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These 10 politicians top the terror hit-list

March 21, 2014 10:04 IST

These 10 politicians top the terror hit-list

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Vicky Nanjappa

Danger ahead for Bharatiya Janata Party’s PM hopeful Narendra Modi and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, warns the Intelligence Bureau.

As the elections inch closer, all eyes are on the country’s top politicians, and the gaze of the terrorists and Naxals is fixed. The Intelligence Bureau has drawn out a fresh list that names 10 netas, who are in grave danger.

There are several intercepts gathered every day with many of them indicating the lurking danger for Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi, Finance Minister P Chidamabaram, BJP veteran L K Advani, among others, an IB officer told rediff.com.        

These politicians face threats from Maoists, Indian Mujahideen, Babbar Khalsa International and the Lashkar-e-Tayiba. 

This election is a nail-biting contest and with the number of rallies doubling as compared to the previous polls, the task ahead for the police and intelligence agencies has only become tougher.     

Click NEXT to find out who are the 10 leaders on the hit-list...


Image: (Clockwise) Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, BJP's Narendra Modi and L K Advani and Finance Minister P Chidambaram


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Narendra Modi

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Vicky Nanjappa

The BJP’s PM-in-waiting has topped the target list of terrorists for over three years now. He faces the biggest threat from homegrown terror outfits -- the Indian Mujahideen and the banned Students Islamic Movement of India.

The Lakshar also wants Modi wiped out, but they may not get a green signal from the Pakistani establishment, said an intelligence official. “They would instead rely on an Indian-based outfit to carry out the job but would provide all the necessary financial help for such an operation.”

Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence realises that any attack emanating out of its soil against Modi would be a disastrous, as this will put them up against the rest of the world.

The IM has tried to target the BJP leader once in Patna at his rallies last October. “But they still have their plans afloat and would attempt to attack his rallies even if it meant using a human bomb,” the IB said.

The other danger comes from the radical faction of the SIMI, which has a small presence in parts of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. This outfit has been planning a hit on Modi for a year and are looking to target him during the upcoming elections.

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Image: Narendra Modi gestures during a rally in Gujarat
Photographs: Amit Dave/Reuters

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Sonia Gandhi

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Vicky Nanjappa

Congress President Sonia Gandhi is on the hate list of Naxals. A common grouse among them is that many excesses have been committed against them under the Congress regime.

Sonia’s rallies could be targeted in Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, the IB has warned.  

The threat perception to the Congress chief is considerably low from the IM. To disrupt the polls they may carry out a strike against her, but there is no specific input to suggest this, the IB said. 

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Image: Congress chief Sonia Gandhi speaks at a party meet in New Delhi
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

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L K Advani

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Vicky Nanjappa

The BJP patriarch faces danger from the SIMI. Activists from the radical Safdar Nagori faction consider him the enemy.

Today, Advani is no longer a top target like he was in 2004, but the SIMI could still be looking for a “symbolic hit’, an intel officer said. SIMI operatives feel that the birth of its radical faction became imminent because of his decision to ban the outfit when he was the home minister in 2001. They consider Advani as the extreme face of the BJP and several attempts to target him in the past have failed.

Although there is lack of clarity in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case, the first input received by the intelligence was that she was part of a SIMI module backed by the Lashkar to eliminate Advani.

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Image: BJP veteran leader L K Advani at a meeting in New Delhi
Photographs: Ahmad Masood/Reuters

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P Chidambaram

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Vicky Nanjappa

His stint as home minister spelled trouble for both the Indian Mujahideen and the Naxals. While the terror group blames him for the crackdown against innocent Muslims, who were suspected IM operatives, the Maoists despise him for providing a boost to the Central Reserve Police Force against the Naxal movement.

According to the Intelligence Bureau, after Advani, the only other home minister to have taken national security seriously was Chidambaram. There was a lot he sought to do by setting up various agencies to put an end to homegrown terror, which be believed was the biggest threat the nation faced.   

Although the threat perception against him has reduced, as he no longer holds the home portfolio, the IB insisted that the security around him cannot be lax, especially with elections round the corner.

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Image: Finance Minister P Chidambaram ponders during an interview in New Delhi
Photographs: Reuters

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Sushil Kumar Shinde

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Vicky Nanjappa

Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde is on the hit-list of the Indian Mujahideen.

The arrest of IM co-founder Yasin Bhatkal and the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru are cited as the main reasons by the IM to target Shinde, according to the IB.

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Image: Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde
Photographs: Reuters

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Raman Singh

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Vicky Nanjappa

The chief minister of Chhattisgarh is a top target for Naxals in the region. Though they consider the Congress to be their biggest foe, Maoists feels that attacking Raman Singh would send a strong warning signal, IB officials told rediff.com.         

There are strict instructions from the intel to beef up Singh’s security, especially with polls nearing. The IB has warned that all roads that he travels on need to be regularly checked for landmines and his rallies have to be sanitised thoroughly by security agencies.

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Image: Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh


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Shahnawaz Hussain

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Vicky Nanjappa

The fact that Shahnawaz Hussain is a Muslim in the BJP does not augur well with the IM. The BJP spokesperson was a target along with Modi during the Patna blasts.  

The IM feels that minorities in the BJP is not a good sign and by targeting him they would discourage others from the community to join the party, an IB officer told rediff.com.

Specific threats from the Bihar chapter of the IM have been intercepted, the agency warned.  

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Image: BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain interacts with party supporters
Photographs: Courtesy: http://www.shahnawazhussain.in/

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Parkash Singh Badal

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Vicky Nanjappa

The Punjab CM will campaign under high security, as per the directives of the IB.  

The Babbar Khalsa International has been making desperate attempts to resurface and according to intelligence inputs they are planning on unleash a set of trained gunmen to target Badal. The possibility of blasts is also not ruled out, the IB warned.

The BKI feels that targeting Badal would be the best way to make a comeback in Punjab. 

The CM also faces a threat from the Jaish-e-Mohammad and an interrogation of its operative Taslim Maulvi revealed a plan to attack him. Maulvi also stated in his confessions they were receiving aid from the BKI and Lashkar in its operations.

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Image: Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal


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Sukhbir Singh Badal

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Vicky Nanjappa

The BKI also want Sukhbir Singh Badal, the Punjab CM’s son, out of their way.

As deputy CM and home minister of Punjab, he has taken several measures to counter infiltrations of BKI militants, who enjoy the support of the Laskkar and the ISI. 

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Image: Punjab Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal
Photographs: Courtesy: Facebook

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Jairam Ramesh

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Vicky Nanjappa

Although Jairam Ramesh has not been a part of any major decision on national security, his remarks on Naxals have earned their ire.

After the brutal attack on the Congress convoy in Chhattisgarh last May, he equated them to terrorists. "The Maoists extort money from government contracts. You must treat them not as ideological Don Quixotes, but as extortionists. Anybody who spreads terror, is a terrorist,” he had said.

Criticising public sector undertakings for the displacement of many tribals, the rural development minister had blamed their actions for the growth of Naxalism in various states.

This angered them further and they have placed him on their hit-list, the IB pointed out.  


Image: Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh speaks during an interview in New Delhi
Photographs: Anindito Mukherjee/Reuters

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