VIF News Digest: National Security - Defence Studies & Terrorism, 16-30 June 2020
  • Raksha Mantri reviews Ladakh Border situation with CDS, three Services Chiefs
  • PM holds All Party Meeting to discuss situation in India-China border areas
  • India to send Tri-Service contingent to participate in 75th Victory Day Parade of World War II in Moscow
  • 15th Meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation & Coordination on India-China Border Affairs
  • Indian Air Force inducts another batch of Young Leaders at the Combined Graduation Parade held at Air Force Academy
  • Operation Samudra Setu – Return of Indian Citizens from Maldives and Iran
  • Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath reviews India-Russia defence cooperation with Russian Deputy Prime Minister
  • Navy Inducts Indigenously Developed Torpedo Decoy System
  • Mission Sagar
  • Indigenous Airborne Locust Control System On Mi-17 Helicopter
International Terrorism
  • Nigeria: Boko Haram terrorists killed 81 people in Borno State.
  • Somalia: Al-Shabaab commander of Nepal-origin killed in Juba region.
  • Afghan govt accused Taliban for recent attacks.
  • Three explosions killed four people in Sindh province;
  • Security forces killed four BLA terrorists in an attack in Karachi.
Domestic Terrorism
Jammu and Kashmir
  • Security forces killed three HM terrorists in Shopian;
  • Six terrorists were killed in a CT operation in Shopian and Pulwama;
  • “Made in China” armed-drone gunned down in Kathua;
  • “Missing” PhD scholar joined HM, said IGP Kashmir;
  • HM terrorist arrested from Anantnag;
  • Security forces killed two JeM terrorists in Pulwama;
  • JeM conspiring an IED attack in Kashmir, said J&K DGP.
Left-Wing Extremism
  • Key Maoist supporter arrested from Telangana.
Khalistan-inspired Extremism
  • Punjab police arrested two Khalistan terrorists from Amritsar.
Islamist Extremism in India
  • NIA got custody of suspected LeT handler from West Bengal;
  • Al-Qaeda recruits Islamic Scholars from Bangladesh for ‘lone-wolf’ attacks against India;
  • UP ATS arrested al-Qaeda operative from Uttar Pradesh;
  • NIA filed charge sheet against 12 accused in IS’s Chennai module.
Cyber & Artificial Intelligence (Security Perspective)
  • IS strengthening its virtual presence on online communication apps.
Raksha Mantri reviews Ladakh Border situation with CDS, three Services Chiefs

Raksha Mantri on 17th Jun 2020 morning reviewed the Ladakh Border situation in a meeting at South Block that was attended by Chief of Defence Staff and Secretary Department of Military Affairs General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Army Staff General M M Naravane, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria.

Shri Rajnath Singh mourned the loss of lives in the border clashes and said, “The loss of soldiers in Galwan is deeply disturbing and painful. Our soldiers displayed exemplary courage and valour in the line of duty and sacrificed their lives in the highest traditions of the Indian Army. “The Nation will never forget their bravery and sacrifice. My heart goes out to the families of the fallen soldiers. The Nation stands shoulder to shoulder with them in this difficult hour. We are proud of the bravery and courage of India’s brave hearts.”

Twenty soldiers of the Indian Army laid down their lives in the line of duty on the night of the 15th and 16th of Jun 2020. The names of the soldiers were released by the Northern Command on 18th Jun 2020.

In a related action the External Affairs Minister and the State Councilor and Foreign Minister of China, had a phone conversation on the afternoon of 17th Jun on the recent developments in Ladakh. EAM conveyed the protest of the Government of India in the strongest terms on the violent face-off in Galwan Valley on 15 June 2020. He recalled that at the meeting of senior Military Commanders held on 6th June, an agreement was reached on de-escalation and disengagement along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Ground commanders were meeting regularly to implement this consensus throughout the last week. While there was some progress, the Chinese side sought to erect a structure in Galwan valley on our side of the LAC. While this became a source of dispute, the Chinese side took pre-meditated and planned action that was directly responsible for the resulting violence and casualties. It reflected an intent to change the facts on ground in violation of all our agreements to not change the status quo. The need of the hour was for the Chinese side to reassess its actions and take corrective steps. The two sides should scrupulously and sincerely implement the understanding that was reached by the Senior Commanders on 6th June. Additional meetings between Indian and Chinese military commanders were held on 22 and 30 June 2020. Click here to read....

