Saffron terror a cause of great concern: Pillai
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Last Updated: Friday, March 04, 2011, 22:44
  
New Delhi: Home Secretary G K Pillai on Friday said that saffron terror was a cause of "great concern" though its spread across the country was very limited at the moment.

Interacting with reporters at the Indian Women's Press Corps here, he said at the moment "it is something very limited, but if it spreads, it is a matter of great concern".

He said that investigations were on in the Samjhauta Express blast case, in which right-wing Hindu group 'Abhinav Bharat' activist Aseemanand is linked. Aseemanand is also an accused in the Ajmer dargah blasts.

Amid an ethical debate on tapping of telephones, the Home Ministry in consultation with the Finance Ministry will shortly take a decision on whether the Central Board of Direct Taxes should be taken off the list of agencies allowed to tap telephones for investigative purposes.

He said the recommendation on whether CBDT should be allowed or not has come from a panel looking into the phone tapping issue, which is headed by the Cabinet Secretary.

"This issue of whether the CBDT, which came to be authorised in 2006...whether they should be allowed or taken off the list of agencies is a matter that has been left to the Ministry of Home to take in consultation with the Ministry of Finance," Pillai said.

"We will shortly take a decision on that."

The Home Secretary said that legally across the country around 8,000-9,000 phones were being tapped, which according to him was a very minuscule proportion of the total number of telephones in India.

"A very large number of these are related to terrorism," he said, adding if there is any illegal tapping then that is where action has to be taken.

He said that the government was taking a series of measures to see that at the level of service providers nothing is being unauthorisedly tapped.

On providing security during elections in West Bengal, Pillai said, in consultation with tbe Election Commission, "We would provide adequate Central paramilitary forces in West Bengal and we have also ensured that even before the announcements are made, we have sent forces to the to able to reduce the violence between either political parties or otherwise".

He expressed hope that ULFA military chief Paresh Barua, who has not joined peace talks with the government yet, would come forward as he sees progress from talks being held with other leaders.

The faction of ULFA, which is holding talks, will submit a memorandum on their demands to the government after the Assembly polls in Assam, he said.

On the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, Pillai said that there is scope now for the state government to take a political call on whether some areas should be removed from the disturbed list. "That political call is overdue".

Pillai said that the Communal Violence Bill, which was supposed to be tabled in this session of Parliament, has not yet been cleared by the NAC and is likely to be sent to the Home Ministry by March end.

On whether a clean chit has been given to Tibetan spiritual leader Karmapa Lama, he said that a Buddhist delegation had come to see him and said that they would give in writing that by the end of March he would take steps to put his "house in order".

The Home Secretary also appreciated the Orissa government on the handling of the kidnapping of the Malkangiri district collector V Krishna.

"Each case has to be handled on a case by case basis. If you don't do it you are criticised, if you do it then you are criticised," he said on whether the prisoners should have been released.

"I think the state government has done an extremely well job," he said.

PTI


First Published: Friday, March 04, 2011, 22:44


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