Quality of intelligence and personnel must improve, says PM
by FP Staff 55 mins ago
10.37am: The Prime Minister has reiterated the centre’s efforts towards improving capacity building in the police forces so that they can better combat the threats facing India’s internal security.He said it is important for the government to find ways and means to improve the quality of personnel and called upon Chief Ministers to come up with viable suggestions to do this.
10.35am: The Prime Minister is now addressing the challenges of terrorism and the importance of improving intelligence to counter it. “We need giant and coordinated efforts to deal with the challenge of terrorism, whatever be its origin be it external or internal, whatever its motivation. This is a struggle in which we cannot relax”, he said. The PM has also outlined the efforts taken by the centre to improve intelligence and confirmed that the NCTC would be discussed on 5 May.
10.27am: The Prime Minister has said that the threats faced by India today include terrorism, extremism, Naxalism and communal violence. “These issues must be tackled firmly but with sensitivity. The forces behind them should not only be contained but also effectively rolled back and is an endeavor that requires an united effort by the centre and states. Internal security is a matter where states and centre must work hand in hand”, he said. The Premier added that 2011 was a better year than 2010 in terms of the number of deaths caused by Left Wing Extremist groups, but added that we still have a long way to go.
10.23am: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh begins speaking at the inauguration of the conference.
10.20am: Home Minister P Chidambaram has said that the CPI(M) Maoists have used every democratic tool at their disposal to threaten the internal security of India, be it through bandhs, or asserting their right to the freedom of expression. He said that even while implementing a democratic strategy of police actiona nd developmental action, some means must be found to blunt the propaganda tools employed by the naxals.
10.15am: Chidambaram has said that Left wing extremism is a formidable threat, and that Assam has become the ‘newest theatre of Maoist violence’. He said that violence continues unabated and that though it has largely been agreed that a two pronged strategy of police action and developmental work is the best way to combat the threat, the governments capacity to execute these plans was not commiserate.
Chidamabaram stated that the integrated action plan inaugurated in November 2010 has been an outstanding success, but said “still we do not have the upper hand because there are not enough police stations, personnel or equipment.” The Home Minister also pledged the support and commitment of the central government to mitigating the Naxal threat.
10.07am: Home Minister P Chidambaram begins his welcome address, thanking Chief Minister’s for their participation. Chidambaram says that in his opinion, it is state governments who are at the frontline of ensuring internal security. He says that 2011 has seen relatively less violence than preceding years but cautions that state Ministers ought not to be lulled. He said that the extermination of religion was a worrying trend, where Indian citizens were seen supporting terrorists because of their religion.
10.00am: The Chief Minister’s meet on internal security has got underway in Delhi, where a range of issues on internal security are set to be discussed. The issues scheduled to be taken up for discussion include amendments to the Border Security Forces Act, The Armed Forces Special Powers Act and the dangers posed by Naxalism in certain states of the country.
The day-long conference will also deliberate on how India is being affected due to its troubled neighbourhood and its obvious consequences in the country like cross border terrorism, covert support to insurgents, arms smuggling, circulation of fake Indian currency notes, inflow of refugees and immigration.
Active terror infrastructure in Pakistan, growing nexus between the Naxals and anti-India forces both within the country as well as abroad, better intelligence sharing among security forces, Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & System (CCTNS), border management, coastal security and other Centre-State issues will also figure prominently at the meeting where Home Minister P Chidambaram will deliver the opening address.
A separate session on Maoist violence will be held later in the day and will be attended by Chief Ministers of nine Maoist violence affected states.
The Central government has already conceded the demands of several non-Congress Chief Ministers, including ally Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, to hold a special meeting of Chief Ministers to exclusively discuss on the controversial issue of the proposed National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) on 5 May.
So, the issue is unlikely to figure prominently on Monday. Sources in Kolkata on Sunday said Banerjee will not attend Monday’s chief ministers’ meeting on internal security, but will take part in the CMs’ meeting on NCTC.
No reason has been assigned for the West Bengal Chief Minister’s decision.
In place of the Chief Minister, Finance Minister Amit Mitra will represent the state government at the meeting, which has been convened by the Union Home Ministry, the source told PTI.
Though the internal security situation has vastly improved during the last three years largely because of cooperation between the Centre and the state governments, Naxalism continues to remains a grave challenge which claimed nearly 600 lives in 2011, official sources said.
The country’s top leadership will review the two-pronged approach of development and police action to contain the Maoist problem and the future strategy to deal with it. With communal violence becoming a major cause of concern for the government as 2,420 such incidents have reported from across the country in last three years where at least 427 people lost their lives, the issue is likely to be flagged by the Home Minister in the meeting since the sensitive matter needs urgent attention from all quarters.
Situation in Jammu and Kashmir, which has witnessed relative peace in recent times, will be discussed intensively and how to meet the challenge of maintaining peace for longer period in the sensitive state.
The challenge posed by insurgent groups, especially in the Northeastern states, and how to bring them to the negotiating table will be discussed.
Chidambaram is expected to present a report on the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast and how it has been changed dramatically with close coordination of central and state governments.
As the Home Ministry has flagged capacity building as the area on focus in 2012, the issue will get priority in the conference and discuss how the Centre can help the states in filling up vacancies, augmenting arms, ammunitions and modernisation of their forces.
The conference, originally scheduled for February 15, had to be postpone for two months due to the recent Assembly elections in five states and Budget session of Parliament.