Ahead of the assembly polls in five states, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday asked security forces to guard against attempts to disturb peace through “vicious” political campaign or by external extremist forces during the election process.
Inaugurating the three-day annual DGPs/IGPs conference here, Singh said elections will be held in some states soon and it is the responsibility of police chiefs to ensure peaceful completion of the poll process.
“We have to keep strict vigil against external extremist elements who may try to create disturbance in Punjab. There have been increased activities of the Sikh terrorists in recent months.
“Similarly in Manipur, we have to ensure peace keeping in mind the ethnic divide. In Uttar Pradesh too, there may be attempts to disturb law and order through vicious political campaigning. We have to keep strict vigil and take proper steps to ensure peace during elections,” he said.
Assembly elections are due in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa early next year.
The conference is being attended by around 100 Directors General of Police and Inspectors General of Police of states and UTs and heads of central police organisations at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy here.
Maintaining that threats of self-radicalisation and lone wolf attacks have been increasing, the Home Minister said there was no let up in Pakistan’s support to terror and anti-India activities.
“We all know that a neighbouring country has been trying to instigate people in northern parts of the country to indulge in anti-India activities, providing training to terrorists and sending them to India to carry out in terror attacks. Despite all these efforts, the credit for maintaining peace in the country goes to security and intelligence agencies,” he said.
Referring to the dreaded ISIS, Singh said due to close coordination between state and central forces, the youths, who were influenced by the terror group, have not been able to successfully carry out any strike in the country yet.
“So far, 67 youths, who were influenced by the ISIS, have been arrested while planning to carry out terror attack. We have to be fully alert against any such design. The whole world is worried about the terror activities of the ISIS. This is a big challenge for our country. I am confident that we will be able to face the challenge posed by the ISIS together,” he said.