2011 witnessed historic low level of violence:PC

Mumbai: This year witnessed a "historic low" level of terror and naxalite-related violence in states affected by the twin problems, Home Minister P Chidambaram said here today. "2011 witnessed a historic low in the level of violence in the affected states, especially Jammu and Kashmir, the North Eastern states and the left wing extremism (LWE) affected states," he told reporters here.

"31 civilians and 33 security personnel lost their lives in Jammu and Kashmir, as against 47 and 69 respectively in 2010. The containment of violence was helped by the fact that panchayat elections were held in Jammu and Kashmir after a gap of 23 years," he said. In the North Eastern states, 69 civilians and 32 security personnel were killed (as against 94 and 20 respectively in 2010). This trend was also due to the fact that most organisations in the North East are in `talks` mode, including ULFA and NDFB, he said.

A tripartite agreement has been entered into with Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and a memorandum of settlement has been signed with UPDS, he said. The level of violence in naxal-affected states also declined, although it is still unacceptably high, he said. "447 civilians and 142 security personnel were killed as against 718 and 285 respectively in 2010. In November, naxals killed 42 persons (38 civilians and 4 security personnel) and in December, naxals killed 45 persons (31 civilians and 14 security personnel)," he said.

The bomb blasts on July 13 in Mumbai and September 7 in Delhi were a stern reminder that terrorist modules continue to be active in the country, Chidambaram said. Describing 2011 as a satisfactory year with "many achievements, yet with some setbacks", he said, "I expect that capacity building will continue to be the focus for another 2-3 years before we can claim that we have adequate capacity to face the multiple challenges to internal security."

"Capacity building would have to take note of technological advances and incorporate new technology into the security architecture. Violence is still at an unacceptably high level and every effort will be made to contain violence. Militant groups will be prevailed upon, through a judicious mix of police action and developmental action, to realize the futility of violence and that the only way to resolve differences in a democratic society is through talks," he said.