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'India needs an agency like FBI to fight terror'

September 16, 2008 00:12 IST

Joginder Singh, a former director of the Central Bureau of Investigation, feels that terrorism is getting worse in India and that Indian Americans do not understand how grim the situation is.

"No terrorist is going to listen to reason -- you have to give them the same medicine that they give you," Singh told guests during the 14th Hindu Sangathan Divas, or Hindu Unity Day, held at the Flushing Hindu temple in New York last week.

He regretted that the Indian government has not been able to form an agency like the Federal Bureau of Investigation to fight terrorism.

"The states do not want such a proposal by the Union government because law and order is a state subject and they do not want their power to be taken away," he said. "We do not have a pro-receptive, well-coordinated definition of (terrorism)," Singh told India Abroad in a brief interview.

"The central government should create an agency like the FBI with a limited charter to fight terrorism, counterfeit currency notes and interstate crimes," he said.

"The war against terrorism is not in full stream because we do not have an agency which can investigate such cases. Our intelligence information is basically, unspecific, unpointed and vague," Singh said.

"It should be taken as a war, a federal war against terrorism just like the army fights and not purely as a law and order problem by a state," Singh added, pointing out that after Afghanistan and Iraq, India is the third most terrorist-hit country in the world.

Other speakers at the event included Dr Subramanian Swamy, president, Janata Party, and Rajeev Malhotra, founder, Infinity Foundation.

The event at the Hindu Temple was organised by the Hindu Temple Society of America, the Indian American Intellectuals Forum and other Hindu organisations. Participants included Hindus from Bangladesh, Nepal, Guyana and Trinidad besides India, the organisers said.

A 12-point resolution was passed during the event, asking the government of India, among other things, to abrogate Article 30 of the Constitution, repeal Article 370 in order to integrate Jammu and Kashmir fully with India, to free all Hindu temples from government control and restore the land allotment to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board in Jammu.

Suman Guha Mozumder in New York