Tag Archives: Terrorism

NDFB kills 24 Hindi speaking in Assam serial attacks

Tribal separatists gunned down a woman and injured three people in Assam on Wednesday, continuing their attacks on Hindi speakers and minorities for the third straight day and taking the death toll in the serial strikes to 24, police say. A police spokesperson said heavily armed militants of the outlawed National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) early on Wednesday attacked Jamuguri village in Kokrajhar district and opened indiscriminate firing.

“A woman named Kalwa Chauhan died on the spot while three more were injured as NDFB militants sprayed bullets from automatic weapons,” a senior police official said. The masked militants, numbering six, came in motorcycles and sped away soon after the attack.

There have been at least 11 separate attacks since Monday evening with NDFB militants launching coordinated strikes, targeting mostly Hindi speakers and people belonging to the minority community.

“There is a definite pattern to the killings with most casualties either Hindi- speaking people or minorities,” the police official said.

At least 15 people have been injured in the attacks and they are now admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of the Gauhati Medical College Hospital.

The NDFB on Tuesday claimed responsibility for the attacks and warned of more violent strikes in the next few days.

The attacks came hours after security forces Monday morning gunned down an NDFB militant in Sonitpur district during an encounter.

On Nov 1, the NDFB threatened to kill 20 or more people if any one of their cadres was killed by the security forces in shootouts.

A massive anti-insurgency operation was launched since Monday with army, police and paramilitary troopers conducting raids in NDFB-affected areas in northern and western Assam.

“Army, police and paramilitary forces are conducting specific operations in NDFB pockets,” Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi told IANS.

Security forces in the past three months have killed at least 20 NDFB cadres, besides arresting more than 15 militants in separate raids even as the tribal separatist group continues with a series of kidnappings for money.

via NDFB kills again, 24 dead in Assam serial attacks

Torture to Indresh? BJP hesitating to join protests?

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) will on Wednesday stage rallies in defence of one of its leaders involved in the Ajmer blast case and against what it termed as the Congress-led central government’s anti-RSS and anti-Hindu religion politics [RSS to stage nationwide protest].   

RSS today charged investigating agencies probing the Ajmer Dargah blast of subjecting a senior RSS functionary Indresh Kumar, named in the chargesheet in the case, “to physical and mental torture”, despite extending full cooperation to them. Referring to Kumar “whose name has been dragged into the chargesheet, citing a meeting”, RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav alleged at a press meet here that though Kumar had fully cooperated with the Anti Terrorist Squad, Rajasthan, “they subjected him to physical and mental torture and indulged in unacceptable method of investigation”. He said RSS would take legal steps on the matter in course of time but refused to divulge further details, saying “we want the investigation to take place in a non-political atmosphere”. [RSS alleges torture to Indresh Kumar

Meanwhile, it is reported that BJP can’t make up its mind on joining an RSS dharna on November 10 to protests. Asked if it would join the demonstration, BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad was silent. The Sangh’s Ram Madhav, however, said “anybody is free to join the protests as individual swayamsevaks”.

A political aide to BJP president Nitin Gadkari — who owes his position to the RSS — said the leader was himself undecided. The lack of clarity, he appeared to suggest, was uncharacteristic given the alacrity seen in the past. Madan Das Devi, the all-India pracharak pramukh and an informal interface between the Sangh and the BJP, said he hadn’t heard from the BJP. “It’s up to the BJP. I am still awaiting word from their leaders.”

A BJP source disclosed that the view so far was that the party should confine itself to issuing supportive statements without getting proactive. “At least, the top leaders think we should not involve ourselves in such tricky situation [BJP in fix over Sangh protest].

Blast cloud on RSS outreach Pracharak

A senior Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh pracharak assigned to reach out to Muslims has been mentioned in the Ajmer dargah blast chargesheet as a conspirator. Indresh Kumar, a Sangh national executive member, is in charge of the outfit’s Rashtriya Muslim Morcha and has been involved in back- channel talks with the All India Muslim Personal Law Board for a negotiated Ayodhya settlement.

