Friday, December 15, 2006

11,000 police personnel to be recruited in Maharashtra

Nagpur, Dec 15: Admitting that Maharashtra police were "over-burdened" by a shortage of 55,000 personnel, the state government today said it has taken remedial steps like the recruitment of 11,000 personnel every year.

The government will also increase the allocation for security in the budget for 2007-08, Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil, who holds the home portfolio, told the Legislative Council here.

Replying to a resolution tabled last week by the opposition, he said the budgetary allocation for security in the state was 3.7 per cent, against a national average of 5.3 per cent.

Maharashtra police are short of 55,000 personnel, which is causing a burn-out among policemen. An average constable works 14 hours a day. Seventy per cent of policemen did not get their weekly offs for three months at a stretch, Patil said.

The government is taking concrete steps to increase their salaries, provide them better housing and reduce their workload, he said.

Lauding the police force, Patil said it had tackled the Naxalite menace better than its counterparts in other states.

"Maharashtra police are admired by governments of other states. Recently, the Gujarat government had given a reward of Rs 10 lakh to policemen who foiled the terrorist attack on the RSS headquarters (at Nagpur)," he said.

Noting that many law and order problems are politically instigated, he said, "police have video footage of the violence in Wani which shows youths donning jeans indulging in arson. These youths are not farmers."

Bureau Report

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