State may import weapons for police force directly
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.
Police recruitment drive initiated in Karnataka
The Home Department has initiated a police recruitment drive to fill up a large part of the existing vacancies and thereafter, augment the strength of the police which has been static for nearly a decade irrespective of the increase in population. Minister for Home K.J. George told The Hindu that “I am keen on ensuring effective policing and it will have a direct impact resulting in a better interface between the people and the police. Of the nearly 20,000 vacancies (largely that of police constables and sub-inspectors), directions have been issued to recruit nearly a half of them right away. Compared to 3,731 police constables recruited in 2012, over 8,000 constables will be recruited this year”.
If Bangalore has become internationally famous for information technology and other sectors, it should be noted that the police of Bangalore have a tough task on hand in meeting the expectations of the people in providing them adequate safety. With nearly a sixth of the population of the State residing in Bangalore, the focus is on augmenting the police force to prevent the variety and quantum of offences being perpetrated in Bangalore. It is another matter that recruitment of police constables and their commissioning into service takes nearly two years (six months to recruit and another one year to train) as they have to be put through a stringent process of training while in the case of sub-inspectors, the period of training is two years. For a population of nearly 6.30 crore, the strength of the police force is 94,762 which works out to one member of the police for every 650 of population and is way below the ratio in the neighbouring States of Tamil Nadu (one for every 608), Maharashtra (614) and Andhra Pradesh (642).
The effort now is to raise it to at least one police personnel to a population of 500. The Minister said that it is a happy augury that the people of the State are, by and large, peaceful and it obviously reflects on law and order. Steps are also being taken to augment the strength of the special police force, particularly the Anti-Naxal Squad, the Anti-Terrorist Squad and the Special Intelligence Wing. Training academy At present, there is one police training academy in the State, one training college and four permanent training institutes apart from the 19 temporary police training schools established in various districts and the police commissionerates of Bangalore, Mangalore and Hubli-Dharwad.
Mr. George said, “We are utilising the services of KSRP personnel to maintain law and order. There are 13 battalions of the Karnataka State Reserve Police with 1,000 personnel each but they cannot be put on routine police work. The 13th battalion of the KSRP was commissioned sometime ago after rigorous training at Koppal.” “Directions have been issued to the police to extensively videograph the various public events which in itself should have a deterrent effect. This will also help collect evidence in case any crime is committed or public order is disturbed. A check on anti-social activities will go a long way in ensuring that law and order problems are not triggered and if they are triggered they are quickly brought under control,” he said.
EC discusses availability of forces for polls in 5 states
NEW DELHI: Election Commission today discussed the availability of forces for deployment during Assembly polls in five states slated later this year. Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath along with two Election Commissioners H S Brahma and Nasim Zaidi and other top officials held over an hour-long meeting with Home Secretary Anil Goswami to discuss the issue. Five states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhatisgarh, Delhi and Mizoram will go to polls later this year to elect their new Assemblies.
The availability of central and police forces is important for the smooth conduct of elections in Naxal-hit states like Chhattisgarh, where polling is likely to be staggered. “The EC held a meeting with Home Secretary today as part of its plans for holding assembly elections,” said a senior poll official. Sources said the Home Secretary has assured its support in deployment of central forces during the forthcoming polls as desired by the poll body, which is still in the process of assessing the total requirement of forces. “We will provide the required number of forces to the EC for deployment in the five states during assembly elections,” a Home Ministry official said.
Odisha: Woman Maoist cadre killed in encounter, arms recovered
Report by Kishor Dash; Rayagada: Security forces gunned down a woman Maoist during an exchange of fire with the ultras at Kadnaka Bandili forest under Kalyansinghpur police limits, about 60 kms from here, today afternoon whose identity is yet to be established, said Superintendent of Police Rajesh Pandit. On a tip-off about the movement of Maoists in the area on today morning, the District Voluntary Forces (DVF) launched a combing operation.
As the security forces proceeded towards the forest at about 3.30 pm today, they came across the camp of the Maoists near Kadnaka forest area. There were around 20 ultras including women in the camp. As soon as they saw the security force, they opened fire who too retaliated and a woman rebel cadre was finally killed in the hour long fierce gun battle, Pandit added. Police have also launched a search operation to nab some Maoists who are believed to have sustained injuries.
Three guns and Maoist literatures have also been seized from the rebel’s hideout. The place where the incident took place in the afternoon today is a remote and inaccessible place and there is no mobile network in that area which has made it difficult to contact the party, he added. The party and the Maoist dead body was not reached the town till the report last came in.
ULBs Poll: Security tightened in view of Maoist menace in Gajapati district
Paralakhemundi (Odisha): Apprehending Maoist menace during the urban body elections, security has been beefed up in areas under Odisha’s Gajapati district bordering Andhra Pradesh. Paralakhemundi municipality and Kasinagar notified area council (NAC) are the two urban bodies going to polls on September 19 along with other urban bodies across the state. Though Gajapati unlike Malkangiri does not witness as much Maoist-related violence, the authorities have decided not to let anything to chance. “The Maoist threat perception is always there, regardless of the number of crimes by them.
This apart there is every possibility of anti-social elements and rebels entering the district from neighbouring state to unelash terror”, said a senior police official. Gajapati district superintendent of police (SP) C S Meena said seucity had been tightened in areas close to the Andhra Pradesh border with a view to checking the entry of anti-socials, smuggling of arms, liquor. “Border patrolling would continue till the end of elections,” the SP said adding anti-Maoist forces like Special Police Officers (SPO) and District Vounteer Force (DVF) would be utilised for the purpose.
In the two urban areas 10 platoon of forces (six for Paralakhemundi, four for Kasinagar) would be deployed beside otehr security personnel like mobile striking forces. Officials view all polling booths in Kasinagar excepting two as trouble-prone. So is the case with as many as 50 percent booths in paralakhemundi. “Of the total 41 booths in Parlakhemundi, 8 have been identified as hyper-sensitive and 16 sensitive. While the rest 15 under general category,” said sub-collector-cum election officer Biswajit Biswal. Of the 13 booths in Kasinagar, booth Nos 9 and 2 are categorised as hyper-sensitive and sensitive respectively. In both the civic bodies women voters outnumber their male ounterparts.
Security personnel unearth dump full of firearms
Berhampur: Security personnel on Wednesday unearthed a dump full with firearms at Rahaganda forest under Ganjam districts Sorada police station limit in Ganjam-Kandhamal district border, police said. Several firearms were unearthed from a dump in the area. The security personnel came across the dump during a combing operation jointly conducted by the local police and CRPF). The recovered items included several firearms, three tiffin bombs, five soap case bombs, one clock.
Each tiffin bombs was containing around 2.5-kg IED, police said. The other materials recovered from the dump were 40 Maoist Odia booklets, uniform and several expired medicines, said SP (Ganjam) Ashish Kumar Singh said. District bomb disposal personnel defused the bombs and IEDs on the spot, SP said adding that no ultra was sighted near the dump. The combing operation has been intensified in the area by engagement of more forces after recovery the firearms from the jungle, police said.