“Even the recent Pathankot incident… despite having precise intelligence inputs, still the incident took place. There are certain things, we do agree, where we need to get up and pull up our socks,” said Rijiju.
The minister admitted that the government had failed to take forward the National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID), which was conceived by former home minister P Chidambaram in the wake of the 26/11 attacks.
“We get criticism that we are not taking forward NATGRID as it was envisaged. I do admit that. We should have progressed much faster. I also agree that we need to put in more resources because no matter how robust each body is, unless you connect them with each other for seamless sharing of information, it will fail,” said Rijiju. He was speaking at the Gateway of India Dialogue here.
NATGRID, conceived in 2009, was aimed at bolstering India’s counter-terrorism capabilities. The project entails combining 21 sensitive databases relating to domains such as banks, credit cards, cellphone usage, immigration records, motor vehicle registrations, income tax records and National Crime Records Bureau into a single database for access by authorised officers from 10 central agencies such as RAW, IB, CBI, DRI and ED. Essentially a data transfer tool, it aims to give investigators a 360-degree profile of a suspect.
Rijiju also said that India should not be worried about the IS threat as “Indian people have a strong character” and there is “no space for violence in society”.
“When some youths left to join the IS, it was their parents and the Muslim society who were persuading them to come back,” he said.