New Delhi, Dec.1 : A federal investigation agency will be set up and the legal frame work of the country will be strengthened further in the country. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, after a marathon all party meeting on Sunday night in New Delhi.
The Prime Minister said the country stands united in fighting terrorism and legal framework would be strengthened in this regard. The meeting was convened by Manmohan Singh to discuss the situation arising in the country, after the terror strike in Mumbai which left nearly 200 persons dead.
"We will pursue the setting up of a federal investigating agency within a time-frame," he said in his concluding remarks. He promised the leaders of the parties that the Government would hold another meeting to monitor the steps taken in this regard within fifteen days from now.
In his opening remarks, the Prime Minister said the government has decided to strengthen air and maritime security and create four NSG hubs in various parts of the countryharing the country's "anger and outrage" over the Mumbai attacks, he appealed to parties to rise above political considerations to meet the challenge with a united force.
In the meeting, the BJP and the AIADMK demanded stringent laws like POTA to tackle terrorism. New Home Minister P Chidambaram said the PM has already shown his concern about strengthening the legal framework in the country.
However, Left parties are opposed any law like POTA but open to suggestions for strengthening provisions in existing laws to combat terror.
Samajwadi Party leader Mulayan Singh Yadav said the Center must accept responsibility for the terror attacks and take strict action in this regard." Come out with something concrete within 15 days," Yadav told the Government.
RJD chief Lalu Prasad attacked the BJP for targeting Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) chief Hemant Karkare, in connection with the Malegaon blast probe in which Sadhwi Pragya Singh Thakur and Lt.Purohit were arrested by the ATS. Karkare was killed while fighting terrorists in Mumbai last week.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, in particular , came under attack at the meeting from all sides for visiting the Taj hotel with Bollywood film maker Ram Gopal Varma.Participants present in the meeting demanded his immediate resignation.
After the meeting, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said all political parties had unequivocally condemned the terrorist attack and had expressed heartfelt sorrow and condolences to the innocent victims and paid homage to security personals who had laid down their lives in the line of duty.
Intelligence agencies will be asked to provide specific information. A new mechanism for establishing greater coordination among agencies of the Centre and state is needed, he said.
BJP leaders, L K Advani and Rajnath Singh, skipped the meeting citing prior campaigning commitment..The party was represented by Former External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh.