PM warns of terror becoming internal problem

Friday, December 24, 2010

NEW DELHI - Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday warned against the danger of terrorism becoming “an internal intruding problem” and underlined that if Maoism is not curbed, India will have to bid goodbye to to its ambitions of 10-11 percent annual growth.

“We must also recognize that today I think there are dangers that terrorism can become an internal intruding problem as well,” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told probationers of the Indian Police Service (IPS).

“This is one area which requires very sensitive handling and I would urge you to devise credible effective strategies to deal with this very sensitive issue,” he said.

Differentiating between terrorism emanating from outside, a veiled reference to cross-border terror outfits, the prime minister said it was not easy to deal with home-grown terror.

“If it is terrorism driven by outside forces or sent to our country it is in some way it is easy (to tackle),” he stressed.

“But if the terror modules are to be found in our country and some misguided elements of our society take to that path, I think we have to tackle this problem with all the sensitivity that it requires,” he said.

Saying that the tribal areas were in the grip of the Maoist menace, Manmohan Singh also stressed that unless this is controlled, India will have to “say goodbye” to its ambitions of sustaining a growth rate of 10-11 percent per annum.

“Naxalite violence is yet another problem and Naxalism (Maoism) today afflicts the central India parts where the bulk of India’s mineral wealth lies. If we don’t control Naxalism, we have to say goodbye to our country’s ambitions to sustain a growth rate of 10-11 percent per annum as we all need and as we all aspire that that is the only way that we can rid of chronic poverty, ignorance and disease that still afflict millions and millions of our citizens.”

The prime minister, however, called for greater sensitivity in dealing with Maoism, saying the people of tribal areas fall easy prey because of disaffection, for which the root causes are social and economic.

“What causes this disaffection? Why some elements of the tribal societies take to that path? They become an easy prey to the Naxalite propaganda”, he said while asking the probationers men to study of the issue in-depth and devise credible strategies to deal with the scourge.

The prime minister also reminded the probationers to operate within the ambit of the law in dealing with with terror-related cases and asked them to avoid third degree methods.

“I think as citizens of our country, we must devise ways and means of conducting our inquiries by the police and other entities without use of third degree methods. We must respect the rights of our citizens”, he said.

Manmohan Singh said that until conviction, everybody should be regarded as innocent. “That’s the basic philosophy of our system. These are some of the concerns that I have”, he said.

In his speech, the prime minister repeatedly stressed on India’s cultural and religious diversity and asked the probationers to prepare to deal with “the virus of communalism”.

He also spoke candidly about roots of urban crime in socio-economic inequality, saying even if “we are getting growth rates of 8-9 percent per annum, there are people who believe they are left out”.

“When they are left out, I think the grievances against the system multiply and some of them take the form of challenging the authority of law and order,” he pointed out.

Manmohan Singh also underlined the need for a strategy of inclusive development, saying that the police must ensure that atrocities against Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and other vulnerable sections are not allowed to get out of hand.

Filed under: Terrorism

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