Highlights coordination with States in solving terror cases

Taking his cue from the Prime Minister, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram adopted a friendly tone at a meeting of the Chief Ministers on internal security here on Monday, saying half the terror cases were worked out through the joint efforts of the Central agencies and the State police.

“This… is the reality. At the operational level, there is no conflict between the Central agencies and the State police forces. They work together, consult each other, share intelligence and, when necessary, mount joint operations to apprehend the suspects…Such silent and invisible work of neutralising terrorist modules deserves as much praise as solving the terrorist cases,” Mr. Chidambaram said.

Indeed, in 2011, 18 terror modules were neutralised and 53 persons were arrested, while in the first three months of 2012, three modules were neutralised and 11 persons arrested.

The Home Minister's remarks appear to be an attempt to mollify the Chief Ministers, who have described the National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC) proposal as an assault on their powers.

For instance, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi stressed that the UPA government's unilateral actions — such as the NCTC proposal — was creating distrust between the Centre and the States.

The Centre was creating a “state within a state” by considering changes to the RPF Act and the BSF Act, which would take away the powers of the State police and meddle with subjects on the State list.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa accused the Centre of trying to reduce the States to “glorified” municipal corporations, “heavily dependent on the Centre for funds.”

Mr. Chidambaram expressed concern at local support to those arrested in various cases: “There is no apparent reason for such support other than the affinity of religion or sect. This is a dangerous trend, and makes the task of the investigating agencies more difficult.” He, therefore, urged the Chief Ministers to join him in appealing to the people, and to the media, to observe caution and restraint and place faith in the integrity and impartiality of the investigation.

An overview, the Home Minister said, would lead to the conclusion that violence had declined in 2011 but cautioned that behind these figures lay a more worrying narrative — the spread and the reach of some adversaries and their success in augmenting their weaponry and military capabilities.

In this context, he described left-wing extremism as the “most formidable threat” to internal security. The decline in the overall number of casualties among civilians and security forces in the Maoist-affected districts had given a false sense of assurance, as two States were very badly affected, four States were affected and three were within their arc of influence.

New theatre

Assam, he added, had emerged as the new theatre of Maoist activity, with inputs emerging about Maoist links to insurgent groups in Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.

After the conference, Mr. Chidambaram held a separate meeting with the Chief Ministers of the Maoist-affected States.

  • In 2011, 18 terror modules were neutralised and 53 persons were arrested

  • Minister expresses concern at local support to those arrested in various cases