Defending a recent meeting between central ministers and RSS leaders, Union home minister Rajnath Singh said on Saturday his government did not present any report card to the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS).
“We didn’t meet them to present our report card as alleged by the leaders of rival political parties but to seek guidance from experienced RSS leaders on various issues,” Singh said, referring to the meeting that raised a political storm.
“We are volunteers of the RSS (ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s ideological parent) and would always remain so. RSS is a nationalist organisation, and spreading hatred on the basis of caste or religion is not on its agenda,” Singh said at Hindustan Shikhar Samagam, a mega event organised by the Hindustan Times group in Lucknow. Dignitaries such as Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and Union minister Nitin Gadkari, among others, were present in the event.
Criticising Pakistan for disturbing peace along the border, Singh talked about national security issues at a session titled ‘India’s Security and Progress: Present state and direction’.
Singh said: “Pakistan is waging a proxy terror war against India through infiltration. This is proving to be a major challenge for us. But, besides military response, we are trying to counter it through diplomacy as well. We have been able to isolate Pakistan on the world forums on the issue. Recently, India signed a historic pact with the UAE to counter terrorism and share intelligence input on the activities of terrorist outfits.”
Ties between arch-rivals India and Pakistan have hit a low after the proposed NSA-level talks between the countries were cancelled. Ceasefire violations along the border have also increased since the two PMs met in Russia’s Ufa in July.
“I have given standing orders to the security officers to give a befitting reply to Pakistan for ceasefire violation. The Indian Army and BSF officers have been told not to provoke firing, but if there is unprovoked firing from the other side, they should give a befitting response,” Singh added.
Singh used statistics to show that his government had succeeded in checking infiltration on the border. While there were 264 cases of infiltration in 2012, the number came down to 15 in 2015 till now, he said.
Recently, Indian forces caught hold of two alleged Pakistan-based militants in separate operations after they carried out terror attacks in violence-hit Jammu and Kashmir.
In J-K, smart intelligence network and quick action by security forces have enabled authorities to check infiltration in the region. This year, 130 terrorist trying to cross over to the Indian border have been eliminated, said the home minister.
India shares a 15,106km long border with six countries while its coastline is spread across 7,570km, Singh said, adding the NDA government has been able to secure the border by checking infiltration.
Expressing concern over the spread of Islamic State activities in West Asia, Singh said those who have faith in Islam are committed to stopping the IS from spreading its influence in India.
Speaking on the two-pronged strategy adopted by central government to control Left-wing extremism, Singh said there has been a 35% drop in the Maoist activities since the NDA came to power. Besides police action, the government has launched several development schemes in the Maoist-hit areas.
Talking about the Centre’s policy to end insurgency in the northeast, Singh said his government was holding talks with various stakeholders.