New Delhi, Dec 20: Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Thursday said that the Left wing extremism remains as the single big internal security challenge for the country, and called for using all means to overcome the menace. "Not a day passes without an incident of Left Wing Extremism taking place somewhere or the other," Dr. Singh said.
Speaking at the Chief Minister's Conference on Internal Security, Dr. Singh said that though the notion about a red corridor from Nepal to Andhra Pradesh are 'exaggerated', Naxals' have been achieving some degree of success in enlarging their areas of militancy. "In some states, they have also got involved in local struggles relating to land and other rights," he said, without naming the violent incidents in Nandigram, where intelligence agencies have found proof of Naxal's involvement.
He added that the Naxals seem to have developed the capability in some areas to launch frontal attacks on police forces and establishments. "They are carefully targeting all aspects of economic activity. They are targeting vital economic infrastructure so as to cripple transport and logistic capabilities and also slow down any development activity," he said.
While Dr. Singh was expressing concerns about the threats from the Naxals, reports of three security personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) being killed in an encounter with over 100 heavily armed Maoists in east Champaran district in Bihar, poured in.
Here at the Conference, Dr. Singh said that to tackle the Naxal menace effectively, improved intelligence gathering capabilities, improved policing capabilities, better coordination between the Centre and States and between States are needed.
'Most importantly, better leadership and resolve," Dr. Singh said, adding, "While tackling Naxal groups militarily, we also need to choke their support infrastructure."
"Inadequate, ill-equipped, ill-trained, poorly-motivated personnel cannot take on the Naxal extremists who are increasingly better equipped and organized. We need to fill vacancies as a matter of priority. I would also urge states to establish specialized, dedicated forces to fight Left Wing Extremism, the Prime Minister said, adding that the Union Home Ministry would provide all possible assistance to these forces.
Dr. Singh also urged the State Government to remain firm in its resolve to combat terrorism in all its aspects.
He said that the key to success in fighting terror is intelligence that needs to be 'precise and capable of being acted upon'.
"We need to improve our surveillance and preventive systems to reduce the probability of terror attacks. This is a cost - but a cost we must learn to bear for the sake of the safety and security of our citizens," Dr. Singh said, adding that intelligence agencies have warned of further intensification of violent activities by terror groups, who are able to network across states and even international boundaries.
"The proposition now appears to be that we are not talking about specifying any crimes as 'federal crimes' to be investigated by a federal agency. The suggestion is to set up a Consultative Mechanism to decide on a case-to-case basis whether investigations need to be done by a designated agency," he said.
"Or have collaborative arrangements in the framework of a concurrent jurisdiction. I would urge you to consider these options seriously," Dr. Singh added.
The Prime Minister said that marginalised section of the society, which remains untouched by the vibrant growth in many parts of the country, turn out to be a fertile ground for extreme ideologies.
"I am concerned about the unevenness of our development process and the various development divides that are opening up in the country - the inter-regional divide, the rural-urban divide and the inter-sectoral divide, Dr. Singh said.
"These divides and disparities lead to disaffection, large-scale migration, and discord. I notice that in many cases, internal security problems arise out of uneven development," he added.