Improvised Explosive Device: The game changer in Garo Hills
Almost a week after the death of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) candidate Jonathone N Sangma who was killed in an IED attack in Meghalaya's East Garo Hills district. Counterinsurgency operations in the trouble torn region is going on full swing to go deeper into the cell network to dismantle both the bomb and the bombmaker. The question remains, would this move by the Meghalaya police be able to shut down operational capabilities of their allies such as the ULFA?
According to the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), 'Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict: Mid-year Report 2014', Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) are often imprecise weapons which can have a large blast radius with impacts far beyond the central target. When IEDs are used in populated areas such as markets and public roads, the collateral damage from blast in terms of civilian casualties can be significant.
Global Security defined, An IED can be almost anything with any type of material and initiator. It is a "homemade" device that is designed to cause death or injury by using explosives alone or in combination with toxic chemicals, biological toxins, or radiological material. IEDs can be produced in varying sizes, functioning methods, containers, and delivery methods. IEDs can utilize commercial or military explosives, homemade explosives, or military ordnance and ordnance components.
HUNTING THE VIPER
Director General of Assam police Mukesh Sahay once while briefing mediapersons said that both the Assam and Meghalaya police are jointly working to get into this psychological tactics of the militants.
Insurgency and low intensity warfare has always been a game of population and in a country where the masses get to elect their own representatives; the common citizen will be always be a pawn in the grand chessboard of the politicians.
Meghalaya police and top political honchos have sought additional companies of central armed police forces apart from the newly formed SF-10(Special Force-10). Special operation units are going for the kill to cut the head of the viper but will they find these elusive most wanted men.
Irony of sorts: As per the Wired magazine, worse, over time, the average cost of the cheapo IEDs have dropped from $1,125 in 2006 to $265 in 2009. A killing machine, in other words, costs less than a 32-gig iPhone.
ULFA AND GNLA: ACHILLES HEEL
Speaking to highly placed sources from both the Assam and Meghalaya, there is a certain indication of collaboration between the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) and United Liberation of Asom (ULFA) from components to weaponization. The former Director General of Police, Meghalaya PJP Hanaman did mention once to the media that the ULFA is providing the 'know how' to the GNLA.
Cosmetic exercises before any electoral process can redefine or realign the stars especially the psychological mindset of the 'POPULATION'. Anup Sharma, a resident of Shillong said, "Why is the political might of the government not able to crush the head of the snake? They will never do so, power and money is corrupt in the hands of the few!"
Historically speaking, dangerous men like Yahya Abd-al-Latif Ayyash the once chief bombmaker of Hamas was assassinated by Shin Bet and to exercise such a restraint to criminal minded men like Sohan Shira or Paresh Baruah require more than tactical power. The critical piece of puzzle is the 'bombmaker' and the need of the hour is to hunt and effectively remove the expertise of the bombmaker from the equation.
(by Christopher Gatphoh)
The views reflected in this piece are that of the author and need not necessarily be that of TNT-The Northeast Today
Featured image(courtesy): Representational from Business Insider