Home Minister going to New Delhi to seek Centre’s permission

Home Minister K.J. George on Tuesday said that the government would seek the Centre’s permission to directly import weapons for its police weapon modernisation programme if the delay on the part of Union Home Ministry in getting them imported continues.

Speaking to presspersons here, Mr. George said that he would visit New Delhi next week to discuss, among other things, the weapon modernisation programme. He said that the government has sufficient funds provided by the Union government to procure weapons. As far as old weapons are concerned, the government is considering the option of upgrading them instead of phasing them out. An expert team would visit the State soon to guide the department, he said.

During the visit, Mr. George would discuss strengthening coastal security and invite Union Minister of State for Home Mullapally Ramachandran to inaugurate three coastal police stations in Udupi district.

Naxal-hit

Mr. George said that the government would continue to press the Centre that Karnataka be declared a Naxal-affected State. “It is not to show that the State is Naxal-infested but only to take up development work in the four affected districts and infuse economic development,” he said.

He said that the government is open to having talks with Naxals but at the same time it has not stopped anti-Naxal operations. The situation is completely under control, he said and added that the government has released Rs. 9 crore to upgrade 13 camps of the Anti-Naxal Force.

The government is keen on taking up a pilot project to rehabilitate tribal people within the forest area by providing them vocational training. Also, rules regarding physical standards would be relaxed for tribal people in recruitment to police force. The Tata group has offered to give vocational training and also placement for these people, he said.

Prison security

The department has constituted a committee under the Director-General of Police (Criminal Investigation Department) Bipil Gopalakrishna to review the security system in eight central prisons in the State, in the wake of jailbreak of serial rapist Jaishankar (who has since been caught).

The committee, which comprises Additional DGP (Crime) N.S. Megharikh and Joint Commissioner of Police (Law & Order-West), Bangalore, S. Ravi, is expected to submit its report within three weeks on strengthening the security system in central prisons in Bangalore, Mysore, Belgaum, Bijapur, Gulbarga, Dharwad, Tumkur and Bellary.

Meanwhile, Additional Chief Secretary (Home), S.K. Pattanayak, who is inquiring into the jailbreak, would submit his report in a couple of days, Mr. George said.

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