Warning policemen against high-handedness, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday said the law and order situation in the country was "under strain" and asked them to deal with terrorism, Maoism, regionalism and communalism without compromising on respect for human rights.
"Fundamentally, the law and order situation in our country today is under strain," Manmohan Singh told probationers of the Indian Police Service here when they went to meet him at his 7 Race Course residence.
"There are a number of sources of this strain, there is terrorism, there is naxalism - Left-wing extremism, there is also regionalism and then communalism," Manmohan Singh said.
While asking policemen to ensure that these forces do not harm the unity and integrity of the country, the prime minister cautioned them to discharge their responsibilities within the bounds of the Indian Constitution and law.
"Our state guarantees certain fundamental rights. In administration of justice, one increasingly hears complaints of high handedness of officials, sometimes they happen to be police officials," he said.
The prime minister advised the newly commissioned police officers that while doing their duty, "the enforcement of law and order must be endowed with the spirit that is consistent with what is stated in the Constitution of India."
Underlining the importance of law and order for sustained development of the country, the prime minister asked budding police officers to be well-versed in handling new challenges like cyber crimes and disaster management.
"There are issues with regard to police reforms. They have been looked at from time to time. More should be done to ensure that our police services operate on the frontiers of knowledge," he added.
The prime minister admitted that if the tribal areas' problems are not given sufficient attention, it can give rise to Maoism, but asked the policemen to deal with the situation in "in a manner which enhances the peoples' trust and confidence in our administration particularly the police administration."
"Therefore, while enforcing law and order, I think we must also be endowed with a spirit of fair play and equity. These are some of the issues which I notice our people expect from our police forces," he said.
Alluding to complaints from people about the reluctance of the police to register a First Information Report, the prime minister said: "It is the right of every citizen who has a genuine complaint to have an FIR registered."