Convene CMs' meeting on security: Letter to PM

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{image-pm mamnokjh2222_19052008.jpg}Bhopal, May 19: Joining issue with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, his Madhya Pradesh counterpart Shivraj Singh Chouhan has also urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to immediately convene a meeting of the Chief Ministers to discuss the security concerns arising from the recent serial bomb blasts in Jaipur.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Chouhan criticised the Congress-led UPA government for taking a 'retrograde step' by repealing the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) without making adequate provisions to deal with terrorism, leaving the states to defend themselves against this menace with archaic and inadequate laws.

''Consequently, the recent terrorist attack in Jaipur also would have to be tried only under the present ordinary laws'', the Chief Minister lamented.

He pointed out that the BJP government had prepared the Madhya Pradesh Atankvadi Evam Uchhedak Gatividhiyan Tatha Sangathit Apradh Niyantran Vidheyak, 2007 to deal effectively with terrorism, organised crime and disruptive activities and had submitted the bill for prior approval of the Union Government in December, 2007.

''However, inspite of reminders, the required approval was still awaited, while MCOCA and other anti-terror laws were in existence in states like Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. This appears to highlight the attitude of the Central Government to consider the proposals of non-UPA states on different considerations and not in the wider national interest'', Mr Chouhan alleged.

In a democratic polity, Mr Chouhan says, terrorism can be dealt with effectively only through consensus, effective collaboration and concerned efforts by the union and the states. Timely sharing and dissemination of specific actionable and accurate intelligence by central intelligence agencies was a sine-qua-non for any effective pre-emptive strike against the terrorist groups, he said.

However, at present, such intelligence is rarely forthcoming.

Therefore, there is urgent need to upgrade and strengthen the intelligence capabilities of the central intelligence agencies, besides providing adequate financial and technical assistance to the states to enable them to upgrade their own intelligence capabilities, the Chief Minister said.

The Government of India also needs to strengthen legal provisions to fight terrorism and inter-alia implement the recommendations made by the Justice Mallimath Committee regarding revamping of criminal justice system in India without further delay.

''Unless we strengthen our criminal justice system adequately to handle terrorism, organised crime and other internal security challenges, we would not be able to meet them and bequeath to future generations a safe, secure and peaceful country'', the BJP leader said.

The Chief Minister also expressed the view that terrorist attacks in Jaipur city would further highlight the need for more serious, purposeful and concerted efforts by the Centre for fighting terrorism and it would take all possible and concrete steps to prevent such incidents in future.

On Mr Narendra Modi's suggestion, after Jaipur blasts, that the Centre should convene a meeting of the Chief Ministers to discuss the issue of terrorism, the Prime Minister had said ''Several such meetings had already been held. A meeting of Chief Ministers of states affected by naxalite was convened recently''.

However, Dr Manmohan Singh said, he would have no hesitation on his part to convene another such meeting if the situation so demanded.

Dr Singh appealed to political parties not to politicise issues such as terrorism. ''All parties, the Congress, the BJP, all of us have an obligation not to politicise such issues'', he added.


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