Terror groups may use sea route, warns PM

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday pitched for a comprehensive maritime domain awareness scheme as there were indications that terrorist groups are maintaining their ability to use the sea route.

On the concluding day of a three-day long meeting of Directors and Inspectors General of Police here, Mr Singh also said that there were increasing infiltration attempts in Jammu and Kashmir

“In Jammu and Kashmir, we are beginning to see increasing infiltration attempts, across the Line of Control and even the International Border. There are also indications about terrorist groups maintaining their ability to use the sea route.

“Vigilance, therefore, needs to be exercised not only on our land borders but along the coast line as well. The comprehensive scheme of Maritime Domain Awareness to be led by the Navy would help strengthen coastal vigilance, whereas deployment of more permanent border obstacles and better sensors could improve the situation along the land borders,” he said at the conference organised by Intelligence Bureau.

Though the Prime Minister did not name any terror outfit, Pakistan-based Lashker-e-Taiba terror outfit had used the sea route to infiltrate into Mumbai in November 2008 and went on a shooting spree killing over 160 people.

The Prime Minister also said that terror threat in the hinterland continues to be a cause for worry.

“Although 19 interdictions have taken place, terrorists were able to strike in Mumbai and Delhi last year and in Pune this year. Investigations in these cases are yet to conclude,” Mr Singh said.

The Prime Minister said that his government was working on a robust cyber security structure that addresses threat management and mitigation, assurance and certification, specially building capacity and enhancing research.

Calling upon private players to join in the plan of the government, Mr Singh said, “Our country’s vulnerability to cyber crime is escalating as our economy and critical infrastructure become increasingly reliant on interdependent computer networks and the Internet.

“Large-scale computer attacks on our critical infrastructure and economy can have potentially devastating results,” he said

He also called for devising a strategy to counter the propaganda carried out in social networking sites and said, while working on a plan to counter it, a careful examination needs to be done that it does not infringe on the rights of freedom of expression of the people.

“The use of bulk SMSes and social media to aggravate the communal situation is a new challenge that the recent disturbances have thrown before us. We need to fully understand how these new media are used by miscreants.

“We also need to devise strategies to counter the propaganda that is carried out by these new means. Any measure to control the use of such media must be carefully weighed against the need for the freedom to express and communicate,” he said.

He expressed hope that police forces would be able to work out effective strategies to deal with these tendencies and asked the top brass of the police to dedicate themselves to planned technological upgradation of their forces.

There are many emerging areas where the police forces need to develop new expertise which include controlling use of new media by miscreants to spread rumours and falsehood.
Source http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article3874014.ece


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