Warning that terrorist groups from across the border may try to disrupt the coming Lok Sabha and Assembly elections,Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Saturday asked security forces to remain alert. He also stressed the need for security forces to remain bipartisan while probing terror cases.
Addressing the police chiefs conference here,Singh said,The situation along the International Border and Line of Control,particularly in Poonch district,has remained volatile with several ceasefire violations. Resurgence of terrorist groups,particularly Lashkar-e-Toiba,and increased infiltration attempts call for heightened vigil and coordination by our security forces. There is also a likelihood of attempts to disrupt the forthcoming Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. The security forces also need to be careful and measured in their response to militant attacks as well as law and order disturbances.
Referring to the recent communal clashes in Muzaffarnagar and adjoining districts in Uttar Pradesh,Singh said law and order agencies must ensure that trivial or local issues are not exploited by vested interests to inflame communal passions.
During the current year,some states have witnessed a substantial increase in the number of communal incidents. We cannot afford such a state of affairs… Once disturbances occur they must be tackled with utmost firmness,without prejudice,fear or favour, he said.
Singh also expressed concern over the misuse of social media in fanning tension in society. It is widely accepted that social media facilitates exchange of knowledge,information and ideas and can be used for constructive purposes. Therefore,in preventing its misuse,we need to find creative solutions which do not unreasonably curb the freedom of expression and the ease of communication that social media does provide, he said.
He asked security forces to remain scrupulously bipartisan in probing terror cases so that our people do not lose faith in the professionalism of investigative agencies and the secular nature of our polity.
Referring to the four major terror incidents this year in Hyderabad,Bangalore,Bodhgaya and Patna,Singh said the disclosures made by the arrested members of the terrorist outfits confirm apprehensions that the hinterland of the country remains an active area of operation for these outfits.
Therefore,we need to ensure that our security apparatus and intelligence sharing platforms… constantly hone their skills to stay ahead of the nefarious designs of these terrorist outfits, he said.
The security situation in the Northeast continues to remain complex,with insurgency,extortion and agitations being the main disruptive elements, he said.
Pointing to the decline in Naxal violence over the last few years,Singh said,This is a result of the combined efforts of the central and state governments and is a really encouraging development. It is important that we dont let up on our efforts to root out the menace of Naxalism and continue to build on our successes.