PM calls for stronger intelligence, investigation and prosecution

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Onboard Air India One, Sept 28 : The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, has admitted to the existence of fallacies in the system to combat terrorism and stressed the need for stronger intelligence, prosecution and investigation.

Expressing deep shock and anger at the latest terrorist attack in New Delhi''s Mehrauli area on Saturday in which one child was killed and several others were injured, he called for the system to be reformed.

He was addressing a press conference onboard his special aircraft while on his way to Marseilles in France from New York, where he is scheduled to attend an India-European Union (EU) summit.

Dr. Singh, however, refused to name any particular terrorist organization. He said: "I have been out of the country, it is most unfortunate that this blast has taken place. It is not possible for me from this distance to comment on who is responsible for this outrage. But we have to further tighten our intelligence, strengthen our investigation and prosecution process. We cannot give up the war against terror and we will fight with resoluteness, which is necessary to deal with this menace."

Dr. Singh had earlier indicated that he is pondering over introducing a stringent anti-terror law, which has remained a constant demand from the opposition.

Dr. Singh has also formed a committee and has asked it to look into the recommendations made by the Administrative Reforms Committee led by Congress spokesperson Veerappa Moily. The Government has been asked to bring in tougher anti-terrorism laws.

Highly placed government sources told Asian News International that the Prime Minister discussed the issue of terrorism with US President George W. Bush at length.

In fact, according to the sources, National Security Adviser M. K. Narayanan had a seven-hour long meeting with Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff to assess the applicability and efficacy of American counter-terrorism measures back in India.

US has not witnessed a single terrorist attack since September 11,2001and Indian Government sources said tha they could learn from their American counterparts on this count.

Before leaving for the United States and France, Singh had convened a special session of his Cabinet to discuss ways to tackle terrorism. Participants at the meeting suggested the creation of a separate Ministry for Homeland Security, and now, it seems that in the wake of the bomb blasts in Delhi, pressure is mounting on the Prime Minister to act fast in ramping up the security and intelligence apparatus. By Naveen Kapoor

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