Threats persist from left-wing extremism, terrorism: Manmohan

Inaugurating the Chief Ministers' conference on internal security today, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said there can be no let up in the government’s efforts in the fight against terrorism and religious fundamentalism. File photo  

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday warned that serious challenges and threats to the country's internal security still persist from left-wing extremism, cross-border terrorism and religious fundamentalism and ethnic violence.

Inaugurating the Chief Ministers' conference on internal security here, Dr. Singh emphasised the need for greater coordination and responses from the States to effectively deal with the threats, particularly from Maoists.

While stressing the importance of being constantly vigilant, the Prime Minister said there “can be no let-up in our efforts if we are to succeed in our fight against terrorism as well as communal violence.''

The Prime Minister said as far as left-wing extremism was concerned, 2010 saw a decrease over the previous year in the number of incidents and casualties of security forces, though the number of casualties among civilians increased.

“Chhattisgarh, Bihar, West Bengal and Jharkhand continue to be a cause for concern in view of the level of violence. The problems in Orissa and Maharashtra are also quite serious,'' he told the conference.

“In the fight against left-wing extremism, there is a need to have much greater coordination of responses and resources between the Central and State forces. I would request the participants in this conference to consider increasing the number of joint operations by State police forces with the assistance of the Central forces,'' Dr. Singh said.

Referring to communal tensions, the Prime Minister said the situation in 2010 remained satisfactory. “I would like to mention here the tremendous restraint shown by all sections of our society in the wake of the court judgment in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suits. The response to the judgment by and large was mature, respectful and dignified,'' he noted.

The highlight of 2010, he said, was the change in the situation in the North-East where the trend of declining violence and casualties continued last year and the violence was at its lowest levels in many years.

“I have repeatedly stated that the Indian Constitution is a remarkably flexible instrument, capable of accommodating a diverse range of aspirations. What is essential, however, is a genuine desire for peace and a willingness to abjure the path of violence. It is the commitment of our government, that if these two conditions are satisfied we will respond in full measure in considering the demands of various groups,'' Dr. Singh said.

On the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, the Prime Minister said that last year's summer saw a troubled period in the form of protests, particularly by stone-pelters, generating a vicious cycle of violence.

Noting that the situation in the Valley has improved, he attributed it to the visit of the all-party delegation and the subsequent announcement of the eight-point programme by the government and a number of positive measures jointly initiated by the Centre and the State government.

While the Central and State intelligence agencies were at work, the Prime Minister said the “best, actionable and prompt intelligence on internal security often comes from the police stations.'' But, he said that people will come forth to give information to the local policeman, only when they see him as a friend. He called for changes to make policemen “truly people friendly'' and favoured three-pronged action on community policing, police reforms and informed use of technology to make it happen.

Dr. Singh urged the States to seriously look at replacing archaic laws and policing systems. He asked the Home Ministry to carry forward this exercise to its logical conclusion in the Union Territory of Delhi so that the Delhi Police became a model for other State police forces to emulate.

The daylong conference was attended by 20 Chief Ministers, one deputy chief minister, five ministers and L-Gs and administrators of Union Territories.

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Printable version | Oct 17, 2021 8:45:37 PM |

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