Centre, states to overcome challenges of internal security: Chidambaram

Centre, states to overcome challenges of internal security: Chidambaram

PM Manmohan Singh with Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and NSA MK Narayanan at the inauguration of Chief Ministers’ Conference on Internal Security in New Delhi on Monday. PTI

At the conference of chief ministers on internal security, he also said some state governments in the northeast allowed themselves to bend before insurgent groups, making the fight against insurgency much more difficult.

"We will talk, we will act, we will restore order and we will undertake developmental activities" in naxal-hit areas, he said adding the affected states have resolved to confront and overcome the challenge of the CPI(Maoists).

Explaining the two-pronged approach, he said first the territory under naxal dominance would be freed from the Maoists and then development activities would be carried out.

The Home Minister said since the 26/11 Mumbai attacks the country has faced no terror strike but "it does not mean that the threat of terror has vanished or receded."

"It is better intelligence and better preparedness that helped us thwart potential terror attack. We have cracked several terror modules and made several significant arrests," he said.

Chidambaram said the Centre had commended to the states the idea of raising a state industrial security force on the pattern on the Central Industrial Security Force.

"There are multiple benefits in raising such a force and I would request state governments to respond to the suggestion," he said.

The Home Minister said the states as well as the central government share an onerous responsibility to ensure the welfare of the people.

"You (Chief Ministers) have the constitutional power and responsibility in respect of matters relating to 'public order' and 'police'. However, increasingly, jurists and the general public have emphasised the constitutional duty of the central government to protect every state against internal disturbance," he said.

Underlining the need for the central and the state governments to work together in a spirit of partnership, he said the conference could demonstrate a resolve to overcome the challenges to internal security.

The Home Minister said "we will encourage state governments to talk to the naxalites -- both individuals and local units -- on condition that they give up their misconceived armed liberation struggle".

Referring to the problem of insurgency and militancy in
Jammu and Kashmir, he said the situation has shown perceptible improvement.

"Militancy has declined, even while agitational politics is on the rise. The Centre has offered every support to the new government (in J-K) to maintain law and order, focus on development and find political solutions through dialogue," Chidambaram said.

In the Northeast, he said, insurgency remains a grave threat and the Centre, along with the state governments, was ready to draw up state-specific strategies to deal with the militant groups in the three most affected states of
Assam, Nagaland and Manipur.

"In the last few months we have refined our policy stance: the law will be applied strictly, ceasefire agreements will be enforced in letter and spirit, and we will talk to any group only if it abjures violence, lays down arms and offers to surrender," he said.

Highlighting the key role of police forces to deal with internal security challenges, he said it is the policemen and policewomen who will help the country to win these battles.

"To that policeman and policewoman, this conference must send out a clear message that government at every level is duty bound to provide them every kind of support - monetary, material and moral," he said.

Admitting that police reforms have been neglected for too long, Chidambaram said vacancies in the police is quite alarming.

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