The police machinery, especially its lower ranks, is ill-equipped even as the country is facing serious terror and Naxalite threats, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram said.
The police constable is the most abused part of the police force and the most reviled public servant, he said.
“Police system is outdated. Police are ill-trained, ill-equipped and ill-paid,” said Chidambaram, while delivering the fourth Nani Palkivala memorial lecture at National Centre for the Performing Arts on Monday.
The minister said the police constable, who works for 12 to 14 hours a day is the most abused part of the machinery.
“Everyone believes that he (a constable) can be bullied, or cajoled or bribed,” Chidambaram said adding, “self-esteem of average policeman is low and this average police constable is a frontline force for the internal security.”
When occasion demands, he (constable) rises to great heights, the minister said while paying tributes to 26/11 martyrs ASI Tukaram Ombale.
Talking about the threat of Naxalism, Chidambaram deplored that a section of the civil society romanticised left extremism.
“This is a sad fact that a section of civil society romanticises the Naxalite movement,” the minister said while exhorting the Naxalite leaders to join political mainstream.