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Tackle terrorism with humane touch, says Chief Minister

Special Correspondent
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Oommen Chandy: Ensure that all people enjoy a reasonable quality of life.
Oommen Chandy: Ensure that all people enjoy a reasonable quality of life.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has called for a humane approach in tackling extremism of all kind.

Speaking at a conference of Chief Ministers and State Home Minister on internal security, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on Monday, Mr. Chandy said that threats to internal security would recede to a very large extent if the State was able to ensure food, employment, education, and good health to all. No one should feel that he/she is being treated as a second-class citizen. A feeling of alienation is one of the major reasons that has given rise to internal security problems, he said.

“If a large number of citizens feel alienated, they are likely to create danger for the rest of society. The alienation may come from being socially or economically backward. It may also stem from a feeling that they are not getting sufficient role in the democratic process of governing this country. No amount of policing can succeed, if some people genuinely believe that they do not have a stake in keeping the country safe and secure,” he said.

“Extremism grows rapidly, whether driven by communal forces or by Left wing ideology, when a large number of persons start believing they cannot get what they want without resorting to violence. We have to ensure that no one is made to feel that way. The economic growth will have no meaning if it leaves a significant part of citizenry out of it. For this, we have to make sure that all people enjoy a reasonable quality of life. All should have access to food, education, and healthcare within their means,” Mr. Chandy said.

The Chief Minister urged the Centre to adopt a humanitarian approach to secure the release of Indians in the custody of Somalian pirates. Several Indians including Keralites were kidnapped and detained by Somalian pirates who demanded the release of some Somalians detained by India.

“A humanitarian view may be taken to get the innocent Indians back, particularly since we have even released Maoists in Odisha to get kidnapped persons back,” he said.

He also called for enhanced vigil on coastal borders and protection to fishermen in the light of the recent attacks on fishermen along the coast.

“The Coast Guard and the Navy must be sensitised to take upon the role of protecting our fishing communities both within and outside our territorial waters or Exclusive Economic Zone. Communication gadgets must be provided to fishermen so that fishing can be a secure economic activity,” he said.

The Centre should consider extending the territorial limit of licences to telecom operators so that mobile connectivity could be provided across the seas, at least up to 30 km.

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