PM holds All Party Meeting to discuss situation in India-China border areas

In his address the Prime Minister said that the entire country is hurt and angry at the steps taken by China at LAC. He assured the leaders that our armed forces are leaving no stone unturned to protect the country. Be it deployment, action or counter action, through land, sea or air, our forces are taking the necessary steps to protect the country. He emphasized that the country today has such capability that no one can even dare look towards an inch of our land. He said that today, Indian forces are capable of moving together across sectors. While on the one hand, the army has been given freedom to take necessary steps, India has also conveyed its position clearly to China through diplomatic means.

On the border infrastructure, the PM underscored that India wants peace and friendship, but upholding sovereignty is foremost. He highlighted that the government has given primacy to development of border area infrastructure to make our borders more secure. Provision has also been made for fighter planes, modern helicopters, missile defence systems and other such needs of our forces. Through the recently developed infrastructure, patrolling capacity at LAC has also increased, he said, adding that through this, we are better informed about the developments at LAC and consequently are able to monitor and respond better. The movement of those which used to take place without any disruption earlier is now checked by our jawans, which at times leads to build up of tension. He noted that through better infrastructure, supply of material and essentials to jawans in the difficult terrain has become comparatively easier.

Prime Minister emphasized the commitment of the government to welfare of the nation and its citizens and said that be it in trade, connectivity or counter-terrorism, the government has always stood up to outside pressure. He assured that all steps necessary for national security and construction of necessary infrastructure, will continue to be taken at a fast pace. He reassured the leaders about the capability of the armed forces to defend our borders and that they have been given a free hand to take all necessary steps. Click here to read....

India Participates with a Tri-Service contingent in 75th Victory Day Parade of World War II in Moscow

On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the victory in the Second World War, there was a military parade in Moscow to honour the heroism and sacrifices made by the Russian and other friendly people. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi had written to President of the Russian Federation Mr. Vladimir Putin a congratulatory message on the occasion of the Victory Day - May 9, 2020.

Defence Minister of Russia has invited an Indian contingent to take part in the Victory Day Parade scheduled to be held on June 24, 2020 in Moscow, where contingents of other countries are also expected to participate. The participation in the parade will be a mark of tribute and solidarity with the people of Russia at a time when they remember their heroes of the Great Patriotic War. A Tri-Service contingent of the Indian Armed Forces comprising 75 all ranks, led by a colonel rank officer will participate in the Military Parade. The Tri-Service contingent marched alongwith contingents of Russian Armed Forces and 17 other countries. Shri Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister was among the special invitees to the event.

The British Indian Armed Forces during World War-II were one of the largest Allied Forces contingents which took part in the North and East African Campaign, Western Desert Campaign and the European Theatre against the Axis powers. These campaign witnessed sacrifice by over 87 thousand Indian servicemen beside 34,354 being wounded. The Indian Military not only fought on all fronts, but also ensured logistic support along the Southern, Trans-Iranian Lend-Lease route, along which weapons, ammunitions, equipment support and food went to the Soviet Union, Iran and Iraq. The valour of the Indian soldiers was recognised with the award of over four thousand decorations, which also included award of 18 Victoria and George Cross. In addition the then Soviet Union appreciated the valour of the Indian Armed forces and by the decree of 23 May 1944, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR signed by Mikhail Kalinin and Alexander Gorkin awarded the prestigious Orders of the Red Star to Subedar Narayan Rao Nikkam and Havildar Gajendra Singh Chand of Royal Indian Army Service Corps.

The marching contingent taking part in the Victory Day Parade is led by a major rank officer of the gallant SIKH LIGHT INFANTRY Regiment. The Regiment had fought with valour in the World War-II and has proud distinction of earning four Battle Honours and two Military Cross amongst other gallantry awards. Click here to read....

