MHA year-end report expresses satisfaction on internal security

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New Delhi, Dec 24 (ANI): The Union Home Ministry on Thursday expressed its satisfaction on the overall internal security situation in the country but expressed concern over the increasing Naxal menace in some states.

In its year-end review report the Ministry of Home Affairs says: "The overall internal security, law and order situation in the country remained largely under control during 2009. No major incident of terrorist violence was reported from the hinterland. The communal situation remained under control."

"The year also witnessed significant improvement in the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir and some progress in the North East, but the Naxal violence continued to be a cause of concern," the report adds.

It says that the Centre undertook some major initiatives to deal with the menace of Naxalism and, after wide-ranging consultations with the Naxal-affected States.

The year 2009 witnessed several new measures taken by the Government to strengthen the security apparatus of the country to equip it to meet the grave challenge posed by global terrorism include operationalization of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), establishment of four National Security Guard (NSG) Hubs to ensure quick and effective response to any possible terror attack, augmentation of the strength of Intelligence Bureau (IB), strengthening of the Multi-Agency Centre in the IB to enable it to function on 24X7 basis and strengthening of coastal security.

The measures especially aimed at improving the overall internal security situation after the ghastly terrorist attack in Mumbai in November last year, the report states.

In 2009, The Home Ministry took major steps expand Central Para-military Forces (CPMFs).

The NIA, set up as per the NIA Act enacted in the previous year, started functioning in 2009 with cases assigned to it for investigation and prosecution.

Headquartered in New Delhi and notified as a police station, NIA is mandated to investigate and prosecute offences under the Acts mentioned in the Schedule, including offences under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, that have inter-state and international linkages and assigned to it by the Government. The agency would function under the superintendence of the Central Government.

To ensure quick and effective response to any possible terror attack, the Government has established four NSG hubs at Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai. Each NSG hub is equipped with the operational strength of around 250 personnel.

Additionally, two regional centres of NSG are also being set up at Hyderabad and Kolkata to enable instant response to any situation arising out of possible acts of violence by terrorists.

Designated officers of the Central Government and the Director General of NSG have been empowered to requisition aircraft from registered operators in the interest of public safety. Voluntary agreements have been signed by eight private airlines operators to provide aircraft to NSG during emergency.

The report also underlines the measures taken to strengthen the intelligence gathering mechanism.

"In order to strengthen the intelligence gathering and sharing machinery, strength of IB has been substantially augmented. The functioning of the Multi-Agency Centre (MAC) in the Intelligence Bureau has also been strengthened and revamped," says the report.

It further states that the Multi-Agency Centre, now functioning on 24X7 basis, has been advised to share intelligence with all other agencies including those from the States and similarly, all other agencies have been asked to share intelligence with the MAC.

During the year, action was initiated to establish an online, dedicated and fully secure connectivity between all the designated members of the MAC, between MAC and the Subsidiary Multi-Agency Centres (SMACs) in 30 important identified locations spread across the country and between the SMACs and the State Special Branches to make sure that the flow of vital information is maintained at the optimum level at every stage, the report states.

A scheme for providing technical and financial support by the Intelligence Bureau to the States for strengthening State Special Branches has been approved by the Ministry to help implement this plan in an efficient manner, the Ministry has revealed in its report.

The Home ministry report tells that as a result of coordination between the Central intelligence agencies and the State Police, a large number of terrorist modules of Pak-based terrorist outfits were busted in various parts of the country.

Following the 26/11 incidents, coastal security of the country has been reviewed comprehensively at various levels.

It states that under the ongoing Coastal Security Scheme, 64 out of the 73 coastal police stations have been operationalised. "Fifty six interceptor boats have been supplied to the coastal States and Union Territories during the year so far."

The ministry also said the Coast Guard, in consultation with the maritime States, has been carrying out vulnerability and gap analysis to assess additional requirements in respect of police stations, check-posts, outposts, vehicles, boats etc.

" Based on this assessment, a comprehensive proposal, to be named as Phase-II of the Coastal Security Scheme, has been processed and is in the final stages of consultations," says the report.

In addition to that the Ministry of Home Affairs through its report has revealed that various other measures to strengthen coastal security are under consideration or implementation which include establishment of vessel tracking and monitoring systems, issue of identity cards to fishermen and intensified patrolling on the seas. (ANI)

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