16 incidents of terrorist attacks in the hinterland between 2009 and 2014.
New Delhi: Even as India continues with its massive global campaign against the menace of terrorism, the internal security situation witnessed considerable improvement in the last five years, with sharp decline in the number of terror incidents in the hinterland. There were only six such incidents between 2014 and 2018, with three of them taking place in 2014 alone. The last terror attack that had taken place was the train bombing on 7 March 2017 in Madhya Pradesh.
According to latest figures of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the incidents related to Left wing extremism (LWE) and insurgency in the North Eastern region have also come down. However, there is exception as regards to terrorist incidents in Jammu and Kashmir and the country’s border areas, including the Pathankot, Uri and Pulwama attacks.
As per MHA figures, six incidents involving terrorists were reported from the hinterland (areas except J&K) in which 11 civilians lost their lives while seven terrorists were neutralized from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2018. There were three terror incidents in 2014 and one each in 2015, 2016 and 2017. There was not a single terrorist incident in 2018 and in 2019 so far, in the hinterland.
In the North Eastern region, incidents related to insurgency declined sharply—574 in 2015, 484 in 2016, 308 in 2017 and 134 in 2018 (up to June). Similarly, the LWE incidents also witnessed a decline with 1,089 incidents in 2015, 1,048 in 2016, 908 in 2017 and 476 in 2018 (up to June).
However, the situation was not so good in troubled J&K where there were 1,213 incidents involving terrorists during the same period. In these incidents, as many as 183 civilians lost their lives and 838 terrorists were neutralized.
An insight into the MHA data reveals that there were as many as 16 incidents of terrorist attacks in hinterland between 2009 and 2014. Some of the major incidents between 2009 and 2014, which are still lingering in the people’s memory, include German Bakery blast, Jama Masjid blast, Delhi High Court blast, Varanasi blast, Bengaluru blast, serial blasts in Pune, Bodh Gaya blasts and serial blasts in Patna.
Interestingly, 2010 witnessed the highest number of five terror attacks—two in Delhi and one each in Pune, Bengaluru and Varanasi, while four incidents were reported in 2011 and 2013.
Though the country witnessed one incident each in the hinterland in 2015, 2016 and 2017, there were a few terrorist attacks along the border areas. A terror attack had taken place at Dinanagar near Gurdaspur in Punjab in July 2015 which claimed seven lives and left 10 others injured.
Speaking to The Sunday Guardian, Maninderjit Singh Bitta, chairman of All India Anti-Terrorist Front (AIATF), said: “Except for Dinanagar, Pathankot and J&K, I have not heard any terrorist incident in the last few years. It does not matter whether the incidents occurred during this government or that government.”
“The only issue is: how honest and decisive the government of the day is in dealing with terrorism. As regards to terror incidents in J&K and border areas, our security forces are fighting with bravery. However, the initiative has to come from Pakistan to check such incidents,” he added.
In January 2016, a terror attack was carried out at the Pathankot Air Force base by terrorists infiltrating from Pakistan. Seven security personnel and one civilian were killed, while 37 security personnel and a civilian were injured. There was also attack in the border area of Uri in which 20 persons were killed.
In the latest terror incident at Pulwama in J&K, 40 CRPF jawans were killed by Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists on 14 February, prompting India to carry out retaliatory airstrikes on the dreaded outfit’s terror camps and launching pads inside Pakistan territory, killing more than 350 of its cadres.