PANAJI: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today said every state should formulate their strategy to combat terrorism as it has become a major challenge for the country. Addressing the 21st meeting of the Western Zonal Council, Singh said terrorism is a major challenge for the country and countering it was government's prime responsibility. "As such, every state should take up this issue seriously and formulate their strategy to combat this menace," he said.
The meeting was attended by Chief Ministers of Gujarat and Goa -- Anandiben Patel and Laxmikant Parsekar respectively, besides administrators of Union Territories of Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli and representatives of various central ministries. Maharashtra was represented by its Minister Girish Mahajan.
The Home Minister called for enhanced Centre–State cooperation saying unless all the states are developed, India will not be able to compete with the advanced countries. The meeting was informed that at the federal level, several measures were initiated after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks to ensure an effective counter terrorism response, including streamlining of the Multi Agency Centre besides setting up of subsidiary Multi-Agency Centres (SMACs) in all state headquarters.
Several state police forces have set up specialised counter terrorism units called ATS to develop terrorist related intelligence, leads and to neutralise the threats on time. Singh said as a part of coastal and internal security, biometric identity card to coastal fishermen and card readers relates to identify fishermen have been issued so far in three states and union territories of Daman and Diu.
Likewise, as a measure to strengthen coastal security, government of India had approved schemes of creation of National Population Register in 331 coastal villages in the 13 maritime States and UTs and issuance of Resident Identity Cards to all usual residents of 18 years and above, he said. Zonal council is a forum for the Centre and the states to cooperate and exchange ideas and experiences and find ways to check disruptive forces. This is the fourth zonal council meeting ever since the Narendra Modi government came to power in May 2014.