Home Ministry warns of threat from Sikh militants,poor farmers and jihadists

The threat perception to national security isn’t only from the Al-Qaeda, Maoists, Sikh militants, Indian Mujahideen, banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and terrorists infiltrating from Pakistan or Bangladesh. The nation must be on guard against poor farmers too, states a Central advisory.’

The nationwide advisory, based on intelligence inputs ahead of Independence Day and sent out last week, asks the state governments to beef up security in view of the heightened security threat.

Protests against the politically sensitive land acquisition legislation, being pushed by the NDA government and facing stiff resistance from the Opposition quarters, have been branded a security threat in a seven-page advisory by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

The nationwide advisory, based on intelligence inputs ahead of Independence Day and sent out last week, asks the state governments to beef up security in view of the heightened security threat.

It also includes various Muslim organisations that have expressed unhappiness with the Union government on such issues as observance of International Yoga Day, Sanskrit week and beef ban.

The advisory steers clear of any specific intelligence input, which is what forces on the ground always look out for. Every possible threat under the sun has been included in the advisory, making it only a routine exercise that has little actionable intelligence. The move is a classic sample of generic information that officials in states dealing with terror have always grudged.

This is what makes farmers a threat to national security: “Almost all Opposition political parties and farmers have opposed the Land Acquisition Bill and organised various agitations throughout the country. These organisations have tried to project the Prime Minister as anti-farmer.”

Uncorroborated input a senior state police official said: “It is far from being specific and does not include anything that we already don’t know.” Other officers also said such “generic” advisories are a routine affair ahead of Independence Day, Republic Day and all major festivals.

The advisory also quotes a recent “uncorroborated input” of April that LeT was planning a terror strike by a group of 8-10 Pakistani terrorists at a hotel or railway station. Making it even more ambiguous, it adds that these terrorists could enter either through the sea route or through Jammu & Kashmir. To add to the vagueness, there is an intelligence input of January 2015 citing LeT’s potential targets “from the ruling coalition at the Centre and its associates”.

Another “uncorroborated input” about hijacking/explosions on Kabul-Delhi Air India flights is another case in point of vague intelligence assessment. The generic nature of intelligence ahead of Independence Day comes soon after a series of infiltrations by Pakistani terrorists, leading to attacks on security forces. The intelligence apparatus was caught napping on several occasions, including the recent attack in Gurdaspur (Punjab) when three Pakistani terrorists attacked a police station after infiltrating through the heavily guarded border.

The advisory covers all possible terror threats. It quotes an intelligence input of April 16, 2015, on al-Qaeda in Indian sub-continent (AQIS) planning terror attacks in India. It states that as per inputs going back to September 2014, AQIS was making efforts to recruit gullible Muslim youth from various states across the country and could also target political leaders. The outfit plans to target BJP offices, tourists and religious, aviation and railway infrastructure, it adds.

As far as the Maoist threat ahead of Independence Day is concerned, the advisory mentions that all states hit by left-Continued from page 1 wing extremism observe it as ‘black day’ and these outlaws are a “formidable force” with expertise in putting together remote-controlled improvised explosive devices and handling of sophisticated weapons. To cover all potential threats, all North-Eastern militant outfits have been also included in the advisory.

Even attempts by Sikh terrorists to revive militancy in India find a mention in the alert sent to all states. It mentions that disclosures made by the recently arrested Sikh militants show how Pakistan’s ISI is encouraging Sikh terrorists based in Pakistan to create “disturbances” in India.

“Airports, bus stands, railway stations, popular food joints, cafeterias and places/areas frequented by foreign nationals would also need to be adequately covered,” the advisory states after summing up all the threats. Special watch needs to be maintained in the border areas, it helpfully adds