15th Meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation & Coordination on India-China Border Affairs

The 15th meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation & Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) was held through video-conference on 24 June 2020. The Indian delegation was led by Joint Secretary (East Asia), while Director General of the Department of Boundary & Oceanic Affairs of the Chinese MFA led the Chinese delegation.

The two sides discussed in detail the developments in the India-China border areas in particular the situation in Eastern Ladakh. The Indian side conveyed its concerns on the recent developments in Eastern Ladakh, including on the violent face off in Galwan Valley area on 15th June that had resulted in casualties. In this regard, it was emphasised that both sides should strictly respect and observe the line of actual control.

The two sides recalled the conversation last week between External Affairs Minister and the Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister H.E. Wang Yi and reaffirmed that both sides should sincerely implement the understanding on disengagement and de-escalation that was reached by the Senior Commanders on 6th June. The two delegations agreed that implementation of this understanding expeditiously, in accordance with the bilateral agreements and protocols, would help ensure peace and tranquility in border areas and the development of broader relationship between the two countries. In this context, they also took note of the discussions in the second meeting of the Senior Commanders held on 22 June. Click here to read....

Indian Air Force inducts another batch of Young Leaders at the Combined Graduation Parade held at Air Force Academy

Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria reviewed the Combined Graduation Parade (CGP) held at Air Force Academy, Dundigal on 20 June 2020. He formally conferred the ‘President’s Commission’ on 123 Flight Cadets as well as awarded ‘Wings’ to 11 officers from Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard. Amongst the newly commissioned officers, 61 officers joined the Flying branch with 62 being inducted into Ground Duty Branches of the IAF. This included 19 women officers. Two Flight Cadets from Vietnam Air Force also successfully completed their flying training at AFA and were presented ‘Wings’ by the Reviewing Officer.

He reminded the officers that the security scenario prevailing in our region mandates that our armed forces remain prepared and vigilant at all times. He said that the development on the LAC in Ladakh was a small snapshot of what the armed forces are required to handle at short notice. The CAS emphasised on the spirit of jointness and asked the graduating officers to don this mantle - as proudly as they would don their blue uniforms. Click here to read....

Operation Samudra Setu–Return of Indian Citizens from Maldives and Iran

Indian Naval Ship Airavat entered the port of Male at Maldives on 21 Jun 2020 as part of the Indian Navy's ongoing Op Samudra Setu, a total of 198 Indian citizens embarked the ship and disembarked home at port of Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu on 23 Jun, this is the fifth instance of a naval ship entering Male under Op Samudra Setu.

INS Jalashwa arrived off Bandar Abbas, Iran on the evening of 24 Jun 20. The ship embarked 687 Indian citizens and also handed over two Air Evacuation Pods indigenously developed by the Indian Navy, to the Iranian authorities.The ship sailed out on 25 Jun 20 on completion of embarkation. Click here to read....

Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath reviews India-Russia defence cooperation with Russian Deputy Prime Minister

Raksha Mantri reviewed India-Russia defence cooperation with Mr. YuryBorisov, Deputy Prime Minister of Russian Federation in Moscow on 23 Jun 2020. Mr. Borisov is the co-chair of the Inter-Governmental Commission with India on Trade & Economic & Scientific Cooperation. He also co-chairs with Raksha Mantri the High Level Committee on Science & Technology. Their discussions on bilateral cooperation and regional issues were very positive and productive. Raksha Mantri mentioned that despite all the difficulties of the pandemic, India-Russia bilateral relations are keeping good contacts at various levels. India and Russia enjoy Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership and defence relationship is one of its important pillars.

Shri Rajnath Singh is on a 3-day visit to Moscow at the invitation of the Russian Defence Minister to attend the 75th Anniversary of Victory Day Parade. Earlier in the day, Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar had discussions with his counterpart, Deputy Defence Minister, Col General Alexander Fomin. They discussed bilateral defence cooperation issues and issues of regional development. Click here to read....

