Thursday, August 26, 2010

Naxal menace top agenda during police meet

Being self reliant in tackling the Maoists problem is what came up for discussion during the three day annual conference of Police chiefs which is being held in New Delhi.

One of the state police chiefs who is attending the three day conference told that the two biggest issues that came to be debated during the conference was the naxal problem, Jammu and Kashmir trouble, saffron terror and also the regrouping of the Sikh militant groups which according to the intelligence bureau is the next biggest menace for India.

The conference discussed the setting up of unified commands in the states of Chattisgarh, Orissa, Jharkhand and West Bengal. However the other officers drew the example of Punjab where militancy was fought by internal forces of the state and suggested that the naxal menace would be best countered in this fashion. While most officers of naxal affected states were in agreement of this solution, they however pointed out that other states which have faced a naxal problem could help out with intelligence since they feel that a lot of important leaders are hiding in other states to ensure that the cadres regroup and cross over into other states. To fight the naxal menace it was also decided that the in-built capacity of the police force is built up so that it could hit back hard. Many police chiefs were of the opinion that this matter should be tackled internally and not with the help of external support. The internal force is more accustomed to the terrain and also the people and they would deal best with them. Moreover the advantage of the local language would help take people into their fold since they would feel like they are talking to their own people. This is very important since the naxal movement survives on the support of the locals.

Saffron terror: Reports that trickled in from various states indicated that this problem was on the rise. Moreover Home Minister P Chidambaram too indicated that all police chiefs have to watch out for this problem. Some police chiefs while admitting that the problem is on the rise in some parts of the country however said that it would be easier to crack down on the problem if the intelligence on this issue is good. It was said that there was a need to rely more on the state intelligence for this issue. Since the intelligence inputs pertaining to this issue was not up to the mark, they were unable to deal with it the manner in which they would have liked to. A section even complained of political interference in some states which made it difficult to counter the problem. The police chiefs decided to have meetings with their respective intelligence cells and also in future have more regular intelligence sharing between states to address this issue.

Sikh terrorism: This discussion was held on the basis of the many intelligence reports that have been trickling in. The IB had indicated that the Babbar Khalsa International which was kept quiet for nearly two decades is ready to re-enter into India. The intelligence pertaining to this issue was clear and that the ISI felt that this organization which it has been shielding was ready to return to India. Although major concerns were raised by the Punjab police, the IB said that states up North have to gear up to face this problem. The effects of this form of terrorism will hit Delhi very badly if they are not curbed. An advisory was also given to the Punjab police to have constant and thorough checks apart from beefing up the local intelligence wing to keep a watch on the movements of possible Sikh militants. There was also a passing mention made regarding the threat these militants pose to the Commonwealth Games.

The police chiefs of the North Eastern states expressed concern over the trouble that has been brewing in their state. They pointed out that there has been a lot of development on this front and this could turn out to be the gravest of all problems that India would face in the days to come. They said that there was an expansion of the Left Wing Extremists who have been fighting for an autocratic state. They also relied on the intelligence reports which stated that these groups were reaching out to Pakistan and Bangladesh based groups to further their cause.
Maritime security is another issue which was discussed. The police chiefs decided that there was a lot of cooperation that was required on this front and all police forces needed to work closely to safeguard the 7200 kilometre long coastline which has become hunting ground both for the mafia and also terrorist groups.

In addition to this the conference will also discuss issues pertaining to modernization of the force and police reforms. There will also be a session on human rights and how police need to deal with this problem.

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