ISI, Maoists, urban naxals Why the 2019 LS poll is the most threatened one

By Vicky Nanjappa

There has been an intelligence report from the United States that suggests that there would be a spike in Pakistan sponsored terror attacks in India. This comes in the wake of several such intelligence reports in India which speak about a huge internal threat as well. This is a hotly contested election and there are several elements who would look to disrupt it says an Intelligence Bureau official. The threat in India looms large from the Naxalites, their sympathizers in the urban areas, the Khalistan terrorists, Islamic State inspired modules and the usual suspects, Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Tayiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad. An IB officer tells OneIndia that as per their assessment the threat would be larger from internal forces. There is no doubt that Pakistan would back them, but the threat perception is higher from the local groups.

The highest threat perception is from the naxalites, the IB officer explains. One would witness a spike in naxal related violence in their strongholds. They would also look to push their agenda in the southern states this time, the officer also explained.  In the north, the threat remains the highest from the Khalistan groups, Lashkar-e-Tayiba and ISIS inspired modules. These groups are being actively backed by the ISI and as the elections near, they would look to activate more modules.

 In Jammu and Kashmir, there would be every attempt made by the terror groups to derail the polls. The state would remain on a very high state of alert as the maximum activity from terror groups can be expected in that state.  In addition to this there would be a propaganda machinery at work especially by those who have been sympathetic towards the naxalites. They would look to orchestrate violence, like was seen in the the Bhima-Koregaon case.

There is a high chance of these persons instigating farmers and tribals. They would look to ensure that protests turn violent and also spill into the cities, the officer also said. Meanwhile the US intelligence report states that there would be a spike in terror attacks by Pakistan and communal violence ahead of the Parliamentary elections, a US intelligence report has warned. ( This seems to be a concocted story to involve Pakistan, which does not need to do anything but watch from the side lines. What India had been doing to Pakistan is coming back home.

The latest edition of the worldwide threat assessment report has said that the challenges facing South Asian states will grow in 2019 because of Afghanistan’s presidential election in mid-July and the Taliban’s large scale attacks, Pakistan’s recalcitrance in dealing with terrorist groups, and Indian elections that risk communal violence. The report was tabled in the US Congress on Tuesday by Director of US intelligence Daniel Coats. He also deposed before the senate intelligence committee.

On India, the report warned of an increase in the possibility of communal violence if the BJP stresses Hindu nationalist themes. It went on to say that the ruling party’s policies in the first term of Prime Minister Narendra Modi have deepened communal tensions in some BJP-governed states.  It also said that Hindu nationalist state leaders may view a Hindu nationalist campaign as signal to incite low level violence to animate their supporters. The report warned that an increase in communal clashes “could alienate Indian Muslims and allow Islamist terrorist groups in India to expand their influence”.

“Pakistan’s recalcitrance”, that militant groups supported by Islamabad “will continue to take advantage of their safe haven” there to “plan and conduct attacks in India and Afghanistan, including against US interests,” the report also said.

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