Expressing concern over cross-border terrorism, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Monday cautioned that terrorist groups, including the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) were persisting in their endeavour to launch terror attacks against India with the support which they found among disgruntled elements within India.
“They [Lashkar and the Jaish] continue to innovate new ways and means of deniability. Cells and modules within India lend an Indian character to these activities. Through community policing and other innovative measures we must detect and deny any opportunity to our adversaries. Intelligence is the key. We were able to bust 12 terrorist modules in 2008 and, in the first half of the current year, we have been able to neutralise 13 modules,” he said. Mr. Chidambaram was delivering the inaugural address at the three-day annual conference of State police chiefs and Inspectors-General of Police, organised by Intelligence Bureau.
It was Mr. Chidambaram’s first public speech after his return from a four-day official visit to the United States where he voiced India’s concern over Pakistan’s dilly-dallying tactics in launching prosecution against those responsible for the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai. It was also for the first time that Mr. Chidambaram chose to name the Lashkar and the Jaish and their modus operandi of getting help from “disgruntled elements” within the country.
He said there were attempts from across the border to forge unity among separatists in Jammu and Kashmir and escalate violence.
In a candid and tough talk to the State police chiefs where he spoke about his goals relating to internal security and policing over the next five years, Mr. Chidambaram described the Mumbai attacks as a “game changer,” saying “we can no longer afford to do business as usual.”
“Let me state our position clearly. On terrorism, our stance is zero tolerance. We shall raise our level of preparedness to fight any terror attack and, in the case of threat or attack, our response will be swift and decisive,” he said adding that policing in India was always a challenge and after 26/11, the challenge had become graver.
On the threat posed by left-wing extremism, he said various groups were adhering to this “outdated ideology” and had pockets of influence in 20 States.