Referring to the four major terror incidents this year in Hyderabad, Bangalore, Bodhgaya and Patna, Singh said the disclosures made by the arrested members of the terrorist outfits confirm apprehensions that hinterland of the country remains an active area of operation for these outfits.
    
"Therefore, we need to ensure that our security apparatus and intelligence sharing platforms such as the Multi Agency Centre constantly hone their skills to stay ahead of the nefarious designs of these terrorist outfits," Singh said in his address to the country top police brass here.

 

However, the Prime Minister cautioned that while dealing with terror cases, "care needs to be taken that security forces remain scrupulously bipartisan so that our people do not lose faith in the professionalism of investigative agencies and the secular nature of our polity."     

Referring to recent "volatile" situation at the border with Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir which saw increased ceasefire violations and attempts to cross over by militants, Singh said resurgence of terrorist groups, particularly Lashkar-e-Taiba and increased infiltration attempts call for heightened vigil and coordination by our security forces.

READ MORE: Terrorists may disrupt Lok Sabha, Assembly polls: PM

The Prime Minister warned that terrorist groups might try to disrupt the forthcoming Lok Sabha and Assembly polls and asked security forces to remain alert.

"There is also a likelihood of attempts to disrupt the forthcoming Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. The security forces also need to be careful and measured in their response to militant attacks as well as law and order disturbances," he said on the concluding day of three-day conference of Directors General and Inspectors General of police being organized by Intelligence Bureau.

READ MORE: Handle communal violence firmly, PM tells states

Touching upon the issue of communal riots in the country, the Prime Minister said that during the current year some states witnessed a substantial increase in the number of communal incidents.
    
Terming the communal clash in Muzaffarnagar and the adjoining districts of Western Uttar Pradesh in September as the "most worrisome", Singh said "it sounds like a cliché but is necessary to say that we simply cannot afford such a state of affairs to continue.
    
"Our law and order agencies must, therefore, ensure that trivial or local issues are not exploited by vested interests to flame communal passions. And once disturbances occur they must be tackled with the utmost firmness and speed, without prejudice, fear or favour," he said.
    
The Prime Minister asked the police chiefs to ensure that their forces act in the required manner in preventing communal tensions and dealing with them once they do take place.

Singh also drew the attention of misuse of the social media and SMSes to fan violence during the recent disturbances in Muzaffarnagar, and also last year, when disinformation spread through these means contributed to a mass exodus of people belonging to the North-East from southern states like Karnataka.
    
"It is widely accepted that social media facilitates exchange of knowledge, information and ideas and can be used for constructive purposes. Therefore, in preventing its misuse, we need to find creative solutions which do not unreasonably curb the freedom of expression and the ease of communication that social media does provide," he said.
    
In a veiled reference to the news reports about snooping by the National Security Agency of the US, the Prime Minister said, "I think there is a vast scope for improvement in our present capabilities in this area (cyber security).
    
"Apart from finding technological solutions, we must also concentrate on designing our processes in a manner such that our vulnerability to cyber attacks is minimized."

Need creative solutions to check social media misuse: PM
 
There is a need to find creative solutions which do not unreasonably curb the freedom of expression social media tools provide and that check its misuse also, the Prime Minister said.

"We witnessed misuse of the social media and SMSes to fan violence during the recent disturbances in Muzaffarnagar (in Uttar Pradesh)," the prime minister said addressing the annual conference of top police officials.

"Last year, disinformation spread through these means contributed to a mass exodus of people belonging to the northeast from southern states like Karnataka," he said.

The Prime Minister said it is widely accepted that social media platforms facilitate exchange of knowledge, information and ideas and can be used for constructive purposes.

"Therefore, in preventing its misuse, we need to find creative solutions which do not unreasonably curb the freedom of expression and the ease of communication that social media does provide," he added.

PM favours institutional mechanisms for women's safety

Against the backdrop of rape and other crimes, Singh favoured putting in place institutional mechanisms to ensure safety and security of women and children.
 
Singh said the tragic rape and murder of a young girl in Delhi last December not only brought into sharp focus the issue of women's safety but also the rising expectations of the people from the police in preventing such crimes.
        
"We have recently enacted several laws providing stringent punishment for such crimes and more sensitive treatment of victims during investigation and trial.
        
"We also need to put in place other institutional mechanisms to ensure the safety and security of women and children. I expect the DGPs of states to show leadership in this area," he said.
        
The Prime Minister, however, did not elaborate what the institutional mechanism would be. The comments come in the midst of the raging controversy over the alleged sexual assault on a woman colleague by Tehelka editor Tarun Tejpal.
        
After the December 16 incident, the government had amended various provisions of law and strengthened those related to crime against women and children.

JPN/Agencies

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