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The need for a National Campaign to Eradicate Terrorism

August 14, 2008

India has faced many terrorist attacks recently, what should be our course of action for protecting innocents and punishing the perpetrators?

I realise that the recent serial bomb blasts at Bangalore and Ahmedabad have to be condemned. To sustain the economic progress of the nation and to achieve of India Vision 2020, assured safety and security of the people is of paramount importance. I was thinking for the last two days, the agony of the people who have experienced, particularly the kith and kin of families who were directly affected by the blast.

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The dynamics of intelligence should be understood in the right sense at the right time by the intelligence agencies and nip it in the bud. Information collection has to be followed in multi-pronged approach through manual, remote observation, movement of information floating through the Internet and media.

Vulnerabilities need to be identified by an unified approach. Disjointed intelligence reports will not serve the purpose. Hence, we need a unified and empowered intelligence mechanism with task forces under a single roof at the Centre which will act in a mission mode to tackle terrorism.

I believe the time has come, apart from our multiple agencies forecasting and handling of the terrorist activities, we need to evolve an aggressive Mission called National Campaign to Eradicate Terrorism (NCET), with mission oriented integrated management structure, duly passed as a Bill by Parliament.

Under the NCET Bill, we need to bring out the following:

1. Creation of a unified intelligence agency across the country, empowering them to deal with the state and central government intelligence agencies under one roof of administration with the latest technological tools and devices.

2. Enact a law which will provide stringent punishments and faster justice to the perpetrators of the crime in a time bound manner.

3. Create a sense of awareness among the people to work together in identifying these incidents and eliminating these tendencies with transparent procedures to inform the intelligence agencies and work with intelligence agencies to combat the terrorism.

4. Implement National Citizen ID card for all the transactions with government services, business services and private services at the earliest.

5. Equitable national development for inclusive growth: Central and state governments should reorient their administrative mechanisms to ensure that development reaches all sections of society equitably for achieving inclusive growth and ensure that none in society feels alienated socially, economically and politically.

I am suggesting the evolution of an NCET Mission to be around action oriented people of the highest integrity and competence drawn from multiple functional areas, committed to the vision of NCET to eradicate terrorism as a time bound mission. We must do this with a great sense of urgency for 'When evil minds combine, good minds have to work together to combat.' Hence the mission of NCET.

Image: A victim receives treatment at an Ahmedabad hospital on July 27, 2008, soon after 16 bombs exploded in the city. Photograph: Sajjad Hussain/AFP/Getty Images.

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