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Efforts on to revive terrorism in Punjab:Chidambaram

Union home minister P Chidambaram expressed concern over the efforts being initiated by the militant outfits to revive terrorism in Punjab. However he was quick to add that the centre was keeping a close watch on it.

chandigarh Updated: Jul 13, 2012 19:06 IST
Manpreet Randhawa
Manpreet Randhawa
Hindustan Times

Union home minister P Chidambaram on Friday expressed concern over the efforts being initiated by the militant outfits to revive terrorism in Punjab. However he was quick to add that the centre was keeping a close watch and would not let these elements succeed in their nefarious designs.

Chidambaram was accompanied by union minister of information and broadcast Ambika Soni and union minister for water resources, Pawan Kumar Bansal, to highlight the achievements of the congress led UPA government.

In response to a question that Punjab Congress has been expressing concern over the revival of militancy in Punjab and how the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) led government in Punjab was supporting the radical elements in the state Chidambaram said he would not like to be dragged in to a political argument on the issue.

In 2011 the security agencies nabbed nine terrorists while in 2010 the number was 47. “Though the situation in the state is not like that of 80s or 90s when the circumstances favoured such elements but these anti national outfits are always on the lookout for exploiting situations as per their vested interests”, said Chidambaram.

Chidambaram said that the 5.65 kilogram RDX haul the police had nabbed from Ambala on October 12, 2011 from Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) terrorist outfit was a clear indication that some groups or individuals were keen or rather hard pressed to revive terrorism in Punjab.

“During the course of interrogation of the terrorists nabbed by the security agencies in the recent times it has come to light that many such modules are active to revive terrorism in Punjab’, said Chidambaram.

However he also said that the union government was in close touch with the state government and also share information on the movements of the anti national elements on regular basis and hence everything was under control.

On Bluestar Operation memorial

Union minister for Information and Broadcast Ambika Soni on Friday appealed to the Shiromnai Gurdwara Prabhandhak Committee (SGPC) to rethink their decision to build an operation blue star memorial at Harmandar Sahib at Amritsar as it would create divisions among the society.

Soni was responding to a question about the union government’s view point on the building of blue star operation memorial at the Golden temple which has already created a controversy in Punjab over the issue.

“I appeal to the SGPC and who all are behind the building of the memorial not to raise this at the sacred precincts of the Harmandar Sahib as it can divide the various sections of the society”, said Soni.

Prior to Soni Punjab Pardesh Congress Committee (PPCC), president captain Amarinder Singh had also asked the SGPC and the sikh Sant Samaj not to build the memorial on the Harmandar Sahib complex and instead should be shifted elsewhere. He said such a sacred place should not be allowed to be used by the SGPC to espouse the cause of radical elements.

Earlier Union home minister P Chidambaram when asked to comment on the bluestar operation memorial said that there were two different versions about the objective behind raising it at the golden temple at Amritsar.

“Some say it is in the memory of those who were killed during the operation but were staunch supporters of the hardliners. Other version is that it is being built as a symbol of peace and brotherhood. I am not clear in what shape the memorial would come up hence I am not able to say much on the issue”, added Chidambaram.

First Published: Jul 13, 2012 18:34 IST