India Shuffle: Jihad Council, Kashmir Killings, Kerala Terror

JIHAD COUNCIL – There’s been another get-together of jihadist militants in Pakistan, where a bunch of people who are (definitely not) protected by the state meet up to see who can froth with rage the most about India. The United Jihad Council is comprised of 12 banned groups, including Lashkar-e=Taiba, who despite their status find it easy to hold a big rally with lots of press and politicians in attendance.

There was one of these back in February, notably attended by former head of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Hamid Gul. That came a few days before the attack on the German Bakery in Pune that killed. This week’s bash comes as the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan prepare to achieve nothing in the latest round of high-level talks. For a start, the Indian government keeps pulling up more involvement of Pakistani state involvement in the Mumbai attacks (today, there were direct accusations of the ISI “literally controlling it from the beginning till the end.”)

MAJOR KILLED IN KASHMIR – A senior army officer has been killed in fighting across the Line of Control, apparently by members of Lashkar-e-Taiba.

KERALA TERROR FUNDS – Six of the 14 cases currently being investigated by the National Investigation Agency are apparently focused on the southern state of Kerala. Known as the calmest and most pleasant of India’s states, it has apparently become a hub for terrorist financing.

UH OH – This won’t go down well at all. Around 60 people have already been hospitalised in Mumbai after a chlorine gas leak from an industrial park. With the Bhopal case still rumbling on, this is awkward.

DUPED BURMESE REBELS – A group of insurgents from the Karen National Union and National Unity Party of Arakan in Myanmar have finally been sentenced after 13 years in jail. The 32 men were apparently duped by Indian officials into visiting the Andaman Islands where six were shot and the rest taken to jail in Calcutta. They will now spend 3 ½ more years in jail for immigration offences.

KASHMIR DEFORESTATION – Jason Burke reports on the illegal timber trade that is leaving the mountains of Kashmir bare.

MICROFINANCE LISTING – SKS Microfinance is due to make an initial public offering at the end of the month, expected to raise $280 million. It’s the first IPO by a microfinance company in India.

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