Contending that extremist forces were posing a challenge to maintenance of public order, Tamil Nadu on Monday pitched for strengthening central and state intelligence networks and formation of elite police groups for tackling these elements.
Chief Minister M Karunanidhi also favoured steps to ensure effective coordination with state police forces and formation of elite police groups exclusively for tackling extremists and terrorist elements in the affected states.
"Provision of modern weapon systems, protective gear to those groups, creation of inter-state joint task forces to conduct joint operations, provision of training to the state police at the training centres of Central police forces and armed forces including foreign training centres to adopt latest techniques are some of the measures to be implemented," he said in his speech at the National Integration Council meet, which was read out by Law Minister Durai Murugan in his absence.
In an apparent reference to Karnataka, which witnessed large-scale protests on the Hogenakkal water project being implemented by the state, Karunanidhi said the unresolved inter-state water disputes, parochial tendencies and agitations in some parts of the country are acting against the "solidarity and integration" of the nation.
"If urgent steps are not taken at the national level to find amicable solutions to these vexed problems, these disputes will be detrimental to the interests of the nation in the long run," Karunanidhi said
He also said nationalisation of inter-state rivers, linking of inter-state rivers by constituting National River Water Authority and amicable settlement of outstanding disputes between states by appointing inter-states committees are some of the remedial measures needed to be taken by the NIC.
Karunanidhi also claimed that in spite of assurances, attacks on Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu were on the increase. "This has become a cause for anguish and agitation by fishermen community across the Tamil Nadu coast bordering Sri Lanka," he said.
On the violence against Christians in Karnataka and Orissa, he said "the motivated and instigated incidents of communal violence" not only pose a serious threat to communal peace and amity, but also hamper the momentum of social and economic development of the country.
Karunanidhi said Tamil Nadu was always keen on maintaining communal harmony in the state by taking pro-active measures in fulfilling the demands of minorities and downtrodden.
He listed the welfare measures being implemented by his government, including a separate quota for backward class candidates of Muslim and Christian communities, for the welfare of the minority communities.
To ensure that backward and minority communities get a level playing field, "it is imperative that reservation to other Backward Classes must be enforced in the central services, central educational institutions without any inclusion of the so called creamy layer," the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister said.
He said extensive steps have been taken along the coastline of more than 1,000 km to prevent intrusion, smuggling by nefarious elements and also to deny Tamil Nadu coast being used as a base for carrying out their activities.