Home Minister Shivraj Patil Saturday said that there had been fewer terror attacks in the last four-and-a-half-years under the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government as compared to the period before, but an impression was being created that the number of such incidences had increased.
Inaugurating a two-day conference of directors general of police and inspectors general of police here, Patil said: "Fortunately, the number of incidents and casualties that have occurred in the last four and a half years is much lower than those that occurred in the four and half years before the present period. Yet, the impression created is that terrorism has increased and is not reduced.
"Even if one incident occurs or one person becomes a casualty, it should cause us concern and should make us alert... What is happening in our country should be studied by us to find effective solutions to the existing problems."
His statement comes in the wake of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) charge that the number of terror attacks had increased under the present Congress-led UPA regime as the government did not have strict laws to tackle terror. The country has witnessed a spate of terror strikes, including one in the capital on Sep 13, that killed scores and left hundreds injured.
Patil also clarified why the government had repealed the stringent anti-terror Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA). He said the law “went against the basic principles of criminal jurisprudence relating to the onus of proof and admissibility of the confessions, not made according to the principles adopted in the Criminal Procedure Code".
“It is not possible to have a law like POTA in the statute book. The relevant provisions in POTA needed to control terrorism have been introduced and retained in the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act,” he added.
While addressing top cops, the home minister said: “Terrorism needs be tackled using a multi-pronged approach. Police forces can help. But, other methods to deal with it are also required.”
“Religions or cultures do not preach terrorism. Terrorism is nothing but a kind of violent cowardice... Terrorists want to use the psychology of unsuspecting and innocent persons to flare up communal disturbances,” Patil said.