Efforts needed to reduce terror threat: Maha CM

New Delhi: With Mumbai facing several terror attacks at regular intervals, Maharashtra today said there is a "genuine expectation" that effective measures should be taken to bring the perpetrators of such incidents to justice.

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said in view of trans- national network of terrorists, it is imperative for the Union and State governments to work closely together to meet this challenge.

Addressing the National Integration Council meeting here, he said measures to strengthen and modernise the police forces, enhance their investigation skills, and sharpen and share intelligence are imminent requirement.

"We have taken several such measures particularly post 26/11. We have recruited more than 44,000 officers and policemen during the last three years and have set specialised combat units to handle terror attacks and jungle warfare," he said.

Chavan said the government was upgrading surveillance based on modern technology and stressed that administration of criminal justice also needs basic reforms to ensure speedy trial and punishment within a definite time frame.

The Chief Minister also said the governments should look at a comprehensive rehabilitation package for the families of innocent victims of terrorism.

"Many a times, innocent citizens become victims of communal violence or law and order situations arising out of civil disturbances. The state government is considering a 'Victim Compensation Scheme' to extend help to unfortunate victims of public violence," he said.

Chavan said a Centrally-sponsored scheme with state participation would be useful in providing relief to the affected families.

Chavan said the recent trend in the country, including in his state, indicates that more than communalism, skewed development and inequitable distribution of resources and feeling of exclusion lead to social conflicts and civil disturbances.

Noting that growing concern for environmental and natural resources is also triggering discontent, he said such agitations flare up into violent civil disturbances and pose complex problems to the law enforcing authorities.

"It is important to understand the genesis of such agitations in the larger socio economic perspective. At the state time it is necessary to create awareness that blocking of roads, expressways and railways, however peaceful, impinges on the fundamental right of the citizens to free movement."

It becomes the sovereign duty of the state and police to clear such blockades, he said, calling for an all-party consensus on the issue.

The Chief Minister said while combating the menace of terrorism with the use of modern weapons and technology is an imperative, it is "equally important" to analyse and appreciate the socio-economic drivers underlying the acts of terrorism and evolve a strategy accordingly.