Chidambaram admits failure post Delhi, Mumbai blastsSeptember 15th, 2011 - 4:25 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Sep 15 (IANS) The recent bomb attacks in Mumbai and Delhi are “a blot” on security and intelligence agencies, Home Minister P. Chidambaram admitted Thursday.
He also said that there was no let up in attempts by terrorists to sneak into India from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.
“Two terrorist attacks in the space of two months are indeed a blot on our records. Naturally, the central government and security forces have been severely cricitised,” the minister said here.
“While we accept responsibility for the incidents and legitimate criticism, it is our duty to set out the context in which such terrorist attacks take place,” he said.
He was delivering the inaugural address at the annual All India Directors General and Inspectors General Conference.
Around 25 people were killed in a string of bomb blasts in Mumbai in July and 13 at the Delhi High Court this month.
Chidambaram said since that the November 2008 terror strike on Mumbai, the government had built the capacity of security forces.
But he admitted that the government had “not done enough”, listing out the five lakh vacancies in state police as one of the gaps.
“Questions have been raised about the capacity, competence and commitment of our security forces and, especially, of the intelligence community.
“Doubts have been expressed about the investigations that are under way and, especially, of the cases that remain ‘unsolved’.
“There is concern about the long time taken for completion of trials and conviction of the accused. Comparisons have been made between India and other countries, particularly the US,” Chidambaram said.
The minister did not mention the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that has laid the blame on the unending terror attacks at the home ministry’s doors.
He also called Pakistan and Afghanistan “the epicentre of terror” and added there were three major terror outfits operating from inside Pakistan that were targeting India.
“No country in the world appears to be entirely immune to the threat of terror, the US included.
“In 2011, up to August there have been 279 major terrorist incidents in 22 countries. The worst affected are Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
“The epicentre of terror is Afghanistan and Pakistan. Four out of five major terrorist groups are based in Pakistan and three of them continue to target India. There is no let up in efforts to infiltrate from across the line of control in Jammu and Kashmir.”
He said there are infiltration attempts via Nepal and Bangladesh as well as attempts to find a safe transit route via Sri Lanka to Tamil Nadu.
Noting that the challenge of terrorism was “formidable” and required a comprehensive strategy of counter-terror, Chidambaram referred to Indian modules that have the capacity to attract radicalised youth.
“Some modules are loosely knit under an organisation called Indian Mujahideen (IM). Many old cadres of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) are morphed into IM cadres,” he said.
The minister said following 9/11, the US had identified Al Qaeda as its pre-eminent security threat and declared war on it and its affiliates.
It had, over a period of 10 years, created the Department of Homeland Security and brought 22 agencies under it that fought two wars and sent troops to other countries.
“We do not have just one pre-eminent threat but several and we must build capacity to deal with these multiple threats. Capacity building is work in progress, it requires time, money, human resources, technology and harnessing capacity of every organisation in the country,” he added.
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