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Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Internal Security is the Greatest Challenge, the Prime Minister argues for the Corporate India.But the opposition is quite reluctant to oblige. The Government is stranded in a rare stand off as the Disinvestment drive and the Mining plus infrastructu



Internal Security is the Greatest Challenge, the Prime Minister argues for the Corporate India.But the opposition is quite reluctant to oblige. The Government is stranded in a rare stand off as the Disinvestment drive and the Mining plus infrastructure agenda, specifically Nuclear projects have to suffer much against the Popular Resistance which the government describes as Internal threat.
Indian Holocaust My Father`s Life and Time - Eight HUNDRED Twenty SEVEN


Palash Biswas

http://indianholocaustmyfatherslifeandtime.blogspot.com/


http://basantipurtimes.blogspot.com/
Internal Security is the Greatest Challenge, the Prime Minister argues for the Corporate India.But the opposition is quite reluctant to oblige. The Government is stranded in a rare stand off as the Disinvestment drive and the Mining plus infrastructure agenda, specifically Nuclear projects have to suffer much against the Popular Resistance which the government describes as Internal threat.

Ironically, the Opposition stance against NTPC is not related to the concern of the people. It is more or less a Federal phenomenon in which states bank on to get more. For instance, the most Vocal Opponent of the NCPT attempt is no one else than Ms Mamata Bannerjee who has toppled the Left Rule fighting on streets for two decades but she is already quite Unpopular with her draconian dictatorship against the People. Naveen patnaik is another one who is stung most by the so called maoist menace. patnaik has handed over the state to corporate India.All the BJP ruled states specifically Gujarat, Chhattishgarh,MP and Karnataka are infamous for Anti people policies.

Mind you,the government is likely to kickstart stake sales in state-run companies in June - preferably through the auction of shares - to meet a target of Rs 30000 crore set for this fiscal year, the official in charge of disinvestment said on Monday.Along with cutting subsidies, the stake-sale target is seen as key to India's efforts to rein-in the fiscal deficit to 5.1% in the 2012-13 fiscal year, after it blew out to 5.9% last year.

"When you push an FPO (follow-on public offering), the market prices come under pressure. Hopefully, we will go more for ONGC -type auctions," Mohd. Haleem Khan, who heads the government's share sale programme in the ministry of finance, told Reuters in an interview.

Although India's USD 2.6 billion auction of shares in ONGC in March did not attract many institutional investors, the government was able to direct state-run Life Insurance Corp to pick up stake.

Khan defended the ONGC sale, which even some government officials said was badly handled. He said the government got the price it was aiming for.
In the 2011-12 fiscal year, the government raised just Rs 14000 crore from share sales in state companies, well short of its Rs 40000 crore target.

Chief Ministers of non-Congress states today accused the Centre of not consulting states on key security issues wherein the state's powers are "abrogated" while UPA ally Trinamool Congress opposed NCTC as it "upsets" the federal structure.

Left-wing extremism, religious fundamentalism and ethnic violence are major challenges facing the country, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said here on Monday and urged states to fight them together with the central government.

"Left-wing extremism, religious fundamentalism and ethnic violence are the major internal security challenges facing the country... I urge the states to fight them together with the centre," Manmohan Singh said while inaugurating the annual conference of chief ministers on internal security here.

"The internal security situation in the country since February 2011 has been by and large satisfactory," he said.

Stating that India needs to strengthen its defence against terrorism, he said this was necessary keeping in mind the growing instability around the country.

The situation concerning left-wing extremism was better in 2011 than in 2010 but there was still a "long way to go", the prime minister said.

He also said the number of districts under the integrated action plan to push development has been increased from 60 to 78 across seven states affected by Maoist violence.

Referring to the controversial proposal of setting up a National Counter-Terrorism Centre, Manmohan Singh said he would discuss the issue with the chief ministers May 5.

Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram, who spoke before the prime minister, described left-wing extremism as the most formidable security challenge facing the country.

