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Security forces must not be complacent: PM
November 23, 2006 13:55 IST
Last Updated: November 23, 2006 14:25 IST
Warning that the terror threat has spread beyond Jammu and Kashmir, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday asked the security forces not to be complacent and adapt to 'new requirements'.
"Our government is determined to fight and root out terrorism and its ideologies that justify and seek to sustain it," Dr Singh said in his address to the country's top police brass, who have gathered for a three-day Conference of Directors General and Inspectors General.
The prime minister's remarks came a day after Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil spoke of terror threats to the country's vital installations.
Asking the security forces to counter the challenge of terrorism 'comprehensively', the prime minister said, "No religion sanctions the killing of innocent citizens. We need a firm response from our security forces. We also need a resolute response from civil society and all our political parties."
He said terror in the country was no longer centered on the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
"Attempts to take this threat to other parts of the country to create fear in the minds of our people are in evidence. By and large these attempts have remained unsuccessful...but there is no scope for complacency. Our security apparatus must be alert and resilient enough to meet the grave threats posed by terrorism to our polity and society," he said.
Dr Singh said 'positive developments' witnessed in Jammu and Kashmir had generated the hope that political solutions can be found to address public grievances.
"To allow the political process to take the desired direction in the state, it is imperative that the level of violence is brought down significantly. This requires strong will and determination to sustain the anti-militancy effort," Dr Singh said.
About the Northeast, he said, "While we are committed to the process of peaceful dialogue to resolve overwhelming problems, the government will not countenance the deliberate use of violence against innocent citizens."
Referring to the Naxalite problem, the prime minister highlighted the need for faster development of naxal-affected areas, and for a responsive, transparent and sensitive administrative machinery.
"We need a greater focus on employment generation, land reforms, redistribution of land, better education and health facilities, backed up by firm police action wherever needed," Dr Singh said.
Speaking about the role of police in modern India, he said, "If the police have to fulfill their mandated role in these changing times, they need to adapt themselves to new requirements."
"There is a need for the police machinery at the grassroots level to become more responsive to earn the trust of law abiding people. The nation needs a modern, capable and friendly police. We need a police service that is more gender sensitive, more humane and more respectful of the rights of citizens," he said.
The prime minister also stressed the need for a better intelligence gathering mechanism.
"We need to improve our capabilities both in respect of human intelligence and technical facilities as an aid to intelligence gathering," he added.
Dr Singh said the training institutes must operate on the frontiers of human knowledge to cope with the challenges now on the horizon.
"There is also a need for better coordination between the Centre and states and among states themselves be it in intelligence sharing or for joint operations," he said.
Speaking about the police mission and the recent Supreme Court order on police reforms, he said, "We need to act, and act fast, so that we have a first rate police force - a more skilled, competent, effective, just and humane police force."
The prime minister said he was conscious of the difficult environment in which the police, intelligence and security agencies had to work in today's world.
"The single most important challenge in today's world is the management of change," Dr Singh said and added that rapid urbanisation posed unique challenges because of the breakdown of traditional social orders which restrain unlawful action.
"These challenges need resolution within the framework of our liberal democratic polity. This is the challenge we need to face," the prime minister said.
Earlier, the prime minister presented the President's Police Medal for distinuished service to some of the Intelligence Bureau officials at the three-day Conference, which will conclude on Friday.