Kochi: Reiterating India’s ‘zero tolerance to violence’ stand, Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi has slammed former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for signing an agreement with Pakistan on terrorism within months of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks in 2008.
Addressing a session on ‘Contemporary Challenges to Internal Security’ in Kochi on Sunday, the Tamil Nadu Governor said, “When the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks happened, the whole country was traumatised; the country was humiliated by a handful of terrorists. Within 9 months of the attacks, our then PM and Pakistan PM signed a joint communique stating both countries were victims of terrorism.”
“Do we have Sathrubodh? Is Pakistan a friend or an enemy? That has to be clear. If you try to be in between, you have confusion,” he added.
In 2008, 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists (LeT) carried out 12 coordinated shooting and bombing attacks killing at least 174 people and leaving 300 wounded.
Speaking about the surgical strike as a befitting reply to Pakistan, he said, “After Pulwama attack, we hit back at Pakistan in Balakot using our air power. The message was that if you commit an act of terrorism you will have to pay the cost.”
According to him, India’s internal security at present is better than what it was during Manmohan Singh’s rule.
“During the time of Manmohan Singh, the serious threat to our internal security was the Maoist violence. They had spread to over 185 districts across central India. And people were even talking about the Red Corridor. The situation was alarming. Today, their presence is limited to less than 8 districts and that too at a much-reduced pace,” he claimed.
“If you look at the instances of violence and cause of concern for the national security, you will see that there is a sharp decline. Neutralisation of the terrorists has been possible not because our system has improved dramatically, but largely because of people’s cooperation. People have started rejecting the terrorists and cooperating with the system to normalise the situation.”
Speaking on Kashmir, Governor Ravi said, “There is zero tolerance to violence. It may sound harsh but anyone who uses a gun should be dealt with a gun. No negotiation with anyone who talks against the unity and integrity of the country. There have been no talks with any armed group in the last 8 years, if only for surrender.”
“In Jammu & Kashmir, they have killed thousands of people and then Yasin Malik, a JKLF man will come to Delhi and he will shake hands with the Prime Minister. Hurriyat was the brain behind leading this. In the northeast, people killed hundreds of people and then we started talking to them and asked them to stop the violence. No negotiation, no talk with anyone who talks against the unity and integrity of our country.
“No question, no acceptance. It took time for the message to sink in. In the last 8 years, there has not been one negotiation, no talk with any of the armed groups. If it’s a conversation, it is only for surrendering and rehabilitation, with no political content,” stated the Governor.
“In Maoist areas, there is an ideology, they don’t believe in Constitutional parliamentary democracy. That’s not acceptable. So there is no question of any negotiation or talk with the Maoists,” he added.