Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday warned of likely attempts by terror outfits to disrupt the coming Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. “Security forces need to be careful and measured in their response to militant attacks as well as law and order disturbances.’’

Dr. Singh said the disclosures made by the arrested terrorists in the four major terror incidents this year in Hyderabad, Bangalore, Bodhgaya and Patna confirmed the apprehensions that the hinterland of the country remained an active area of operation of terror outfits.

The Prime Minister was speaking at the concluding session of the three-day annual conference of the Directors-General of Police.

Dr. Singh emphasised the need to ensure that the security apparatus and intelligence sharing platforms such as the Multi Agency Centre constantly hone their skills to stay ahead of the nefarious designs of terror outfits.

Referring to the “volatile’’ situation on the border with Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir that had witnessed increased ceasefire violations and attempts to cross over by militants. The resurgence of terror groups, particularly the Lashkar-e-Taiba, and increased infiltration attempts called for heightened vigil and coordination by the security forces.

Dr. Singh described the communal clash in Muzaffarnagar and the adjoining districts of western Uttar Pradesh in September as the “most worrisome’’ and asserted that the country “simply cannot afford such a state of affairs to continue.’’

“Our law and order agencies must, therefore, ensure that trivial or local issues are not exploited by vested interests to whip up communal passions. And once disturbances occur they must be tackled with the utmost firmness and speed, without prejudice, fear or favour,’’ he said.

Misuse of social media

Like Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and IB chief Asif Ibrahim, the Prime Minister too sounded an alert against misuse of the social media and SMSes to spread violence. He pointed to the recent disturbances in Muzaffarnagar, and in 2012 when disinformation spread through these means led to a mass exodus of people belonging to the north-east from southern States.

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