‘We have got some evidence that is being examined in forensic labs, culprits will be held soon’

Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said here on Sunday that the Centre was “expecting something after two executions [Ajmal Kasab’s in November 2012 and Afzal Guru’s earlier this month]” and it was sending out alerts. “The culprits will be apprehended soon”, he asserted.

Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab was hanged in connection with the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks and Guru for the attack on Parliament in 2001.

“We have got some evidence that is being examined in forensic labs. Soon, we will get the results and the culprits will be apprehended soon,” Mr. Shinde, who is on a two-day visit to West Bengal, said at a press conference.

On the opposition of certain State governments to the setting up of a National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), he said: “I will pursue the issue with the Chief Ministers who are opposing it; I will have to talk to them….They all belong to the Opposition and not the Congress”.

Asked about West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s opposition to the proposal, he said he would take up the issue with her. “Mamataji is very cooperative with the NCTC. She was also cooperative on [the issue of] the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. I am confident where the country faces a difficulty she will cooperate”.

As for the Maoist problem, he said the Centre “is very tough on Naxalite terror.”

As for the charge of the Opposition parties in the State that law and order was deteriorating, he said he would certainly take note of it and discuss the matter with the Chief Minister. The Congress submitted a memorandum to the Minister.

On whether he was concerned over the situation in the Darjeeling hills, where the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has renewed its demand for a separate State, he said: “In the country there are so many problems. One is worried about all of them but the problem needs to be solved”.

Visits coastal outposts

The Home Minister also reviewed coastal security along the India-Bangladesh border in the State’s North 24 Parganas district on Sunday. He visited a floating border outpost and the Sunderbans, where there are three floating outposts. He said he planned to visit another six.

Mr. Shinde said he would pay another visit to the coastal areas with Ms. Banerjee on Monday: “I understand the problems there [coastal areas] since I have been visiting the border areas lately…. I had visited the Bangladesh-Meghalaya border last month”.

“The Minister [Mr. Shinde] visited a floating border outpost, Sagar, and interacted with the officials and jawans of the Border Security Force deployed there,” B.D. Sharma, Additional Director General, BSF (East), who accompanied Mr Shinde, told The Hindu.

The Minister also visited the riverine Shamshernagar border outpost, located on the southern-most tip of the Sunderbans. He spoke to villagers as well as BSF officials posted there.

Security in the coastal areas remains a concern and it with this in mind that Mr. Shinde had chosen to visit the Sunderbans and review the situation there.

The three floating border outposts in the Sunderbans, Mr. Sharma said, were flat-bottomed vessels that can carry a BSF platoon and keep a vigil along the narrow creeks and forests along the India-Bangladesh border.

Mr. Shinde is scheduled to inaugurate a coast guard station at Fraserganj in the Sunderbans region of South 24 Parganas on Monday. Ms. Banerjee will be present at the event and a meeting between the two leaders and senior officials will be held to review coastal security in the region.

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