State Govts have made police officers "football": PC

State Govts have made police officers New Delhi: Home Minister P Chidambaram today had some sharp words for the state government for their handling of police when he said the officials were reduced to football to be kicked here and there.

"Throughout the last nine months, my effort has been to impress upon State Governments, the security forces and the people at large that we can no longer do business as usual. I cannot claim great success in this regard," he said in his address at the three-day conference of Directors General and Inspectors General of Police here.

He highlighted non-constitution of Police Establishment Board which would decide on transfers and postings. "It is a matter of deep regret that many police officers have been reduced to a football, to be kicked here and there, from one post to another, without regard to the damage done to the job as well as the officer," he said.

Chidambaram had some blunt questions for the police chiefs present at the meeting. "I ask you to search your hearts and answer the question, what is the average length of tenure of a District Superintendent of Police? What is the average length of tenure of a Station House Officer?

"Why do you remain silent when arbitrary postings and transfers are made by the State Government? Is it not your duty, as the Police Chiefs, to raise your voice not only on behalf of your officers but also on behalf of the people that you are duty bound to protect," he asked.

‘Maoists alliance with N-E secessionists’

Maoists are trying to forge an alliance with insurgents and secessionist elements in the north-east to expand their network and influence, Home Minister P Chidambaram said today, reflecting a new security challenge.

"It(Communist Party of India-Maoist) has been keenly seeking ideological resonance and tactical understanding with the north-east insurgents and has begun to lend support to their secessionist ideology and demands," Chidambaram said, adding, the Naxals are making a bid to expand their network and influence in the country.

The Home Minister said Left wing extremism purports to be a radical form of communism and today, various groups adhering to this outdated ideology have their pockets of influence in 20 states across the country.

"Over 2,000 police station areas in 223 districts in these states are partially or substantially affected by the menace," he said.

Chidambaram said violence, the most visible aspect of Naxal menace, has been consistently witnessed in about 200 police station areas of around 90 districts in 13 states of these states.

He said CPI(Maoist) has also improved upon its military wares and operational tactics.

Besides targeting the police, alleged police informers and so-called class enemies, it is laying greater emphasis on attacking economic and development infrastructure such as roads, bridges, railways, power and telecommunication networks, he said.

‘Arms in SE Asia sustaining NE militancy’

The Centre today said insurgency in the North-East has been sustained due to the extensive international border which the militants could freely cross over and take shelter in the neighbouring countries where arms and ammunition are easily available.

Inaugurating a three-day conference of Directors General and Inspectors General of police, Home Minister P Chidambaram described endemic insurgencies in the North-East as yet another security challenge before the country.

"Insurgency in the North-East has been sustained to a significant extent due to an extensive international border, safe sanctuaries in the neighbouring countries and easy availability of sophisticated arms in South-East Asia," he said.

Chidambaram said large scale diversion of development funds to the militants gives them easy access to critical resources which helps them recruit new cadres as well as procure arms.

"This Conference should dwell on finding workable ways and means to curb illegal diversion of funds to the militants," he said.

Chidambaram said the trend of gradual deterioration in security situation during the last several years seems to have been checked this year with relative decline in overall violence.

"Sharp shrinkage in social resonance has rendered ULFA a much weaker organisation. A significant chunk of the NDFB choosing to abjure violence and seek redressal through constitutionally available means has marginalised the anti-talks faction and has led to a perceptible reduction in violence in lower Assam," he said.

Maintaining that the hill districts continues to remain disturbed, he said the government welcomes the recent decision of the DHD(J) to surrender arms, remain in camps and talk to the Government of Assam on their demands.

"The security situation has improved perceptibly in Meghalaya and Tripura where insurgencies have been contained. Regretfully, Manipur remains resistant to counter-insurgency interventions. It is the most insurgency-affected state in the North-East," he said.

Bureau Report