CPI (Maoist) remains a powerful and determined adversary, says Home Minister
Pointing out that India got affected in one way or the other by some of its neighbours which were vulnerable to acts of terror, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Tuesday said new groups were suspected to be behind some terror attacks that took place in recent years.
“I must caution you that there is no let-up in the attempts to infiltrate into India from across the Pakistan border. Besides, there are a number of modules operating within the country and new groups have raised their heads that are suspected to be behind some terror attacks that took place in recent years.”
While giving an overview of internal security at the Chief Ministers' conference here, Mr. Chidambaram said: “We cannot shy away from naming these groups or exposing their designs. Whatever be their religious affiliations, I have no hesitation in condemning every group that resorts to terror as a means of advancing dubious religious causes or fundamentalist goals.”
Reiterating the government's resolve to pursue “every terrorist and every terrorist group” and bring it before the law and get it punished, Mr. Chidambaram said that at the end of last year there were 47 major terror cases which were under investigation or trial. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) was entrusted 11 new cases in 2010.
“The evidence that the NIA and the CBI are gathering every day should serve as a wake-up call to the new sources of terror that threaten our security.”
Referring to the left-wing extremism, which remained a grave challenge, Mr. Chidambaram said: “Looking back at 2010, my assessment is that there is a kind of a stalemate. The State governments concerned cannot claim any major advance, nor should we conclude that the CPI [Maoist] has gained the upper hand. There have been casualties on both sides.”
He said the CPI (Maoist) remained a powerful and determined adversary and had added at least four companies to the People's Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA), the armed wing of the Naxals. In 2010, left-wing extremists killed 718 civilians, of whom 323 were killed after being branded “police informers.”
“Unlike our security forces, the Naxal cadres are not constrained by the rule of law or rules of conflict. In areas they dominate they act as judge, jury and executioner. I regret that no representative of civil society has called for an inquiry into the brutal and unlawful killing of civilians and other acts of depredation committed by the CPI [Maoist],” Mr. Chidambaram said.
Reiterating that there was no dilution in the government's two-pronged approach of development and police action to contain Naxalism, he said the offer of talks “remains valid on condition that the CPI [Maoist] abjured violence.”
Improvement in J&K
Referring to Jammu and Kashmir, Mr. Chidambaram said the State presented a “unique challenge” and added that the situation there was improving. “The three-month period of agitation was an unfortunate and deeply regrettable chapter. However, after the visit of the all-party parliamentary delegation and the appointment of interlocutors, there has been a significant improvement,” he told the conference.
In his opinion, the group of three government-appointed interlocutors on Jammu and Kashmir had been able to change the discourse.
“We have tasked them to outline the contours of a political solution based on the suggestions received by them. My earnest appeal is that nothing should be said or done that will destroy the fragile peace or derail the process of finding a political solution.”
Turning to the northeast, the Home Minister said it gave him “great satisfaction” to report that there had been a dramatic change in the situation in the north-eastern States.