Internal security situation in NE and LWE affected states improved: Rajnath

Narmada: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has said that the internal security situation in the country has vastly improved, particularly in the North-East and the Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected states.

Addressing the inaugural session of the Conference of Director Generals and Inspector General’s of Police here on Thursday, Singh noted with satisfaction the improving security scenario in the North-East, particularly the peaceful rollout of NRC in Assam including publication of the final draft NRC list on July 30, 2018.

“Security scenario in the North-East region has witnessed steady improvement in recent years. All parameters of violence have improved in 2018 in comparison to the corresponding period of 2017. There is a 17 per cent decline in total incidents and a 38 per cent reduction in the casualties of civilians,” said Singh.

He added, “AFSPA was selectively relaxed in Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya, inviting a positive public response. Besides, to encourage the militants to join the mainstream, GoI has revised the Surrender-Cum-Rehabilitation Policy by enhancing financial benefits to the surrendering militants.”

The Union Home Minister further said that India’s security concerns have been conveyed to Myanmar even as efforts are on to harness the trade potential with the Eastern neighbour and beyond. “A number of our militant groups are operating from the territories of neighbouring countries, particularly Myanmar. Our concerns have been highlighted in the bilateral meetings with these countries. In order to plug the gaps on the Indo-Myanmar border, an Inter-Ministerial Committee headed by MHA has formulated a revised protocol for effective implementation of Free Movement Regime.”

Singh said violence in the LWE affected areas continues to improve since the last eight years. “We achieved major operational successes in core areas of CPI/Maoist in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha. Coordination among different State Police Forces and CAPFs, and generation of regular actionable intelligence was among the main factors which led to an almost two-fold increase in the losses suffered by LWEs this year,” he said.

“Reflecting on these successes and the upper hand of the government over the Maoists, after a comprehensive review the number of districts covered under SRE scheme was reduced from 126 to 90,” he added.

The Union Home Minister said the communal situation has also remained under control this year to date.

Singh said terrorism in the hinterland has also been stamped out. “Law enforcement agencies, through concerted action coordinated by Intelligence Bureau, have managed to overcome the first tide of propaganda and mobilization 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 terrorist suspects as against 117 arrested in 2017,” Singh said.

“The new phase of Islamic State propaganda emanating from Afghanistan-Pakistan region is also being countered effectively,” he added.

The Union Home Minister commended the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for clamping down on terror activities.

The Union Home Minister said Pakistan is perpetrating terrorist activities on Indian soil from J&K to Punjab and the hinterland. Shri Rajnath Singh said the security situation in J&K continues to be vitiated even though the stone pelting incidents have declined. “Attempts by militants to infiltrate in large numbers, intermittent attacks by militants 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. Financing from across for militants and separatists is a cause of concern. The separatists also exploit every possible situation to agitate the people to fan further anti-India sentiments which lead to law and order situation.”

The Union Home Minister directed the security establishment to check efforts to revive terrorism in Punjab. “In Punjab, recent terror incidents and related interdictions indicate concerted efforts on part of Pak-establishment and Sikh extremist elements based in Pakistan to revive terrorism in Punjab with active support of other Sikh radical/extremist entities based abroad, especially Europe and America. Pak-establishment is also seeking to forge an understanding between Sikh extremist groups and Pak-based Islamist outfits as well as Kashmir-centric terrorist groups for targeting Indian interests,” he said.

“Pakistan continues to abet terrorism and during the period January 01, 2017 to November 29, 2018, 17 ISI backed espionage modules have been neutralized in the country resulting in the arrest of 25 espionage agents which include 02 Pakistanis. Various sensitive organizations, 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, etc. have been targeted by PIOs from across the border through spoofed / crank calls to elicit sensitive information,” he said.

He said the Government is simultaneously pursuing diplomatic efforts to stop terror emanating from Pakistan. “India is a Member of Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an inter-Governmental Body, which makes recommendations relating to Combating of Financing of Terrorism, Money Laundering, etc. Efforts on this platform by India have ensured that Pakistan is rightly put on the grey list.”

The Union Home Minister meanwhile asked officials to be cautious in their dealings with foreigners. “National Security has economic underpinning. In this area, two aspects become important. Firstly, the interface of various foreign entities with the political and administrative structure increase manifold. Here, I would like to advise police and administration officials not to bypass prescribed procedure for interaction with officials of foreign missions which requires communication to be routed through Ministry of Home or External Affairs, except in cases where such contact is permitted according to the Protocol Hand Book,” he said.

Singh complimented the security establishment for continuously striving to make the country secure and safe. “It is undeniable that the Police forces give a sense of confidence to people and allay their fears over security. I also acknowledge that the Police Forces are working in a difficult environment. I attribute the credit for India’s success in the area of security to her Intelligence Agencies, State Police Forces and Central Armed Police Forces,” he said.