The 806-page chargesheet  says Indresh and seven other Hindu radical leaders met secretly in Jaipur on October 31, 2005, and plotted the blasts at Ajmer Sharif, Hyderabad’s Mecca Masjid and Malegaon.

Rajasthan police sources said Indresh had not technically been named as an accused because further investigations were on to establish his role in the blast, which killed three persons at the dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti on October 11, 2007.

The development comes at a time the Sangh has been disowning those accused in the “Hindu terror” blasts, many of them linked to a radical outfit called Abhinav Bharat.

“It’s a political conspiracy…. I will fight this injustice in court,” Indresh said.  But Sangh sources who spoke to him conceded he had not categorically denied his presence at the meeting. Sangh spokesperson Ram Madhav initially said the accusation was “far from the truth” and would be challenged in court, but later issued a toned-down statement: “We do not believe in such violent activities and will definitely cooperate with the investigators.”

Former RSS chief KC Sudershan today charged Congress with hatching a conspiracy to defame the Hindu organisation asserting RSS leader Indresh Kumar was not involved in any anti-national activitiy, former

The imperative of keeping the Bihar coalition with Nitish Kumar intact prompted the BJP to distance itself from Indresh without disowning him. “The BJP will react only if there is credible evidence. It is more appropriate for the RSS to react,” spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said.

Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari alleged the Sangh had always worked to “disturb communal amity” and the chargesheet was “a manifestation of its direction right from the beginning”.

The chargesheet, filed by Rajasthan police’s anti-terrorism squad at the court of the Ajmer additional chief judicial magistrate, says the secret meeting took place at room No. 26 of a Gujarati community guesthouse on Jaipur’s M.I. Road.

It says Indresh was the chief speaker and urged the others to carry out their individual assignments while remaining affiliated with religious organisations to stay under the police radar.

The others at the meeting included several prime accused in the Mecca Masjid, Malegaon and Ajmer blasts: Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, Ramji Kalsangra, Devendra Gupta, Lokesh Sharma, Sandeep Dange and Sunil Joshi, who died recently.

Devendra is one of the five accused in the Ajmer chargesheet and is in judicial custody with two of the others: Lokesh Sharma and Chandra Shekhar. They are all linked with Abhinav Bharat and have been charged with murder, criminal conspiracy and defiling a place of worship. The other two accused, Dange and Kalsangra, are in hiding. Arguments on the chargesheet will be heard from Tuesday.

The BJP fears that the Congress and the Lalu Prasad-Ram Vilas Paswan combine will use Indresh’s name in the Bihar poll campaign to play on Muslims’ fears about the Sangh.

via Blast cloud on RSS outreach man.

Somalia: Islamists hack limbs off to keep order

He has learned to button his shirt using only his left hand, to roll his sleeve with his teeth, to balance on his right foot in the shower. He cannot forgive, though he is desperate to forget. But at night his dreams betray him.

This is how it happened, Abdulle told the Guardian. He was a prisoner in an insurgents’ house in Mogadishu, lying on his side, one hand chained to his ankles. He was 17, with fluff on his cheeks and unspeakable fear in his heart. Three other young men were with him — Jalylani, Ali, Abduqadir.

A guard, from the Islamist group al-Shabaab, which is trying to overthrow the Somali government, gripped his shoulder. “Ismael Khalif Abdulle, come with me.” A convoy of rebel battlewagons cleared the way through the battered streets. Reaching Masalah, an old military barracks, he saw his mother through the car window and shouted to her. The guard slapped his face. “Today is not the day to call your mother,” he said.

Ordered to witness the punishment of the “spies and bandits” or face lashes themselves, the entire neighbourhood had assembled. Also watching were some of the Shabaab’s top leaders — Sheikh Mukhtar Robow, the Somali-Swede Fuad Shangole, and Abu Mansoor Al-Amriki, the American who recruits and finances foreign fighters.

