Counter-terrorism

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  • Shyam Hari asked: What is the difference between the lexicons ‘Anti-terrorism’ and ‘Counter-terrorism’?

    Vivek Chadha replies: On the face of it, both “anti-terrorism” and “counter-terrorism” seem similar and the difference borders on semantics. While the official glossary in the Indian context does not differentiate the two, international writings do highlight essential differences.

    Army Should Back the State Police Not Replace Them in Counter-Terror Operations

    Army Should Back the State Police Not Replace Them in Counter-Terror Operations

    Instead of exhibiting eagerness to take a leading part in every internal security task, it would be prudent for the Army to remain alert and be prepared and willing to back up the police.

    August 03, 2015

    Deployment of Central Forces in the North East: Need for a Realistic Security Audit

    Deployment of Central Forces in the North East: Need for a Realistic Security Audit

    The security audit should be done in a realistic frame and may include some interlocutors and officers of the C&AG`s department given their understanding of the functioning of the state government machinery at various tiers as well as their independence of approach.

    July 15, 2015

    Ensuring Peace in the Northeast

    Ensuring Peace in the Northeast

    The internal security situation in the North-eastern states is complex. It requires people with in-depth knowledge of the terrain, society, politics and culture and history of insurgency in the region to be placed in positions entrusted with the handling of affairs.

    June 11, 2015

    The Ambush in Manipur: New Dimensions to Militant Violence in the Northeast

    The Ambush in Manipur: New Dimensions to Militant Violence in the Northeast

    Obtaining Myanmar’s help to counter covert Chinese connections with insurgent groups like the UWSA and by extension with anti-India militant groups such as the NSCN (K) is important for long term stability in the Northeast.

    June 11, 2015

    Internal Security Priorities for the New Government: Institutional Reforms

    Internal Security Priorities for the New Government: Institutional Reforms

    The IDSA policy brief looks into the complexity of internal security challenges and how best to deal with it. The brief suggests building a Centre-State synergy to cope with contemporary trends like increasing urbanization, growth of mega cities, demographic shift, rising expectations of the youth and social media.

    May 19, 2014

    National Investigation Agency: Do states have right to reject?

    The NIA was established in a concurrent jurisdiction framework, with provisions for taking up specific cases under specific Acts for investigation and prosecution. The NIA may be seen to conflict with responsibility that is exclusively with the states but it cannot be conclusively said that the Agency is unconstitutional

    May 12, 2014

    Anant Narayan Padhy asked: What steps the Indian Government is taking to combat terrorism?

    Vivek Chadha replies: Before taking a look at the measures undertaken by the government to combat terrorism, it is important to understand the different levels at which terrorism affects society and the security of the country. Terrorism essentially instils an innate sense of fear in the everyday life of a citizen, thereby diluting the perceived control of the state over law and order and its ability to govern. This state of lawlessness creates conditions which help the terrorist group achieve its political aims. In order to achieve this, the spectre of fear has to be unpredictable, sensational and display the helplessness of the state in the face of loss of life and property.

    This is achieved in case of India by terrorist groups through underground modules all over the country. In the case of a group like Indian Mujahideen, support in terms of training, funding and logistics is provided by Pakistan. The modular nature of the organisation makes it difficult to establish a hierarchy and thus tracking its activities are much more difficult. Recruitment to such groups fuels on perceived sense of alienation and deprivation.

    In order to fight this kind of threat, the government functions against terrorism at a number of levels. First, there is a concerted effort to address the root cause of alienation which affects communities or sections of society. This is done by addressing genuine concerns and through awareness campaigns that dispel false propaganda. Second, intelligence agencies keep track of radicalisation attempts by overground workers and recruitment agents in order to stop this process at its inception. Third, human and electronic means are used to tap into existing networks and cells to pre-empt terrorist strikes and arrest leaders, both inside and outside the country. Fourth, international cooperation with other countries facilitates follow up on suspects and cases in progress. Fifth, laws are legislated to provide the necessary legal framework for speedy conviction of terrorists through fast track special courts. Sixth, specialist agencies like the National Investigation Agency (NIA) have been established which investigate and prosecute terrorism related crimes in special NIA courts.

    These are some of the measures undertaken to fight terrorism. However, the best defence against terrorism is to ensure that the people do not have the incentive to pick up arms against the country by providing them equitable political, social and economic opportunities.

    Posted on May 6, 2014

    Coastal Security: Time for course correction

    Five years since the Mumbai terror attacks, the coastal mechanism remains weak. It is time to seriously consider the Indian coast guard as the single authority responsible for coastal security and accordingly amend the charter of the ICG.

    November 26, 2013

    Tracking the source of ‘Weapon Providers’ for NE Rebels

    It is well established that the armed ethnic groups in Myanmar act as the interlocking chain for the illegal weapons flow from Yunnan in China via Myanmar to the Northeast India. Reports indicate that the most effective illegal weapons trader in Myanmar is the armed ethnic group, the United Wa State Army (UWSA).

    November 07, 2013

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