

    In Imphal, militant groups like the UMLF and the People Liberation Army are very active.

    Human bombs versus conventional offensives

    19 10 2008

    Source: India Today

    Related stories

    The LTTE were not the originators of the cult of suicide terrorism. That dubious distinction goes to the Hezbollah, whose 1983 bombing of the Marine Corps barracks in Beirut killed 241 US servicemen.

    The LTTE copycatted the Hezbollah when Vallipuram Vasanthan aka ‘Captain Miller’ drove a truckload of explosives into a Sri Lankan army camp killing 39 soldiers. Over the years, they honed suicide terrorism into a lethal art, striking at heavily guarded targets –VIPs or groups of security personnel. They assassinated former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991 and President Premadasa two years later. Suicide bombers strike at heavily guarded or fortified targets, individuals or installations, which are hard to reach by conventional means.

    But, of late, the LTTE, which has resumed its suicide bombing campaign since its five year ceasefire with the Sri Lankan government collapsed two years ago, has been completely overshadowed by the attacks carried out in Pakistan against the Pakistan military and police and VIP targets like Benazir Bhutto, but with scant regard for civilian collateral.

    Pakistan is now emerging as the suicide bombing capital of the world. In the first eight months of the year, says the Institute of Conflict Management, 28 suicide bombings within Pakistan have killed more than 471 people. By comparison, Iraq saw 42 such attacks and 463 deaths; Afghanistan witnessed 36 incidents and 436 casualties.

    These attacks don’t include last week’s suicide assault on Pakistan’s anti-terrorist headquarters that wounded six, or the truck bombing of the Marriott hotel in Islamabad which killed over 55 people, including the Czech envoy.

    In sharp contrast, the notorious Black Tigers and their marine counterparts, the Black Sea Tigers have struck 29 times on land, sea and under the water – a suicide diver attacked and sank a Lankan naval vessel inside Trincomalee harbour in May last year killing over 300 persons.

    Yet, mindless as they may seem, these attacks separated by thousands of kilometres have a common underlying message. Both the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the LTTE are under siege. The Pakistani Taliban is reeling from multiple assaults from government ground forces, helicopter gunships and artillery in the North-West Frontier Province. The Sri Lankan army is advancing within sight of the Tiger capital of Kilinochchi. Both these guerrilla armies have begun using bombings as a cost effective way of launching the fight into the government’s rear and thereby force a stalemate. Regrettably, they don’t seem to be short of either recruits or material to carry them out.

    How private security guards can fight terror ?

    17 10 2008

    Interesting links:

    Image: Private security personnel check visitors to an information technology company on the outskirts of Hyderabad.

    Image: A private security guard walks past parked taxis at the city airport in Mumbai.

    Image: A private security officer uses a webcam to capture the photograph of a visitor.

    Image: Security guards form a cordon outside a hotel in Mumbai.

    Image: A private security guard checks patrons outside a cinema hall.

    How private security guards can fight terror ?

    October 17, 2008

    Private security agencies under the aegis of the Central Association for Private Security Industry met Home Minister Shivraj Patil in Bangalore recently and offered their services to help combat terror. Private security personnel say they could help in the fight against terrorism.

    Vishwanath Katti, chairman of the Central Association for Private Security Industry (Karnataka chapter) and the managing director of Guardwell Detective Services who was part of the delegation that met Patil told Special Correspondent Vicky Nanjappa how private security personnel could be involved in fighting terror. Click here for the interview

    What role do private security personnel want to don in the fight against terror and what did you tell the home minister?

    There are more private security guards in any city than police personnel in most cities. It is almost impossible for the police force to be everywhere all the time and this often leads to disaster. We suggested to the home minister that private security personnel apart from doing their usual duties could look a bit further too. They could keep a watch on the movement of people and in case they notice something fishy they could report to the police so that action can be initiated.

    Sounds great. But do private security personnel have the expertise to undertake such a job? There is a difference between how a private security guard would react as compared to a policeman.

    Yes I am aware of this. This is why we have urged the home minister to act upon our suggestion and direct the police force to train private security guards. We have the manpower but what these men need is training. We requested that the our guards be trained in collecting intelligence and reporting suspicious activity.

    In what other ways can private guards contribute?

    Apart from collection of intelligence and keeping an eye on the people, private guards could also be trained in disaster management. We have told the home minister about this too. Disaster management is a very important function in case of a terror strike. After every strike, the police do take some time to reach the spot. Private guards, if trained in disaster management, could be of great help the moment there is an attack. They could undertake work like moving the injured to hospital, cordoning off the area until the police reach the spot.

    What about bomb disposal?

    No no no. We do not want to get into that. This is something that requires a lot of expertise and only the police are equipped to undertake such a job. However in our proposal to the home minister we have suggested that private guards could be trained in the evacuation process. The guards could scan the area for bombs and then immediately report the matter to the disposal squad.

    I wanted to ask about the attitude of security guards at malls. One day they check and on other days they don’t. Sometimes the boot of the car is not checked. Metal detectors are there only at the entrance and if one parks his car in the basement and enters the mall through the fire exit, he is not checked.

    Yes I know what you are saying. Look, to screen a vehicle completely takes 10 minutes and if guards do that there will be absolute chaos. Regarding more metal detectors and presence of more guards discussions are on. It entirely depends on the client, although I must add that the awareness levels are higher and steps are being taken to address this issue.

    So spending ten minutes will add to chaos. What about the chaos if a bomb goes off?