Speaking at the meeting of the Chief Ministers on internal security convened by the Union Home Ministry, Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu and Gujarat J Jayalalithaa and Narendra Modi opposed Centre's move to set up the National Centre for Counter Terrorism (NCTC).

In her speech, Jayalalithaa hit out at the Centre for "encroaching on state powers" through the NCTC which was in "contravention" to constitutional provisions that accord priority status to police in the State list.

"Lack of consultation with the states and failure to take the states into confidence is a cogent commentary on the system of governance in the Centre," she said.

Modi said Centre was adopting a "non-consultative" approach with state governments on key security issues.

He said Centre was creating a "state within a state" by considering changes to RPF Act and BSF Act which take away powers from the state police and meddling with subjects under the state list.

On the matter of NCTC, Banerjee said that "it upsets the federal structure of the country. I have already written to you (Prime Minister Manmohan Singh) on the matter and will elaborate my views at length and in detail at the separate meeting being convened (on May 5)."

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh said issue of the establishment of NCTC requires a national consensus as "it must not adversely affect our federal structure".

Perturbed over the arrest of an eminent scientist who opposed eviction of slum dwellers in Kolkata, a group of scientists has written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh decrying West Bengal government's action and sought his immediate intervention.

A number of scientists from across the country and some parts of the world have written to Singh voicing concern on the "crack down on human rights activists and citizens who are attempting to raise issues of concern".


While Mahapatra was arrested for circulating a cartoon depicting West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Ray was among those taken into custody for protesting against the eviction of slum dwellers in Nonadanga area of East Kolkata.

"There also seems to be a clear message to others not to raise voices of dissent. This has implications for not only this series of events in Kolkata but also for democracy," said the letter signed by activists Aruna Roy, Nikhil Dey, Massachussetts Institute of Technology professors Noam Chomsky, Mrigangka Sur, Abha Sur, scientists of Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, IITs among others.

Ray is an established researcher in the field of molecular biology whose findings have been published in world class journals, the letter said.

He is also a faculty of IISER Kolkata, one of the most select institutions of higher learning in India, it said.

They have signed a letter that has condemned the police action against Ambikesh Mahapatra, the Jadavpur chemistry professor, and Partho Sarothi Ray, a molecular biologist at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Mohanpur.

Stung by criticism of her government's choice of newspapers for state and state-aided libraries and a professor's arrest over circulation of a cartoon showing her in poor light, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday alleged a section of the media saw only negatively about her government.
She said the media appeared to paint a negative picture of her government's performance and claimed her government scored "a hundred out of hundred" as far as performance was concerned.

"You do not see positively. You see negatively. If you see positively, the performance of the government is 100 out of 100," Mamata told a correspondent while leaving the state secretariat for the day.

Mamata had recently alleged a section of the media was presenting "distorted news" against the state government.

"There is a limit to everything. No one can impose his or her personal opinion on others. Freedom is your right but don't impose your freedom on others.... Don't think that you have secured the right to do anything just because you have the pen in your hand", she had said.

On the other hand,in a bizarre prescription, a Trinamool leader and state minister Jyotipriya Mallick asked his party cadre not to marry any CPI-M worker and avoid even small talk with members of the Left party.

Mallick, the food and supplies minister, came out with this plea as a way out for Trinamool Congress workers to keep distance from cadres of the ruling party's arch rival CPI-M to put up an all out fight against the Marxists.

"Don't mingle with CPI-M workers. Don't talk to them. Don't establish any marriage relation with CPI-M cadre," he told a party meeting at Habra in North 24-Parganas last night in comments that could fuel a controversy and also reflecting Trinamool's bitter rivalry with CPI-M.

Mallick asked the partymen not to have any truck with the CPI-M and said, "We cannot fight the CPI-M all out if we keep any relation with them."

Urging the party workers to maintain distance from the CPI-M cadre and local leaders, he said, "Don't gossip with them even at tea stalls."

