Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday called for ending Naxalism as he spoke about internal security of the country.
“Every form of Naxalism, be it the one with guns or the one with pens, they have to be uprooted to prevent them from misleading the youth of the country,” he said at a “Chintan Shivir” or brainstorming camp of home ministers and director general of police of all states in Faridabad via videoconferencing.
The prime minister said that in the last eight years, the number of Maoist-affected districts in the country has come down significantly.
“Be it Jammu and Kashmir or North East, today we are moving fast towards permanent peace,” he said. “Now we have to focus on rapid development in all these sectors including infrastructure.”
The prime minister also said that a single piece of fake news can snowball into a matter of national concern. He stressed on the need for citizens to educate themselves about analysing and verifying information before forwarding it to others.
“We have to come up with technological advancement to prevent the spreading of fake news,” he added.
Pointing out that crime is no longer localised, Modi called for increasing mutual cooperation between state and central agencies. He said that the government needs to keep working towards new technologies to tackle crimes, be it cybercrime or the use of drone technologies to smuggle weapons and drugs.
“The law and order system can be improved with the help of smart technology,” he said.
Modi also said that his government has introduced several reforms for strengthening the law and order system, which he claimed have helped in maintaining a peaceful environment in the country.
“Laws like UAPA [Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act] have given strength to the system in a decisive battle against terrorism,” he added.
Under the provisions of the draconian legislation, investigation agencies get 180 days to probe a case, as against 60-90 days under ordinary criminal law. This means an accused is eligible to apply for bail only after six months. A court cannot award bail to accused persons if there is prima facie truth to the allegations made against them.
Several activists and journalists have been arrested under the anti-terror law, including Stan Swamy, , Erendro Leichombam, Umar Khalid and Fahad Shah. Human right bodies, politicians as well former judges have criticised the law, saying its stringent provisions are being used indiscriminately to crush dissent.