Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday sought re-orientation of police forces to marginalise "overtly intolerant and aggressive elements" of society for ensuring better inter-community relations.
He said advance identification of potential trouble makers, timely use of preventive sections of the law besides seeking cooperation of the community for maintaining peace should be the first instruments to be deployed, well before a situation deteriorates.
"It is particularly important to obtain assistance of saner elements of the society to marginalise those who are overtly intolerant and aggressive. We must train our police personnel to develop these soft skills," he said addressing the annual conference of the DGPs/IGPs in New Delhi. Singh said erosion in inter-community relations was worrying everyone and the capacity of the administrative set-up to check such deterioration seems to have weakened.
"This would be true of the police administration as well. There is, therefore, a case for re-orienting our police forces to effectively track the sentiments of the people and inter-community tensions as they rise," he said
Singh said the grassroots information and intelligence collection systems that have traditionally been a part of policing have languished in some places and the role of a vigilant and effective beat constable can be vital in detecting communal tensions.
"I hope you would pay adequate attention to these aspects of policing," he said.