India's war on terror
possible effort was made by India during the year to strengthen
measures for maintaining internal security and law and order in the
country. Considering the problem of cross-border terrorism in Jammu
& Kashmir, special efforts were made to check infiltration of
militants from across the border.
As a major success
Shah Nawaz Khan alias Ghazi-baba, the mastermind behind the December
13th attack on Indian Parliament and also on the Jammu & Kashmir
Assembly was killed by the Border Security Force in an encounter in
Central Srinagar on October 30, 2003. The Pakistan Based Terrorist
leader of Jaish-e-Mohammad was killed along with his accomplice.
of the Economic Package announced by the Prime Minister, the year
before also generated healing touch to the people of Kashmir. The
State Government with the back-up from the Centre launched several
people’s friendly programmes for employment generation and
developing the tourism industry.
Council meeting at Srinagar in August, 2003 (such a meeting held for
the first time outside Delhi) and addressed by the Prime Minister,
Shri Atal Bihar Vajpayee, the Dy. Prime Minister, Shri L.K. Advani
and participated by several Union Ministers and State Chief
Ministers was an important step to instill confidence in the people.
The conduct of the meeting and participation of various agencies
reflected the near normalcy position in the troubled State of Jammu
& Kashmir. This 8th meeting of the council also rounded up the
discussion on the Sarkaria Commission Recommendations. The way is
now clear for the Council to take up other important issues.
The Prevention of
Terrorism Act (POTA) was further amended by an Enactment of
Parliament for providing Review Committees both at the Centre and
the States for fully safeguarding against its possible misuse.
On the naxalite
problem in States like Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh,
Chattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharastra, West Bengal and some
portions of Uttar Pradesh, the High Power Centre headed by the Union
Home Secretary held several meetings in places like Hyderabad and
Bhubneshwar. In its last meeting at Bhubneshwar an important
decision was taken to deploy the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)
on a permanent basis in States where the naxalite problem is of
greater concern. The CRPF Battalions being deployed in such areas
will be specially trained keeping in view the area specific concern.
the request from several States to raise the Centre’s share of
funds for Police modernisation, it was decided to divide the States
in three categories A, B, C and accordingly the Centre’s Share was
raised to 75% for "A" Category, 60% for "B"
Category and 50% for "C" Category. The funds for
modernization has already been raised from Rs.200 crores to Rs.1000
India, the State Government of Assam and the Bodo Liberation Tigers
reached a Memorandum of Settlement for the creation of an autonomous
self-governing body to be known as Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC)
within the State of Assam. The settlement not only ushered in bright
hopes for the Bodo people but over 2500 Bodo Militants surrendered
with their arms and ammunition on December 6, 2003 at Kokhrajhar
(Assam) following a follow-up Agreement on the Constitution of the
BTC with 46 Members having substantive power for Legislation and
Local Governance. The Dy. Prime Minister and Home Minister, Shri L.K.
Advani attended a special function on the occasion and addressed the
surrendered militants. They are being rehabilitated suitably.
On the external
front India finally scored a point when the Royal Bhutan Army
launched a major operation against the ULFA, NDFB and the Kamtapur
Liberation Organization (KLO) to flush out these militant cadres
from its soil. These groups had long since set up training camps
inside the Bhutanese territory and carrying out insurgency in India.
The RBA almost demolished all the 30 camps of these Indian insurgent
groups with a heavy hand during the fortnight long operation
launched in the middle of December, 2003. This major action was in
keeping with India’s continuous demand to flush out these
insurgents from the Bhutanese soil.
National Identity Cards:
during the year launched a pilot project for issuing Multi-Purpose
National Identity Cards to citizens. The project was launched in a
few selected sub-districts in various districts of 13 States namely
Jammu & Kashmir, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh,
Assam, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Tripura, Goa, Tamil Nadu,
Pondicherry and Delhi. The pilot project initiated in April 2003 is
likely to be completed in a year’s time covering approximately a
population of 29 lakhs. Then onwards the MNIC project will be taken
up on a country-wide basis for the entire population. This will also
facilitate preparation of a National Register of Citizens. The
Centre has also asked the states to launch a special drive for
detecting and deporting foreign nationals over staying in India.
extradition treaties and agreements for mutual legal assistance with
a number of countries to facilitate deportation of criminals who
generally take shelter in those countries after committing heinous
crimes here. The Union Home Ministry also organized a very important
International Conference on Fugitives with the purpose of evolving a
well coordinated mechanism for extradition of these fugitives.
Passes Important Bills:
some very important Bills introduced by the Government which have
far reaching impact on the system of Good Governance keeping in with
the wishes of the people. They are: 1) The Right to Information
Bill, which was for long debated; 2) The Citizenship (Amendment)
Bill, 2003 which provides for duel citizenship for persons of Indian
Origin who are settled abroad. This was a long standing demand
particularly from the NRIs; 3) The POTA was further amended for
providing review committees both at the Centre and the State level
to facilitate review of appeals by affected persons; 4) Constitution
Amendment Bill passed to include Bodo, Dogri, Maithili and Samthali
in the 8th Schedule taking the official languages in the country to