Sukhbir Badal seeks special security package



New Delhi: Punjab on Monday sought a special package for the border state to overcome the security challenges, including those posed by narco-terrorism and Maoists.

Addressing the meeting of Chief Ministers on internal security here on Monday, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal sought extension of scheme providing funds for modernisation of police force by a minimum of 10 years and increase of budget from Rs 30 crore to Rs 150 crore.

He also sought allocation of Rs 50 crore for training and equipment of Special Security Group and allowing raising of one more Indian Reserve Battalion besides introduction of basic change in the allocation of budget from Union Government to make the schemes state-specific.

Seeking a special package from the Centre to tackle Left wing extremism, Badal pleaded that the state be considered category 'A' instead of category 'B' looking at the historic roots of Naxal agitation in Punjab.

Badal, who also holds the Home portfolio in Punjab, underlined the threats in the state and sought national support to combat these elements.

"Punjab being a border state with 553 km-long international border with Pakistan that adjoins with troubled Jammu and Kashmir was influenced by sensitive geographical location coupled with various outfits active in the neighbouring states," he said, adding that the matter got further compounded with interstate dynamics and national issues.

He reminded that the state had passed through turbulent period of violence in the 80s and early 90s in which 11,694 innocents including 262 family members of policemen and 1,780 security personnel including 6 IPS officers were killed. He said that the fact that out of 271 gallantry awards to the security personnel in this period, 42 were awarded posthumously was indicative of the resolve of Punjab Police to tackle violence head on.

PTI