Cross amputation

In the middle of the stony parade ground were about 20 militiamen in green fatigues. Their faces were masked. They were wearing surgical gloves. On the ground was a single plastic mattress.

Abdulle says he was made to lie down. His left hand was tied to his right ankle with a thick rope, leaving the other limbs free for what was to come. Rubber surgical tubing bit into his right biceps — a tourniquet. One rebel grabbed his hand, another his forearm. They pulled in opposite directions as a piece of plastic was laid over his wrist.

“Please make it quick,” he pleaded.

A heavily built man drew a large wooden-handled knife normally used to slaughter camels. The knife descended.

Though their horror was far from over, Abdulle and the three other young men “cross amputated” — a process of cutting off a hand and foot from opposite sides of the body — by the Shabaab on 26 June 2009, eventually escaped from their Islamist captors, and managed to cross to the government-controlled side of the city. Abdulle recently managed to flee Somalia, and reach a safe house in Nairobi, Kenya, where he gave this interview.

His story offers a rare insight into how the Shabaab is using its extreme interpretation of Islam to establish order through fear — and to find recruits.

Abdulle was born in 1992, a year after the last effective government fell, and warlords took over the country. As far as it is possible to have a normal upbringing amid the anarchy, he did. Once Shabaab forces took full control of the Bakara market area where he lived, in early 2009, security immediately improved — but at a huge cost to personal and social freedoms.

“If you saw a man on the street with a beard, you would be worried,” Abdulle said. “But if someone was smoking a cigarette, you felt OK.”

The Shabaab recruited some of Abdulle’s classmates to fight the government, but he insists that he never had anything to do with the Islamists until the day he was abducted.

He said he was not told of his alleged crime until the 26th day of detention, when he and the three other young men were taken to the old military parade ground for the first time. Pistols and mobile phones, allegedly stolen by the accused, were shown to the crowd. Abdulle insists on his innocence to this day, but he was given no chance to speak. Dahir Ga’may, a Shabaab “judge”, merely announced his verdict.

“He said we were guilty as spies and thieves, and that under sharia law a hand and a foot must be amputated.” Three days later, the sentence was carried out. Abdulle passed out while his hand was being cut off. After he regained consciousness he heard the screams as the amputations continued. It was several hours before they were given pain relief, and two days before their wounds were stitched.

A fortnight later, Shangole, the Shabaab commander, arrived at the house where they were detained. “He said they had made a mistake. Our legs were cut too low down, and needed to be shortened. He took the end of my leg, and put three fingers above the stump and said: ‘That’s where it should be.’” This time, the surgical tool was a plumber’s saw. As before, there were no painkillers.

On a separate visit, Ga’may told them that as they were disabled they should become suicide attackers. Sensing a chance to escape, they agreed. A taxi called by a relative picked them up, and took them to the justice ministry. The Red Crescent Society in Mogadishu fitted him with an artificial limb.

His passage out of Mogadishu was risky, as the Shabaab were still after him. In Nairobi, he’s keeping a low profile, as the insurgents have supporters in the city. His hope now is to gain asylum and help to deal with the physical and mental scars.

Its evolution

Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen, better known as al-Shabaab — “the youth” — rose to prominence in 2006 as the armed wing of a sharia court alliance that forced warlords from the Somali capital, Mogadishu. After Ethiopian troops routed the Islamist movement later that year, the Shabaab re-emerged as a guerrilla army, initially winning the sympathy of many Somalis — and attracting hundreds of foreign jihadis. Once Ethiopia withdrew in January 2009, Shabaab militants took over much of south and central Somalia, targeting government forces and African Union peacekeepers. It quickly established security but the group’s extreme interpretation of Islam and its targeting of civilians has alienated most Somalis. Its “clerics” have banned everything from films to mobile ringtones, school bells and gold fillings.

via Somalia: Islamists hack limbs off to keep order.