Home Minister P Chidambaram on Monday told police chiefs to speak up against “arbitrary postings and transfers” by state governments that had reduced many officers “to a football, kicked from one place to another.”
“Is it not your duty, as the head of the state police, to raise your voice, not only on behalf of your officers but also on behalf of the people that you are duty bound to protect?” he asked.
Chidambaram then went on to answer the question, quoting a judge who said:”When there is a duty to speak, silence is culpable.”
Two years is widely acknowledged as the minimum tenure that any officer — in the police or the bureaucracy — should have to be able to deliver on his mandate.
But the Bureau of Police Research and Development reports that every third superintendent of police has to pack his bags and move out in less than two years.
The minister was addressing the conference of directors general of police from across the country. And this was the first time in many years they were getting an unequivocal message — and a clear commitment of support from Delhi — to crack down on terrorists, Naxals and insurgents. But the minister did not stop at spelling out his agenda. He made clear his disappointment with the state governments over slow pace of police reforms.
Signaling the heightened threat from Naxals, Chidambaram said the rebels had spread their area of influence and were trying to tie up with other terrorist groups and have an understanding with the insurgents in the Northeast.
“Over 2,000 police station areas in 223 districts in 20 states are partially or substantially affected by the menace,” he said.
Terrorist groups like the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba and Jaish-e-Mohammed from across the border were persisting in their endeavour to launch attacks.
“They find support among disgruntled elements within India...,” he said.
Security forces busted 12 terror modules last year and had neutralised another 13 in the first half of this year.
The minister referred to insurgency in the Northeast, capacity building in policing and the improvements in the situation in J&K. But Naxalism was high on his list of concerns.
The CPI (Maoist), he said, was looking to expand network by seeking alliances with secessionist and terrorist elements in the country. “It has been keenly seeking ideological resonance and tactical understanding with the Northeast insurgents and has begun to lend support to their secessionist ideology and demands."