Increasing ethnic tension worries PM
Says it has strained communal harmony
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday expressed concern at the increasing communal and ethnic tension in the country, particularly in Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharastra and Kerala.
Addressing police chiefs of the states at the concluding day of the conference organized by the Intelligence Bureau, Singh said “ethnic disturbances in the North-East assumed a national dimension with the flight of people belonging to the North East from various towns of South and Western India”.
He stressed “this further strained the communal situation in the country, which was already showing some signs of deterioration, particularly in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala”.
To contain this dangerous trend, the Prime Minister said re-orientation of police forces was required to marginalise "overtly intolerant and aggressive elements" of the society for healthy inter-community relations. "It is particularly important to obtain assistance of saner elements of the society to marginalise those who are overtly intolerant and aggressive. We must train our police personnel to develop these soft skills," Singh said.
He advised senior police officers to have advance identification of potential trouble makers, timely use of preventive sections of the law, besides seeking cooperation of the community for maintaining peace should be the used first well before a situation deteriorates.
He also agreed with earlier assertions of Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Intelligence Bureau director that the use of social media for creating unrest in the country was a new trend confronting the policing in the country.
“We need to fully understand how these new media are used by miscreants. We also need to devise strategies to counter the propaganda that is carried out by these new means. Any measure to control the use of such media must be carefully weighed against the need for the freedom to express and communicate,” he pointed out.
He also called for strengthening government-academia-private sector partnership to have a secured cyber security. “Our country's vulnerability to cyber crime is escalating as our economy and critical infrastructure become increasingly reliant on interdependent computer networks and the internet. Large-scale computer attacks on our critical infrastructure and economy can have potentially devastating results.
“The government is working on a robust cyber security structure that addresses threat management and mitigation, assurance and certification, specially building capacity and enhancing research,” he emphasized.
He also drew the attention of the increasing infiltration attempts, across the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.
“There are also indications about terrorist groups maintaining their ability to use the sea route. Vigilance, therefore, needs to be exercised not only on our land borders but along the coastline as well,” he said.
Before starting his speech, the prime minister felicitated boxer Mary Kom and wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt with cash rewards of Rs 22 lakh and a citation each for winning medals in London Olympics.
He also gave away awards to IB officers for their outstanding achievements.