Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not talking of war even after the Uri attacks. Rather he is speaking his trademark jargons on growth, development and peace as eloquently as he used to. It might be because a thundering statement on war, threatening the neighbouring trouble monger may sound hollow at a time when internal security lapses stand at all-time high, due to apathy through decades.
The attack on a military camp at Uri by four terrorists is not the only exemplifier of India’s lacking in security. In fact, there are many.
The Uri incident was followed by the arrest of six Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh militants from Assam and West Bengal. Three out of six were Bangladeshi nationals camping in Indian territory and planning subversive attacks in northeast and south India.
On the very same day that these terrorists were arrested, Ulfa threatened an organisation in Assam for appealing the people to boycott Chinese products as a retaliation to China’s support to Pakistan. It was certainly seen as a measure to appease China, the country that is presently hosting Paresh Baruah the commander-in-chief of Ulfa.
Paresh Baruah, once a close associate with ISI, now continues to run his terror business in the northeastern states of India from a secret base in Yunan province in China.
These are some examples, other than the Uri attacks, that point towards the security lapses and threats the country faces. Perhaps these lapses in India’s internal security, built through years of apathy, prevent the prime minister from speaking of a war.
Both JMB and Ulfa share close links with the Pakistani intelligence agency, ISI, and both have access to India through the porous international borders northeast that India shares with the nations adjacent to it.
Ghanashyam Murari Srivastava, IPS, who has served as a cop in Assam and Tripura for a considerable long period, says that presence of ISI-linked Islamic terrorists is not a new phenomenon in northeast India. They have been in prowl in Assam for more than a decade.
“In the late nineties itself Assam Police made 13 Islamic militants surrender with their sophisticated weapons,” he says. “It would be naïve to say that they never existed in Assam,” he adds.
Northeast India has always been an easy target for Islamic terrorists given the region's porous border with neighbouring Bangladesh.
The international border that the northeastern region shares with Bangladesh stand as fenceless and as unmanned now, when recently JMB militants camped in various parts of India sneaking through it, as it did when the first set of Islamic militants entered the state in the nineties.
Sources in the Assam Police say that now terrorist groups have an even safer jungle route from Bangladesh to Guwahati in Assam through Garo hills in Meghalaya. This route that is now guarded by Garo Nationalist Liberation Army which stands unchecked by Indian security forces.
Similarly, the insurgency by Ulfa (Independent) heavily depends on the India’s inadequacy to deal with cross-border terrorism in India. A top cop in Assam police on condition of anonymity said that Paresh Baruah was based in Bangladesh before moving to China, but Indian government failed to nab him there.
“Paresh Baruah has been playing hide and seek with the Government of India for a long time now. He shifted his base to Myanmar from Bangladesh when India’s relationship got better with Bangladesh. He again shifted to China as soon as India’s terms got better with Myanmar. But on every occasion it was the Indian government that failed to nab him,” said the source.
Now Paresh Baruah threatens the Government of India with his hate speeches and terrorist activities from China.
“All these anti-India elements can cumulatively turn ‘enemies within’ and might try to fail India at the times of a war with a neighbouring country,” says GM Srivastava.
No wonder with scores of such ‘enemies within’, those have been nurtured by decades of lapses in security measures, makes it difficult for the Prime Minister to talk about a war.