VIF News Digest: National Security - Defence Studies & Terrorism, 16-31 May 2021
Anurag Sharma, Research Associate, VIF

DEFENCE

  • Raksha Mantri reviews Armed Forces efforts to tackle Cyclone Tauktae.
  • Raksha Mantri unveils first batch of anti-COVID drug developed by DRDO.
  • India & Oman renew MoUs on military cooperation & maritime issues.
  • Army Chief Reviews Operational Readiness & Security Situation In North-East.
  • Visit of External Affairs Minister to the United States (24-28 May 2021).
  • Armed Forces prepare to mitigate Cyclone YAAS.
  • Indian Coast Guard’s operations continue to control the fire onboard MV X-Press Pearl.
  • DRDO develops Critical Near Isothermal Forging Technology for aeroengines.
  • MoD notifies ‘Second Positive Indigenisation List’ of 108 items to promote self-reliance & defence exports.

INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM

Africa
Nigeria
  • Boko Haram leader Shekau killed himself during confrontation with ISWAP terrorist in Borno State.
Somalia
  • “In next 12 months, Britain will send 250 Special Operations troops to Somalia to fight al-Shabaab terrorists”, said Gen Sir Mark Carleton-Smith.
Afghanistan
  • Army conducted counter-terrorism operation against Taliban in Laghman province.
  • Bomb explosion in a mosque killed at least 12 people in Kabul.

DOMESTIC TERRORISM

Jammu and Kashmir
  • NIA charge-sheeted three HM terrorists in 2019 Kishtwar conspiracy.
  • Police disintegrated a narco-terror module in Kupwara.
  • Wilayat-e-Hind claimed burning of Hindu temple in Srinagar; Police debunked the fake news.
  • Security forces eliminated two terrorists in Srinagar.
  • Police recovered IEDs recovered from Pulwama.
Left-Wing Extremism
  • NIA filed charge-sheet against seven Maoists in Andhra Pradesh case.
  • Security forces eliminated 15 Maoists in a gun-battle in Maharashtra.
Islamic Extremism
  • NIA raided four places in Tamil Nadu in connection with social media posts advocating IS ideology.
Khalistan-inspired Extremism
  • Police arrested two KTF terrorists from Punjab.
Defence
Raksha Mantri reviews Armed Forces efforts to tackle Cyclone Tauktae.

The Raksha Mantri was briefed that Indian Air Force has deployed its aircraft to transport personnel and tonnes of load of NDRF to Ahmedabad. On May 16, 2021, IAF had deployed two C-130J and one An-32 aircraft for transportation of 167 personnel and 16.5 tonnes of load of NDRF from Kolkata to Ahmedabad. Another C-130J and two An-32 aircraft carried 121 NDRF personnel and 11.6 tonnes of load from Vijayawada to Ahmedabad for the same purpose. Two C-130J aircraft transported 110 personnel and 15 tonnes of cargo for NDRF from Pune to Ahmedabad. Two Army columns have been mobilised from Jamnagar for Diu along with Engineer Task Force. Two more columns staged forward to Junagadh for immediate response in case need arises.
In addition 11 Indian Navy Diving Teams have been kept on standby in case of any request from authorities of affected states. Twelve flood rescue teams and medical teams have been earmarked for immediate response and deployment. Repair and rescue teams have also been formed to undertake urgent infrastructural repairs post cyclone, if required. Three ships (Talwar, Tarkash and Tabar) are on standby with aid and relief material.
For more information: Click here to read...

Raksha Mantri unveils first batch of anti-COVID drug developed by DRDO.

The first batch of the adjunct COVID therapy anti-COVID drug, 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG), was released in New Delhi on May 17, 2021. An anti-COVID-19 therapeutic application of the drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) has been developed by Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), a lab of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), along with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL), Hyderabad.
For more information: Click here to read...

Army Chief Reviews Operational Readiness & Security Situation in North-East.

