Indian authorities have announced a series of measures to strengthen
security following recent bombings in major cities, including the
capital. Anjana Pasricha reports from New Delhi, the government has
come under attack for not doing enough to counter terrorism.
Home Secretary, Madhukar Gupta says a new counter-terrorism center will
be established to prevent terror attacks in the country. He says more
police personnel will also be recruited, and closed-circuit TV cameras
installed in crowded places such as shopping malls.
acknowledged they must be ready to deal with threats from home-grown
The measures, which are part of a revamp of the
police and intelligence apparatus, were announced days after the Indian
capital was hit by a series of bomb blasts.
New Delhi was the
latest target of bomb attacks that have killed more than 100 people in
major cities during the past four months. The pattern of attacks has
been similar, low-intensity bombs planted in crowded areas such as
The bombings have led to strong criticism that the
government lacks an effective counter-terrorist policy, and
intelligence agencies are not able to tackle the menace.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh admitted Wednesday there are "still vast gaps in intelligence and these need to be overcome."
Home Secretary Gupta says efforts are being made to strengthen vigilance and intelligence gathering.
is a very specific element and component of this, which is basically a
joint task force between the central agencies and the concerned states
which work together, sharing of information, getting linkages, pool
information from various other places and various other states where
these things have happened," he said.
But the government has
turned down calls by the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party for the
reinstatement of a tough anti-terror law that was scrapped by the
government after it came to power. The BJP says the law is needed to
tackle the growing terror threat, but the government says it was
misused to harass Muslims.
Information and Broadcasting
Minister, Priya Ranjan Das Munshi says the law will not be revived.
"Categorically, I say no, no, no," he said. "It [the law] was acutely draconian
against human rights."
Security experts are
also urging the government to pay closer attention to the threat posed
by home-grown militant groups. A group called Indian Mujahideen has
claimed responsibility for several of the recent bombings.
India pointed the finger at Pakistan-based Islamic militant groups for
terror attacks, but there are fears the recent attacks were the work of
a locally based group.