Don't let terror tarnish Muslims: PM
New Delhi, September 5.2006.
Regretting that terrorism has created a wrong impression of radicalisation of the entire Muslim community, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday warned that the adverse consequences of the "prevailing insecurity" among minorities, especially Muslims, could be "extremely deleterious for our polity". 

Sounding a warning about the possibility of more fidayeen attacks and terror strikes on economic and religious targets, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today asked Chief Ministers to personally monitor steps to improve intelligence gathering at the grassroot level and toning up of law and order administration in their respective states.

Addressing the Chief Ministers’ Conference on Internal Security here, the Prime Minister also asked Chief Ministers of Jammu and Kashmir and Northeastern states to be specially sensitive to the nuances of each situation.

Referring to inputs from Intelligence agencies, the Prime Minister said, “Intelligence agencies warn of a further intensification of violent activities with the possibility of fidayeen attacks, use of suicide bombers, attacks on economic and religious targets, targeting of vital installations, including nuclear establishments.”

“Reports also suggest that terrorist modules and sleeper cells exist in some of our urban areas, all of which highlight the seriousness of the threat,” he said, calling for greater alertness on the part of the states and local Intelligence Agencies, as also the police that has a locational advantage.

“Unless the beat constable is brought into the vortex of our counter-terrorist strategy, our capacity to pre-empt future attacks would be severely limited”, he added.

Highlighting the threats to internal security from Naxalism, Dr Manmohan Singh proposed the setting up of an Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM), headed by the Home Minister and select Chief Ministers to monitor the rapid spread of the Maoist movement.

During the address, the Prime Minister also warned that the “prevailing insecurity” among minorities, especially Muslims, could be “extremely deleterious for our polity”.

“It is, hence, imperative that we embark immediately upon a proactive policy to ensure that a few individual acts do not result in tarnishing the image of an entire community, and remove any feelings of persecution and alienation from the minds of the minorities,” he said asking the Chief Ministers to be sensitive and scrupulous while dealing with terrorism.

Lamenting that not enough was being done to fill up vacancies in the police force, Dr Manmohan Singh, in a veiled attack on certain states, pointed out the need for improving the quality of state Special Branches and toning up of the law and order administration.

“The police is the first responder in Naxal-related situations, and is a very important part of this entire effort. Therefore, filling up vacancies in state police forces and sensitising the police is a critical requirement while fighting Naxal violence,” he said. 

Though the overall security situation in Jammu and Kashmir had shown signs of improvement in the past two years, the Prime Minister called for constant vigil in view of continuing efforts by anti-India and anti-national elements to whip-up emotions and transform these into a violent movement.

On the situation in the North-East, the Prime Minister pointed out the necessity of being sensitive to the nuances of each situation, and the encyclopedic character of regional and tribal demands which, if not anticipated and dealt with in time, could lead to full-fledged insurgency.

“States like Manipur and Nagaland in the North-East appear specially vulnerable today and demand your personal attention. There is little scope for personal predilections that override national considerations and requirements,” he said.


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