New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said that social media is the new challenge that the national security faces and a system needs to be put in place to stop its misuse.
"The use of bulk SMSes and social media to aggravate the communal situation is a new challenge that the recent disturbances have thrown before us. We need to fully understand how these new media are used by miscreants. We also need to devise strategies to counter the propaganda that is carried out by these new means. Any measure to control the use of such media must be carefully weighed against the need for the freedom to express and communicate," said the Prime Minister.
Addressing the annual conference of state police chiefs in the capital, Singh said he is hopeful that in the coming months "police forces would be able to work out effective strategies to deal with these tendencies".
Expressing concern over an increase in the communal incidents in the country in the past few months and revival of ethnic tension, he said, "The role of a vigilant and effective beat constable can be vital in detecting communal tensions. I hope you would pay adequate attention to these aspects of policing."
Singh said that as the infiltration attempts are increasing and the terrorist groups are maintaining their ability to use the sea route, vigilance needs to be exercised by police forces.
The Prime Minister congratulated the police and security forces for bringing a significant decline in the number of terror groups operating in Jammu and Kashmir and praised their security arrangements during the Amarnath Yatra. "Improvement in the security environment resulted in a successful Amarnath Yatra this year and in a record number of tourists visiting the state," he said.
He, however, maintained that the threat from terrorism in the hinterland continues to be a cause for worry. "Although 19 interdictions have taken place, terrorists were able to strike in Mumbai and Delhi last year and in Pune this year. Investigations in these cases are yet to conclude. We are still in the process of developing capabilities to take pre-emptive action in respect of terrorist threats," Singh asserted.
Talking about the increase in violence against the women and elderly in the metropolitan cities, the Prime Minister said "controlling the organised crime and protecting the vulnerable the focused attention of our police forces".