Policeman face of govt in rural India: Mukherjee

President Pranab Mukherjee called upon police personnel to respond with sensitivity to the concerns and complaints of the public.

New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee has described the police constable as the visible face of the government in most of rural India and called upon police personnel to respond with sensitivity to the concerns and complaints of the public.

Drawing attention to the fact that in many parts of rural India, government is symbolised by the man in uniform, Mukherjee said the large majority of the people of the country form their opinion of the government based on the response and efficiency of policemen to their concerns.

Mukherjee said the police should keep in mind the government`s welfare and development responsibilities and function as a service organisation and not merely as a force.

He was addressing delegates to the 47th Conference of the DGPs, IGs of Police of States/UTs, Heads of Central Armed Police Forces and Central Police Organisations at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

He told senior police officials that grievances of the common man should never be undermined or ignored. While it may not be possible to solve all problems, most of the time, a patient hearing, advice with empathy and an honest effort on the part of the Police would lead to considerable improvement in the overall image of the police force as well as the government.

Asking senior police officials to remain vigilant against violations of human rights and take prompt action whenever a grievance relating to human rights is brought to their attention, the president added that by showing respect for human rights, the police can win the confidence of the public.

The President said the holding of such conferences was a useful exercise and they facilitate a discussion of common issues, as well as a sharing of experience from across the country.

He described the challenges facing India on the law and order front as complex and said he understood the enormity of the problem and how police departments had to address challenges with courage and determination despite inadequacy of human and financial resources.

Mukherjee called for enhancing the technical competence of the police at all levels with a view to enhancing effective functioning and improving the overall administration of the criminal justice system. He congratulated the police forces for doing a good job under tremendous pressure and said there was no room for complacency. He stated that the country expects much more and he was confident they would rise up to expectations.

Bi-annual conferences of DGPs and IGPs have been held since 1950. Annual conferences started to be held since 1973. The Indian Police force is more than 150 years old and the Police Act was enacted on March 22, 1861