New Delhi: Fearing the re-emergence of militancy in Punjab, chief minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday urged the Centre to put in place an elaborate plan to tackle the emerging threat, with intelligence reports indicating that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) was training Sikh youths to revive terror activities in the region.
The issue, particularly some recent targeted killings by ISI-backed operatives, was discussed in detail during a meeting between Capt. Singh and Union home minister Rajnath Singh here on Thursday. The CM also briefed the home minister in detail about the security situation in Punjab and how attempts were being made to disturb the law and order situation through these targeted killings.
Home ministry officials claimed Capt. Singh urged the Centre to plan an “all-encompassing” security strategy to deal with the revival of terror in the state. Capt. Singh also stressed the need for further strengthening and sharing of intelligence inputs between the Centre and state agencies, particularly on some terror operatives active in foreign countries like Italy, the United States, Germany, Canada and Britain.
The role of some of these operatives is suspected in recent killings in Punjab, now being investigated by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). Sources said the home minister assured Capt. Singh of all possible help from the Centre in dealing with security issues in the sensitive border state, which had seen a long spell of terror in the past. The Punjab CM also flagged the issue of how terror elements were using the social media to radicalise youth and the urgent need to counter this. The home ministry had recently told a parliamentary panel that Sikh youths were being trained at ISI facilities in Pakistan to carry out terror activities in India.
Capt. Singh appreciated the role of the Central security agencies, particularly the NIA, in handling cases related to the killing of political and religious personalities in the state, which is being seen as a desperate attempt to disturb communal harmony in the region.