Mizoram: Managing Irritants
Giriraj Bhattacharjee Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management
On April 15, 2017, State Home Minister R. Lalzirliana reiterated that the Mizoram Government was ready to carry out repatriation of Bru (also known as Reang) families lodged at six relief camps in Tripura, and that the State Government had 'completed all formalities' which were supposed to be done in connection with the repatriation process. He also stated that, though the Supreme Court had called, on March 28, 2017, for status quo to be maintained; it clarified that people who wanted to move back should be asked to go.
Daesh: Diminishing Potential
On April 13, 2017, a 21,600-pound Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB), also commonly known as the Mother of All Bombs, dropped by U.S Forces killed at least 94 terrorists affiliated with the Islamic State (IS, formerly, Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham, also Daesh) in a Daesh base in the Achin District of Nangarhar Province. Three tunnels used by Daesh fighters and as reservoirs of weapons and other equipment were destroyed in the attack. Later, the Nangahar Provincial Government disclosed that at least four key leaders of the group identified as Hamza Abu Bakar, Mohammad Ibrani, Hamid Kunari, and Walkin, were among those killed.
Jharkhand: Increasing Volatility
On April 8, 2017, two Policemen were killed in an encounter with cadres of the People's Liberation Front of India (PLFI), a splinter group of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist), at Mahabung village in Simdega District.
Kurram Agency: Sectarian Bloodshed
At least 24 persons were killed and another 100 injured in a suicide attack on an Imambargah (Shia place of worship) in the Noor market area of Parachinar town in the Kurram Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on March 31, 2017. The explosion took place as people gathered for Friday prayers near the women's entrance of Imambargah. A witness stated that security personnel at the Imambargah were checking devotees when an unidentified person parked a car next to the building, which then exploded. Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) faction Jama'at-ul-Ahrar (JuA) claimed responsibility for the attack. The attack was part of TTP's "Operation Ghazi" and Shias were the targets, according to the outfit's statement to the media.
Bihar: Maoists Surge
On March 14, 2017, a man identified as Kaushal Paswan (30) was shot dead by Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadres near Mahuraushan village in the Gaya District of Bihar. Superintendent of Police (SP), City, Avakash Kumar disclosed that Paswan, a native of Pashewa village, was a member of an anti-Maoist outfit - Bhakt Sangharsh Samiti - formed in 2016 by some Dalits as a vigilante group against Maoists, after they had killed some members of the Bhuian and Paswan communities during the State Assembly polls in 2015.
J&K: Testing the Peace
On March 5, 2017, two terrorists and a Policeman were killed and five Security Force (SF) personnel, including an Army Major, were injured during an encounter in the Tral area of Pulwama District. The slain terrorists were identified as Aqib Molvi of Tral and Umar from Pakistan.
Meghalaya: Dramatic Gains, Lingering Dangers
On February 25, 2017, a Police team that included newly constituted Special Force (SF)-10 commandos, in an encounter, killed the 'commander-in-chief' of the now-disbanded United Achik Liberation Army (UALA), Singbirth N. Marak aka Norok. X. Momin, at a hideout located inside a forest near Thapa Matronggre village in North Garo Hills District. Marak, along with other cadres of the UALA had surrendered before the Meghalaya Government on June 9, 2016, and had started living a 'normal life' after the group was disbanded. However, he reportedly escaped to the neighboring State of Assam after Meghalaya Police started looking for him following the arrest of one suspect, along with a cache of arms, on November 12, 2016, and surrender of three other suspects on November 13, 2016.These suspects subsequently disclosed that the arms were meant for the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) and they were working under Marak's instructions to provide the weapons to this militant formation.
Odisha: Persistent Anxieties
On February 2, 2017, Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadres killed a civilian, identified as Dasru Durua, at Bara village under the Mathili Police limits of Malkangiri District.