New Delhi: UPA ally NCP on Thursday joined the
opposition in charging the government with adopting a "soft
approach" towards terrorism.
Participating in a discussion in the Rajya Sabha on
growing incidents of terrorism in the country, Yogendra P
Trivedi (NCP) said, "We are probably too soft in handling
terrorism. Killers and terrorists should not feel India is too
soft on them."
There have been several terrorist attacks in the country
in the last dacade, he said, adding "This has become something
which is common and people have become resilient."
Trivedi said it is the primary duty of the state to
protect its citizens. Giving an example of a ship lying
abandoned on the Versova coast, he wondered "how a ship could
come all the way to Versova coast without anyone knowing about
While favouring more investigative powers to the police,
the NCP leader strongly advocated that mercy petitions should
not be kept pending for long.
Trivedi`s comments assume importance in the wake of
Maharashtara Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan stating after
recent Mumbai blasts that the state Home Minister should have
been from the Congress party.
Participating in the debate, senior BJP leader Mukhtar
Abbas Naqvi charged the Government with promoting
He charged the Congress of "categorising terrorism in the
name of religion", saying Muslims after being defamed in the
name of terrorism were "forced" to vote for it.
BJP members strongly objected to LJP leader Ram Vilas
Paswan`s allegations that RSS, Bajrang Dal and similar forces
were behind a number of terrorist attacks in the country
including Malegaon, Mecca Masjid and other blasts.
Paswan, however, claimed that his remarks were based on
CBI reports and he was ready to apologise if proved wrong.
"Don`t hold only minorities responsible for all terrorist
attacks," Paswan said pointing out that CBI reports say
Abhinav Bharat was responsible for 2008 Malegaon attack and
the RSS for the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast in Hyderabad.
As soon as took the name of an RSS leader, the BJP took
strong objection and forced Deputy Chairman K Rahaman Khan,
who was in the Chair, to expunge the name.
Rajniti Prasad (RJD) said 16 terrorist incidents were
reported from Mumbai alone in the last 18 years. He too faced
BJP protest when he alleged minority hands in such attacks.
Some BJP members said that Pakistan and not minorities
should be blamed for such incidents.
Recollecting his harrowing experience during 26/11 Mumbai
attack, nominated member Ashok S Ganguly said he was in Taj
Hotel, which was one of the targets and found that
coordination among security forces was lacking.
Apart from terror attacks, another area of concern is
cyber attacks, he said pointing out, "China is leading cyber
attack on India...I am concerned of China`s designs on India."
Ganguly said apart from coordinated efforts to contain
these, India needed upgradation of technology and global help.
MV Mysura Reddy (TDP) took a dig at National
Investigation Agency (NIA) and said Home Minister P
Chidambaram as quoted by Wikileaks had confided in Federal
Bureau of Investigation that he was unaware of its
"Why was such a legislation brought if it was weak and
lacked constitutionality," he questioned.
Shivanand Tiwari (JD-U) stressed the need for setting up
of separate intelligence gathering cells by states.
Saif-ud-in Soz (Cong) demanded a White Paper on Indian
Moinul Hassan (CPI-M) lamented that the Mumbai attacks
came in the wake of intelligence failure, with the government
having "no idea, no information, no report" about it.
He charged the government with being a bit complacent in
handling terrorism as no adequate measures were in place to
tackle it even though many measures were announced to curb
such incidents in the aftermath of 26/11 Mumbai attacks.
Tiruchi Siva (DMK) sought stringent action against the
perpetrators of terrorism to dispel the feeling that India is
not able to control terrorist attacks.
He said communication failure in Mumbai during the recent
blasts should be looked into seriously and the Centre should
involve state governments for formulating a proper policy to
Mahendra Mohan (SP) called for setting up fast-track
courts for speedy trial of those involved in terrorist
activities and said mercy petitions should not be kept pending
He also charged the Government that there is no
coordination among various intelligence agencies and demanded
early formation of National Counter Terrorism Centre.