Asking paramilitary forces to tackle violence with “patience, tact and understanding”, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Friday stressed that the right to use force should be exercised responsibly.

In dealing with violence, he said, the state alone has the right to use force.

“If the state uses it force, it has to be used responsibly. The state cannot use excessive force. The state cannot use force against unarmed and defenceless people. These are the limitations that come with the right to use force,” Mr. Chidambaram said while speaking at the Investiture ceremony of the Border Security Force (BSF).

He requested all paramilitary forces to “remember that while the state has power to use force, we must respect its limitations because if we do not observe the limitations of the force, the people will question the intentions and the goals that have been set. The people will question the legitimacy of the state to use force.”

He said violence is not new to India or any other country and that one must remember that “we live in a very troubled world” and a “very volatile neighbourhood“.

He said that within India there are groups who claim to speak for people with different causes and regard violence as legitimate.

“No one in the country other than the state has the right to use force,” he said and expressed confidence that the country will be able to tackle terrorism.

He said the country has seen an 18-month period sans any major terror attack, except the Pune blast, or any major incident of communal violence. He said many modules of terror have been busted during the period.

The Home Minister also awarded President’s gallantry and police medals to the BSF personnel and led the force and those present in taking a pledge against violence and terrorism on the occasion of Anti-Terrorism Day on Friday.

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