Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said that Centre and state governments must work together to combat Naxalism, while addressing the chief ministers’ annual conference on internal security in the national capital.
The Prime minister stated that the government has instituted several measures in 34 Naxal-hit areas to combat the Naxal menace.
Shifting his focus to rising crimes against women, Dr Singh said his government has enacted several laws to tackle crimes against women.
"There is a need to put in place institutional mechanisms such as sensitisation of policemen," the Prime Minister said at the internal security meet.
On his turn, Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said more centre-state co-operation in intelligence sharing has ensured improvement in the anti-Naxal efforts.
Addressing the internal security meet, Shinde said, "The acts of violence with innocents will be dealt with firmly."
Speaking on the Chhattisgarh Naxal attack, Shinde said, "The Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh was an attack on democracy, freedom of people to participate in political activities."
Gujarat CM Narendra Modi, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, Madhya Predesh CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik and Jammu and Kashmir CM Omar Abdullah are the non-Congress CMs who are attending the internal security meet called by the Prime Minister.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa and her West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee are not attending the crucial Chief Ministers’ conference on internal security.
Today’s annual conference on internal security will seal the fate of the Union Home Ministry’s ambitious National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), which has met stiff opposition from some non-Congress ruled states.
Envisaged for the first time in 2009, post 26/11, the NCTC ran into rough weather immediately following stiff opposition by several state governments mainly over its power to unilaterally search, seize and arrest.
With General Elections scheduled for 2014, many within the security establishment are viewing this as one last effort of the MHA to cobble up support for the ambitious project which has not been able to take off so far.
The government is keen to build consensus on the controversial NCTC and the anti-Naxal strategy in wake of the May 25 Chhattisgarh attack.
However, today’s NCTC meeting may become another platform for the Centre and states to squabble over “federal issues”.
The bureaucrats who have brainstormed and revised the NCTC proposal are already blaming the political class for trying to stall the major counter-terror project.
In a virtual snub to the UPA government, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa is of the view that such conferences held by the Centre have become an “annual ritualistic exercise and very little opportunity was given to chief ministers to express their views”.
Her West Bengal counterpart Banerjee, who will also skip the meeting, however, has not cited any reason on why she is skipping the meet.
As the atmosphere gets charged for today’s meet, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde is also expected to take up non-controversial issues to win some points with states.
The MHA will discuss creation of a “separate intelligence cadre” in states to have dedicated officers for intelligence gathering.
With Agency inputs