Staff Reporter

Thrissur: Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan has said a welfare fund will be set up for members of the police, excise, forest and Fire and Rescue Services departments who are injured while on duty.

He was addressing a meeting to inaugurate the new administrative block and quarter guard of the Kerala Armed Police Battalion 1 at Ramavarmapuram here on Tuesday. He said the fund would be set up with the active participation of the State government. He said the police force would have 10,000 new faces this year as part of the department's initiatives to achieve zero vacancy position. ‘‘This will fill posts that go vacant by 2012. Every year, 3,000 to 4,000 posts go vacant. Flaws in the recruitment system prevent systematic filling of posts,'' he said. The Minister said the government would finalise within a month the merger of local and armed police divisions. ‘‘The Director General of Police has submitted a report on the merger,'' he said.

Mr. Balakrishnan said establishment of two-way video communication systems between jails and courts would be launched in Thiruvananthapuram in June. ‘‘A large number of policemen are being deployed now for transportation of remand prisoners who should make appearances in courts of law. Once videoconferencing facilities are in place, these police personnel may be deployed elsewhere,'' he said.

Earlier, inaugurating a new building of the women's cell and helpline, he said all police stations in the State would be made women-friendly.

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