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Terrorism in India Essay

Terrorism poses a great threat to India, which tries to destabilize the Indian State. India has experienced almost all forms of terrorism in India since its Independence. This started gaining pace after the partition of India. The Government of India and its agencies believe that much of its attacks emanate from the State of Pakistan. India experienced one of the brutal, inhuman, and deadliest forms of terrorist attack in Mumbai. The world calls it the 26/11 attack. Indian State has adopted a zero-tolerance policy against all forms of terrorism and has enacted some stringent laws against its Counter-Terrorism policy.

Terrorism in India Essay

According to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, whoever does any act with intent to threaten or likely to threaten the unity, integrity, security (economic security), or sovereignty of India or with intent to strike terror or likely to strike terror in the people or any section of the people in India or any foreign country. Terrorism is being used to destabilize the State of Jammu and Kashmir and threaten peace and harmony in India.

Types of Terrorism

  • Religious Terrorism: Terror outfits that use religious thought as a propaganda tool. Example: Islamic State
  • Criminal Terrorism: Those terror outfits involved in terror acts profit from terror crimes.
  • Dissent Terrorism: Organisation that rebels against the Government of the nation. For example, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)
  • Maoism or Right Wing Extremism: Outfits with extreme ideologies on either the left or right side of the political spectrum and use violence as means tools to take control of the State. For Example, the Communist Party of India (Maoist), CPI (Maoist)
  • Cross Border Terrorism: When the soil of one nation is used to carry out terror operations in neighbouring countries with the motive of creating terror is called cross border terrorism.

List of Major Terrorist Attacks in India

1. Bombay Blasts (1993)

Terrorism in India Essay

Now Bombay is called Mumbai. Mumbai is the financial capital of India and a city present in the Indian State of Maharashtra. Bombay witnessed a series of bomb blasts on 12 March 1993 that took the lives of 257 people and caused injury to 700 people. Properties worth 27 crores were damaged in this bomb blast. Security agencies have named Dawood Ibrahim the mastermind of the Bombay blast. 13 explosions happened near the buildings of the iconic Bombay Stock Exchange.

2. Parliament Attack (2001)

Terrorism in India Essay

It was a direct attack on the temple of democracy. It had exposed serious loopholes in security mechanisms. The terrorists reached the Parliament of India on 13 December 2001 and fired bullets at security. In this attack, 2 Parliament staff, a gardener, 5 Delhi Police personnel, and a woman CRPF trooper and journalist died. Later, All five terrorists were neutralized.

3. Delhi Bomb Blast (2005)

Terrorism in India Essay

Delhi, the National Capital of India, witnessed a chain of blasts on 29 October 2005 that took the lives of 66 persons and caused injury to more than 200 people. The explosion occurred near Paharganj, Sarojini Nagar, and the DTC bus (Delhi Transport Corporation) in Govindpuri. It had sent a shock wave to the nation as it was the major terrorist attack in India after Mumbai. Earlier, Terrorist strikes were restricted to Jammu and Kashmir.

4. Mumbai Train Blasts (2006)

Terrorism in India Essay

A chain of explosions occurred for 11 minutes on 11 July 2006 during peak hours on the Suburban Railway. The bomb explosion claimed the lives of 209 people and caused injury to 700. Securities agencies believed that the Terrorists were from Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).

5. Jaipur Blasts (2008)

Terrorism in India Essay

The nation once again witnessed a terror strike in Jaipur. Jaipur is the state capital and city in the Indian State of Rajasthan. Jaipur is also called as Pink city of India. A chain of blasts occurred for 15 minutes, and it claimed 80 lives and caused grievous injury to more than 170 people.

6. 26/11 Attack (26 November 2008)

Terrorism in India Essay

Ten heavily armed terrorists havoc on the street of Mumbai for four days, claiming the lives of 166 people and causing serious injury to 300 people. The attack involved coordinated shooting and bombing at five designated sites in Mumbai. It was one of the deadliest and most brutal terror strikes on Indian soil, and it brought the relationship between both nations (Pakistan and India) to a new low.

7. Uri Attack (2016)

Terrorism in India Essay

It was the worst terror strike on the Army on 18 September 2016, when heavily armed terrorists came from Pakistan and attacked an army base. Securities agencies believed these terrorists belonged to Jaish- E- Mohammed (JeM), a Pakistan-based terror outfit. In this attack, 17 soldiers were killed in action. The attack resulted in very heavy casualties and caused injury to 20 army personnel. The ambush continued for 3 hours, and four terrorists were neutralized. It was one of the brutal attacks on a security camp after two decades. The base camp was located near the line of control.

