Not just police, Maharashtra wants to make public safety everyone’s job

  • Debasish Panigrahi, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Jun 01, 2015 16:12 IST

The Maharashtra government has drafted a new law that seeks to fix responsibility on everyone, from schools to malls to hospitals and hotels to help it maintain internal security.

The aim is to rope in all stakeholders, and not just leave it to the security agencies to ensure public safety. Schools, for example, will have to include chapters on security awareness in textbooks and commercial establishments will have to follow detailed guidelines, including setting up CCTV cameras that work.

Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis told HT that the draft law — titled The Maharashtra Protection of Internal Security Act (MPISA) — was an improvement on earlier legislation and would “set standards for the entire country”.

He sought to allay fears of possible abuse of the law saying, “The draft Act has been prepared by the director general of police (DGP) after taking into consideration the shortcomings of earlier laws. I, too, will personally look into every aspect before putting it for Cabinet approval.”

“It will then be tabled in the legislature during the monsoon session,” the chief minister added.

Summarising the proposed law, a senior police official, who was part of the drafting committee constituted by the DGP, said “it outlines the duties and responsibilities of all agencies in the government, as well as private stakeholders in the larger security scheme in the state.”

Security will no longer be the concern of the police alone. “The municipal corporation, schools, colleges, the fire brigade, the navy, the coast guard, railways, shopping malls, theatres, hotels, hospitals, important religious places…everyone will be involved in the maintenance of internal security,” the official added.

The law also has provisions for regulation of air-space for recreational sports such as paragliding, which has not been defined by any of the existing laws, the official said.

Sources said a copy of the draft Act has also been sent to the national security adviser, Ajit Doval, for considering a pan-Indian legislation on these lines.

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