Monday, August 17, 2009

PM calls for coordinated response on internal security

New Delhi, Aug 17 (ANI): Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh today called for a coordinated response by the Centre and the States on issues pertaining to internal security.

Inaugurating the Chief Ministers’ Conference on Internal Security here, Dr. Singh said: “We are committed to assist the States in all possible ways in dealing with the challenges of internal security. We will also do our utmost in facilitating inter-State coordination. I would urge States to take more initiative for coordinating action with other States.”

Dr. Singh asked Chief Minister of states to extend all possible cooperation to National Investigative Agency that was established after the last conference on internal security.

“I request the Chief Ministers to extend all possible cooperation to this Agency to make it a truly effective instrument in our fight against terrorism. Quick Response Teams and Special Intervention Units are being set up at the State level to enhance the speed of response to terrorist attacks. A major effort is being made to improve Intelligence gathering and dissemination both at the Central and State levels. A well-calibrated Coastal Security Scheme is being put in place,” said Singh.

Coming to specific challenges, the Prime Minister said cross-border terrorism remains a most pervasive threat.

“We have put in place additional measures after the Mumbai terrorist attack in November last year. But there is need for continued vigilance. There is credible information of ongoing plans of terrorist groups in Pakistan to carry out fresh attacks. The area of operation of these terrorists today extends far beyond the confines of Jammu & Kashmir and covers all parts of our country,” he said.

“In dealing with the terrorist challenge, we need to be prepared for encountering more sophisticated technologies and enhanced capabilities. We also need to guard our sea frontier as vigilantly as our land border,” he added.

The Prime Minister Singh expressed a need for a balanced strategy to deal with Naxalism.

“There have been heavy casualties inflicted recently on security forces by Naxalite groups. There are also indications of yet more offensive action by these groups. The problem of Left Wing extremism is indeed a complex one. There is a need for a balanced and nuanced strategy to deal with it. On the one hand, the State should discharge its responsibilities and obligations and re-establish the Rule of Law in areas dominated by the Naxalites. At the same time, we should work towards removing the causes, which lead to alienation of people and problems like Naxalism,” he said.

Initially, the movement had its centre in West Bengal. In recent years, they have spread into less developed areas of rural central and eastern India, such as Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh through the activities of underground groups like the Communist Party of India (Maoist).

They are conducting an insurgency, typically called the Naxalite-Maoist insurgency.

Naxals hold sway in about 180 districs across ten states of India accounting for about 40 per cent of the country’s geographical area.

Their growing influence prompted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to declare them as the most serious threat to India’s national security.

The CPI (Maoist) and some other Naxal factions are now considered terrorists by the Government of India.

In February 2009, the Central Government announced its plans for simultaneous, co-ordinated counter-operations in all Left-wing extremism-hit states - Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal, to plug all possible escape routes of Naxalites. (ANI)

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