Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Uniform Strategy Needed To Counter Terror: Chief Minister


The following is the text of the speech delivered by West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee at the conference of chief ministers on internal security held in New Delhi on January 6, 2009

IN the last few months, the country witnessed considerable amount of violence and destruction of properties caused by terrorists in different parts of the country. The disastrous attack of terrorists in Mumbai in the last week of November horrified people all over the country. Those unfortunate incidents gave rise to widespread panic and a general feeling of insecurity in the minds of ordinary people and disrupted the normal pace of urban life in India. Given the large dimensions and complexities of the problem, it is necessary that a uniform strategy for countering terrorist threat is adopted all over the country, and active cooperation of all state governments and political parties and different segments of the society are sought for.

In recent times, a tendency to link up terrorism with one particular community at times has been noted. I would like to strongly deplore such tendencies. Terrorists have no religion. The only driving force is to cause violence, kill innocent people, destroy properties, bring civil life to a grinding halt and harm the stability of the country. These criminals deserve to be treated firmly.

The present arrangements for collection and dissemination of intelligence in the states and also of the centre must be strengthened to prevent terrorist activities. I have a feeling that the present arrangements for sharing of information and coordination among various agencies involved in intelligence collection work are far from being satisfactory. Home minister has suggested that the state intelligence wing should regularly forward intelligence reports and information to the intelligence bureau for information of the central government. I have advised home department officials in the state government to comply with this advice. I may, however, point out that the intelligence agencies in the states hardly receive useful inputs on regular basis from the office of central IB situated in the state. There were several instances of violence caused by terrorists in different parts of the country in the last few months. The office of SIB in West Bengal could hardly enlighten the state IB and the home department on these matters in time. Ultimately, we deputed our officers to the concerned cities to collect information. We feel the importance of information sharing and coordination between central IB and the state intelligence agencies. But this should essentially be a two-way process.

Government of West Bengal has already taken up the task of raising the efficiency and skills of the state security personnel on priority basis. Recently, I wrote to home minister and drew his attention to some of the important pending proposals. We hope that government of India will agree to support these initiatives of the state government.

I would once again thank prime minister of India and union Home minister for the initiatives taken to strengthen the country’s security against terrorist attacks. The need of the hour is to add to the efficiency of the intelligence. I do believe that we will face the grave threats posed before the country by the terrorists with determination, courage and conviction.

No doubt, the unfortunate tragedy in Mumbai was organised from Pakistan’s soil. We feel the need to expose Pakistan before international community for what they are doing against our country all these years. For that, we should not depend on a particular country. Rather we should take up this issue at UN Security Council level. I believe that will be just and more effective, and will be appreciated by all peace loving countries of the world.

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