Navy Inducts Indigenously Developed Torpedo Decoy System

Anti - Submarine Warfare capability of the Indian Navy has received a major boost today with the conclusion of a contract for Advanced Torpedo Decoy System Maareech capable of being fired from all frontline warships. Design & Development of this anti-torpedo decoy system has been undertaken indigenously DRDO labs (NSTL and NPOL). Bharat Electronics Limited, a Defence PSU, would undertake the production of this decoy system. The prototype of this system installed onboard a nominated naval platform had successfully completed all user evaluation trials and demonstrated the features as per the Naval Staff Qualification Requirements. Click here to read....

Mission Sagar

Indian Naval Ship Kesari arrived at Kochi today after 55 days of deployment to the Southern Indian Ocean region as part of ‘Mission Sagar’. The ship was deployed on a special ‘COVID Relief Mission’ and made port calls at Male (Maldives), Port Louis (Mauritius), Antsiranana (Madagascar), Moroni (Comoros Islands) and Port Victoria (Seychelles) for delivery of 580 tons of food aid and essential medical stores to local authorities.

A 14 member Naval Medical Assistance Team was also deputed to Mauritius and Comoros for 20 days each and assisted local governments in formulation of long term strategy to counter COVID 19 through mutual sharing of experience. The shipment of essential medicines and Medical Assistance Team as part of ‘Mission Sagar’ reaffirms India’s role as a preferred security partner in the Indian Ocean region(IOR) and reflects India’s commitment to work together with its maritime neighbours and partners in the IOR. Click here to read....

Indigenous Airborne Locust Control System On Mi-17 Helicopter

Anticipating Locust attack, Ministry of Agriculture signed a contract with M/s Micron, UK to modify two Mi-17 Helicopters for spraying atomized pesticide to arrest Locust breeding in May 2020. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the UK based firm would be able to manufacture and supply the modification kit to IAF only from Sep 2020 onward for system integration and testing. In the meanwhile, an unprecedented Locust attack started manifesting from last week of May and was fast spreading practically across many States.

In view of envisaged delay in provisioning of modification kits by M/s Micron, the Indian Air Force tasked No. 3 Base Repair Depot located at Chandigarh and a team of Test Pilots and Test Engineers of Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment, Bangalore have successfully carried out ground and airborne trials of ALCS on a modified Mi-17 helicopter. The system is being offered for use with Malathion for employment in the locust control operation. Being an indigenously developed system, the ALCS would offer inherent advantages of in-house maintenance, future upgradeability, saving of foreign exchange and help in making the country Self Reliant in aviation related technology. Click here to read....

Boko Haram terrorists killed 81 people in Borno State

On 09 June, Boko Haram terrorists attacked a village in Borno State and killed at least 81 people and abducted seven people, including the village head, children and women. These people were members of Faduma Kolomdi community. According to the statement by Nigeria military Spokesman Sagir Musa, the attack was jointly carried out by the terrorists of Boko Haram and ISWAP (Islamic State West Africa Province). Borno State’s Governor—Babagana Zulum visited the village and directed the armed forces to strengthen its operations to put an end on terrorists’ onslaught on border communities in the State. Click here to read....

Al-Shabaab commander of Nepal-origin killed in Juba region

On 28 June, Somali security forces carried out the counter-terrorism (CT) operation and killed Ashraf Azmi Abu Hamdan—a Nepal-origin training commander, and three others of al-Shabaab terrorist group, in the Middle Juba region in Somalia. Since 2008, al-Shabaab group has been trying to topple the government and implementation of sharia law in the country. Click here to read....

Afghan govt accused Taliban for recent attacks

In a wave of terrorist attacks, in which almost 900 Afghan security forces personnel and 150 civilians were killed or wounded, the Afghan govt accused Taliban for carrying out 422 attacks over last seven days. The first phase of the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan is completed. The Taliban continues to control vast swathes of territory, and it has demonstrated an ability to attack when and where it chooses. Click here to read....

