Friday, September 02, 2005

We want role in development, cops tell PM -- Very GOOD


NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 1 Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s interaction with SPs turned a brainstorming session today, with police officers getting him to set aside his prepared text and take up their suggestions instead.
Thus, Singh agreed the police force needed a planning body and promised the government would draw up a blueprint of a modernised police force, with a five to 10-year timeframe, in consultation with the Home Ministry and the Planning Commission.

Abhinav Kumar :

The announcement came after Hardwar SSP Abhinav Kumar stood up to suggest that the police be included by the Centre in developmental planning. ‘‘Sir, like you, I am an economist from Oxford. I would like to draw your attention to the fact that there is no planning for the police force. In Bharat Nirman project, the Centre has a big plan for development of rural infrastructure. Why can’t something similar be done to improve police infrastructure? Intervention from the Centre is required,’’ Kumar said.

Deviating from his prepared speech, the PM said the time had come to include the police in planning for development. ‘‘The old-fashioned division between development expenditure and non-development expenditure has outlived its utility. I will discuss it with the Home Ministry and Planning Commission how to integrate the two,’’ he said.

Singh also found ‘‘fascinating’’ a suggestion from a young woman police officer from Orissa. Introducing herself as Bharti, she said funds were being siphoned off for Naxal activities. ‘‘There was absence of revenue officials, and slack supervision owing to dynamics of the area. The only presence is that of security forces. In such a scenario, there should be active participation of police, in Naxal-infested areas, in developmental projects,’’ she said.

Aurangabad DCP Nikhil Gupta, meanwhile, drew Singh’s attention to frequent transfers and hinted at a national policy, ‘‘possibly a legislation to solve this problem’’. Calling it a ‘‘pernicious practice’’, the PM said this was a gap in the government’s performance. Frequent transfers demoralised the police force, he added, admitting: ‘‘I wrote to all CMs ...And I must confess I have not got...a commitment. But I propose to be persistent till a workable, effective solution is found,’’ the PM added.

Singh also urged the young police officers to resist political pressure in their functioning. ‘‘Somewhere you must draw the line — thus far and no more,’’ he said.

Panel on reforms
NEW DELHI: A high level committee headed by the DGP of Police Research and Development is being set up by the Home Ministry to look into reforms in the police administration system. The panel will get a month to submit its report to the Ministry. —ENS


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