Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh arrives in Vadodara on December 20, 2018 to inaugurate the three-day conference of Director-Generals of Police at Kevadia in Gujarat.
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Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on December 20 that top scientists and senior managers in critical sectors like atomic, space, defence, power, oil and gas were sensitised as “economic installations and iconic institutions” are being continuously targeted by Pakistani intelligence operatives from across the western border through espionage and cyberspace.
Mr. Singh asked government officials to be cautious in their dealings with officials from foreign missions.
The Minister, who addressed the inaugural session of the Conference of Directors-General and Inspectors-General of Police organised by the Intelligence Bureau (IB), said till November 29, 17 espionage modules backed by Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) were neutralised and 25 espionage agents including two Pakistanis were arrested.
He said law enforcement agencies have been able to overcome the first tide of propaganda and mobilisation by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the new phase of Islamic State propaganda emanating from the Afghanistan-Pakistan region was being countered effectively.
Mr. Singh said the Pakistani establishment was seeking to forge an understanding between Sikh extremist groups and Pakistan-based Islamist outfits as well as Kashmir-centric terrorist groups for targeting Indian interests. He said Pakistan was trying to revive terrorism in Punjab with the “active support of other Sikh radical/extremist entities based abroad, especially Europe and America.”
“Various sensitive organisations, including the Indian Army, Air Force, Navy, ITBP, DRDO, BSF, CRPF, MEA, Airports Authority of India, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and the Indian Railways, have been targeted by Pakistani intelligence operatives from across the border through spoofed/crank calls to elicit sensitive information…State police need to be alert on this,” Mr. Singh said.
The conference is being held at the newly inaugurated Statue of Unity at Kevadia in Gujarat.
“National security has economic underpinning. In this area, two aspects become important. Firstly, interface of various foreign entities with the political and administrative structure increases manifold. Here, I would like to advise police and administration officials not to bypass prescribed procedure for interaction with officials of foreign missions which requires communication to be routed through the Ministry of Home or External Affairs, except in cases where such contact is permitted according to the Protocol Hand Book,” he said.
Mr. Singh said “misuse of social media for religious denigration also witnessed a significant decline this year.” He said the communal situation remained under control and noticed a decrease of 12% in such incidents as compared to last year. The MHA had informed the Lok Sabha that as many as 822 incidents of communal violence were reported in 2017. The data for 2018 was not tabled.
He said India has witnessed very few incidents of IS-inspired violence. “In concerted counter-terrorism operations, law enforcement agencies arrested 125 terrorist suspects as against 117 arrested in 2017,” he said.
Financing of militants and separatists in J&K from Pakistan, he said, was a cause of concern. “The separatists also exploit every possible situation to fan anti-India sentiments which leads to law and order problems,” he added.