Metro terrorism gives new dimension to subversive acts: President

September 16th, 2008 - 3:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Pratibha PatilNew Delhi, Sep 16 (IANS) Emphasising that terrorism, left wing extremism and insurgency were the big challenges before India, President Pratibha Patil Tuesday warned that the “emerging phenomenon of metro-terrorism” had given a new dimension to subversive activities and was a matter of serious concern.“Outfits with varying goals have been waging a long and enduring warfare against the state with some forming a mutually supportive grid in this proxy warfare. Intervention by trans-border elements also poses a threat to our security and integrity. Left wing extremism is fast becoming a vexed problem,” Patil said at a conference of governors here.

Referring to the serial blasts that rocked the capital over the weekend killing 23 people and injuring nearly 100, Patil pointed out there was a fresh impetus to new age terror.

“The serial blasts which occurred on September 13 in Delhi is fresh in our minds. This emerging phenomenon of metro-terrorism has given a new dimension to subversive activities and is a matter of serious concern.”

In her speech that largely dwelt on security and the need to curb terror, Patil said that both the state and central governments had to deal firmly with those who followed the path and culture of guns.

Referring to her visit to the Kashmir valley in May, Patil paid fulsome tribute to the country’s soldiers who were defending the borders from insidious forces.

“Their operational efficiency needs constant upgradation. We need to modernise our police force with greater investments in cyber and technical intelligence, communication systems and forensic capabilities,” she said.

Also echoing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s constant refrain at several forums, Patil said there was need for an institutional mechanism to share intelligence on real-time basis to foil the attempts of terrorists and Maoists. She also stressed on the need for a healthy police-population ratio.

“It is for consideration whether the help of ex-servicemen who have experience in handling inimical forces could be enlisted in this effort,” she said.

“Some of the affected states, particularly in the north east, are reported to have a deficit of one-fifth of the sanctioned strength of constabulary. Insufficient number of police stations affects police outreach. Fund allocations for security forces by the states has stagnated or grown marginally. All this has a crippling effect on the efficacy of the law and order machinery.”

While referring to Maoist violence which affects large swathes of the country’s hinterland, Patil said the problem was also an expression of neglect, deprivation and disaffection amongst the downtrodden.

“The solution lies largely in our ability to deepen the democratic process, usher in good governance, rapid economic development, equity and justice besides expanding employment and entrepreneurial opportunities.”

“While not showing any leniency to disruptive and separatist elements, we have to also sensitise our security personnel to exercise maximum possible restraint and show respect to local sentiments and gender sensitivity in the disturbed areas.”

Patil said that India’s diplomatic initiative with neighbouring Bhutan and to some extent Myanmar had been fruitful in isolating and combating militants.

“We need to embark on similar result-oriented strategies with other willing neighbours to create a climate of shared determination to extinguish terrorism from the common neighbourhood.”

“Violence has no place in democracy. Consensus building is integral to nation building. We have to evolve an acceptable, peaceful political solution taking on board the unfulfilled aspirations and emotive sentiments of the people in these disturbed regions.”

But while talking of the evils of terrorism, Patil also said that preserving a climate of peace, pluralism and harmony is as crucial as the fight against terrorism.

“Acceptance of all religions and different ways of life are values that Gandhiji taught us. The aberrations of fundamentalism, violence and bloodshed have disturbed the equilibrium in the society.”

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