No compromise on terrorism: Manmohan Singh

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New Delhi, Oct 13: Describing terrorism as a major scourge and expressing concern over use of religion and ethnicity to stir divisions in many parts of the country, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday, Oct 13 called for firmly dealing with these challenges by using better intelligence, investigations and improved governance.

''There can be no compromise with terrorism and terrorists have to be dealt with firmly, ''the Prime Minister asserted while addressing the National Integration Council Meeting here. However, Dr Singh cautioned against targeting any community or section amongst them or 'some kind profiling' being attempted during the counter-terrorism operations. He said the use of such 'wrong methods and means' could lead to polarisation of the society.

Expressing pain over the recent tragic incidents in Orissa, Karnataka and Assam where clashes happened between Hindus, Christians, Muslims and Tribal groups, the Prime Minister said that an atmosphere of hatred and violence was being artificially generated.

''There are forces deliberately encouraging such tendencies and also spawning militant outfits who engage in irrational violence. These need to be firmly dealt with,'' he said.

He also called for better understanding of the forces at work through better intelligence about such elements and improving investigation methods. He also stressed the need for strengthening the process of governance and maintaining the rule of law in a manner which brings hope and succour to the poor and needy people.

Pointing out that violence was permeating the society across the country, be it in the form of terrorist violence or in that by left wing extremism of communal violence, the Prime Minister said this mindless violence must be met with requisite amount of force.

But it must be ensured that this was tempered by reason and justice which is the normal order of governance.

The Prime Minister also expressed serious concern over the increasing 'fissiparous tendencies' especially in Jammu Kashmir and North-East and said that situation was aggravated by external interest who wished to derail the unity of the country. Those who threatened communal harmony, integrity and peaceful co-existence deserved very deterrent punishment, he asserted.

However, it should be done within the framework of the Constitution and democratic process that enbales reconciling the differences through dialogue. ''We should not be provoked to suspend or subvert a democratic process in the search for solutions.'' Without naming any political outfits like Bajrang Dal which was being blamed for provoking the recent violence against minorities in Orissa and Karnataka, the Prime Minister asked all members of NIC to collectively consider whether short-term narrow political ends were driving some of them to ''encourage forces of divisiveness that are today threatening the unity of our people''.

He urged NIC members to thwart all efforts to create divisiveness in the polity for sectarian interests. He said the Council needed to exert its moral authority on the nation collectively to ensure that the pluralistic and secular traditions of the country were maintained. ''We need to isolate and fight those who promote divisivenss.'' According to Dr Singh, India with its co-existence of different ethnic groups and religions and cemented by an acceptance of a pluralistic and tolerant framework could not afford promotion of divisiveness for narrow partisan ends. He said that politics had no right to assert over the rights of the common man or the integrity of the nation. The responsibility of the political leadership was to preserve and promote this pluralistic and democratic framework, he pointed out.

The Prime Minister appealed to all political parties to always bear in mind their fundamental political responsibility of preserving and promoting the pluralistic, multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-linguistic country whose Constitution upholds the freedom of all religions. He called for utmost vigilance and caution to sustain inheritance of multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-caste society.

Regarding the rise of left wing extremism, Dr Singh said that armed with sophisticated weapons and adept at guerilla warfare techniques they had caused death of many people and security forces. He said that while effectively dealing with them to minimise their threat, caution be taken so that poor tribals should not be made to suffer in the hands of authority.

He said the government had sought to create a framework of inclusive development and address the root cause of left wing extremism resulting from alienation of tribal communities.

It had enacted the Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 and also sought to ensure a right to work through the National Rural Employment Gurantee Act.

UNI

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