8. Pulwama Attack (2019)

Terrorism in India Essay

Terrorists from Jaish-e- Mohammed carried out a terror strike on the CRPF convoy. A vehicle laden with explosives rammed the vehicle carrying 40 CRPF jawans. This cowardly act generated much fury in the anger and forced the Government of India to take concrete steps to visible steps to strike against terror. This particular incident occurred in the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir.

List of Laws Against Terrorism

The Government of India, while dealing with the menace of terrorism, felt that there was a need for stringent and effective laws to eliminate terrorism. Effective law helps the Government and its agencies to convict terrorists, giving agencies tools for a speedy trial in court. After Independence, the Union Government enacted several laws to weed out terror from Indian soil. Some of the laws which were passed or have been repealed over the years:

Laws that Earlier Were Present:

The Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA Act, 2002)

This law came into force after TADA was repealed. It replaced POTA Act (2002). The suggestions the Supreme Court of India put forth were inserted into the new law. These suggestions have come from the Kartar Singh case. At that time, the Government designated different organizations as banned organizations. The law has numerous provisions that give the Government power to deal with these banned terrorist organizations. The law criminalized those who took membership in that organization and placed severe restrictions on those who support these organizations. It also paved the way for speedy trials and establishing a quasi-judicial system to review the action of the Government, but this law came under massive criticism owing to its misuse. Later, the law was repealed by the Parliament.

National Security Act (1980)

The act was passed under Indira Gandhi Government using the ordinance route. The NSA act empowers Government authorities to detain individuals so they can be prevented from committing the crime. The act gives power to both central as well as state security agencies.

Terrorist Affected Area (Special Courts) Act (1984)

This act's main motive was to establish a court that would look exclusively at matters related to terrorism. This act was contested in court as it does not provide sufficient provisions to the accused to protect them from abuse. However, the court rejected the petition with some suggestions to provide sufficient safeguards to the accused.

The Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act (TADA) 1985

This act was brought specifically to deal with the menace of terrorism in the backdrop of the Bombay blast case and the Khalistan Movement. The act ensured the punishment of real perpetrators and also criminalized those acts that give safe protection to the terrorist. The act made two new provisions for offenses:

  1. Terrorist Act, Sec (3), for which the offender was credited with the intent to commit the offense
  2. Sec (4) Disruptive Activities

The law imposed several restrictions for an accused to get bail. Special courts were formed to hear bail applications when there is reasonable ground present to prove his innocence. Amendments that were brought in 1987 enhanced the power of Government agencies. It also paved the way detainee's confession to be made admissible in the court that he had confessed during the investigation process. The identification process can be concluded based on photographs and downgraded eyewitness standards. The burden of proof also moved suspects. The act came under heavy fire criticism from International Human Rights Organisation and civil society. Finally, the Parliament rolled back these laws in 1990.

Present Law

  • Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA)

The Government decided to strengthen the UAPA provision and wanted to insert the provision of international standards. The act was amended to match up with the Financial Action Task Force's guidelines and fill the loopholes causing the disturbance in its enforcement. The amendments which were brought later criminalized the act for raising funds for the terrorist act and holding proceeds of the terrorism. Membership, support, or endorsement of a terrorist organization was made a crime, and it also extended the time required for filing a charge sheet from three months to six months. The law saw more amendments after the Mumbai Serial blast, and it was turned more comprehensive.

Organizations Involved in Terror Attacks

Terrorism in India Essay

Indian State believes that most terror plans are made outside India and receive minimal help from the inside. The headquarters of the terror organization is based in foreign countries, and they operate from outside with the help of proxies sitting in India. Some of the notorious terror organizations that have bled India are:

  • Jaish-e- Muhammad

The term means an "Army of Mohammed", a Pakistan-based terror outfit highly active in the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir. This terror outfit has carried out several attacks on the security personnel inside the Kashmir Valley. It was established in 2002. The outfit aims to destabilize the Indian government machinery and wants to accede to the State of Pakistan.

  • The Communist Party of India (Maoist)

This outfit was formed after no agreement was reached between the Indian State and leftist militants. The outfits aim to destabilize the Indian Government machinery. The outfit has carried out several attacks on security personnel and has damaged public properties, causing immense government losses. The outfit seeks a sovereign state and works against India's unity, peace, and sovereignty. The group is known to operate from the forest area of Andhra Pradesh and is very active in the Indian State of Chhattisgarh. Central Government, in coordination with respective State governments, has been able to curb the activities of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) CPI.

  • The United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA)

This outfit aims to establish Assam as a sovereign state after its formation in 1979. ULFA is known for attacking security, political leaders, and government infrastructure, creating hurdles in government projects, and blocking the Government's development activities. The organization started losing its support from locals after Government came heavily against this outfit. Numbers dropped significantly, and many people left the organization and came into the mainstream, but it is still active in the Indian State of Assam.

