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PM to convene CMs' meet to discuss security scenario
November 26, 2007 17:10 IST
A meeting of chief ministers is being convened in a fortnight to discuss the security situation in the country following the recent terror strikes in Uttar Pradesh, Assam and elsewhere.
Home Minister Shivraj Patil made the announcement in the Lok Sabha on Monday responding to an impromptu discussion in the wake of the serial blasts in Uttar Pradesh.
He added that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] will be convening the meeting soon.
The discussion saw the Samajwadi Party asking the Centre to initiate action against the Mayawati government if it has failed to tackle the terrorist menace, but Patil wanted members to refrain from blame game.
In an apparent retort to the UP chief minister who had held the Centre responsible for failure to avert the blasts, the home minister said that cooperation between the Centre and the state could only help address the challenge.
"If you talk against each other then the task cannot be achieved. It is not a time for blame game. Both governments should work jointly," he said.
Referring to suggestions regarding federal crime and a federal investigation system, Patil said this could be considered only if all the states agreed with this.
"Till unanimity is arrived at on the issue, no step can be taken by the Centre," he said maintaining that the federal structure should not be disturbed in any way.
The Home Minister insisted that the Intelligence Bureau at the Centre cannot keep a tab on each village and lane which was the job of Special Branches and CIDs of the state police.
The Special Branches and CIDs needed to be strengthened in all possible ways while the expenditure on policing should be increased substantially both by the Centre and the states, Patil said.
Noting that there were only 14,000 police stations across the country compared with 6.5 lakh cities, towns and villages, he said the number of police stations as well as the numerical strength of the police personnel also needed to be enhanced significantly.
Patil also agreed with the views of Bhratruhari Mahtab of the Biju Janata Dal, who said the media, especially the electronic media, should introspect on how to cover terrorist attacks and not show clippings which could provoke retaliation.
Initiating the debate, Leader of the Opposition L K Advani recalled the serial blasts in Varanasi, Faizabad and Lucknow and said a pattern had emerged in the terror strikes over the past two years in which instances of coordinated serial blasts were on the rise.
"Lot of planning must have gone into these attacks. The attackers must have taken some time for planning. We want to know what action the government has taken in this regard and the status of their investigation," he said.
Alleging that UP was "gradually becoming a hub of terror," Samajwadi Party's Mohan Singh targeted the Mayawati government for its failure to avert such incidents and putting the onus on the Central government and its agencies.
Communist Party of India � Marxist's Basudeb Acharia underlined the need for strengthening the intelligence department and gearing up of surveillance.
Noting that some sections were trying to communalise the situation, he said both minority and majority fundamentalism were dangerous.
Bahujan Samaj Party's Rajesh Verma dismissed allegations against the state government and said there was need for the entire House to be united in facing the challenge.