Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Wednesday said policing a country of over 1.1 billion people in a troubled neighbourhood is difficult, especially if the nation has an ill-equipped police force.
"Policing a country of over 1.1 billion people is not an easy task. Policing a country in a troubled neighbourhood makes the task more difficult. And policing a country with insufficient police stations and inadequate and ill-equipped police force makes the task almost formidable," Chidambaram said in his inaugural speech at the 40th All India Police Science Congress in Raipur.
Throwing light over the inadequate number of police personnel in the country, the home minister said there were 335,000 posts vacant in all ranks of the police.
"According to figures given to the central government, the total number of sanctioned posts as on March 31, 2010, in all ranks, is about 21 lakh. Of these, about 335,000 posts are vacant.
"Thus, the police population ratio for the whole country is about 160 per 100,000 people. This ratio is much lower than the international norm... conceals more than it reveals," he said.
In Bihar, he said, the number is as low as 75, in Uttar Pradesh it is about 115, in Andhra Pradesh it is about 125, in Orissa about 135 and in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand -- the two states most affected by leftwing extremism -- the figure is 205.
The three-day congress that opened at a hotel here will extensively discuss several issues, though terrorism and left-wing extremism will be the prime focus.
The event, organised by the Bureau of Police Research and Development, New Delhi, in association with the Chhattisgarh Police, will also discuss modernisation of police and use of data-management in the system.