January 9, 2009

WB seeks greater coordination between Centre, state agencies

New Delhi, 6th January: West Bengal on Tuesday sought greater coordination in intelligence sharing between Central and state agencies to fight terror and its Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said the process should essentially be a "two-way process".

Stressing that terrorists should not be linked to any religious group, Bhattacharjee said such attempts were fraught with the danger of widening rift between different religious and linguistic groups in the country, "thus weakening our determination to fight terrorism unitedly."

Addressing the Chief Ministers' conclave on internal security here, Bhattacharjee observed that the present arrangements for collection and dissemination of intelligence in states and the Centre was sometimes done in a disjointed manner and the process was "far from satisfactory".

Responding to Home Minister P Chidambaram's appeal to states to forward intelligence inputs to the Intelligence Bureau and central agencies, he said while he would advise the agencies in West Bengal to do so, "intelligence agencies in the states hardly receive useful inputs on regular basis from the office of the Central IB situated in the state."

Pointing to instances in which the Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau in states "could hardly enlighten the state IB and Home Departments" on terror threats in time, Bhattacharjee said the process of information sharing and coordination "should essentially be a two-way process."

While agreeing to "seriously act upon" the suggestions made by Chidambaram, he stressed that besides strengthening the intelligence network and raising professional competence of security forces, "building up of people's awareness on the terrorist menace" was absolutely essential.

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