New Delhi, Oct 13 : Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh today said that he country known for the co-existence of different ethnic groups and religions cannot afford spread of divisiveness for narrow partisan ends.
Inaugurating the National Integration Council (NIC) meeting here, Dr. Singh said there is a need to collectively consider whether short term narrow political ends are driving some to encourage forces of divisiveness which threaten unity of the people.
"The recent communal violence in Orissa, Karnataka and Assam have pained all right thinking persons. There have been clashes between Hindus, Chritsians and Muslims and tribal groups and an atmosphere of hatred and violence is being artificially created," he said.
"There are forces which are deliberately encouraging such tendencies and also spawning militant outfits who engage in irrational violence," he added.
He said that most disturbing and dangerous aspect is the assault on our composite culture.
"Those who are threatening communal harmony, integrity and peaceful coexistence deserve a very deterrent punishment," he added.
Holding that there has been considerable debate in the country on ways to handle issues of sectarian and communal violence, he said, "There cannot be two views on the fact that such attempts must be thwarted with the full power of a state that is intent on protecting its democratic foundations.
Commenting on Left wing extremist on violence, Dr. Singh said, it can not be ignored that naxalites are armed with sophisticated weapons and are adept at guerilla warfare techniques and have claimed the lives of many innocent people and security personnel.
The day-long meeting is being attended by UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Union Ministers, Chief Ministers of all States and Union Territories, which have legislatures, leaders of national political parties and of regional political parties, Chairpersons of National Commissions, eminent public figures and representatives from business.