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DSA: Weaponizing Media Regulation

S. Binodkumar Singh Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management
On May 16, 2020, Police arrested two people from the Lamchari village of Matlab Dakkhin upazila (sub District) in Chandpur District in a case filed under the Digital Security Act (DSA). The arrestees – Sumon Biswas and Adhir Chandra Mallik – had been allegedly making derogatory comments about Islam, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the Bangladesh Police on Facebook for the preceding few days.
Why Pakistan poses multifarious challenges for those seeking to curb its sponsorship of Te...
The world has, especially in recent years, woken up enough to the threats posed by Pakistan’s sponsorship of terrorism to mount a semblance of a concerted pressure upon the country to mend its ways.
Telangana: Abiding Threat
On March 21, 2020, a Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) couple, identified as Gandrakoti Mallesham alias Mallaiah alias Kiran (35), and his wife Chintha Srilatha alias Hyma (34); surrendered to the Police at Hanamkonda in Warangal District. Mallesham, a native of Intikanne village under Kesamudram Mandal (administrative sub-division), held the posts of ‘divisional committee member, DCM’ and was also in charge of the ‘central regional bureau (CRB) – communication’. He carried a reward of INR 400,000 on his head, while, Srilatha, a native of Rampur village under Kothaguda Mandal in Mahabubabad District, held the post of the ‘DCM’ of the ‘Dandakaranya Special Zone Committee (DKSZC)’. She carried a reward of INR 100,000 on her head.
Andhra Pradesh: Unfinished Task
Relying to a question in the Lok Sabha (Lower House of Indian Parliament), the Government on March 18, 2020, asserted that “steadfast implementation of the National Policy and Action Plan-2015 has resulted in consistent decline in LWE [Left Wing Extremism] related violence in the country” including in Andhra Pradesh. However, the fatalities in year 2019 suggest an upward trend.
Madhya Pradesh: Low Burn
On February 24, 2020, a Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadre was injured in an exchange of fire between Security Forces (SFs) and Maoists during a Forces’ combing operation in the forests of Kosam Dehi under Behla Police Station limits in the Balaghat District of Madhya Pradesh (MP). This is the only Maoist-linked incident reported in the State in 2020, thus far (data till March 8). During the corresponding period in 2019, no Maoist-linked incident was reported.
Chhattisgarh: Lingering Challenges
On February 28, 2020, Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadres killed Muchaki Hidma, accusing him of being a ‘police informer’ in Kolomkonta village under Tengapal Police Station limits in Sukma District. After executing the incident, the Maoists also allegedly assaulted Hidma's wife, as well as some villagers who went to save the woman.
Stalled Justice
On January 23, 2020, the newly appointed office bearers of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and the Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP) took oath of office and secrecy in a programme organised at the Supreme Court in Kathmandu. Soon after, the newly sworn-in office-bearers of both the Commissions held a meeting with the Minister of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal. Minister Dhakal urged the newly appointed members to fulfil their responsibilities in line with the essence of transitional justice and take the ongoing peace process of the country to its logical conclusion. He also assured the newly appointed members of the Government’s full support.
Tripura: Reigniting Ethnic Fires
On January 16, 2019, the Union Government signed a quadripartite agreement with Tripura, Mizoram, and leaders of the Mizoram Bru Displaced Peoples Forum (MBDPF) to resolve the decades old Bru displacement crisis.After signing the agreement, it was announced that the Bru migrants (over 30,000) who had not returned to Mizoram would be settled in Tripura. The Government also announced a financial package worth INR 6 billion for settling them in Tripura.
Maoists: Explosive Assertions
On December 8, 2019, two personnel of the Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA), a specialised unit of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) proficient in guerrilla tactics and jungle warfare, were injured in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) explosion triggered by cadres of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) near the Piyakuli Hills of Tamar town in Ranchi District, Jharkhand.
Jharkhand : Latehar: Unexpected Losses
On November 22, 2019, four Police personnel were killed in an ambush carried out by cadres of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) in an area under Chandwa Police Station limits in the Latehar District of Jharkhand. Two other Police personnel were also injured in the attack. The Maoists reportedly looted weapons from the personnel, among which were a service revolver and three rifles. The incident took place soon after ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) National working president J. P. Nadda addressed an election rally in the town. The five-phase State Assembly elections are scheduled to be held between November 30 - December 20, 2019.
Maoists: Failing Ventures
In a successful operation conducted by the Security Forces (SFs) against the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist), in Kerala, SFs killed at least four Maoist cadres in two successive encounters in a forested area in Manjakkatty near Agali town under the Attappady Taluk (revenue sub-division) in the Palakkad District of Kerala on October 28-29, 2019. 
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