Merely enacting anti-terror laws not enough: Patil

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Guwahati, Sep 15 (UNI) Merely enacting tougher anti-terror laws will not be effective in combating extremist groups operating throughout the country, Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil said.

Talking to newspersons at the Guwahati Airport last night, Mr Patil said, ''We must have synergy between western and eastern policing methods which means modernisation of police forces and revival of the traditional kotwali system where every village has a paid police network. Today each police station covers a very large area which sometimes becomes unmanageable.'' Earlier yesterday, top police officials spoke in one voice at the high level meeting of the Home Minister at New Delhi, putting up a strong case to strengthen anti-terror laws.

The meeting was called to discuss the fallout of the serial blasts in Delhi on Saturday evening.

National Security Advisor M K Narayanan had also backed Gujarat's demand for having its own anti-terror laws. The NSA, in a letter to the Home Ministry, had said, ''Anti-terror laws need to be strengthened and there is no reason for the Centre to stop states from getting their own anti-terror laws.'' However, the Home Minister made it clear that the UPA government was not in favour of tougher anti-terror laws.

Meanwhile, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has stepped up his campaign for stricter anti-terror laws.

''The UPA government is soft on terror. It has sent signals that its softness on terror is minority friendly. The attitude on terror is being used by the UPA as an instrument for vote bank politics,'' he said at Ahmedabad.

However, the Home Minister asserted that he would give clarifications on the floor of Parliament.

The Centre has maintained that existing laws are good enough to fight terror, and that special anti-terror laws may be misused against minorities.

With Lok Sabha elections round the corner, the UPA government is not in a mood to go for tougher laws.

''The police force must stand up and deliver,'' the Home Minister asserted.

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