Indian Army Chief General MM Naravane arrived at Dimapur (Nagaland) on 20 May 2021 on a two day visit to review the operational readiness along the Northern Borders of Arunachal Pradesh and security situation in hinterland of North East.
For more information: Click here to read...

Visit of External Affairs Minister to the United States (24-28 May 2021).

External Affairs Minister was visiting the United States from 24-28 May 2021. In New York, he was expected to meet UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. In Washington DC, External Affairs Minister held discussions with his counterpart Secretary of State Antony Blinken. He also met Cabinet members and Senior Officials of the Administration dealing with the bilateral relationship. External Affairs Minister also had two interactions with business forums on economic & COVID-related cooperation between India and the US.

Armed Forces prepare to mitigate Cyclone YAAS.

Armed Forces have commenced preparations to mitigate the impact of Cyclone YAAS, which is expected to hit the Eastern Coast on May 26, 2021. Indian Air Force (IAF) has airlifted 950 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel and 70 tonnes of load from Jamnagar, Varanasi, Patna and Arakonnam to Kolkata, Bhubaneswar and Port Blair in 15 Transport Aircraft, as on May 23, 2021. Sixteen transport aircraft and 26 helicopters are on standby for immediate deployment. Indian Navy, fresh from Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) and rescue operations on the Western Coast, has moved 10 HADR pallets to Bhubaneswar and Kolkata, while five HADR pallets are ready at Port Blair. Eight ships of Eastern Naval Command and Andaman and Nicobar Command have been embarked with HADR Bricks to provide succour to the people likely to be impacted. Four diving and 10 flood relief columns have been pre-positioned at Kolkata, Bhubaneswar and Chilika for rendering assistance to civil administration at short notice.
For more information: Click here to read...

Indian Coast Guard’s operations continue to control the fire onboard MV X-Press Pearl.

Indian Coast Guard (ICG) is working tirelessly to extinguish the massive fire onboard container vessel MV X-Press Pearl off Colombo, Sri Lanka. The challenging round-the-clock fire-fighting operation, underway since May 25, 2021 jointly with Sri Lankan authorities, has been named as Operation Sagar Aaraksha 2 which symbolises growing maritime cooperation between India and Sri Lanka.

The distressed vessel MV X-Press Pearl was carrying 1,486 containers with nitric acid and other hazardous IMDG code chemicals. The extreme fire, damage to containers and prevailing inclement weather has caused the vessel to tilt to starboard resulting in falling of containers overboard. As on 30 May 2021, three ICG ships and four tugs deployed by Sri Lanka were involved in the operation and continuously fighting the fire by spraying AFFF and sea water using external fire-fighting systems. The non-stop joint firefighting efforts have yielded positive results with increasing signs of fire being under control. Smoke density has also reduced. The fire has been localised to a small area near the aft section of the vessel.
For more information: Click here to read...

DRDO develops Critical Near Isothermal Forging Technology for aeroengines.

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has established the near isothermal forging technology to produce all the five stages of high-pressure compressors (HPC) discs out of difficult-to-deform titanium alloy using its unique 2000 MT isothermal forge press. The technology has been developed by Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL), a premier metallurgical laboratory of DRDO at Hyderabad. This is a crucial technology for establishing self-reliance in aeroengine technology. With this development, India has joined the league of limited global engine developers to have the manufacturing capabilities of such critical aero engine components.
For more information: Click here to read...

MoD notifies ‘Second Positive Indigenisation List’ of 108 items to promote self-reliance & defence exports.

Raksha Mantri has approved a proposal of the Department of Military Affairs, Ministry of Defence (MoD) to notify the ‘Second Positive Indigenisation List’ of 108 items. All the 108 items will now be procured from indigenous sources as per provisions given in Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020. The ‘Second Positive Indigenisation List’ comprises complex systems, sensors, simulator, weapons and ammunitions like Helicopters, Next Generation Corvettes, Air Borne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) systems, Tank Engines, Medium Power Radar for Mountains, MRSAM Weapon Systems and many more such items to fulfil the requirements of Indian Armed Forces. This second list is planned to be implemented progressively with effect from December 2021 to December 2025.
The complete list can be accessed at: Click here to read...

INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM

Africa
Nigeria
Boko Haram leader Shekau killed himself during confrontation with ISWAP terrorist in Borno State.

According to various reports, on 19 May, Boko Haram’s leader Abubakar Shekau detonated in a confrontation with and to avoid capture by Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP)’s terrorists in Sambisa Forest, known to be Shekau’s base of operations, in Borno State. Nigerian military investigating the reports, but many officials and analysts have been wary, referring to the number of times Shekau has been reported killed, only to appear alive days later, said Nigerian army spokesperson. “The United States has not yet been able to independently verify these reports and continues to monitor the situation,” said a spokesperson for the White House National Security Council.
For more information: Click here to read...

Somalia
“In next 12 months, Britain will send 250 Special Operations troops to Somalia to fight al-Shabaab terrorists”, said Gen Sir Mark Carleton-Smith.

While speaking at the Atlantic Council, the British Army’s Chief of the General Staff (CoGS)—General Mark Carleton-Smith said that “in next 12 months, Britain will send 250 troops of the Special Operations Unit to Somalia to fight against al-Shabaab terrorists. The move will support Britain’s regional East African partners.” Al-Shabaab is affiliated to al-Qaeda and currently battling the United Nations (UN) backed government in Somalia where government troops are reported to be poorly trained and equipped.
For more information: Click here to read...

Afghanistan
Army conducted counter-terrorism operation against Taliban in Laghman province.

During a clean-up operation on 24 May, Afghanistan army foiled Taliban terrorists’ attempt to gain ground control and killed more than 50 Taliban terrorists in Mehterlam in Langhman province. In another similar operation on 23 May, Army eliminated at least 36 Taliban terrorists in Baghlan province, confirmed the statement released by the Afghan army.
For more information: https://www.wionews.com/south-asia/afghanistan-soldiers-conduct-operation-against-taliban-387201" target="_blank">Click here to read...

Bomb explosion in a mosque killed at least 12 people in Kabul.

On 14 May, a bomb explosion in a mosque during Friday prayers killed at least 12 people, including Imam, in northern Kabul. No terror group claimed the responsibility of the blast. It appeared that the explosive device was hidden inside the pulpit at the front of the mosque.
For more information: Click here to read...

DOMESTIC TERRORISM

Jammu and Kashmir
NIA charge-sheeted three HM terrorists in 2019 Kishtwar conspiracy.

On 22 May, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) charge-sheeted three Hizb ul-Mujahideen (HM) terrorists—Jaffer Hussain, Tanveer Ahmed Malik, and Taraq Hussain Giri, in connection to 2019 HM Kishtwar conspiracy case. The case is related to the snatching of service weapon of the Escort-in-Charge (E-in-C) of DC Kishtwar. The investigation of the case had revealed that the objective of all these terror acts was to revive militancy in Kishtwar by looting arms and targeting prominent persons of a particular community to create terror among the members of that community.
For more information:
Click here to read...

Police disintegrated a narco-terror module in Kupwara.

On 23 May, the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) police disintegrated a Pakistan-sponsored narco-terror module and arrested a terrorist—Mujasir Ahmad Lone, during an operation in Kupwara district. Post-operation, police recovered incriminating material and eight kilograms of heroin worth ₹ 50 crore. “The module was in close connection with Pakistan-based terrorist handlers and was involved in drug trade and financially assisting active terrorists in the Valley. The recoveries also exposed the inter-connection between drug dealers and terrorists,” said a J&K police official.
For more information: Click here to read...

Wilayat-e-Hind claimed burning of Hindu temple in Srinagar; Police debunked the fake news.