  • Lashkar-e- Taiba (LET)

The outfit name has a meaning: "Army of the Pure". It is a radical Islamist group that carries out its activities from the State of Pakistan, and experts point out that it has a significant presence in the Kashmir Valley. Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence funded this organization. The group aimed to snatch Jammu and Kashmir from the control of the Indian State and wanted to spread Islamic rule across India. Security agencies in India have made this organization responsible for the 26/11 attack.

Counter-Terror Agencies in India

The Government of India has many security agencies to fight terrorism in India, but it is believed that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the Government of India, is the nodal ministry and is responsible for internal security in India.

Terrorism in India Essay

MHA has formed a federal agency called National Investigation Agency that deals with terror-related activities, and it is a premier Central Counter Terrorism Law Enforcement Agency of India. State Police is also responsible for fighting terrorism. Several states have created a special task force called Anti-Terrorist Squad and have specialized commando units to deal with terrorist activity.

Terrorism in India Essay

Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), and other secret agencies are responsible for providing key intel to the security agencies. Personnel from Central Armed Police Force, particularly Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), National Security Guard (NSG), Indian Army, and security agencies, are exclusively involved in the counter-terror operations on the ground.

Terrorism in India Essay

Steps Needed to Eliminate Terror from Indian Soil

  • India needs a multidimensional approach to counter terror, and with the incoming of Information Technology, the menace has become more complex and sophisticated. Experts point out that India needs to adopt the US strategy for terrorism, i.e., the War on Terror.
  • Financial institutions present in the world can play a key role in combating terror finance. India should reach out to these institutions to freeze accounts of listed and unlisted terror organizations. It should intimate those countries if they find any suspicious transactions are taking place.
  • Intelligence: Any planned or future attack can be thwarted with precise and timely intelligence. Intel is the key to preventing terror crimes. Concerned Intelligence agencies should focus on gathering precise intelligence and coordinate with security agencies to prevent future attacks. In Pulwama Attack, the security agency had no clue or intel about the attack. So, there was an insufficient alert signal for security personnel.
  • International Cooperation: Terrorism is a threat to humanity, and it is a threat to global peace. So, no country can claim to be untouched from the menace of terror, and the 9/11 attack has vindicated the point more strongly. Eliminating terror requires cooperation, coordination, and commitment from the Global community. Those counter-terror institutions that came up after the 9/11 attacks are insufficient to tackle today's terror outfit, which has become more complex. Cooperation in intelligence sharing, counter-terror operations, the latest technology, and best practices among like-minded countries is the need of the hour. International organizations like Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Interpol, and the United Nations Office Counter-Terrorism should become stringent in their approach. It would help significantly in curbing the problems of terror.
  • International Sanctions: Indian demand for imposing sanctions on JeM Chief Masood Azhar has been blocked by other countries. Many demands include freezing bank accounts, banning terror organizations operating from Pakistan, and imposing sanctions on an institution that supports terror lying pending. Some countries have continuously blocked them by giving unsatisfactory reasons. India should reach out to those countries and try to gain their confidence such countries. Diplomatic relations and approaches play a key role in such cases. Countries should shed away from their plan on matters like terrorism. They should see terror as a real threat and refrain from justifying it. United Nations must act promptly and should act fast in imposing sanctions when it becomes too late. Delay in action from such organizations creates a trust deficit among countries facing and fighting terror. It is unfortunate that such reputable institutions would dent their image and erode their credibility.
  • Role of United Nations: The positioning, role, and action of the United Nations and the functioning of the Security Council have come under immense scrutiny, debates, and discussion on issues like terrorism and its approach. Member countries think that United Nations should become a global platform for counter-terrorism, but actions and approaches of the security council have become unsatisfactory in recent years. India, at the UN High-level Conference on Heads of Counter-terrorism, presented five ways to combat terror:
    1. Designation of Counter Terror focal points to combat global terror
    2. Building capacities for improved border controls
    3. Exchange of timely and actionable intelligence
    4. Sharing of Info related to movements of passengers
    5. Prevention of misuse of modern communication through collaboration with the private sector.

Apart from these, India emphasized that it should impose sanctions on those nations involved in state-sponsored terror.


Terrorism is a very complex issue. India has come a long way from dealing with terrorism. India has responded to Uri Attack by conducting a Surgical strike by crossing the Line of Control (LOC). It also conducted aerial strikes in Balakot in response to Pulwama Attack. These two events mark a significant shift in the defence strategy of India. Now India changed its policy toward terrorism. Government must eliminate terrorism and the people who support terror. In a civilized society, there is no place for terror.

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