Three explosions in Sindh province killed four people

On 19 June, three coordinated explosions claimed by little-know group—Sidhudesh Revolutionary Army (SRA), killed four people, including two soldiers in southern province of Sindh in Pakistan. One of the explosions took place in Karachi, largest and capital city of Sindh, in which a civilian dies and eight paramilitary personnel were injured. The second blast took place in Ghotki district in which two Pakistan Rangers soldiers were martyred. In third explosion, which took place in Larkana district, no casualties were recorded. Earlier, the SLA group carried out low-intensity attacks. Click here to read....

Security forces killed four BLA terrorists in an attack in Karachi

On 29 June, four terrorists of Baluchistan/Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) were killed while attempting an attack on the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSE) in Karachi. According to the statement released by police a sub-inspector and three security guards were martyred while other seven people were injured in the attack. The attackers carried out an attack and tried to enter the PSE premises which also houses the Head Offices of several banks. Security forces, including police and Sindh Rangers, interrupted and killed all four terrorists in the gun-battle. Click here to read....

Jammu and Kashmir
Security forces killed three HM terrorists in Shopian

On 16 June, security forces killed three terrorists of Hizbul-Mujahideen (HM)—Zubair Wani (district commander), Kamran Manhas (nephew of former PDP MLC), and Muneebul-Haq, in a joint counter-terrorism (CT) operation in Turkwangam area in Shopian district. According to GOC Victor Force—Ananiya Sengupta, in last 15 days, 24 terrorists has been killed and most of these terrorists belong to HM in Shopian and Kulgam districts. Click here to read....

Six terrorists were killed in a CT operation in Shopian and Pulwama

In two separate counter-terrorism (CT) operations on 19 June in Shopian and Pulwama districts, security forces killed six terrorists, including two of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). In a mosque located at Meej in Pampore town in Pulwama, two LeT terrorists were holed up and fired upon security forces. In the exchange of fire, both terrorists were killed without any damage to the shrine.

In a second incident, four terrorists of Hizbul-Mujahideen (HM) and LeT were killed at Bandpawa village in Chitragam tehsil in Shopian district. Click here to read....

“Made in China” armed-drone gunned down in Kathua

On 20 June, the Border Security Force (BSF) officials gunned down a ‘made in china’ armed-drone originated from Pakistan, along the International Border in Kathua district. The hexa-copter drone was laden with sophisticated rifle and grenades. According to the statement released by the BSF, the 17.5 kg weighted Chinese-made drone was equipped with US-made M4 carbine, two magazines, and seven Chinese grenades. The BSF’s intelligence branch received inputs regarding the possibility an armed drone ferrying ammunition and arms from Pakistan into India. Click here to read....

“Missing” PhD scholar joined HM, said IGP Kashmir

According to the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Kashmir—Vijay Kumar, Hilal Ahmad Dar—a PhD scholar from Srinagar who went missing on 14 June during trekking expedition to Ganderbal, has joined Hizbul-Mujahideen (HM) terror group. Dar was pursuing PhD in Management Studies from Kashmir University. The family of Dar has claimed that he was working in a private company in Gurgaon and had returned home only due to the coronavirus lockdown. Click here to read....

HM terrorist arrested from Anantnag

On 17 June, security forces have arrested Imran Nabi Dar, a newly joined Hizbul-Mujahideen (HM) terrorists, from Janglatmandi hospital in Anantnag district. Imran had joined HM recently, and was missing since 10 June. Click here to read....

Security forces killed two JeM terrorists in Pulwama

On 23 June, security forces killed two terrorists—Owais Ahmad Bhat and Aijaz Ahmad Ganai, in a counter-terrorism (CT) operation in Bandzoo village of Pulwama district. In the gun-battle, a CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) soldier—Sunil Kaley of the 182 Battalion attained Veergati (fell in the battle). Click here to read....

JeM conspiring an IED attack in Kashmir, said J&K DGP

On 23 June, the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Director-General of Police Dilbag Singh has said that Pakistan with is conspiring to infiltrate more terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) to the valley through Nowshera, Rajouri-Poonch in Jammu, and Kupwara-Keran sectors in Kashmir, to carryout IED (Improvised Explosive Device) attacks in the Valley. In preliminary response, the border and hinterland grids of security forces are on alert and ready to contain any such attempt. Click here to read....

