Home Minister K.J. George said on Wednesday that the government was giving priority to recruiting police personnel in the State.

Addressing presspersons after inaugurating the Coastal Security Police Station here, Mr. George said that nearly 22,000 sanctioned posts in the Police Department were vacant. The reason for such a huge vacancy was because the previous governments had not filled these posts.

The government could not fill all these 22,000 posts at once. It would be filled in phases, starting with the recruitment of 8,500 police constables. Of this 8,500 constables, 20 per cent would be women constables. The government would make arrangements for temporary training facilities as the State had no permanent training facility for such a huge number.

Recruitment

The government would also be recruiting 500 to 600 Sub-Inspectors. It would also be recruiting nearly 7,000 Home Guards. The services of the Home Guards could be used for assisting the police, he said.

On the charge of Opposition parties that the law and order situation in the State had deteriorated, Mr. George said that in the nine months since the Congress took power, there had no major incidents of communal violence. But within a fortnight of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) coming to power in 2008, there was firing on the farmers.

“Since the parliamentary elections are approaching, some political forces are trying to ferment trouble for making political gains. But the police will tackle these trouble-makers,” he said.

To another query, Mr. George said that the government had provided Rs. 9 crore for the maintenance of Anti-Naxal Camps in the State.

Talks with Maoists

The government was ready to talk to the Maoists if they wished to join the mainstream.

But at the same time, the government would not tolerate if anyone broke the law, he said.

On the State government giving its nod to the Yettinahole Project, Mr. George said that only excess water from the Nethravati River during the monsoon would be used to provide water to the parched districts if south Karnataka.

The government would discuss the Paschimavahini project, which aimed at construction of dams to west-flowing rivers in the coastal districts in the next Cabinet meeting, he said.

Security plan

To a question, Mr. George said that the District Police along with the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) had drawn a security plan for the protection of the Sri Krishna Math/Temple in Udupi. It was for the Math to take follow-up action on the security plan, he said.

Urban Development Minister Vinay Kumar Sorake and Minister of State for Fisheries and Sports Abhaychandra Jain were present.

More In: Mangalore