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HVK Archives: India not soft, finalises stop - ISI plan

India not soft, finalises stop - ISI plan - The Asian Age

Posted By Krishnakant Udavant (kkant@bom2.vsnl.net.in)
October 15, 1998

Title: India not soft, finalises stop - ISI plan
Author:
Publication: The Asian Age
Date: October 15, 1998

Union home minister L.K. Advani on Wednesday sent out a clear
signal that Pakistan-sponsored terrorism and other internal
security problems in northern India would be tackled with a firm
hand.

Addressing a meeting of chief ministers and other
representatives from seven northern states, Mr Advani said the
proxy war sponsored by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence
should be effectively countered so that India was not perceived
as a "soft state."

In addition to unveiling a seven-point action plan to tackle
terrorism and inter-state crime, the Union home minister urged
the states to adopt a new "operational methodology" to improve
cooperation between the Centre and the states.

As part of the new action plan, special task forces will be set
up in the seven states to conduct coordinated operations against
terrorists and inter-state criminals. These forces will also
evolve a plan of action to tackle terrorist activities.

The meeting was attended by representatives from Jammu and
Kashmir, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh,
Rajasthan and Delhi.

The home ministry's decision to tackle terrorism in these states
in a coordinated manner assumes significance as militants from
Kashmir have recently extended their activities to Himachal
Pradesh and even New Delhi.

The meeting discussed the urgent need to revamp the police
forces in these states so that they could tackle terrorists and
criminals, who were using sophisticated weapons and
communications technology, on an equal footing.

The officials present at the meeting concluded that police
forces were "worse off' when compared to the criminals.

Significantly, the seven-point action plan drawn up during the
meeting also includes measures to tone up law enforcement and to
rationalise criminal justice procedures. Under the new plan,
funding to non-governmental organisations from external sources
will be subjected to special audits, and the utilisation of such
funds will be carefully checked. Other measures included in the
action plan are:

Amendment of laws such as Motor Vehicles Act, Passport Act and
Explosives Substances Act to make them more stringent. This
would provide the required "legal backing" to tackle terrorism.

Re-orientation of the criminal justice system to speed up the
disposal of cases and to counter external agencies. Procedures
for granting bail should be tightened.

Granting of more powers to executive magistrates under the
Criminal Procedure Code and for trial of minor crimes.

Greater coordination of intelligence and strategy between
Central and state government agencies.
The Union home ministry also made a detailed presentation on the
role played by Pakistani agencies and their supporters in India
in destabilising internal security. Over 29,000 civilians and
5,101 personnel from the security forces had lost their lives in
ISI-sponsored terrorism, a home ministry release said. The
terrorists had carried out 4,730 bomb attacks and rendered 2.78
lakh people homeless.

The release said the estimated damage to property in terrorist
attacks was Rs 2,000 crores, and the Union government had spent
a further Rs 18,500 crores on compensation, refugees, fencing
along the international border and raising of counter-terrorist
forces. The estimated expenditure on Army and paramilitary
forces deployed on internal security duties was Rs 46,000
crores.

The security forces had recovered over 61,000 weapons and 51,810
__ of explosives from the terrorists. Over 1,100 Pakistani and
foreign mercenaries were killed while 140 were arrested. Some
1,700 of them were still active in India, the release said.


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