The foremost concern to-day is Internal Security. All the governmental machinery must jointly find solutions to deal with the obstacles in ensuring security. As the country confronts a wide array of complex internal security threats. Each of these needs to be dealt with in different ways.
Increasingly also, they call up a closer cooperation between the Centre and the States.
Since this problem is no longer confined to a single state but encompasses several states, Integrated functioning in a federal set up such as ours, where law and order is a state subject, It is not easy but we must find ways and means to deal with this situation and rethink some of our past practices.
Accessing The Situation
In order to deal with this issue, the main stress has to be on---
- Capacity Building and Upgrading the Capability Level of the states (as also that of the Centre).Capacity building at the state level is most crucial, and if there are any financial constraints, the Centre should be willing to provide necessary assistance. It is an urgent need to improve the number of security personnel to tackle this as without effective law and order socio-economic development would be next to impossible.
- More attention is needed to improve the 'Technical Hindrances' for the maintenance of law and order and peace.
This means improving intelligence generation and collection, as also the overall strengthening of IT Mechanism.
- Analytical capabilities need to be enhanced. Proper benchmarks need to be established against which progress and performance can be measured. The development in the North East and Jammu & Kashmir also needs to be reviewed. The Chief Minister’s of ‘the North- Eastern states and J&K’ shall recognize a fundamental reality, namely that in dealing with problems of peripheral states and societies. We need to be especially sensitive to the nuances of each situation and the encyclopaedic character of regional and tribal demands which if not anticipated and dealt with in time, could culminate in a full-fledged militancy. States like Manipur and Nagaland in the North East appear especially vulnerable today. There is little scope for personal predilections that override national considerations and requirements. The same can be said of J&K. Even though the situation has shown signs of improvements these past two years. We should remain on our guard in view of continuing efforts by anti-India and anti-national elements to whip-up emotions and transform these into a violent movement.
- The approach to the Naxalite problem needs a blend of firm, but sophisticated, handling of naxalite violence with sensitive handling of the developmental aspects. It is in the most neglected areas of the country that Left wing extremism thrives today. These are also the main recruiting, grounds for naxalite outfits. While Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh are in the forefront of naxal related activities today, many other states remain vulnerable. Authorities must personally take in hand what deliverables are possible even while preparing to meet naxalite violence through effective law & order measures.
- The real key in the fighting naxalite violence is the presence of ‘Good Intelligence’. This would involve effective integration of strategic and tactical intelligence, properly leavened with ground level information available at the level of the Police Stations. The Police is the first responder in naxal-related situations, and is a very important pole in this entire effort sensitizing the Police is therefore a critical requirement.
- Special training for Forces engaged in naxalite operations is equally important. Andhra Pradesh has an excellent training establishment for anti-naxalite operations.
- An 'Empowered Group' of Ministers is constituted headed by the Home Minister, which include selected Chief Ministers, to closely monitor the spread of the naxal movement. The Group could meet at frequent intervals and review special measures that need to be taken, nature of assistance, to be provided in order to facilitate furtherexchange of personnel between States.
- Concern about the increasing activities of externally-inspired-and directed-terrorist outfits in the country is justified. Intelligence Agencies warn of a further intensification of violent activities on their part, with the possibility of more 'fidayeen' attacks; use of suicide bombers; attacks on economic and religious targets; targeting of vital installations, including nuclear establishments, Army Camps; and the like. 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.
- These are serious matters and we must find ways and means to deal with these decentralised micro-terrorist outfits. This will necessitate greater alertness on the part of the States and Local Intelligence Units, as, also the Police who possess a local advantage.
- Unless the 'best constable' is brought into the vortex of our counter-terrorist strategy, our capacity to pre-empt future attacks would be severely limited.
- In the battle against terrorism, the role of the public becomes more vital. A major effort is necessary on our part to sensitise the public into becoming allies in this war and persuade some of them to function as counter-terrorist 'wardens' who would report on any kind of unusual activity.
- Similarly, co-opting the Media and getting them to play more positive role would be useful and this should form part of an overall Media Management Strategy. None of this will, however, take place without your personal direction and involvement.
- The responsibility to ensure that this does not happen lies squarely upon all of us. It is unfortunate that terrorism has resulted in certain sections of our populations being targeted, with the result that a wrong impression has been created on the radicalization of the entire specific community. 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 targets.
- All religions recognize the existence of certain 'sacred values'. We should seek to highlight the commonality of such 'sacred values' and campaign against pernicious ideas and philosophies such as the "clash of civilizations”. Instead we should propagate the idea of a 'confluence of civilizations'.
- 'Sacred values' are the ideals which are transcendental in nature. We should encourage sober elements in all communities to agree to a proper articulation of 'sacred values' for dissemination among people. Both education and the mass media must be actively encouraged to promote, this integrated vision.
In dealing with terrorism, scrupulous regard and respect for fundamental human rights of citizens, particularly of communities, ought to be a core concern of our law enforcement agencies. No innocent person should be harassed in our struggle against terrorism. If a mistake is made, effective remedial corrective measures must be taken well within time constraints. Government agencies, particularly law enforcement agencies must establish intimate contacts with community leaders and show adequate sensitivity to their concerns.
So the responsibility lies not only the government but the people by themselves must come forward in order to eradicate this nuisance of not only the Terrorism but also of the Terror.