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Indian PM calls for strengthening air, maritime security

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee attend the all-party meeting to discuss the situation arising out of the Mumbai terror attacks, in New Delhi on Sunday. PTI Photo

NEW DELHI (BNS): In the wake of the deadliest ever terror attacks in the country’s financial capital, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called for strengthening the air and maritime security by setting up a Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

Addressing an all-party meeting here on Sunday, Singh also mooted the idea of establishing four National Security Guard centres in various parts of the country.

He said that steps had been initiated to strengthen maritime and air security, which involved the Navy, the Coast Guard and the coastal police, as well as the Air Force and the Civil Aviation Ministry.

The prime minister said the principal anti-terrorist force of the country would be given additional facilities, adding that its size was also being augmented. "Additionally, the special forces at the disposal of the Centre would be appropriately utilised in counter insurgency operations," he said. On the advice of the Administrative Reforms Commission, the Centre had agreed to set up a Federal Investigating Agency, Singh told the meeting.

Paying tribute to the security officers who laid down their lives in the line of duty, Singh said that the entire nation owes a debt of gratitude to these men that can never be repaid.

Nearly 200 people, including 20 security personnel, were killed and over 300 injured in the string of terror attacks that struck Mumbai on Thursday.

Sharing the nation's “anger and outrage” over the attacks, the prime minister asked the parties to rise above political considerations and meet the challenge unitedly. "Terrorists and enemies of our nation must know that their actions unite rather than divide us," he said.

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