Internal security, cyber crime, border issues dominate NZ meet chaired by HM

JAMMU, July 9: While Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha couldn’t make it to Northern Zonal Council meeting at Jaipur today which was chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh Radha Krishna Mathur joined the conclave which discussed internal security, cyber crime and issues of border areas among others.
The Council comprises Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Ladakh, Rajasthan, National Capital Territory of Delhi and Union Territory of Chandigarh.
In the absence of Manoj Sinha, who was busy with supervising arrangements post Shri Amarnath Ji cave shrine tragedy in Srinagar, senior bureaucrats from Jammu and Kashmir attended the meeting and gave their presentation on various issues as well as requirements from the Northern Zonal Council.
“There was detailed discussion on host of issues including internal security, cyber crime, border area problems, roads, transport, industries, water, power etc and Jammu and Kashmir projected its case,” sources said.
Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan and Punjab which are part of Northern Zonal Council share borders with Pakistan while Ladakh shares boundary with both China and Pakistan.
Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh Radha Krishna Mathur presented the issues pertaining to the Union Territory mainly related to development etc.
“Development of infrastructure in Ladakh including the areas bordering with China is also reported to have figured prominently in the meeting,” sources said, adding the Central Government has already taken series of initiatives to construct roads and bridges right up to the LAC but a lot more is yet to be done.
The Government has, however, expressed commitment to develop infrastructure in Ladakh not only in the forward areas but the entire Union Territory.
The Northern Zonal Council also discussed the growing threat of cybercrime and strategies for its prevention.
Shah stressed upon the States and Union Territories to conduct awareness campaigns on cyber-vigilance through various mediums. In view of the profound impact of cyber crimes on national security, public order and economic activity, the Council emphasized the need to ensure the security of the nation’s cyber space and the security of citizens as a whole.
Shah advised agencies of the Central and State Governments to use common software developed by the Ministry of Home Affairs, to work together to identify the issues of concern and to trace the offenders and take strict action against them.
In this context, it was decided that a committee under the chairmanship of the Union Home Secretary with all concerned departments and State Governments would prepare a strategy to deal with the growing menace of cyber crime.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Haryana’s Manohar Lal Khattar, Himachal Pradesh’s Jai Ram Thakur, Delhi Lt Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena, Punjab Governor and Administrator of Chandigarh Banwarilal Purohit as well as senior officers from these States and UTs were present in the meeting. Union Home Secretary AK Bhalla and other senior officers from the Centre also joined.
The Regional Councils provide a forum for discussion in a structured manner on issues affecting one or more States or issues between the Centre and the States.
There are five Zonal Councils in the country which were set up in 1957 under Section 15-22 of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956.
The Union Home Minister is the chairman of each of these five Zonal Councils and Chief Minister of the host State — chosen on a rotational basis every year — is the vice-chairman.
All other States and Union Territories raised the issues pertaining to them.
Sources said the Union Home Minister is reported to have assured the States/Union Territories which are part of Northern Zonal Council that their issues will be addressed.
Earlier, Shah arrived in Jaipur in a special aircraft from Delhi and went straight to the venue of the meeting.
BJP national general secretary and the party’s State in-charge Arun Singh, State president Satish Poonia, former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, Deputy Leader of Opposition Rajendra Rathore, Jaipur MP Ramcharan Bohra and other leaders of the party received him at the airport.
After the Zonal Council meeting, Shah visited the party’s State headquarters to meet the leaders.
An official statement issued by the PIB said Union Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah presided over the 30th meeting of the Northern Zonal Council in Jaipur today.
Shah said that the Regional Councils have a long history in the development of the country. These councils provide an important forum for discussions in cordial atmosphere between the Centre and the State, settlement of disputed inter-State issues through unanimous agreement, enhancing regional cooperation between States and issues of common national importance to be implemented across the country.
The Union Home Minister said that after the Government led by Narendra Modi came to power in 2014, it has been the emphasis of Prime Minister that the meetings of the Zonal Council should be regular, result-oriented and the pending issues should be resolved.
The Union Home Minister also stressed on the need to train police officers, public prosecutors and cutting edge agencies including telecom companies, their PoS agents with new technology and advanced skills. He called for maximum use of IT tools to detect cyber crimes and take systematic measures to prevent their recurrence.

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