National

Rajnath flags internal security as priority

BJP president Rajnath Singh, who assumed office as 34th Union Home Minister in his North Block office here on Thursday, asked senior officials to come up with out-of-the-box ideas to tighten the internal security apparatus.

Mr. Singh was given a briefing and presentation by top Ministry officials on key issues relating to internal security, communal violence, situation in Jammu and Kashmir and the North-East. He was also briefed on the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh as the birth of a new, separate State of Telangana is only a few days away.

Official sources said that Mr. Singh asked senior officials to ensure better coordination between the Centre and States, an issue time and again flagged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the poll campaign.

He wanted to know which issues could be put on a fast track with a time-bound blueprint that can be put into action without delay.

Mr. Singh was inclined to resolve border disputes with neighbouring countries without compromising national interests, sources said. The internal security divisions dealing with security issues in J&K, the North-East and States faced with Naxal violence have been told to prepare reports highlighting the “vacuums” that need to be plugged and a blueprint on all possible time-bound solutions facilitating quick redress.

The Minister asked the officials to flag issues that required his intervention. The strengthening of the National Intelligence Grid and better inter-ministerial and inter-State coordination was also discussed, besides the issue of multiplicity of agencies and overlapping of jurisdictions.

The officials briefed the Minister on the ground scenario in areas of terrorism and insurgency. Infrastructure development facilitating easy accessibility in the hilly terrains of North-East States was also on the agenda.

Mr. Singh also expressed concern over the security of people from the North-East in various States. On his instructions, advisories would soon be sent to all the States with a substantial population of communities from the North-East, sources said.

Infiltration from Bangladesh and the dispute with Pakistan over Sir Creek, and how to resolve them also came up during interaction with the officials.

Interestingly, the United Progressive Alliance government’s favourite proposals to set up the controversial National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) which faced opposition from several States and enactment of the Communal Violence Bill did not figure in the discussions.

Mr. Singh will be a part of the high-powered Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), headed by the Prime Minister which decides on vital security-related matters. Other members of the CCS are External Affairs, Defence and Finance ministers.

(With additional reporting by Devesh K. Pandey)


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Printable version | Dec 9, 2021 2:18:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/rajnath-flags-internal-security-as-priority/article6062445.ece

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