Home minister tightens screws on state cops | india | Hindustan Times
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Home minister tightens screws on state cops

Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram was far from impressed when Maharashtra police officers made a PowerPoint presentation of their terror preparedness at the Sahyadri guesthouse on Monday.

india Updated: Feb 11, 2009 00:46 IST
Dharmendra Jore

Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram was far from impressed when Maharashtra police officers made a PowerPoint presentation of their terror preparedness at the Sahyadri guesthouse on Monday.

Chidambaram posed several uncomfortable questions to the police top brass and senior bureaucrats while reviewing the state’s plan of action post the 26/11 terror attack and a Naxalite attack that killed 15 policemen this month.

He wanted to know why the state would need more time to fix things even as the Centre had asked it to complete security preparedness by the end of this year.

A senior government officer who requested anonymity said the minister, when told about a massive number of vacancies in the police force said it was high time the state strengthened its force. There are 6,000 vacancies existing for police in
Mumbai and 11,000 in the rest of the state.

When told that the state would add 12 more coastal police stations off its 720-km coastline within 12 months, Chidambaram asked, “Why do you need so much time? Squeeze the deadline and make it faster.”

Another officer who attended the review meeting said Chidambaram advised the police officers in very strong words to file a foolproof chargesheet in the 26/11 terror attack case.

The Crime Branch told the minister that they planned to submit case papers to the court by February 24.

Additional chief secretary (Home) Chitkala Zutshi told Hindustan Times that the state would have no difficulty in meeting the deadline given by the Union Home Minister. “We will stick to the deadline and prepare ourselves to meet any eventuality.”