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Terror strikes, Maoist threat keep MHA busy in 2011

Last updated on: December 25, 2011 16:52 IST

Terror strikes, Maoist threat keep MHA busy in 2011

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Achinta Borah

Terror strikes in Delhi and Mumbai blotted the copy book of the internal security establishment which could otherwise boast of considerably lower levels of violence in the sensitive Jammu and Kashmir and Northeast during 2011.

The Maoist challenge and the yet unsuccessful attempts to persuade Pakistan in bringing to book the perpetrators of 26/11 Mumbai attacks kept the Union home ministry on its toes in the year that is coming to a close.

The ministry, under P Chidambaram, who assumed its reins in the aftermath of Mumbai 2008 attacks, could make no headway in the Telangana issue which kept Andhra Pradesh tense.

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Image: 2011 was a year full of activities for P Chidambaram and his home ministry
Photographs: Reuters

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Maoists violence continued unabated in 2011

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Two bigwigs of the Maoist movement -- Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad and Koteswar Rao alias Kishenji -- were killed in separate encounters over which civil rights activists sought to pillory the Central government.

In the elimination of Kishenji, the Central Reserve Police Force had played a crucial role while the killing of Azad was mainly handiwork of Andhra Pradesh Police, both of which created controversy.

The year also saw filing of charge sheet against Pakistani-American terrorist David Headley, Lashkar founder Hafiz Saeed and two Pakistani Inter Services Intelligence officers for plotting terror attacks in India including the 26/11 strikes.

The Maoists violence continued unabated in 2011 with more than 500 people, including 120 security personnel, killed in 1,500 attacks carried out by Naxals in worst affected Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa, Bihar, West Bengal and Maharashtra.


Image: File picture of Maoist leader Kishenji who was killed by CRPF troops in West Bengal in November this year
Photographs: Reuters

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Blasts in Delhi, Mumbai brought back clouds of terror

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Two blasts outside the Delhi high court, one of which claimed around 18 lives, and multiple blasts in Mumbai, that claimed 27 lives, brought back dark clouds of terror over the national capital as well as the financial capital.

Investigators have not been able to crack either of the case, proving country's vulnerability and terrorists' ability to strike at will.

Despite India's efforts, Pakistan has not brought the perpetrators of 26/11 attack to justice. Chidambaram's blunt talk with his Pakistani counterpart Rehman Malik and then Home Secretary Gopal K Pillai's tough message to his counterpart during bilateral meetings have gone into the deaf ears of Islamabad.

Pakistan is said to be harbouring terrorists with a large number of terror infrastructure continue to run smoothly across the Line of Control.

According to a home ministry estimate around 2,500 heavily trained terrorists are taking shelter in these camps and waiting for opportunities to enter India.


Image: A Delhi police special force personnel keeps vigil after cordoning off the site of a blast outside the Delhi high court in September this year
Photographs: Reuters

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Telangana agitation kept MHA on its toes

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The agitation for a separate Telangana state saw much high-voltage drama in Andhra Pradesh. However, four parties -- ruling Congress, Telugu Desam Party, Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen and YSR Congress -- are yet to make up their mind resulting in delay in convening an all party meeting by the Centre.

On the other hand, the Uttar Pradesh assembly last month passed a resolution seeking division of the state into four parts -- Awadh Pradesh, Poorvanchal, Budelkhand and Pachim Pradesh.

However, the Mayawati government's proposal was returned by the home ministry asking the state government to clarify on certain issues.

The home minister again came in the firing line of opposition when reports suggested that three cases filed against a Delhi-based hotelier, a former client of Chidambaram, were withdrawn by the Delhi Police.

However, soon the Delhi government reversed its earlier order. Chidambaram too distanced himself from the controversy by making it clear that he never recommended for the withdrawal of the cases against S P Gupta.


Image: Telangana supporters protest in Hyderabad in July this year
Photographs: Reuters

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2011 saw decline in militancy in Kashmir

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There has been significant decline in militancy and violence in Jammu and Kashmir where Panchayat elections concluded peacefully after a gap of 23 years while lakhs of tourists flocked to enjoy the beauty of the state.

The group of interlocutors constituted by the Centre to suggest solution to Kashmir issue submitted final report which was yet to be made public.

Significant decline in violence was also witnessed in the Northeastern states where Suspension of Operation agreements were signed by the government with several insurgent groups, including United Liberation Front of Asom.

The economic blockade on highways in Manipur was also withdrawn after three months after much persuasion by the home ministry.

Census 2011 was successfully completed. India's population rose to 1.21 billion people over the last 10 years, an increase by 181 million. The population, which accounts for world's 17.5 per cent population, comprises 623.7 million males and 586.5 million females. China is the most populous nation accounting for 19.4 per cent of the global population.


Image: A woman walks while carrying her eight-month-old baby girl on a cold morning in Srinagar on December 17
Photographs: Reuters

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Home ministry got brickbats for forcefully removing Ramdev from agitation

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The home ministry got brickbats for forcefully removing Ramadev from Ramlila ground when he was staging a protest fast against blackmoney and again when Anna Hazare was arrested briefly for his attempt to go on a hunger strike, without permission, demanding the Jan Lokpal Bill.

During the year, R K Singh replaced Gopal K Pillai as the new Union home secretary.

The Cabinet Committee on Security approved setting up of NATGRID, a robust intelligence sharing mechanism among various agencies of the Centre and the states.


Image: Supporters of Baba Ramdev scatter after tear gas canisters were thrown in by police at the Ramlila grounds on the second day of Ramdev's fast in New Delhi
Photographs: Reuters

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