Trinamool Congress workers should continue to do so till Panchayat polls and beyond, he said. The panchayat elections are due next year.

CPI-M dismissed Mallick's appeal to the Trinamool workers as "unfortunate, atrocious and ridiculous."

"Democratic values are at stake because intolerance is being promoted by the highest authorities," CPI-M leader Md Salim said.

Salim said Trinamool is trying to destroy the social fabric in a state known for its village culture and ties between people irrespective of caste, creed and religion.

He said it is regrettable that the ruling party is developing and promoting enmity between people.

Opposition chief ministers on Monday used the annual meet on security to attack the government over the proposed National Counter Terrorism Centre, claiming it was against federalism even as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reached out to them saying the issue will be discussed separately May 5.

"We will discuss the National Counter Terrorism Centre on May 5 in a separate meeting as some chief ministers suggested," the prime minister said addressing the meet.

Later, in order to build pressure on the government, non-Congress chief ministers held separate parleys. J Jayalalithaa of Tamil Nadu, Naveen Patnaik of Odisha, Narendra Modi of Gujarat and deputy chief minister of Punjab Sukhbir Singh Badal, all of whom are opposed to the NCTC, joined in the talks.

United Progressive Alliance partner Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who is also opposed to the NCTC, did not attend the opposition meeting.

The chief ministers claim that giving police powers to the proposed NCTC will trample upon the rights of the states and impact the federal structure of the country.

While Modi said the move was creating distrust between the central government and the states, Jayalalithaa said it has reduced the states to "glorified municipalities".

"Along expected lines," is how Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah chose to describe the opposition chief ministers' remarks in his Tweet message.

"Whether it is the National Counter Terrorism Centre, Railway Protection Force or the Border Security Force, the government's unilateral activity is creating an atmosphere of distrust between the centre and the state... I urge Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to bridge the gap," Modi told reporters at the conference.

Jayalalithaa accused the central government of bringing the states down to the level of glorified municipal corporations by restricting their operational magnitude, tightening finances and encroaching upon states' powers.

"The constant attempts to reduce states to the level of glorified municipal corporations heavily dependent on the centre for funds is a travesty of the federal nature of our existence. This attitude is disturbing and the implication of such exercises is not conducive to either state or national growth," she said.

Earlier, the prime minister opened the annual chief ministers' meet on security and said left-wing extremism, religious fundamentalism, ethnic violence and terrorism are major challenges facing the country.

He urged states to fight these challenges together with the central government.

"Left-wing extremism, religious fundamentalism, ethnic violence and terrorism are the major internal security challenges facing the country ... I urge the states to fight them together with the centre," Manmohan Singh said.

rime Minister Manmohan Singh sought the chief ministers' cooperation on internal security and hoped the meeting would lead to "constructive ideas. Left-wing extremism, religious fundamentalism and ethnic violence are major challenges facing the country, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh


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said on Monday and urged states to fight them together with the central government.
"Left-wing extremism, religious fundamentalism and ethnic violence are the major internal security challenges facing the country... I urge the states to fight them together with the centre," Manmohan Singh said while inaugurating the annual conference of chief ministers on internal security in New Delhi.

Home minister P Chidambaram too voiced concern over Maoist violence in the country at the meeting.

Violence has declined in the country but the government still doesn't have the "upper hand" against Maoists, home minister P Chidambaram said.

Chidambaram revealed security agencies had foiled two terrorist plots in 2012.  The meeting will discuss the ceation of a separate cadre for intelligence officers with special incentives, separation of the investigation and law-and-order wings, and enhancement of the financial powers of director generals of state police (DGPs).

Stating that India needs to strengthen its defence against terrorism, the Prime Minister said this was necessary keeping in mind the growing instability around the country.

The situation concerning left-wing extremism was better in 2011 than in 2010 but there was still a "long way to go", the he said.