On 19 May, the Islamic State’s (IS) Wilayat-e-Hind claimed to set fire to a famous Hindu temple in Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). In a statement released on Telegram messaging platform, the group said that “With success from Allah Almighty, the Caliphate soldiers burned a famous temple of the ‘polytheist’ Hindus in Wagar Nak [a misspelling for Vichar Nag] area in the city of Srinagar, which resulted in material damages to it and burned parts of it.”

However, Srinagar police quickly debunk the false claim saying no such incident has taken place. “FIR has been registered and legal action initiated against those spreading this fake news”, Srinagar police tweeted from the official Twitter handle.
For more information: Click here to read...

Security forces eliminated two terrorists in Srinagar.

On 17 May, security forces killed two unidentified terrorists during a counter-terrorism operation in Khonmoh area in Srinagar district in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). Acting upon intelligence input, security forces carried out a Cordon and Search Operation (CASO) in the area. Soon, the search operation turned into a gun-battle after terrorists opened fire towards security forces positions.
For more inforamtion: Click here to read...

Police recovered IEDs recovered from Pulwama

On 15 May, Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) police averted a major terrorist attack after timely recovery of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) from Barpora village in Pulwama district. Acting upon credible input about a conspiracy of a terrorist attack by Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), the police and Army’s 55 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) personnel questioned few suspected people, who provided information about the 10 kilogram IED hidden in the orchards of Barpora village.
For more information: Click here to read...

Left-Wing Extremism
NIA filed charge-sheet against seven Maoists in Andhra Pradesh case.

On 21 May, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a charge-sheet against seven Maoists—Pangi Naganna, Akkiraju Harigopal, Boppuddi Anjamma, Rela Rajeshwari, Anduluri Annapurna, Manukonda Srinivasa Rao, Jangala Koteshwar Rao, and Koti, for their involvement in conspiring, supporting and furthering the activities of CPI (Maoist) in Andhra Pradesh. In the case, Pangi Naganna was intercepted by police while carrying Maoist literature and other incriminating materials. On his disclosure a large cache of explosives and arms were recovered which were handed over to other Maoists by Pangi. The charge-sheet was filed under Section 120-B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Sections 18, 20, 23, 38 and 39 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act [UA(P)A], Sections 4 and 5 of Explosives Substances Act [ESA], and Section 25(1A) of the Indian Arms Act [IAA].
For more information: Click here to read...

Security forces eliminated 15 Maoists in a gun-battle in Maharashtra.

On 21 May, security forces killed at least 15 Maoists, including seven women, in a gun-battle in forest area between Potegaon and Rajoli in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra. Acting upon specific intelligence inputs, around 200 jawans of the elite C-60 anti-Maoist squad carried out raids when Maoist squad was trying to organise a meeting with villagers and tendu leaf contractors over wages for collection of tendu leaves.
For more information: Click here to read...

Islamic Extremism
NIA raided four places in Tamil Nadu in connection with social media posts advocating IS ideology.

On 16 May, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) raided four locations—Kazimar street, K Pudur, Pethaniyapuram, and Mehaboob Palayam, in Madurai in Tamil Nadu, in connection with an investigation of incriminating Facebook posts advocating Islamic State (IS)’s ideology. The posts were administered by Mohammad Iqbal who believed to be an Islamic extremist propagating ideology of IS and Hizb ut-Tahrir (HuT).
“Investigation has revealed that the posts on the Facebook page ‘Thoonga Vizhigal Rendu is in Kazimar Street’ were uploaded by accused Iqbal for denigrating a particular community. The posts were designed to incite communal disharmony amongst different religious groups, in a manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order,” read the statement released by the NIA.
For more information: Click here to read...

Khalistan-inspired Extremism
Police arrested two KTF terrorists from Punjab

On 22 May, police arrested two Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) terrorists—Lovepreet Singh aka Ravi and Ram Singh aka Sonu, for their involvement in killing a Dera follower and injuring a priest in January 2021. Both, Lovepreet and Ram, were arrested at Mehna railway crossing in Moga district. Police seized four pistols and 48 rounds of live cartridges, and two magazines from their possession.
For more information: Click here to read...

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