CHENNAI: Assertive thinking by political leadership, deterrent anti-terrorist law, better equipped intelligence machinery and suitable response, taking into consideration the needs of the present and the future, were among suggestions made by speakers at a seminar here on Saturday, to effectively counter internal security threats.
They said that as criminal gangs could morph into terror groups, constant vigil should be mounted on their activities. While there was good response from the Government to terrorist acts, recurrence of such incidents at short intervals posed a formidable challenge. The seminar was organised by the Indian Institute of Public Administration, Anna Centre for Public Affairs and the Department of Defence and Strategic Studies of the University of Madras.
Presenting an overall view of terrorism, separatism, naxalism and religious fundamentalism, Tamil Nadu Police Commission Chairman R. Poornalingam, who inaugurated the seminar, felt that an effective intelligence machinery was vital to tackling internal security challenges.
He said units should be better equipped at the macro level and intelligence shared among various agencies. Emergency response should be improved and speedy trial, at least in cases of terrorist acts, was essential.
Mr. Poornalingam pointed out that the country’s economic growth was phenomenal but not inclusive, widening the gap between the rich and the poor and causing social disparities.
K. Vijay Kumar, Additional Director-General of Police, Law and Order, said the Government had taken steps on legal, administrative and police fronts in response to acts of terrorism. Besides making the law more stringent, he called for nation-wide preparedness and close interaction between universities and the police. The gap between crime and punishment should be small.
Gopalji Malviya, Professor and Head of Department of Defence and Strategic Studies, the University of Madras, said the country was facing a serious threat from non-State actors. The challenge lay in fashioning a suitable response. He sought a change in attitude to and perception of internal security threats. Civil society should also play a vital role.
Indian Institute of Public Administration chairman E. Dasaradhan explained the objective of the seminar.