Terrorists can still strike the through sea: PM

September 8th, 2012 - 4:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, Sep 8 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Saturday warned of terror groups continuing to maintain their ability to use the sea route for strikes on the lines of the November 2008 Mumbai attack, and expressed confidence that the maritime domain awareness scheme led by the Indian Navy would strengthen coastal security.

The prime minister was addressing directors general and inspectors general of police from the states and central forces on the last day of their three-day national conference here.

“There are also indications about terrorist groups maintaining their ability to use the sea route,” Manmohan Singh said at the meet, organised under the aegis of the Intelligence Bureau.

“The comprehensive scheme of maritime domain awareness to be led by the navy would help strengthen coastal vigilance,” he said.

The Mumbai attacks had left 166 people including some foreign nationals dead and several others injured. Since then, the Indian security forces have initiated several measures to ensure a secure 7,500-km India coastline.

Referring to the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, the prime minister said there were increasing attempts at infiltration by terrorists from across the line of control and even the international border (with Pakistan).

“Vigilance, therefore, needs to be exercised not only on our land borders but along the coastline as well… deployment of more permanent border obstacles and better sensors could improve the situation along the land borders,” he said.

Manmohan Singh said notwithstanding recent pressure for infiltration into Jammu and Kashmir, the collaborative efforts of police and security forces had led to a significant decline in the number of operating terrorists as also in terrorist violence in the border states.

“Improvement in the security environment resulted in a successful Amarnath yatra (pilgrimage) this year and in a record number of tourists visiting the state. The state has also successfully conducted the panchayat (rural local bodies) elections and is now poised to take up the responsibility of conducting elections to the urban local bodies,” he noted.

However, the prime minister warned that the threat from terrorism in the hinterland continues to be a cause for worry.

Although 19 interdictions have taken place, terrorists were able to strike in Mumbai and Delhi last year and in Pune this year. Investigations in these cases are yet to conclude.

“We are still in the process of developing capabilities to take preemptive action in respect of terrorist threats. Realignment of operational approaches, training of police personnel and more effective collaboration among states and between states and the centre should form part of our overall strategy of dealing with the menace of terrorism,” he added.

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