Left-Wing Extremism
Key Maoist supporter arrested from Telangana

The National Investigation Agency (NIA), on 14 June, arrested Nalamasa Krishna— vice-president of Telangana Praja Front (TPF) for his alleged involvement in supporting the activities of proscribed organisation—Communist Party of India (CPI) (Maoist). Krishna was recently released on bail for a treatment. However, after an interrogation for three hours, the NIA arrested Krishna. Click here to read....

Khalistan-inspired Extremism
Punjab police arrested two Khalistan terrorists from Amritsar

Acting upon intelligence input, Punjab police raided a location at GT Road in Jandiala in Amritsar district, on 18 June and arrested two Khalistan terrorists—Gurmeet Singh and Vikram Singh, conspiring to carryout series of terrorist attacks and targeted killings on the directives of their Pakistan-based handlers. In preliminary interrogation, a large variety of Internet posts and weblinks of Khalistan propaganda were also found on the mobile phone of Gurmeet Singh, who has been in regular touch with the Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and his handlers based in Pakistan. Click here to read....

Islamist Extremism in India
NIA got custody of suspected LeT handler from West Bengal

The National Investigation Agency (NIA), on 12 June, got custody of suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) handler—Tania Praveen (22 years-old) from Kolkata, West Bengal. Allegedly, Tania has been in regular contact with several Pakistan-based LeT handlers through various Pakistani SIM cards and other communication applications, including WhatsApp. Tania was arrested on 20 March 2020 and has been lodged in Dumdum Central Jail. Click here to read....

Al-Qaeda recruit Islamic scholars from Bangladesh for ‘lone-wolf’ attacks against India

According to the intelligence inputs, al-Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) has been trying to instigate and influence Islamic scholars in Bangladesh through online content to prepare for ‘lone-wolf’ attacks against India. Through these Islamic scholars, AQIS is creating online content, including videos depicting detailed strategy to plan and execute ‘lone-wolf’ attacks against India’s security agencies, Hindu religious leaders and businesses, in the broader sense of global jihad. Click here to read....

UP ATS arrested al-Qaeda operative from Uttar Pradesh

On 18 June, the Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) officials arrested InamulHaq (28 years-old)—an al-Qaeda operative with psuedonym Mohammad Shoeb/Shoaibaka Abu Mohammad Ali, from Quila/Qila area in Bareilly district. Allegedly, Mohammad Shoaib was involved in mobilising the youth through social-media applications. Haq was unemployed and has been active on social-media, under different names, for diverting youths towards terrorism. Click here to read....

NIA filed charge sheet against 12 accused in IS’s Chennai module

In a major breakthrough over Islamic State (IS) modules in India, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on 23 June filed charge sheet against 12 accused in a case of IS’s Chennai module. All 12 accused were arrested earlier but have now been charged under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Arms Act (AA), and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act [UA(P)A]. A statement released by the NIA has stated that the investigation of the case revealed that after the release of the key conspirator and IS terrorist named KhajaMohideen on bail in a case relating to the murder of a Hindu leader from Central Prison, Puzhal in February 2019; Mohideen had conspired with one Liyakath Ali with the intention of furthering the activities of IS in India. Click here to read....

Cyber & Artificial Intelligence (Security Perspective)
IS strengthening its virtual presence on online communication apps

Islamic State (IS) terrorist organisation uses online communication applications or apps to disseminate its ideology and further recruiting for potential terrorists. The supporters of IS have created a multi-language news outlet—Nashir News on the messaging app—Hoop. The Nashir news agency disseminates the news related to organisation’s activities in Africa, Asia, and the Middle-East. Nashir News Agency’s presence on the encrypted messaging app Telegram was degraded in a joint operation by the Europol and Telegram. After this crackdown, IS increased its presence on Tam-Tam and Hoop Messenger. Click here to read....

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