Crime-fighting and Counter terrorism in Urban Battle-Scapes

counter terrorism in India

Gaming aficionados around the world are aware of Counter terrorism, after all there is an entire game and a fairly strong community dedicated to it. The game-play is pretty simple – the terrorists try to plant a bomb at one of 2 bomb sites and the counter terrorists’ objective is to kill the terrorists and defuse the bomb. Neat, wouldn’t you say?

Except the directives in the game are not subject to the carefully curated hate crime, political subterfuge, espionage attempts and international enmities between countries. The crude comparison between the game and countering real-life terrorists was to assert the fact that there is very little we can do to control mindless terrorists.


Case in point is the recent Las Vegas shooting incident. When it came to the attack that killed 58 people and wounded hundreds more at an open-air concert in the city, the local police found themselves with few options to stop the gunman quickly.

Several of these urban terrorist attacks and aggression in almost every part of the world make you wonder – How could you remain safe in a country where the temper of its citizenry begets such terrible attacks ?

And yes, that could be a reference to our very nation. India is deeply embroiled as a target for terrorist activities. This can attributed to the fact that there are several low intensity conflicts of large political and civilian ramifications. The most intense of those terrorist movements are in:

  • Jammu and Kashmir – A Pakistan fueled terror play aided by delusional separatists and a great albeit wayward public
  • Andhra Pradesh – Naxalites and their Revolutionary communism with a number of armed militia
  • North Eastern – Demands of separate states that are somewhat being diluted by the government’s work

These situations plus the irrevocably damaged urban settings in the country make India a boiler room for possible terrorist attacks. Not to mention the riotous tendencies of the country’s populace and the inadequacy of the state governments to curb those aggression (courtesy: Vote bank!) The weakening of state control over movement of goods and people, coupled with the confusion of transitional politics and weak counter terrorism in India, created openings for ‘violent entrepreneurship’.

Attributes like these are likely to compress social spaces and spawn a cause of worry in the regular citizenry. This in turn could possibly lead to an explosion in organized crime within the urban battle-scapes. Make sense ? This could be a projection of wild and unkempt thoughts, right?

Except there are hard statistics that support these statements. India accounts for over 50 per cent of all illegal firearms in circulation worldwide – roughly 40 million out of an estimated total of 75 million. The bulk of these are circulated through kitty parties organized by terrorist or insurgent groups, rural bandits and urban mafia.

That said the writer isn’t fear mongering or even feigning an expertise in diplomacy and state matters. But rather pondering on a simple fact – Our nation is focusing on economic transitions and regional dominance along with several tenets. Could there be an aspect, a shadow over the silver line of the country’s growth that we aren’t looking at? The middle class runs and participates in daily charades, the rich get richer. But the lower class, the slum dwellers and the dark underbelly of India’s society still succumb to brain-washing and deviant activities.

The precedent is Las Vegas or the Mexican cartels or the numerous Brazilian turf battles. All these are instances our nation could study so as to curb the negative developments around India’s burgeoning urban scapes and come out unscathed from the current disparity in the nation’s society.



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