Terrorists and extremists seek to attack the democratic and secular fabric of the country and they would continue to try to keep everyone on tenterhooks, Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said on Monday.
“Terrorism and extremism seek to attack our two most significant achievements -- secularism and democracy. Our enemies who are at cross purposes with the ‘idea of India’, will continue to attempt to keep us on tenterhooks, and unsettle us, as we move forward in our endeavour of nation building,” he said.
Mr. Shinde was speaking on the occasion of foundation day of National Investigation Agency (NIA), and said these values lie at the very core of India’s existence, and bind its citizen as a ‘nation’.
The Minister said the threats to the country need not merely take on conventional forms and may emanate from hitherto unknown areas, methods, and motivations and security agencies need to keep themselves prepared in this fight.
“We need to undertake capacity enhancement and upgrade our skill sets, so as to confront the most virulent and most unusual of these threats.
“Eternal vigilance is the price we have to pay in our quest for preserving and maintaining, our hard earned freedom, liberty, democracy, and secularism,” he said.
Mr. Shinde said the country has been victim of terrorism for many decades now and lot of lives have been lost in various terrorist attacks and the epicentre and sponsors of this terrorism remains in India’s neighbourhood.
“26/11 attack in Mumbai was unprecedented and our security agencies were certainly not prepared for this kind of attack. However, the Government of India has been firm in its resolve to deal with terrorism with an iron fist. Post 26/11, our Government, put its resources into evolving a new security architecture, which involved strengthening existing institutions and creating new ones,” he said.
The Home Minister said the improved internal security situation in the country is a testimony to the fact that the country has been quite successful in its endeavours and the strong institutions that have been built, have started paying dividends, and the internal security indicators remain much more reassuring.
He said government has brought strong legislation and spent considerable funds for modernisation of state police forces, paramilitary forces and National Security Guard.
Mr. Shinde lauded the intelligence agencies for their contributions in the arrest of Indian Mujahideen founder Yasin Bhatkal and other terrorists like Haddi and Tunda.
“We have taken care to ensure that there is a synergy between organisations and entities, responsible for internal security, to enable them to create substantial impact in the fight on terror. The expansion of these institutions, their capacity enhancements, has ensured that we have significant successes in fighting terror,” he said.
The Minister lauded the role of NIA, saying it has not only met the expectations of its founders, but has also established itself as the premier counter-terrorism investigation agency.
He said the government remains committed to strengthening the entire security apparatus, including that of NIA and will extend all financial support for the same.