Need to fortify intelligence machinery: Minister
Amritsar: Minister of State for Defence Jitender Singh on Sunday highlighted the need for strengthening the country's intelligence machinery in the wake of recent serial blasts in Hyderabad city that claimed 16 lives. Interacting with mediapersons in Amritsar, Singh said state governments had an equal responsibility to fortify vigilance measures.
"The biggest challenge before us is to strengthen intelligence, the responsibility for which mostly lies on state governments. State governments have the machinery comprising of village council heads, secretaries and other lower administrative officials. Hence, there is a need to strengthen our intelligence mechanism," said Singh.
Two powerful near simultaneous blasts had ripped through a crowded area close to a cluster of bus stands in Hyderabad's Dilsukhnagar area on February 21 leaving 16 dead and at least 119 injured. The blasts triggered by Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) tied to two bicycles took place at two sites 100 metres apart outside a roadside eatery.
The twin blasts in Hyderabad have sparked off a debate for establishing a National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), as the central government is likely to implement it while incorporating changes as proposed by the states.
Singh assured that armed forces were on their guard. "Many steps have been taken as widely mentioned by the Indian Army Chief General Bikram Singh. Patrolling has been increased in the border areas, extra forces have been deployed and are on alert. Our armed forces are ready to tackle any situation and there is no need for the people to get worried," he said.
India's indigenously designed fighter aircraft, Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, is all set to get the Initial Operational Clearance (IOC II), which would pave the way for its induction into the Indian Air Force.
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