Terrorist Groups in India

The United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) is one of the top terror groups in India. It was founded on 7 April 1979 by Paresh Baruah, who serves as its commander-in-chief as well. Its chairman is Abhizeet Asom and it has 10,000 members at present. It operates with ideologies such as separatism and Assamese nationalism. This outfit wants to achieve its aim through armed struggle. It had been banned in 1980 by the national government and branded a terror outfit at that time. The United States Department of State has also listed it as a group that arouses concern. It was supposedly founded at Rang Ghar, which is a historic structure that belonged to the Ahom Kingdom.

The group started its operations in 1990. This was the same year that the Indian Army initiated operations against the outfit. According to Sunil Nath, the former spokesman and Central Public Secretary of ULFA, the group connected with the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) in 1983. In 1987, it established ties with the Kachin Independent Army of Myanmar.

Communist Party of India (Maoist) 

Founded on 21 September 2004, the Communist Party of India (Maoist) is one of the most dreaded terror outfits in the country. Its main leader is Muppala Lakshmana Rao. It was formed as a result of the merger of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) People’s War, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Naxalbari, and the Maoist Community Centre of India. Its main aim is to do away with the present state machinery in India and set up the Indian People’s Democratic Federal Republic.

It is primarily operative in the Red Corridor, which comprises the following states:

  • Andhra Pradesh
  • Odisha
  • Bihar
  • Telangana
  • Chhattisgarh
  • Uttar Pradesh
  • Jharkhand
  • West Bengal
  • Madhya Pradesh

Its guiding principles are Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, Anti-Imperialism, and Communism and its political position is Far-Left. The Government of India has designated it as a terrorist outfit as per the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The state governments of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Andhra Pradesh have branded it as an unlawful association. At present it has a couple of active wings – People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army and People’s Liberation Militia. As of September 2013, the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army had 8000-9000 people in its ranks and there were 38,000 people in the People’s Liberation Militia. The militia uses weapons like machetes, and bows and arrows. Each year it generates revenues in the region of INR 140-250 crore through activities such as mining, and donations from workers and farmers.

Indian Mujahideen

Indian Mujahideen as a terror group has become infamous for its attacks targeted against civilians. Led by Abdul Subhan Qureshi, this group has been active from 2008. Its main aim is to set up an Islamic Caliphate through the length and breadth of South Asia. Its main ideologies are Pan-Islamism and Islamic fundamentalism. The Indian Government marked it as a terrorist organization on 4 June 2010 as per the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. New Zealand has branded it a terrorist organization as per the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002 on 22 October 2010. It is also a part of the list named Foreign Terrorist Organization of the US State Department list. This happened on 15 September 2011. United Kingdom also regards it as a terror outfit.

It has also been revealed to be a front for the Lashkar-e-Taiba, the terror outfit based in Pakistan. Till date, it has executed several terror attacks in India. One of the major hallmarks of this group is the inordinate use of violence in order to implement the Sharia Law. However, there have been several instances where its members have died while in custody and a number of arrests have gone wrong. All this has led people to question whether IM actually exists or not.

Babbar Khalsa International

The Indian Government has declared Babbar Khalsa International as a terrorist organization as per the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. It is a Khalistani organization, whose supporters liken it to a resistance movement. It also played a major role in Punjab insurgency. The group was formed in 1978 following the death of several Sikhs in fights with members of the Nirankari sect. It remained active during the 1980s but when many of its major members were killed by police in false encounters its influence started to wane.

Ever since, many countries apart from India such as Canada, the UK, Germany, and the US have declared it to be a terror outfit. The group derives its name from the Babbar Akali Movement, which started in 1920 as a way of protest against the ongoing colonial rule in India. The present-day group was created because of the events that took place on 13 April 1978 when a gory clash took place between the rivals Nirankari Sect and Amritdhari sects, who belonged to the Akhand Kirtani Jatha. Talwinder Singh Parmar founded the group.

Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (Yasin Malik)

The Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (Yasin Malik) is a faction that had come out of the synonymous original entity and is led by Yasin Malik, a well-known Kashmiri separatist. This is a movement whose main demand is for an independent Kashmir that combines parts taken from both India and Pakistan. It used to be a militant outfit but from 1995 onwards it has shunned the path of violence and these days it is all about peaceful methods as far as achieving its aims are concerned.

In spite of its aim the level of support that this outfit enjoys – even within Kashmir itself – is questionable to a certain extent. Till date it has also not taken part in any democratic elections – a move that is debatable considering the fact that success in such contests would have helped the party press its case with the powers-that-be and impress upon more people to join the cause. On various occasions it has been alleged that JKLF has kindled agitations against India as well as the Indian Army, which has been accused of gross human rights violations in the region by misusing the powers vested in it by the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). There have been many incidents of undeterred and aggressive stone pelting by members of the JKLF that have caused unnecessary casualties.

Following are some other major terror groups of India:

  • Akhil Bharat Nepali Ekta Samaj (ABNES)
  • Jammu and Kashmir Islamic Front (JKIF)
  • All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF)
  • Kamtapur Liberation Organization (KLO)
  • Al-Umar-Mujahideen (AUM)
  • Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL)
  • Deendar Anjuman (DA)
  • Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP)
  • Dukhtaran-e-Millat (DEM)
  • Khalistan Commando Force (KCF)
  • Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA)
  • Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF)
  • Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HUM)
  • Pasban-e-Ahle Hadis (PAH)
  • Harkat-ul-Ansar (HUA)
  • Manipur People’s Liberation Front (MPLF)
  • Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islami (HUJI)
  • National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB)
  • Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM)
  • National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT)
  • International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF)
  • People’s Liberation Army of Manipur (PLAM)
  • Islamic State (IS)
  • People’s Liberation Army of Kangleipak (PRPK)
  • Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)
  • Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI)
  • Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL)
  • Tamil Nadu Liberation Army (TNLA)
  • Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM)
  • Tamil National Retrieval Troops (TNRT)
  • Tahrik-e-Furqan (TeF)
  • United National Liberation Front (UNLF)
  • Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen (JUM)

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