Nearly 175 terror groups are active in IndiaApril 13th, 2008 - 1:03 pm ICT by admin
By Quaid Najmi
Mumbai, April 13 (IANS) Manipur has the highest number of terror outfits, followed by Assam and Jammu and Kashmir, according to a list prepared by the union home ministry in consultation with state governments and intelligence agencies. The home ministry is closely monitoring the activities of nearly 175 terror organisations spread across India and attempting to ascertain their links both within and outside the country. The list includes those suspected of, or indulging in terrorist, insurgent, extremist or fanatical activities. The majority of the outfits are centred in and active in the northeast, according to intelligence sources.
Manipur tops the list with a whopping 39 organisations, followed by Assam with 36 organisations that are under the scanner of the state and central intelligence agencies.
The next is the sensitive border state of Jammu and Kashmir with 32 such groups active, semi-active or dormant. In addition to these, there are at least four other independent groups that are not based in Kashmir but are coordinating or supporting terror groups in the state from across the border.
The surprise inclusion here is Dukhtaran-e-Millat, an all-women organisation that exerts community pressures to further social norms dictated by Islamic fundamental groups.
Most of the groups named in the list are engaged in secessionist activities, mostly armed and violent, either independently or with support from across the border, mostly in regions neighbouring Pakistan and China.
A matter of concern for law-enforcing authorities is that the list - which has been obtained by IANS - is not exhaustive and keeps growing, the sources said.
Thirty groups belong to Tripura, followed by four in Meghalaya, three in Nagaland, two in Mizoram and one in Arunachal Pradesh.
This makes a total of 115 groups in seven states in the sensitive northeast, including those bordering China.
Punjab, which witnessed heavy terrorism in the 1980s, has at least 12 active or potentially dangerous terror groups in the state.
Mumbai Anti-Terrorist Squad chief Hemant Karkare said there are around 8-10 frontline terror groups on which they keep tabs on a regular basis, but he declined to identify them.
“In addition, there are more than a couple of hundred other such groups of which we have knowledge. At times, new ones suddenly crop up, like the Hindu Garjana, which attacked communist party workers in Pune last fortnight. Then we do the needful investigations,” Karkare told IANS, but did not elaborate.
In addition to these state-level groups, the agencies are keeping tabs on the activities of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Tamil Nadu Liberation Army, Tamil National Retrieval Troops, Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI - banned since September 2001), Deendar Anjuman, Asif Reza Commando Force, Kamatapur Liberation Organisation and the Ranvir Sena.
Even some Nepalis in India have their own struggle group - the Akhil Bharat Nepali Ekta Samaj - fighting for different causes.
Left-wing extremist groups that are under a close watch include the Communist Party of India-Maoist, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)-Janashakti and People’s Guerrilla Army.
As far as Mumbai Police are concerned, they are quite pleased with the recent successful investigations that led to the nabbing of important terror operatives who were reportedly targeting sensitive installations and religious places in Mumbai.
These include terror suspects caught from Goa, Karnataka and from Thane district, bordering Mumbai, in Maharashtra.
Last Thursday, police nabbed two prominent SIMI activists from Mira Road (Thane), Irshad Salim Khan (37) and Israr Ahmed Abdul Hamid Tailor (38), who may be linked to the July 11, 2006, serial bomb explosions in Mumbai’s suburban trains.
(Quaid Najmi can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)