Serious challenges to internal security: Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, Feb 1 (ANI): The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, today said that serious challenges and threats to the country from left wing extremism, cross-border terrorism, religious fundamentalism and ethnic violence still persist.

Addressing the Chief Ministers' conference on internal security here, Dr. Manmohan Singh urged the states that no let up be allowed in efforts to combat terrorism and communal violence.

"I must compliment the Chief Ministers for having ensured that by and large the internal security situation in the country remained stable. But, we all need to be conscious of the fact that serious challenges and threats - primarily from left wing extremism, cross border terrorism, religious fundamentalism and ethnic violence - still persist,' he added.

The Prime Minister said as far as the left wing extremism was concerned, 2010 saw a decrease over the previous year in the number of incidents and causalities of security forces, though the number of causalities among civilians increased

"Chhattisgarh, Bihar, West Bengal and Jharkhand continue to be a cause for concern in view of the level of violence. The problems in Orissa and Maharashtra are also quite serious," he added.

He said in the fight against left wing extremism, there is a need to have much greater coordination of responses and resources between the central and state forces.

"I would request the chief ministers to consider increasing the number of joint operations by state police forces with the assistance of Central forces," he added.

As far as communal tensions are concerned, Dr. Singh said the situation that prevailed in 2010 gave reasons for satisfaction.

"I would like to mention here the tremendous restraint shown by all sections of our society in the wake of the court judgement in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suits," he said.

"The response to the judgement by and large was mature, respectful and dignified. Otherwise also, no major communal incident was reported from anywhere in the country in 2010," he added.

He further said that there was a steep fall in the number of terror attacks also during the previous year, with only two incidents at Pune and Varanasi.

"While our people and security agencies deserve full credit in these matters, the importance of being constantly vigilant and on our guard cannot be over-emphasized. There can be no let up in our efforts if we are to succeed in our fight against terrorism as well as communal violence," he added. (ANI)

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