ISIS, Naxals Kept Ministry of Home Affairs Busy in 2014

Published: 25th December 2014 10:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th December 2014 10:37 AM   |  A+A-


NEW DELHI: Terror outfit ISIS appeared to have emerged as a threat factor in the Indian security radar during 2014 which wrapped up on a tragic note with massacre of over 60 Adivasi by Bodo rebels in Assam after witnessing unabated Naxal violence.             

However, there was considerable calm in Jammu and Kashmir, which witnessed a record turn out in the just-concluded largely peaceful Assembly polls during the year in which over 560 incidents of communal violence came as a matter of concern.             

With the new government in saddle in Delhi and new minister Rajnath Singh in North Block, some occupants in Raj Bhavans nominated by the earlier UPA government, were nudged out and new ones appointed in their place. However, a few incumbents continued.                

The long struggle for separate statehood in Andhra Pradesh culminated in the creation of Telangana in June that become the country's 29th state.              

The arrest of a Bangalore-based executive, who was operating a pro-ISIS Twitter handle to propagate the ideology of the Middle-East terrorist group, climaxed some disquieting events earlier in the year.           

The disappearance of four Mumbai youths in Iraq-Syria and return of one of them raised concerns over how some of the Indian Muslim youths have become radicalised through social networking sites and other cyber outlets.              

Intelligence Bureau chief Asif Ibrahim recently said there was an imminent danger of Indian youths moving to the conflict zone (Iraq-Syria), emerging as a role model and such developments may directly or indirectly pose a threat to the country.                

"The threat potential is accentuated with some lower rung elements returning from conflict zone," he had said.              

The Indian hinterland continues to remain the prime focus of Pakistan-based terrorist outfits, particularly the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Indian Mujahideen, as the Home Ministry found that these groups were setting up their infrastructure in Bangladesh and using the porous Indo-Bangla border to send arms and ammunition into India.

Blast in a madrassa in West Bengal's Burdwan has pointed out designs of the terrorists of the neighbouring country to set up bases in India.  

The Home Ministry oversaw the creation of Telangana in two phases -- one before the Lok Sabha polls and the other after the simultaneous elections to the Assembly.      Maoists violence continued to be top security challenge for the Home Ministry in 10 Naxal-hit states, particularly in Jharkhand, Bihar and Chhattisgarh, where 14 CRPF personnel were killed in an ambush early this month.           

Altogether, nearly 200 civilians and more than 60 security personnel were killed in Left-wing violence.   

The Home Ministry says that Naxals have been extorting money to the tune of Rs 140 crore annually from contractors, businessmen and corporate houses while their front organisations are suspected to be receiving foreign funds clandestinely.   

The sudden unprovoked attack by Bodo tribals on Adivasis in three Assam districts on Tuesday shattered the peace of northeast and caught the security establishment on the wrong foot.     

The massacre forced the government to adopt a tough stand when it decided to go all out against the insurgents.          

The Home Ministry deployed more than 1.2 lakh paramilitary personnel to provide security during the multi-phased Lok Sabha elections across the country and was credited with its successful completion with relative peace.               

During 2014, the Home Ministry extended the ban imposed on Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) saying if not curbed, the outfit will reorganise and "disrupt the secular fabric" of the country.              

The extension came as the government found that the activities of the outfit continue to be "prejudicial to the integrity and security of the country".     

Its five members, who had fled from a jail in Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh, have become a new headache for the security establishment as there have been multiple intelligence inputs that the SIMI operatives were out to carry out terror attacks.

The unprecedented floods in Jammu and Kashmir also saw the Home Ministry deeply involved in rescue and relief operations and restoring communication network. The Union Home Secretary himself was camping in Srinagar for nearly a week to personally supervise the entire operation.

Controversy erupted after Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami called a number of governors conveying the new government's desire that they relinquish office.              

UPA-appointed governors -- Sheila Dikshit (Kerala), M K Narayanan (West Bengal), Ashwani Kumar (Nagaland), B L Joshi (UP), B V Wanchoo (Goa), Shekhar Dutt (Chhattisgarh) and V K Duggal (Manipur) had to resign.               

V Purushothaman, the Governor of Mizoram, had resigned after he was transferred to Nagaland while Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan tendered his resignation after he was being shifted to Mizoram.               

Kamla Beniwal, who had a running battle with the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi when she was governor of the state, was sacked after being transferred to Mizoram. The other who was shown the door was Lt Governor of Puducherry Virendra Kataria, a former Congress leader.               

The Home Ministry also directed all state police forces to adopt zero tolerance approach in cases of attacks on people from northeast and asked them to strictly follow guidelines in providing security to those hailing from the region.      

With voluntary organisations receiving more than Rs 11,500 crore of foreign funds annually, the Home Ministry has warned that the NGOs in the country were vulnerable to risks of money laundering and terror financing.             

In a report on receipt and utilisation of foreign contribution by voluntary associations, the Home Ministry said since the NGOs work independently outside the government, it is expected that they should be self-regulating and law abiding.                

After the terrorists attack on a school in Peshawar, the Home Ministry issued guidelines asking children and teachers to avoid panic reaction and setting up of centralised alarm and public address systems in schools across the country on how to deal with any terror attack.        

Measures like installing CCTVs and a concrete boundary wall, with three to four gates and each gate manned by at least three guards on a 24-hour basis have been also listed.  

The SOPs relate to preventive steps, drills for children, teachers and security staff in case of a bid for kidnapping, random firing, armed intrusion for hostage taking and explosives attacks, besides other violent actions.                 The Home Ministry also did a flip flop over announcement of additional compensation to the next of kin of the victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.     

It first leaked the information that a decision had been taken to give Rs 5 lakh each to the next of kin of 3,325 victims but had to make a hasty retreat after Election Commission questioned it why it made the announcement after declaration of by-election to the two Assembly seats in Delhi.                

However, about 50 days later, the ministry told the Parliament a decision in this effect has been taken.   

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