Home Minister Rajnath Singh Thursday hit out at separatists in Jammu and Kashmir, saying they exploit every possible situation to fan anti-India sentiments and incite the people.
Inaugurating the annual conference of Directors General and Inspectors General of Police at the site of the tallest statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in Gujarat, the home minister said the Pakistan establishment is seeking to forge an alliance between the Sikh extremist groups, their country’s Islamist outfits and Kashmir-focused terrorists to hurt Indian interests.
“The separatists exploit every possible situation to agitate the people, to fan anti-India sentiments which lead to law and order situations. Financing from across the border for militants and separatists is a cause of concern,” he said.
Singh said Pakistan has been perpetrating terrorist activities on Indian soil from Jammu and Kashmir to Punjab. The security situation in the hinterland and in Jammu and Kashmir continues to be vitiated even though stone pelting incidents have declined, he said. “Attempts by militants to infiltrate in large numbers, intermittent attacks and efforts at local recruitment continue. Terror infrastructure in Pakistan and PoK remains in the form of training camps, launching pads and communication control stations,” Singh said.
The home minister asked the security establishment to check efforts to revive terrorism in Punjab. He said recent terror incidents in Punjab and related interdiction indicate concerted efforts on part of the Pakistan establishment and Sikh extremist elements based in Pakistan to revive terrorism in the border state with active support from Sikh radical and extremist entities based abroad, especially Europe and America.
“Pakistan establishment is seeking to forge an understanding between Sikh extremist groups and Pakistan-based Islamist outfits as well as Kashmir-centric terrorist groups for targeting Indian interests,” he said. Singh said terrorism in the hinterland has been stamped out and the law enforcement agencies, through concerted action coordinated by Intelligence Bureau, have managed to thwart the first tide of propaganda and mobilisation by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. “Consequently, India witnessed very few incidents of IS-inspired violence. In concerted counter-terrorism operations, law enforcement agencies have arrested nearly 125 suspected terrorists this year as against 117 arrested in 2017,” he said.
He said the new phase of Islamic State propaganda emanating from Afghanistan-Pakistan region was being countered effectively.
The home minister said economic installations and iconic institutions are also being continuously targeted from across the western border through espionage and cyberspace. “Pakistan continues to abet terrorism and during the period January 1, 2017 to November 29, 2018, as many as 17 ISI-backed espionage modules have been neutralised in the country resulting in the arrest of 25 espionage agents which include two Pakistanis. “Various sensitive organisations, including the Indian Army, Air Force, Navy, ITBP, DRDO, BSF, CRPF, MEA, Airport Authority of India, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and the Indian Railways, have been targeted by PIOs from across the border through spoofed/crank calls to elicit sensitive information,” he said.
The conference of Directors General and Inspectors General of Police is being held at the site of the tallest statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in Gujarat.
The 182-metre ‘Statue of Unity’ of Patel was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Gujarat’s Narmada district on October 31. Taller than the Statue of Liberty in the US, the Statue of Unity has been built on islet Sadhu Bet near the Sardar Sarovar Dam. The conference is an annual affair where senior police officials of the states and the Centre meet and discuss issues related to internal security, crimes and related challenges, another official said.
The Modi government has been organising this meeting outside the national capital since it came to power in 2014.
The last four conferences were held in Guwahati, Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, Hyderabad and Tekanpur in Madhya Pradesh’s Gwalior district. The Statue of Unity was first conceptualised by Modi during his tenure as Gujarat chief minister. He had laid the foundation stone for it in 2013.
Patel, also India’s first deputy prime minister, was credited with merging of over 500 princely states into the Union of India.