100 Groups in a War against India
By Ahmed Quraishi
The night of November 26, 2008, will go down in history as the day when India’s homegrown terrorism reared its head after years of silent mushroom growth.
This terrorism in Mumbai is not surprising, unlike the reactions in most of the Western media. India’s terrorist underground has been flourishing for many years. While the US media was busy last year likening Pakistan to Iraq in a politically motivated campaign aligned with US military objectives, experts were ranking India only second to Iraq in the number of people who died as a result of terrorist attacks between 2004 and 2007, according to one survey by an American think tank.
The Indian government has been artfully concealing a worrying development for at least sixteen years under an organized hype centered on economic growth and military power projection with a focus on China and Pakistan.
Indian terrorism is a confusing mix. Journalists and observers outside the region often miss the simmering tensions beneath the surface that occasionally burst into the open, surprising many and raising questions like how could there be so much violence in what is supposed to be a secular democracy and a rising economy where such things should not happen.
In India, there is a cocktail mix of wrong policies, official patronage to extremism, and separatist movements, all coming together to destabilize India. At least 600 Christians, churches, nuns and priests were targeted by Hindu mobs in eastern India in August this year. Almost the entire Muslim population of Kashmir is up in arms against the excesses, arrests, murders and rapes by the Indian army. For years there has been a media trial of Indian Muslims for real and imaginary involvement in violence. News such as the arrest this month of two serving Indian army officers involved in crimes that were attributed to Indian Muslims has served to increase disgruntlement among minorities. In 2002, close to 2,500 Indian Muslim men, women and children were burned alive in the first religious genocide of 21st century. In 1984, Sikhs were hauled off buses in New Delhi and beaten or burned to death following the assassination of Indian prime minister Indra Gandhi at the hands of Sikh bodyguards. And finally, between 12 to 14 separatist insurgencies currently rage across India’s north and northeast.
All of this makes for a dangerous combination that simmers quietly under the surface. The Indian media’s self-imposed ban on discussing these problems helps keep the lid on them. But when the pressure becomes unbearable, things occasionally burst into the open in the shape of terrorist acts. This only surprises those who do no know how India has been gradually relapsing into religious extremism in the period between 1990 and 2008. This history is important in order to understand why the Indian claims of Pakistani complicity in the attacks have often sought to simplify a complex situation.
Hindu militant groups have mushroomed in the past few years. This month, the arrest of two serving Indian army officers has confirmed speculation that Hindu terrorist groups have infiltrated Indian military and political establishments.
1992 was the definite year that saw Hindu fundamentalism express itself politically. Hundreds of religious terrorists descended on a north Indian city with tools in hand. They climbed on top of a majestic, 500-year-old mosque built by the same Muslim rulers who built the famous Taj Mahal. Imbibed with religious hatred, the Hindu mobs razed the building to the ground. Indian government authorities did nothing to stop it.
This Indian betrayal of a carefully crafted secular image would prove fatal later. In 1999, a Hindu mob surrounded the car of Graham Staines, an Australian priest, and his underage boy and girl and burned them alive.
Australia maintained an unusual quiet till this day about this major act of terrorism. The bias is easily detectable when compared to Australia’s reaction and statements to ‘Muslim terrorism’, especially in Indonesia and later in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
In this sense, countries like the United States, Britain and Australia are partially responsible for letting the growth of India terrorism – with its mix of Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian and ethnic insurgencies – go unnoticed for so many years. These Western countries have done this in order not to disturb the Anglo-Saxon project of grooming India as a bulwark against China and Russia and other regional powers.
Following is a list of various indigenous separatist, militant and terrorist organizations operating in India against the Indian federal government. This list has been compiled using information available in the public domain, news reports and specialized publications. During any given incident in India, a combination of some or all of these organizations is a suspect, including in the Mumbai blasts and in any other militant activity. Blaming Kashmiris or Pakistanis for Indian internal problems would be a factual misrepresentation that must be countered with full force by Pakistan.
