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Islamic terror in subcontinent major challenge for India, says Rajnath Singh

This comes shortly after the SAARC summit in Nepal where India had ruled out any talks between PM Narendra Modi and Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif.

By: Express News Service Written by Samudra Gupta Kashyap | New Delhi | Updated: November 30, 2014 2:10:50 am
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. (Source: PTI photo) Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh was inaugurating the 49th All India Conference of DGPs and IGPs here on Saturday.. (Source: PTI photo)

Growing Islamic terror designs in the subcontinent is a major challenge for India, especially in the backdrop of some youth getting swayed by it, and there was no scope for taking this lightly, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said here on Saturday.

“Though ISIS is born in Syria and Iraq, it is a fact that the Indian subcontinent is not outside its radar, especially as some Indian youth are also getting attracted towards it. Moreover, al-Qaeda had recently announced formation of a new outfit for the Indian subcontinent, while it is for certain that Pakistani state actors are also involved in trying to destablise India,” Singh said. He was inaugurating the 49th All India Conference of DGPs and IGPs here on Saturday.

Singh however expressed confidence that these Islamic terror groups will never be able to succeed in India and said that majority of the Indian Muslims will not side with them. “I am sure these terror groups will never succeed in India. They may try to convert India into an Islamic country on the assumption that large numbers of Muslims will support them. But the fact remains that Indian Muslims had fought and sacrificed equally with others for India’s idependence,” Singh said.

He particularly referred to al-Qaeda’s announcement in September of new outfit for the Indian subcontinent called Qaeda-ul-Jihadi, with intentions of specifically targeting Gujarat, Assam, Bihar, Jammu & Kashmir and Bangladesh, and identified this too as a major challenge.

“Moreover, the South Asia wing of al-Qaeda has claimed it had tried to hijack a Pakistani naval frigate with the intention of attacking Indian and US naval vessels. Some people of the Pakistani Navy were also involved in this. But I am confident our police and security forces will be able to strike back at any such attempts,” the home minister said.

On Left-Wing extremism, the home minister however said that the influence of Maoist tterror groups had reduced last year. “Left-Wing extremism has to be put to an end at all cost. We are ready to talk, but cannot allow any violence to occur,” he said. Singh also suggested better coordination among para-military forces and state police forces in tackling Left-Wing extremism, and called for giving the leadership role to officers of the state police.

On the Jammu and Kashmir situation, Singh said recruitment of local youth by terrorist groups had gone down. “But whenever there is an incident, Pakistan puts the blame on non-state actors. I would like to ask Pakistan, why can’t its ISI ascertain who these non-state actors are? What we know is that Pakistani state actors too are involved in trying to destablise India,” he said.

Increase focus on coastal security:

The home minister also called upon the All-India DGPs and IGPs Conference to focus more on coastal security, by particularly pointing out that while the major coast-lines and ports are always well-secured, there are over 200 minor ports and 1500 landing points which still appear vulnerable and require more attention.

“Remember, the 1993 Mumbai attacks and the 2008 attacks? Both were carried out through the sea route. We have over 7,500 kms of coastline. I am not happy with the security arrangement for our minor ports and landing points. It is an area of big concern, and we need to hammer out a new strategy,” he said.

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