NATION ON GUARD

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The counter insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir and the North-East have been the most important internal security challenge faced by the country in which army is involved on a large scale.

Left Wing Extremism (LWE) is the second biggest internal threat.

The penetration of ISIS in India threatens to destabilise the sensitive social fabric of the nation.

NORTH EAST

The problem

The Modi government fears that radicalisation is the biggest challenge in the North Eastern states.

Agents are operating in the name of religion using NGOs as fronts.

The government is keeping a check on the foreign funding routes of these NGOs to destablise the region. Groups like Jamaat ul Mujahideen Bangladesh and Harkat ul Jihadi Islami (Bangladesh) are under close watch in Assam.

The government also tracking activities of the Islamic State in the North East.

The army took one of the biggest hits in Manipur in 2015 when 18 soldiers were ambushed in the Moltuk Valley of Chandel district on June 4.

The response

The army carried out surgical strike inside Myanmar to destroy the terrorist camps from where the attack in Manipur was initiated.

Signing of the Framework Agreement with the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM).

Bringing jailed general secretary of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) Anup Chetia back from Bangladesh.

Crackdown on National Democratic Front of Bodoland-Songbijit faction

The shortcomings

A clear-cut approach to deal with various insurgent groups is still not visible

The contours of the Framework Agreement is still blurred leading to an atmosphere of overall confusion.

No clear strategy to deal with ISIS.

JAMMU AND KASHMIR

Jammu and Kashmir has been on the boil for the last two years. Pakistan’s multi-pronged strategy to exploit the volatile situation works at multiple levels. While the Line of Control (LoC) is kept alive by the Pakistan army, the stone-pelters have crippled the Valley.

Widespread public participation in the anti-government protests has been a cause of worry. Women and schoolchildren have been actively taking part in stone pelting and disrupting the army’s anti-terrorist operations

Local poster boys of terrorism, like Burhan Wani, emerged triggering mass hysteria against the army

Situation on LoC

After a brief lull, firing and border action have returned on the LoC. Nearly 65 ceasefire violations have so far taken place this year

Most of the violations have been reported from the area under Nagrota based 16 Corps which guards parts of the LoC.

Over 225 violations took place along the LoC in the areas of 16 Corps and Srinagar-based 15 Corps.

The number is up from 150 violations in 2015.

Indian soldiers have been killed in ceasefire violations this year. These include the recent beheading of a Border Security Force head constable and an army jawan in the Krishna Ghati area.

On May 10, Indian army officer Ummer Fayyaz was adbucted and killed by terrorists when he visited his home in Kashmir for a family wedding.

The Modi govt’s response

The Modi government has adopted a tough approach on Jammu and Kashmir. It has ruled out talks with separatists until the cycle of violence ends.

The government is firm that it cannot be blackmailed into talks at gunpoint.

The jackboot approach has returned in the Valley where the army and other security agencies have carried out massive door-to-door searches to hunt down terrorists.

The army believes the situation is not as bad as in the early 1990s but large-scale people’s participation in disrupting anti-terrorist operations needs to be dealt with sternly

A crackdown on social media was meant to cut the cord between the stone pelters and their handlers. The stone pelters would galvanise support through WhatsApp and other social media platforms at the behest of Pakistani handlers. Intelligence agencies have identified some 350 WhatsApp groups active in spreading violence.

Though its effectiveness in bringing momentary peace on LoC remains doubtful, the Modi government demonstrated political will by ordering surgical strikes at multiple locations across the LoC last year to avenge the killing of soldiers in the Uri army camp in September 2016

The shortcomings

No long-term strategy in sight to make any attempt to seek permanent settlement of the issue.

Lost historic opportunity after forming government in J&K with PDP to take bold initiative

The results

In the first three months of 2017, 33 terrorists were killed in Jammu and Kashmir

In 2016, around 150 terrorists were killed in the entire year.

In 2015, 102 terrorists were killed

The number of encounters have also gone up

25 encounters took place till March this year

In 2016, 101 encounters took place.

July, August and September 2016 were among the worst in terms of stone-pelting incidents.

But Jammu and Kashmir government claims that stone pelting is not a new phenomenon. Worse pelting was seen in 2008 and 2010. It came back in a big way in 2016 and 2017.

LEFT WING EXTREMISM

Recent strikes

12 CRPF men killed by Naxals near Bhejji in Sukma in south Bastar on March 11, 2017. It was the first major naxal attack in 2017. The CRPF personnel, belonging to 219 battalion, were clearing the road between Bhejji and Kuttacheru when they were attacked.

Naxals kill 7 personnel of Chhattisgarh’s elite Special Task Force on April 12, 2015. The ambush took place in the Pidmel village near Kankerlanka police camp. It was the single biggest casualty of STF in a single day. The dead included STF platoon commander Shankar Rao, also known as Fighter Rao. 14 CRPF personnel, including two officers, killed in December 2014. It was the second ambush in 10 days in the same area.

The response

The government claims that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s move to ban high denomination currency had blocked the funding channels of the Maoists

An overall crackdown on Naxals has been going on along with emphasis on completing the economic projects to bring development in the Naxal infested areas

The shortcomings

The claim of demonetisation impact on Naxals has fallen flat as the Left wing extremism is alive and remains lethal

The security forces continue to face high casualty.

ISIS NETWORK

ISIS in India is a reality.

Several ISIS operatives wanted by NIA.

One of the key ISIS men is Abdul Rashid Abdullah who led 23 Indians to join the terrorist group in Afghanistan.

Muslim youth from Assam, West Bengal, Andhra, Maharashtra and Telangana are the target

The response

The government has adopted the strategy to trail ISIS sympathisers and ensure their return to the mainstream.

Hardcore supporters are taken into custody.

The shortcomings

No coherent policy.

There seems to be a disconnect between the police of various states.

A national level single initiative is missing.

EXTERNAL SECURITY

Pakistan

The situation

Blow hot blow cold policy against Pakistan has failed. The government offered a hand of friendship to Pakistan when Prime Minister Narendra Modi travelled to Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif’s home in December 2015.

It was a big misreading of the situation as there has been a downward slide in ties since then.

The Pakistan army has kept the LoC on the boil. Three beheadings have taken place in six months on the LoC.

Pakistan has ensured that Kashmir is on the edge.

By sentencing Indian national Kulbhu- shan Yadav to death, Islamabad has again displayed its aggressive stance against New Delhi

Response

After the initial bonhomie, the Modi government has adopted a tough approach in dealing with Pakistan. In military terms, it has not shied away from striking inside PoK.

The shortcomings

An absence of a coherent Pakistan policy.

The government is unsure about how to deal with the Pakistan army and the political establishment.

Complete isolation of Pakistan in the international community is still work in progress.

China

The situation

India’s relations with China is passing through tough times. India’s aggressive stance on the Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh ignoring Beijing’s sensibilities has added fuel to the fire.

China had been reluctant to identify Hafiz Saeed as a terrorist

China’s ambitious Belt and Road initiative, seen by India as a violation of sovereignty as one of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is one of the main projects on the new silk route

India has rejected CPEC which passes through disputed Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK)

The shortcomings

Lack of consistency in dealing with China

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