He also said the number of districts under the integrated action plan to push development has been increased from 60 to 78 across seven states affected by Maoist violence.

Referring to the controversial proposal of setting up a National Counter-Terrorism Centre, Manmohan Singh said he would discuss the issue with the chief ministers May 5.

The agenda of the meeting is the creation of a separate cadre for intelligence officers with special incentives, separation of the investigation and law-and-order wings, and enhancement of the financial powers of director generals of state police (DGPs).

While Opposition chief ministers are expected to raise the issue of federalism in the context of a proposal to allow Border Security Force (BSF) personnel to arrest, search and seize, the agenda paper is confined to nine key issues.

According to an agenda paper, the conference will discuss police reforms and capacity-building, including the separation of investigation and law-and-order wings of the state police. Strengthening of police intelligence wings will be taken up in a big way, specifically powered by a proposal to induct only highly-trained officers into special cells.

The home ministry is in favour of having a separate cadre for intelligence officers, so special cells of the state police can have dedicated officers who will be specially trained for the job. Also under discussion would be criminal tracking network systems and economic offences - with special emphasis being placed on fake currency rackets.

Extension of schemes for modernisation of the state police will also be taken up, with the centre likely to discuss enhancement of the DGP's financial powers to around Rs2-3 crore. At present, the police modernisation fund is handled by the state governments, and the DGP's role is limited to providing technical advice and helping with the tendering process.

Meanwhile,Citing lack of evidence, a Bihar court on Monday acquitted three men sentenced to death and 20 given life imprisonment for the 1996 massacre in Bathani Tola in which 21 people, mainly women and children, were killed by members of the upper caste Ranvir Sena.

"The high court acquitted them on the basis of lack of evidence against them in the charge sheet by police," a court official said.

Two years ago, the additional district and sessions judge of Ara civil court had pronounced the sentences against the 23 after they were convicted in the case.

The Bathani Tola village, in Sahar block of Bhojpur district, was targeted by armed members of the Ranvir Sena who butchered 21 people, mostly Dalits and poor Muslims.
A police officer associated with the probe said the charges were framed against 62 members of Ranvir Sena under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Arms Act.

Dalit survivor Kishun Chaudhary had lodged a case against 33 people, following which police filed a charge sheet against 63, including Ranvir Sena chief Barmeshwar Singh who was declared absconder.

Amid stiff opposition from non-Congress Chief Ministers and ally Trinamool over NCTC, Congress today asked all parties not to allow issue of national security to cause divisions and to cooperate with the Centre to provide seamless response to terror.

Party spokesman Manish Tewari told reporters that the incidents like the Taliban attacks on the Afghanistan capital and a jail break by the terrorists in Pakistan were fresh reminders that political parties in the country should be united in facing terror.

He said that these incidents showed that India lives in a "difficult neighbourhood" and therefore it is incumbent that there should be coordination and cooperation between the Centre and the states to provide seamless response to forces of terror.

His refrain was that there should be "holistic and cohesive" response to the challenges of internal security.

"I am not in the habit of value judgement", he snapped back when asked whether he felt that the non-Congress Chief Ministers were wrong on the issue.

"They are elected Chief Ministers and I am respectfully pointing out that if any issue requires the attention of the Centre, it is the prerogative of the states to flag them", he said.

Apparently targeting Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi who is opposing the amendment in the BSF Act, Tewari said "if my information was not wrong, there have been 27 per cent vacancies in police force in the BJP ruled state".

He said that there have been "no complaints of misuse" after central forces like ITBP and SSB were given powers that are now sought to be extended to the BSF.

On the question J&K Chief Minister demanding once again the withdrawal of security forces from certain parts of state, Tewari said the stand of the Congress party has been articulated on the matter several times.

"We believe that it is a sensitive issue which involves a number of stakeholders and there is a need to build a consensus among all stakeholders so that the road map can be decided," he said.

Barmeshwar Singh was later arrested and is currently lodged in a jail.