    Please understand one thing. The mindset of a person who intends carrying out a strike is different. The fact that there are security personnel and checking is enough to scare off a criminal. He will not enter a place where there are security personnel. Our guards apart from doing the routine checks also keep a close watch on the body language of every person. If a person is found acting suspicious, he will be reported immediately.

    How did the home minister react to your suggestions? When does he plan to institute these changes?

    Yes the home minister was very positive to all our suggestions. He too said on several occasions that the police need support in fighting terror. However there are certain glitches in the law, which need to be amended if private security personnel are to be involved in such an exercise. He said that he would work on that get back to us soon.

    Source: Deccan Herald Interview

    ‘Private detectives can bolster internal security’

    An ace private detective, Kunwar Vikram Singh wears many hats.

    He is heading a detective company ‘Lancers’ — engaged in the business since 1980. He is the chairman of the Central Association of Private Security Industry (CAPSI) and president of the Association of Private Detectives of India (APDI). Featured in Time, Newsweek, Herald Tribune and The Times, Singh has received investigator of the year 2006 award from the World Association of Detectives (WAD) and in 2007 from the World Investigators Network (WIN).

    Singh would be in Bangalore on October 13 and 14 with Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, attending the national conference of CAPSI in the city. “With over 55 lakh private security personnel, trained in intelligence gathering skills, we can make a major difference in the internal security of the country,” says Singh. In an interview with Deepak K Upreti of Deccan Herald, Singh talks about the state of private security and detectives and their use in combating terror. Excerpts:

    Tell us about the basic contours of private security in India?

    The size of private security industry in monetary terms is about Rs 25,000 crore. It is growing at the rate of 35 per cent. As per the statement of the finance minister, security agencies and courier companies are the highest corporate tax payers.

    What about the numerical facts?

    There are 15,000 guarding companies and the total staff strength is 55 lakh. This is the largest guarding operations in the world. In India, it is much more than the combined strength of the Army, Navy, Air Force and paramilitary forces.

    How good are the job opportunities in the industry?

    We require one million people each year to fill up vacancies. We are one of the largest job providers in the country in the private sector.

    What is the social profile of those joining security agencies?

    Almost 80 per cent of guards are from rural areas. By virtue of generating this income, every year 10 lakh families are moving up the poverty line and this fact is not known to even the Planning Commission. They get Rs 5,000 to Rs 7,000 as salary besides PF, gratuity and pension.

    But, how many security companies are providing even basic minimum salaries? Most of the time it is a hire and fire situation…

    The need for the Private Security Agency Regulation Act came up because of these anomalies and violations by security agencies, not following guidelines provided by the state governments.

    How many states are following the provisions of the Private Security Regulation Act?

    This Bill, after being passed by Parliament, was sent to the states. The Centre has framed model rules and now the states would follow, to regulate private security agencies. In Karnataka, it is in the final stages.

    As per the Act, who is the controlling authority at the Centre?

    The Centre has formed a central regulatory board of seven members — four from the government and three from the trade. Similarly, states will have five members from government and two from the trade with adequate powers.

    Is there a move to utilise the huge private security force for internal security too?

    I offered to the home minister the services of 50 lakh people for internal security. The IB has 35,000 people while we have 55 lakh standing at shops, offices, etc. Under the Act, guards must get 160 hours of training within 21 days. We asked them to give another 20 hours of training in intelligence gathering, which would give the security set up one crore additional eyes, without spending a single extra penny.

    What was your most challenging security task?

    Indira Gandhi personally asked me to plan the security of the 1982 Asian Games and I assured that even if a single nail was found missing, I would replace it provided she allowed me to work my way and pay me. She agreed and not a single untoward incident occurred.

    Is the government taking the help of private security agencies for the coming commonwealth games?

    Yes. Delhi police joint commissioner Aditya Kashyap has been designated to coordinate with the CAPSI. We will take care of training in all kinds of skills.

    What has been your high point as a detective?

    That was when I solved a 24 million dollar fraud in a Singapore bank in 2005. I identified and arrested the culprit Satwant Singh, a computer expert, at INA market in New Delhi. In fact, he offered me 12 million dollars to set him free.

    As a detective how much of prying do you do in family affairs, particularly relating to martial discord?

    Quite a lot. I receive around 15 cases a week and we provide the spouses a fool-proof case, at times zeroing in on the bedrooms.

    Kanpur: 7 injured in crude bomb blast

    15 10 2008

    Seven people, including three children, were injured in an crude bomb explosion in Colonelganj area of Kanpur on Tuesday evening, the police said. A bomb wrapped in a polythene bag and kept on a bicycle went off at 1830 hours, Senior Superintendent of Police Hari Ram Sharma said.
    The explosion took place near a liquor vendor, he said. Seven people, three of them children, were injured in the blast, the SSP said. Uttar Pradesh [Images] Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Brij Lal said it was not a terror attack.

    The severely injured were carried away to hospitals by locals and police. The injured were identified as Krishna (5), Ravi (5), Mansi (9), Shanti Devi (65), Jeevan Lal Sonker (62), Tula Ram (60), Rani (65) and Twinkle Sonker (8). Ajay Sonker, an eyewitness said, there was a deafening sound and he saw mangled parts of a bicycle lying on the road. District magistrate Anil Kumar Sagar said it was a low intensity blast. Panic gripped the area soon after the blast. The industrial city was put on high alert by the district administration. Eyewitnesses said they saw two young men leaving a bicycle with No. 12 painted on the rear side.