New Delhi, Nov 22: Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil today asked the states to raise special forces to counter terrorism which is fast spreading its tentacles across the country.
Inaugurating a two-day annual Directors General and Inspectors General of Police Conference, Patil said: "Terrorist activities are perpetrated in the areas, which are close to international borders, covered with thick forests and which do not have good transport facilities and in cities. It is necessary to have plans and schemes to deal with them in these areas.
"The speedy means of transport should be provided for this purpose. Helicopters and planes can be made available to the forces to reach the places where they are needed in time," he added.
"In big cities, different methods need be used. In mega cites larger number of CCTV cameras should be used. The big cities should have control rooms, mobile police stations and the cooperation of the unions and associations to get the necessary information and other help in time. The cities are being attacked. So plans to provide special kind of security arrangements for cities should be made and used," Patil said.
"Each state can have a nodal officer, who can deal with his counterparts in other states. If laws are needed to be amended for facilitating cooperation between the states, that should be done. The neighbouring states can prepare plans to control terrorism in cooperation with one another," he added.
Patil said: "It is seen that terrorists live in one State, perpetrate terror in another and hide themselves in other State. They can be prevented from perpetrating terror or investigating crimes committed by them without delays and in an effective manner, if a Central agency for this purpose is created and allowed to act, by amending laws, if necessary."
"Such a Central agency need not be allowed to take charge of ordinary criminal cases," he added.
Patil also said that the best weapon, which can be used to counter terrorism, is intelligence. The Union Intelligence agencies are stronger and better equipped. But they also need to be strengthened further.
Ruling out the possibility of enacting a law like POTA, Patil said that if required, some provisions can be added to the existing laws to facilitate investigation of terrorism-related cases, but such provisions must not go against the basic principles of criminal justice system and human rights.
Patil gave away the Police Medals for meritorious service to officers and men of the Intelligence Bureau on the occasion.
Organised by the Intelligence Bureau, the conference is being attended by police chiefs from all states and Union Territories, chiefs of para-military forces and security agencies.
Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh will address the conference on Sunday.
The alleged conspiracy by a saffron outfit in the Malegaon blast and the findings of the investigations are also likely to figure prominently at the conference.
Attacks on Christians and their religious places in Orissa, Karnataka and Kerala will also be discussed during the deliberations.
Strengthening of security cover for airports, rail, metro and bus networks, various aspects of financial terrorism, cyber crime and VVIP security would come up for discussions.
Present at the inaugural session of the conference were Ministers of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal, Dr.Shakeel Ahmad and Radhika Selvi, National Security Advisor, M.K.Narayanan, Cabinet Secretary K.M. Chandrasekhar, Union Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta, Director, Intelligence Bureau, P. C. Haldar and Chiefs of Central Police Forces.