It should also be noted that the Indian establishment is cracking down on Tamil separatists due to violence in Sri Lanka as Tamils are regrouping in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nado. Tamils have to their credit the last significant political assassination in India, the blowing up of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1984. They continue to be the most ruthless terror outfit in India. Mumbai blasts carry the fingerprints of many terror groups operating inside India, each with a long list of grievances against the Indian government and enough motivation to carry out such terrorist acts.
Not all groups in this list are necessarily terrorist organizations. But all of them are active against the Indian government.
Hindu Terror Groups
5. A ragtag, government-armed Hindu militant groups have been raised in Kashmir and northern India during this decade
Indian Occupied Kashmir
- Harkat-ul-Ansar or Harkat-ul-Jehad-e-Islami
- Jaish-e-MohammadMujahideen E-Tanzeem
- Jammu & KashmirLiberation Front
- Al Badr
- Al Barq
- Al Jehad
- Jammu & Kashir National Liberation Army
- People’s League
- Muslim JanbazForce
- Kashmir Jehad Force
- Al JehadForce (combines Muslim Janbaz Force and Kashmir
- Jehad Force
- Al Umar Mujahideen
- Islami Jamaat-e-Tulba
- Jammu & Kashmir StudentsLiebration Front
- Islamic Students League
- Mutahida Jehad Council
- Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Fiqar Jafaria
- Al Mustafa Liberation Fighters
- Muslim Mujahideen
- Al MujahidForce
- Islami Inquilabi Mahaz
39. Bodo Liberation Tigers (BLT)
- Dima Halom Daogah (DHD)
- Karbi National Volunteers (KNV)
- Rabha National Security Force (RNSF)
- Koch-RajbongshiLiberation Organisation (KRLO)
- Adivasi Cobra Force(ACF)
- Karbi People's Front(KPF)
- Tiwa National Revolutionary Force (TNRF)
- Bircha Commando Force(BCF)
- Bengali Tiger Force (BTF)
- Adivasi Security Force(ASF)
- All Assam Adivasi Suraksha Samiti (AAASS)
- Gorkha Tiger Force(GTF)
- Barak Valley YouthLiberation Front (BVYLF)
- Muslim United LiberationTigers of Assam (MULTA)
- Muslim United LiberationFront of Assam (MULFA)
- Muslim Security Council of Assam (MSCA)
- United Liberation Militia ofAssam (ULMA)
- Islamic Liberation Army of Assam (ILAA)
- Muslim Volunteer Force (MVF)
- Muslim Liberation Army (MLA)
- Muslim Security Force (MSF)
- Islamic SevakSangh (ISS)
- Islamic United ReformationProtest of India (IURPI)
- United Muslim LiberationFront of Assam (UMLFA)
- Revolutionary MuslimCommandos (RMC)
- Muslim Tiger Force (MTF)
- People’s UnitedLiberation Front (PULF)
- Adam Sena(AS)
- National Socialist Councilof Nagaland (Isak-Muivah)– NSCN(IM)
- National Socialist Councilof Nagaland (Khaplang)– NSCN (K)
- Naga NationalCouncil (Adino) – NNC (Adino)
- Tripura Liberation OrganisationFront (TLOF)
- United Bengali LiberationFront (UBLF)
- Tripura TribalVolunteer Force (TTVF)
- Tripura Armed TribalCommando Force (TATCF)
- Tripura TribalDemocratic Force (TTDF)
- Tripura Tribal YouthForce (TTYF)
- Tripura LiberationForce (TLF)
- Tripura Defence Force (TDF)
- All TripuraVolunteer Force (ATVF)
- Tribal Commando Force (TCF)
- Tripura Tribal YouthForce (TTYF)
- All TripuraBharat Suraksha Force(ATBSF)
- Tripura Tribal ActionCommittee Force (TTACF)
- Socialist Democratic Frontof Tripura (SDFT)
- All TripuraNational Force (ATNF)
- Tripura Tribal Sengkrak Force (TTSF)
- Tiger Commando Force (TCF)
- Tripura Mukti Police (TMP)
- Hynniewtrep NationalLiberation Council (HNLC)
- Achik NationalVolunteer Council (ANVC)
- People’s LiberationFront of Meghalaya (PLF-M)
- Left-wing Extremists
- People's Guerrilla Army