Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sought the chief ministers' cooperation on internal security and hoped the meeting would lead to "constructive ideas.
Left-wing extremism, religious fundamentalism and ethnic violence are major challenges facing the country, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Monday and urged states to fight them together with the central government.
“Left-wing extremism, religious fundamentalism and ethnic violence are the major internal security challenges facing the country... I urge the states to fight them together with the centre,” Manmohan Singh said while inaugurating the annual conference of chief ministers on internal security in New Delhi.
Home minister P Chidambaram too voiced concern over Maoist violence in the country at the meeting.
Violence has declined in the country but the government still doesn't have the "upper hand" against Maoists, home minister P Chidambaram said.
Chidambaram revealed security agencies had foiled two terrorist plots in 2012. The meeting will discuss the ceation of a separate cadre for intelligence officers with special incentives, separation of the investigation and law-and-order wings, and enhancement of the financial powers of director generals of state police (DGPs).
Stating that India needs to strengthen its defence against terrorism, the Prime Minister said this was necessary keeping in mind the growing instability around the country.
The situation concerning left-wing extremism was better in 2011 than in 2010 but there was still a "long way to go”, the he said.
He also said the number of districts under the integrated action plan to push development has been increased from 60 to 78 across seven states affected by Maoist violence.
Referring to the controversial proposal of setting up a National Counter-Terrorism Centre, Manmohan Singh said he would discuss the issue with the chief ministers May 5.
The agenda of the meeting is the creation of a separate cadre for intelligence officers with special incentives, separation of the investigation and law-and-order wings, and enhancement of the financial powers of director generals of state police (DGPs).
While Opposition chief ministers are expected to raise the issue of federalism in the context of a proposal to allow Border Security Force (BSF) personnel to arrest, search and seize, the agenda paper is confined to nine key issues.
According to an agenda paper, the conference will discuss police reforms and capacity-building, including the separation of investigation and law-and-order wings of the state police. Strengthening of police intelligence wings will be taken up in a big way, specifically powered by a proposal to induct only highly-trained officers into special cells.
The home ministry is in favour of having a separate cadre for intelligence officers, so special cells of the state police can have dedicated officers who will be specially trained for the job. Also under discussion would be criminal tracking network systems and economic offences - with special emphasis being placed on fake currency rackets.
Extension of schemes for modernisation of the state police will also be taken up, with the centre likely to discuss enhancement of the DGP's financial powers to around Rs2-3 crore. At present, the police modernisation fund is handled by the state governments, and the DGP's role is limited to providing technical advice and helping with the tendering process.
with IANS inputs
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