21 October, 2020

Sudden Flashback

It's not exactly a return to militancy, but fringe radical groups get active again

Indian Express
Sudden Flashback

It has been almost a decade-and-a-half since the heyday of militancy in Punjab. One reason why the Punjab police was caught off-guard when a high-intensity blast in a Ludhiana cinema hall on October 13 left seven dead and 32 injured. Wracked as it is by internal dissension and politicisation, this act of terror couldn't have come at a worse time for the force. Long years of relative peace has bred complacency among Punjab's cops, which is why they have largely ignored several indicators suggesting possible terror strikes in the state.

One such warning came late last month from the Union ministry of home affairs. Based on intelligence inputs, the mha had sounded an alert towards a possible strike in Delhi or Punjab by activists of the Babbar Khalsa International (BKI). As a top intelligence official told Outlook, even after the relative peace in Punjab, security agencies have routinely tracked undercurrents in the extremist Khalistani groups both in India and abroad.

"In the last few months," says he, "there was evidence of...



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