February 3, 2023 7:44 pm

Rise in attempts to revive militancy in Punjab, say speakers at police meet

Post-2015, there has been a rise in attempts by State and non-State actors from Pakistan and extremist elements based in western countries to destabilise and revive militancy in Punjab, according to one of the deliberations at the three-day annual police meet in Delhi that concluded on Sunday.

According to a presentation made by Punjab Director General of Police Gaurav Yadav at the conference, that was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, the State police have successfully solved at least 17 cases of targeted killings in Punjab that pointed to an organised attempt to create unrest in the State. The subject of discussion was “Khalistan extremism: communication and logistic networks.”

The role of Pakistan in aiding and sheltering Khalistani terrorists, namely Wadhwa Singh Babbar, Harwinder Singh Rinda, Ranjeet Singh Neeta, Lakhbir Singh Rode, was highlighted. The effective use of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA) against the terror suspects was also cited.

A senior government official said the diaspora in U.S.A, Canada, U.K. and other European countries were also channelling funds and radicalising the youth in Punjab.

Use of drones

The use of drones in dropping huge consignment of narcotics, arms and ammunition in Punjab from across the border was one of the significant challenges discussed.

One of the disturbing trends that has emerged in the past three years is the nexus between organised criminal gangs and fugitive terrorists, further bolstered by narco-trafficking gangs, an official said. Jailed gangsters recruiting and planning attacks from prisons was also a cause of concern and reforms in the management of prisons was suggested.

The official said that according to an assessment, radical elements exploit religious gatherings at Gurdwaras in western countries to give provocative speeches and collect donations from the diaspora that is routed to Punjab for extremist activities.

In all, 16 topics were discussed at the conference organised by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) — sleeper cells and lone wolf attacks; tackling radical organisations – the road ahead; revisiting measures for transport security; threats from cyber world – road ahead; strategies to deal with emerging security challenges in view of implementation of 5G technology; police investigations – forensics and technology; evolving strategies to deal with mass agitations, including countering online mobilisation; standardisation of training curriculum; review of implementation of the national syllabus for directly recruited sub-inspectors of police; managing influence of Chinese commercial entities; leveraging operational capabilities of Interpol and National Central Bureau; Chinese influence in the neighbourhood and implications for India; growing radicalisation and instability in the neighbourhood: security implications for India.

The Prime Minister suggested that the deliberations of the conference percolate to the constabulary for maximum impact.

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