General JFR Jacob, a hero of the 1971 war and former chief of the Eastern Command, led anti-Naxal operations in Bengal from 1969 until it was crushed in 1971, and subsequently headed anti-insurgency operations in the North East, which led to the Shillong Accord of 1975.
Since the Americans reorganised their intelligence infrastructure after 9/11 , there has been no terrorist attack there. British intelligence agencies too have been able to preempt many planned attacks.
But when it comes to India, the situation is far from satisfactory. The Naxal insurgency is gaining momentum, the insurgencies in the north east still simmer, and the activities of terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir continue unabated, as seen by the recent attacks in the Samba sector, as also the continuing spate of blasts across various cities in the country.
The growing activities of the terrorist cells established in the country and operating with devastating effect is a matter of the gravest concern. The explosions in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Delhi, Jaipur, Bangalore and Ahmedabad indicate their growing impunity and ability to strike in any city of their choice.
These acts are obviously designed to destabilize the country. Though these cells may be getting support from foreign agencies like Pakistan's ISI and the DGFI of Bangladesh, they are increasingly obtaining local support. [Remember Gen Franco [Outside Madrid ]-- " I have four columns outside the city and my fifth column is in the city".
The establishment of such foreign sponsored local terrorist cells is of the gravest concern, and must be dealt with firmly and expeditiously.
There are two main factors which sustain terrorist and insurgent activities:
- Firm bases [these are in Pakistan /Bangladesh/Nepal and within the country] outside and inside with increasing local support.
- Lines of supply for money, arms , explosives and ammunition.
Without these two, terrorism or insurgency cannot be sustained.
Money, arms explosives ammunition are being sourced from outside and inside the country--weapons and money from Pakistan/Bangladesh and money from the Middle East, while explosives are readily available locally. Gelatine/ gelignite as also detonators are in use in mining and road construction and are being diverted from there. Fertilizers etc can be converted into explosives, and ball bearings can be sourced locally. These sources need to be monitored.
Weapons are being seized from police and paramilitary. Intelligence gathering ,particularly at the grassroot level, and assessment needs to be drastically improved in order to pre-empt and prevent further attacks.
It is imperative that intelligence and security operations be redesigned and formatted to be be proactive and not reactive. The national security set up should be revamped as had been done in the US. The attitude of 'laissez faire ' (let alone, let pass) must give way to one of proactive -preemptive action.
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