Chief Ministers conference on February 15

New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will inaugurate a Chief Ministers conference on February 15 during which the country`s top leaders will discuss how to strengthen internal security, check cross-border movement of terrorists besides security scene in Jammu and Kashmir and the northeast.

A separate session of chief ministers of Left wing extremism affected states will also take stock of Maoist violence and how to curb them on urgent basis with close coordination among state and central forces.

The conference, convened by the Ministry of Home Affairs, will deliberate on how India is being affected due to its troubled neighbourhood and its obvious consequences in the country like cross-border terrorism, covert support to insurgents, arms smuggling, circulation of fake Indian currency notes, inflow of refugees and immigration.

Official sources said though the internal security situation has vastly improved during the past three years largely because of cooperation between the Centre and the state governments, Naxalism continues to remains a grave challenge which claimed nearly 600 lives in 2011.

The country`s top leadership will review the two-pronged approach of development and police action to contain the Maoist problem and the future strategy to deal with it.

With communal violence becoming a major cause of concern for the government as 2,420 such incidents have reported from across the country in last three years where at least 427 people lost their lives, the issue is likely to be flagged by Home Minister P Chidambaram in the meeting since the sensitive matter needs urgent attention from all quarters.

Situation in Jammu and Kashmir, which witnessed relative peace in recent times, will be discussed intensively and how to meet the challenge of maintaining peace for longer period in the sensitive state. The challenge posed by insurgent groups, especially in the northeastern states, and how to bring them into the negotiating table will be discussed.

Chidambaram is expected to present a report on the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir and the northeast. The home minister had last month said that militant groups would be prevailed upon, through judicious mix of police and developmental action, to realise the futility of violence and that the only way to resolve differences in a democratic society is through talks.

As the Home Ministry has flagged capacity building as the area on focus in 2012, the issue will get priority in the conference and discuss how the Centre can help the states in filling up vacancies, augmenting arms, ammunition and modernisation of their forces.