The Union home ministry will issue advisories to states that have witnessed communal disturbance in the recent past including Uttar Pradesh to take appropriate preventive measures before the situation gets out of hand.
The decision was taken at a comprehensive security review meeting convened at the home ministry on Friday that covered dimensions from vulnerabilities along India’s western coastline to communal disturbances during 2006.
What stood out last year was that 90 per cent of the incidents took place in areas already classified as communally sensitive or hypersensitive. “Only 10 per cent incidents of communal violence were reported from areas not considered communally sensitive,” a home ministry official said.
Appropriate advisories would be sent to these states, urging them to remain alert to the possibility of the situation developing communal overtones and take pro-active steps to maintain communal harmony before the situation gets out of hand.
The meeting, attended by senior officials of the government’s security establishment, also made an assessment of coastal security, especially along the western coastline.
Officials said Maharashtra and Gujarat deserved special attention in this regard. For one, because the underworld had a well-oiled machinery to use the coastline along these two states for their activities. This network could be used by terror elements as well. That the coastal belt in the two states is also home to a large number of vital installations – right from nuclear facilities and ports to refineries – also raises the possibility of an attack from a coastal route.
This is particularly in the context of the fence along the Indo-Pak border in J&K helping reduce the level of infiltration last year. “Coastal security has assumed greater significance in view of the positive results due to fencing,” an official said.