Gujarat CM Narendra Modi slams Centre’s unilateral approach towards states on security issues
Gujarat Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi has slammed the “non-consultative approach” of Union Government on “unilaterally” designing and executing the security superstructure of the Nation, ignoring the State Governments Chief Ministers’ valuable suggestions on crucial matters of internal and external security including NCTC imbroglio, recent amendments to the Railway Protection Force (RPF) Act and BSF Act, creating a wide rift of “mistrust and suspicion” between the Centre and the States.
While speaking at the Conference of Chief Ministers on Internal Security held in New Delhi, Shri Modi said that the internal security of the Nation cannot be viewed in isolation as it is intertwined with the external security scenario. He expressed grave concern over the fact that internal security is too serious a matter to be treated as an arena for “one-upmanship” and state governments must be seen as partners in upholding the security of the Nation.
Lambasting the unilateral approach of the Union Government, Shri Modi said it was shocking to see that the Action Taken Reports (ATRs) released by the Centre have no single mention of the valuable suggestions made by respected chief ministers during a day- long high-level meetings in the capital.
Shri Modi pointed out the Centre was creating "state within state" by amending the Railway Protection Force Act and Border Security Force Act, which takes away powers from state police and meddling with subjects under the State list. The RPF Act amendment is intended to confer “powers of the police officers.” He urged the Union Government to desist from attempting to snatch away powers from the State Police which will otherwise create distrust and demoralization of the State security personnel. Nonetheless, such endeavours will also increase the widening gap between the Centre and the States, he added.
Slamming the Union Government for recent controversies with the army, Shri Modi said the Armed Forces play an important role in the anti-infiltration, anti insurgency etc. which directly impinges on the internal security of the Nation. In this context, any lacunae in our defence capabilities on account of resources constraints, demoralization of the rank and file and tensions between the civil and military wings is bound to have an adverse impact on the internal security of the Nation. He said that it is unfortunate that the present Union Government has failed to instill faith and confidence about our defence preparedness in the common man. Shri Modi urged Government of India to take proactive steps to clear the fog of mistrust and suspicion that has arisen on account of the recent unseemly controversy and not remain content with mere issuance of statements.
“Terrorism has international ramifications and we are often subjected to cross border terrorisms. It puzzles me as to what a helpless situation we are put in to, even we are unable to bring the perpetrators of terror to justice,” he questioned.
It is noteworthy that Shri Narendra Modi had very recently written to Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh opposing the proposed amendments to the Border Security Force Act, 1968, to give sweeping powers to BSF. He termed it yet “another instance of the Union Government’s attempts to trample the federal structure of the country.
Shri Modi announced that Gujarat has witnessed whole peaceful decade for first time since 1960 as the State has “adopted a growth model based on inclusive growth, non-confrontational land acquisition and cosmopolitan social fabric which have not allowed the inimical forces of hate, terror, left wing extremism, labour unrest to take root. The resultant one full decade of peace and public order has spurred unprecedented 11% growth rate of the State,” he said.
The Gujarat Chief Minister cast his doubts on GOI claims that 97% of intelligence inputs are being generated by Central agencies and only 3% of MAC inputs come from state agencies, which in turn take commensurate responsibility of information they disseminate. He remarked that in that situation all acts of violence including blasts and terror attacks should be adhered to failure of the Union Government and the Central probe agencies. He said that such statements would only serve to belittle the efforts of numerous State security personnel and sought review of the parameters taken into account to arrive at such figures including a comprehensive white paper that will look into the modalities of intelligence gathering and sharing.
He expressed serious concerns over lack of coordination between the Ministry of External Affairs and the Security agencies leading to terror conspiracies hatched abroad and carried out on Indian soil.
He strongly criticized the Centre’s approach “to gravely compromise the credibility of premier Central agencies like CBI to harass and victimize political rivals of the ruling party at the Centre.” Shri Modi exhorted the UPA government to ensure that such institutions are not damaged for short term political gains and harm the national interests in long term. Shri Modi said that the Centre should systematically increase the annual intake of IPS officers rather than resorting to ad hoc arrangements.
Shri Modi suggested that we must fully harness the latest technologies to equip and establish a network of inter-connected border check posts and control rooms and upgrade public spaces like railway stations and bus stations etc on par with the security benchmarks prescribed for airports.
He also expressed his apprehension on levy on gold and jewellry in the recent Union Budget which according to him may create giving new lease of life to dormant smuggling syndicate.
Shri Narendra Modi sought creation of a dedicated Force to exploit the hydro-carbon reserve in the Sir Creek area and spaces along the border regions of Gujarat and Rajasthan. He further asked the Union Government to harness solar energy pool in the border regions of Gujarat and Rajasthan for sustainable clean energy and Gujarat government will extend the required support and cooperation.
He mentioned that Government of Gujarat has recruited as many as 40,000-45,000 police personnel making Gujarat Police the youngest in its age profile ever since the State came into existence. “Every young sub-inspector passing out of Gujarat Police Academy has to impart 100 hours of training to constables—ensures two way dissemination of knowledge and skill sets,” Shri Modi said. He said that the government of Gujarat has proposed to set up a new Marine Police Training Academy and has already conducted Fishermen Awareness Programme on the pattern of Territorial Army during monsoon season last year.
Shri Modi said he had earlier suggested for setting up of more Regional Intelligence Training Centres for capacity building of our intelligence personnel and better coordination between the Central Intelligence agencies and the State Law enforcement agencies, but in vain. He again reiterated his earlier call to set up an all India Intelligence Service on the lines of All India Services to upgrade the quality of our intelligence wings.
Shri Praffulbhai Patel, Minister of State for Home and Senior officers from the Government of Gujarat also attended the conference.