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Updated: June 4, 2010 02:11 IST

‘Centre stands by Chhattisgarh'

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With Maoist violence unabated, Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Wednesday said Chhattisgarh was going through a difficult time and the Central government stood by it, ready to provide all help.

Addressing the 40th All-India Police Science Congress here, he said that in the last eight weeks, there were 28 major incidents of violence in the State, in which many lives were lost.

“I wish to tell the people of Chhattisgarh that, in this period of difficulty, the Central government stands by you… We are ready and willing to render all assistance possible in order [to ensure] that Chhattisgarh will be able to overcome the challenges to the security of its people,” he said.

Mr. Chidambaram said that in the next two days, the Science Congress would discuss matters relating to modernisation, counter-terrorism, left wing extremism, data management and future policing.

The Minister said:

“I want you to know that despite criticism from every quarter — from hapless citizen to armchair pundit, from defence lawyer to learned judge, from political parties to civil society organisations and from editorial writers to television anchors — you should be proud to wear your uniform and perform your duties.

“Because, when hit by a crisis or a tragedy, everyone — and I mean everyone — turns to the police. More often than not the presence of a policeman is reassuring. More often than not the deployment of the police force restores law and order and security. More often than not the policeman turns out to be a friend and protector,” he said.

The Minister said when there was a conflict situation, the person most likely to make the supreme sacrifice is a policeman and, therefore, let not criticism — “sometimes justified, often unjustified” — deter or demoralise police personnel.

‘Obligation is to the law'

“Your obligation is to the law. As long as you enforce the law, uphold human rights, use no more than the minimum force that is necessary, and act without fear or favour you can hold your head high as a member of the police force,” he said.

Mr. Chidambaram said that according to figures available, the total number of sanctioned posts as on March 31, 2010, in all ranks, was about 21 lakh. Of these, about 3,35,000 posts were vacant. Thus, the police : population ratio for the country was about 160 per 100,000 people.

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