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Empowered committee to monitor internal security

The committee, to be headed by the home minister, will comprise select chief ministers and senior officials, says Patil.

india Updated: Sep 05, 2006 22:12 IST

The government on Tuesday announced setting up of an empowered committee that will encompass India's internal security concerns including the Northeast insurgency, Maoist violence and Jammu and Kashmir terrorist attacks.

The committee, to be headed by the home minister and comprising select chief ministers and senior officials of the home ministry, would meet at frequent intervals and review measures that need to be taken, Home Minister Shivraj Patil said.

Briefing media after the day-long chief ministers' conference on internal security held here, Patil said, "Terrorist activities are spreading in other states apart from Jammu and Kashmir and the use of certain instruments by them is a cause of concern."

While the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast had improved, some states affected by Maoists violence were a matter of concern, he said.

"Maoist-related violence has gone down but there are one or two states where the situation is of concern," Patil said.

He added that all chief ministers participating in the conference agreed that economic and infrastructure development with emphasis on housing, food and health facilities should be given priority to eradicate this problem from some of the most backward areas of the country.

"We should ensure social justice so that people do not take up arms after being frustrated because of the injustice done to them," said Patil.

In the conference, the states were suggested to strengthen 'beat constables' to help pre-empt anti-national activities, he said.

"Since police is the first force to counter these problems, there was a need to strengthen this force and collect intelligence inputs from these policemen," said the home minister.

He also said that all state governments had been asked to strengthen the intelligence collection.

"Internal intelligence agencies are doing their duty but there was a need to strengthen state intelligence units so that they can collect information," said Patil, adding that the state governments should also take help of individuals and organisations that have interest in intelligence collection.

Patil said that a need to improve the police-public ratio should also be improved, pointing out that there were 12,700 police stations in 850,000 cities and villages in the country.

"The ratio should improve and should be comparable to the ratio in other countries," said the home minister.

"The state governments should make full use of funds given to them for modernisation of the police force," he added.

First Published: Sep 05, 2006 14:56 IST