26 Aug : PM Manmohan Singh has called for non-lethal methods to deal with public agitations, expressing serious concern at the dimensions of the public order in J&K where a number of people have been killed in the recent cycle of violence.
Singh said there is a need to re-visit the crowd control measures while dealing with public agitation.
He also called for a high power task force to make a set of recommendations for this in two to three months.
Singh said that after a relative lull last year, the challenges to internal security in the country seem to have re-emerged in more virulent form.
He said that the growing presence of non-state actors, fundamentalists groups and left wing extremists have further complicated matters.
He said there is a need for greater coordination between security agencies in view of the growing inter-linkages of destabilising and criminal forces across states and borders.
Addressing the DGP’s and IGP’s conference in New Delhi, the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has said growing presence of non state actors, fundamentalist groups and Leftwing extremists has complicated the internal security situation.
In order to deal with these challenges Dr Singh called for a greater vigilance and coordination among the security agencies.
Prime Minister further said that much more needs to be done to meet the challenge of Naxalism and added that they are our own people and shown his readiness to talk to them provided they abjure the path of violence.
“We recognise that the Naxalites are our own people and are ready to talk to them provided they abjure the path of violence. We also stand committed to making special efforts to develop the areas affected by naxal violence, many of which are inhibited predominantly by our tribal brothers and sisters,” he said.
Crowd control measures in J-K need to be revisited
Voicing serious concern over the ongoing spate of violent protests in Jammu and Kashmir, Prime Minister highlighted the need to ‘revisit’ standard operating procedures and crowd control measures by security forces to deal with public agitations.
“Despite the curtailment of militant activities in Jammu and Kashmir, the public order dimension in the state has become a cause of serious concern,” he said.
“We need to revisit standard operating procedures and crowd control measures to deal with public agitations with non-lethal, yet effective and focused measures. We also cannot have an approach of one size fits all” the Prime Minister stressed.
His comments come against the backdrop security forces in J and K facing flak for the killing of over 60 civilians in police action to quell violent protesters since June this year.
Dr Singh asked Home Minister P Chidamabarm to establish a high-powered task force to come out with a set of recommendations on non-lethal crowd control measures in the next two to three months.
He said that instead of single standard sequence for the use of force, other countries have put in place procedures that vary according to the situation.
Situation in Northeast improves
Referring to the Northeast, the Prime Minister said the situation in the region was better now than what it was in the recent past, though some areas of concern still remain.
“In Manipur, for example the Naga-Metei divide has accentuated. The unfortunate growth of identity based assertiveness in the Northeast, particularly in Manipur and the North Cachar Hills (Assam) needs well thought-out and sensitive handling. The situation in Darjeeling hill area also needs a careful watch,” he said.
Dr Singh said the writ of the state should be firmly established in all these areas and the state police and the central paramilitary forces should take firm action against those who take the law into their own hands.
The Prime Minister said within the police forces, the current system of promotion is based essentially on seniority and it needs to be suitably recalibrated to catalyse better performance and motivation.
During the two-day conference, the top police brass of the country is deliberating internal security issues like cross border terrorism, Maoist violence, situation in Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast and better coordination among state police forces.
PM for recalibration of promotion system of police officers
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh advocated the need for re-calibration of the promotion system in the police forces to reward those who perform better, especially in troubled areas.
He said a successful stint in an extremism-affected district should result in greater career benefits to the officers.
“Within the police forces, the current system of promotion is based essentially on seniority. It needs to be suitably recalibrated to catalyze better performance and motivation,” Singh said addressing the three-day Conference of Directors General and Inspectors General of Police in New Delhi on Thursday being organised by the Intelligence Bureau.
He said, “For example, a successful stint in an extremism-affected district should result in greater career benefits to the officers.”
The Prime Minister also said that procurement of equipment was another sphere where speed and quality remain areas of concern.
“We perhaps need to take a re-look at procurement procedures and examine ways of creating adequate testing capacities, coupled with databases of certified equipment, empanelled suppliers and benchmark prices,” Dr. Singh said.
This, he said, if acted upon will save a lot of time and effort in procurement.
Singh said he was happy that both the central and state governments have taken steps to ensure greater inclusiveness in the police forces.
The extent of reservation for appointment in central paramilitary forces for candidates from areas affected by insurgency, militancy and Naxalism was increased from 20 per cent to 40 per cent five years back.
“A number of states have also raised battalions from such areas. I think we need to take this further. This will reduce the feeling of alienation that might exist among the population in certain parts of our country,” the Prime Minister said.