Describing as "satisfactory" the overall internal security situation last year, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday told the Lok Sabha that the government is ready to talk to any separatist group that abjures violence unconditionally and agrees to abide by the constitutional process.
Speaking on the Maoist menace, Manmohan Singh said the government has drawn up an integrated action plan to tackle the problem in consultation with the concerned states.
"We are taking firm action to curb the Naxalite (Maoist) violence. It is unfortunate that they are targeting innocent people and destroying roads, power lines and other essential infrastructure. In some places, we have received reports of the use of children," he said.
"While we are determined to take firm action, we are ready to talk to any group that abjures violence unconditionally and agrees to abide by the due constitutional process," he added.
"The overall security situation in the country has remained satisfactory in the last year. A number of concrete steps have been taken to strengthen and reorient our security architecture in order to meet the growing threats of terrorism, insurgency and communalism," he said.
The prime minister said the National Investigation Agency (NIA), a federal agency to probe terror, has commenced its work. "Four regional hubs of the National Security Guard (NSG) have been set up. We are in the process of setting up a National Counter-Terrorism Centre."
"A National Committee on Coastal Security has been set up which has adopted an integrated approach to coastal security and has taken major initiatives and decisions for registration of vessels, issue of identity cards to fishermen, installation of transponders on boats and setting up of four Joint Operation Centres. Coastal police stations and interceptor boats have become operational under the Coastal Security Scheme," he added.