Best record of achievement in north-eastern States: Chidambaram

“One of the main concerns is maintenance of communal peace and harmony”

Updated - November 28, 2021 09:26 pm IST

Published - August 25, 2010 11:53 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram claimed here on Wednesday that besides containing terrorism, the best record of achievement was in the north-eastern States. The year 2009 was a distinct improvement over 2008 and 2010. There was a dramatic decline in the number of incidents and casualties. He, however, admitted that Manipur and Assam were affected by blockades, bandhs and intermittent violence.

The Minister pointed out that a number of groups in the northeast were engaged in talks with the Union government. He expressed the hope that the United Liberation Front of Asom would formally come forward to begin talks with the Centre and the Assam government.

Mr. Chidambaram said one of the main concerns was the maintenance of communal peace and harmony as even most petty disputes and imagined slights triggered conflicts between communities and groups.

Touching upon some of the key measures taken by the Centre over the last one year, he said the allocation for internal security went up to Rs. 40,582 crore in 2010-11, against Rs. 25,923 crore in 2008-09. Schemes for the modernisation of the State police forces and Central forces were extended to 2010-11.

The government had sanctioned raising of 38 battalions for the CRPF, 29 for the Border Security Force, 32 for the Sashastra Seema Bal and induction of 14,259 personnel in the Central Industrial Security Force. The strength of the IPS was also increased from 4013 to 4730.

Mr. Chidambaram mulled over the idea of transfer of funds under the modernisation of police force scheme directly to the Director General of Police of a State. He asked the State police chiefs to spell out the steps taken to enact a new Police Act, based on a model Bill that was circulated to the States. He also wanted to know the steps taken by the States to set up State Police Establishment Boards and the Police Complaints Boards.

Admitting that the security forces too had their shortcomings, he pointed out that “nothing that is said or written can take away a jot from the fact that the security forces are the first line of defence of our democracy and liberty.'' He also acknowledged the willing cooperation of the State governments in standing up to the challenges posed by forces inimical to the nation, both within and outside the country.

Earlier, Mr. Chidambaram gave away police medals for meritorious service to officers of the Intelligence Bureau.

In his address, IB Director Rajiv Mathur warned that “inimical agencies from international bases'' were trying to revive Sikh militancy in Punjab by forging an alliance between Sikh militant groups and the Lashkar-e-Taiba.

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