Govt to deal firmly with efforts to revive militancy in Punjab



New Delhi: In the wake of reports of some pro-Khalistan extremist groups trying to revive militancy in Punjab, the Centre on monday said it would deal firmly with any such attempt to fuel terrorism in the state.

"There are some instances and we will deal them firmly," Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told reporters here when asked about efforts to revive militancy in Punjab.

Shinde said due to militancy in Punjab, the country suffered a lot and the economy was affected badly too.

"I ask people to introspect as the country suffered a lot because of militancy and economy too had suffered," he said.

The home minister, however, refused to comment whether Punjab's Akali-BJP government was soft towards the pro-Khalistan groups which have intensified their activities.

Yesterday, Shinde had said Punjab has gone through days of terrorism and in view of this, the state government must do self-introspection before taking a decision on setting up of a controversial Operation Blue Star memorial.

Security agencies have also said that extensive fund- raising campaign was being undertaken by secessionist Sikh groups in Europe and North America allegedly at the instance of Pakistan's ISI.

The agencies have informed about movement of banned Babbar Khalsa International and Khalistan Commando Force in Western countries with an aim to radicalise Sikh youth.

The attack on Lt Gen (retd) K S Brar, who led Operation Blue Star, and disruption of Indian Independence Day celebrations in London this year too were the results of such activities of anti-India elements, the sources claimed.

PTI