M A I N   N E W S

New terror groups threaten India: PM
Refrains from naming groups at conference of chief ministers on internal security
Tribune News Service


718 civilians killed in 2010
323 killed after branding as ‘police informers’
71 coastal police stations set up
183 interceptor boats delivered
2000 cr Central grants for states to strengthen policing

New Delhi, February 1
While exhorting states to speed up non-lethal ‘Standard Operational Procedures’ to deal with public protests and unruly crowds, the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Home Minister P Chidambaram today expressed their concern over the emergence of new and ‘right-wing’ terror groups in the country.

Both, however, refrained from naming the groups. While addressing the DGPs last year, the Home Minister had caused a storm in political circles over his reference to ‘saffron terror’. Today the Home Minister was again not so subtle when he asserted, “ We cannot shy away from naming these groups or exposing their designs. Whatever be their religious affiliations, I have no hesitation in condemning every group that resorts to terror as a means of advancing dubious religious causes or fundamentalist goals.”

Addressing a conference of Chief Ministers on Internal Security, the fourth such conference since the terror attack of 26/11, both the Prime Minister and the Home Minister admitted that the country remained vulnerable to cross border terrorism, religious fundamentalism, ethnic violence and left wing extremism. But they also expressed their satisfaction at having covered considerable ground. The PM singled out the National Investigative Agency ( NIA), set up after 26/11, for special praise. The NIA, he said, had done commendable work in unravelling the trail of fake currencies and the new terror groups.

The Prime Minister complimented the Home Minister and the Chief Ministers for standing up to terror and pointed out that the year 2010 had witnessed only two terror strikes at Pune and Varanasi. He also noted with satisfaction the improvement on the ground in the North-East and Jammu & Kashmir and reiterated the offer for a dialogue with any group, “provided they have a genuine desire for peace and the willingness to abjure violence”.

The Home Minister, however, admitted that militants and Maoists had killed an alarming number of civilians in 2010. Placing the figure at 718, the Home Minister informed that 323 of them were killed after being branded as ‘police informers’.

Presenting a report card on the measures taken in 2010, the Prime Minister informed that 23 battalions of the BSF, CRPF and the SSB were raised during the year; four regional hubs and two regional centres of the National Security Guard created and 71 coastal police stations were set up. Besides, the Union government had committed Rs 2000 crore as grants-in-aid to the states over five years for strengthening the state police forces.

The conference highlighted various concerns of the states. While the Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar opposed any role of the UPSC or the Union Home Ministry in the appointment or in fixing the tenure of the DGPs, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi wanted Sri Lanka warned for attacking Tamil fishermen. While the Madhya Pradesh CM spoke of infiltration into his state from Bangladesh, the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister spoke of attempts by SIMI to establish base in the state.





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