There have been two terrorist attacks on Indian forces only in this week:
- In one of the deadliest ambushes of security forces by Naxalites, the lives of 25 CRPF personnel were lost in Sukma, Chhattisgarh on 24 April. The victims were the member of 74th CRPF battalion, and were posted to oversee road construction work and tasked with providing security for the workers as well.
- In an Army base in Jammu & Kashmir, three terrorists killed three soldiers and injured seven others at the Panzgam camp, near Chowkibal in Kupwara district, early on Thursday, 27 April.
Which is to say that in the past four days, 28 Indian soldiers lost their lives to the bullets. This adds to the already existing number of security force personnel killed this year – which, as of April 23, was 33.
Indian lives lost to terrorism: In 2017 and in the past
Below is a table detailing the Indian lives lost to terrorism in 2017, as documented by the South Asian Terrorism Portal (SATP):
On a historical perspective, the total number of fatalities in 2017 has reached 25.4% of the number in 2016. However, as mentioned in the SATP data, this does not include the casualties of the two attacks this week, both of which occurred after April 23. Taking even them into account, we add at least 28 more deaths, the number touches 30%.
Ongoing conflicts in India
The major conflicts that continue to rage today in India are:
- The Kashmir conflict (1947 – present);
- Naxalite-Maoist insurgency (1967 – present);
- North-east secessionists (1963 – present).
The Kashmir conflict (1947 – present)
The Kashmir conflict is a territorial conflict primarily between India and Pakistan, having started just after Partition, in 1947. China has at times played a minor role. India and Pakistan have fought three wars over Kashmir, including the Indo-Pakistani Wars of 1947 and 1965, as well as the Kargil War. The two countries have also been involved in several skirmishes over control of the Siachen Glacier.
The Kashmir Conflict is one of the biggest disputes of the past century and one of the longest existing conflicts. It began officially on 1947 and continues to this day. In 68 years it has caused the death, displacement and destruction of thousands of people.
Naxalite-Maoist insurgency (1967 – present)
The Naxalite–Maoist insurgency is an ongoing conflict between Maoist groups, known as Naxalites or Naxals, and the Indian government. The conflict – in its present form – began after the 2004 formation of the CPI (Maoist). However, left-wing extremism in the form of Maoism has existed since 1967.
The conflict has taken place over a vast territory (around half of India’s 29 states) with hundreds of people being killed annually in clashes between the CPI-Maoists and the government every year since 2005.
The armed wing of the Naxalite–Maoists is called the PLGA (People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army) and is estimated to have between 6,500 and 9,500 cadres, mostly armed with small arms.
North-east insurgency (1963 – present)
Insurgency in Northeast India involves multiple armed factions operating in India’s northeastern states, which are connected to the rest of India by the Siliguri Corridor, a strip of land only 14 miles (23 km) wide. Some factions favour a separate state while others seek regional autonomy. Some groups demand complete independence.