J&K Police tardy on utilisation of central funds for modernisation, reveals RTI
The revelations came to the fore after a Kerala-based RTI activist K Govindan Nampoothiry filed queries seeking information on ‘assistance to states/UTs for modernisation of police forces’ from May 2014 to December 31, 2021
Jammu and Kashmir Police, which had been combating Pakistani terrorists who carry sophisticated firearms and gadgets with them, had been tardy on utilisation of central funds issued to them for modernisation of the force since 2016.
The revelations came to the fore after a Kerala-based RTI activist K Govindan Nampoothiry filed queries seeking information on ‘assistance to states/UTs for modernisation of police forces’ from May 2014 to December 31, 2021.
In his reply, director (PM-1) and CPIO, Ajit Kumar, at the ministry of home affairs stated that the Jammu and Kashmir Police utilised ₹104.86 crore released to it in 2014-15. In 2015-16, J&K Police were given an assistance of ₹35.88 crore out of which, ₹33.08 crore was utilised.
However, the utilisation of central funds started dipping from 2016-17.
In 2016-17, the MHA released ₹34.54 crore out of which only ₹22.73 crore was used.
In 2017-18, the gap increased alarmingly as a total of ₹48 crore was released to J&K Police, but only ₹5.44 crore was utilised.
The trend continued in 2018-19 when J&K Police were given ₹32.69 crore and only ₹5.38 crore was used.
It may be stated here that the J&K administration in tandem with the Centre had initiated multifarious steps to curb Pak-sponsored terrorism and improve security scenario in the region.
Jammu and Kashmir has been the victim of Pak-sponsored terrorism since 1990.
The Kerala-based RTI campaigner K Govindan Nampoothiry said, “Jammu and Kashmir is showing lethargic attitude in utilisation of funds meant for modernising police force even when threats (internal as well from border regions) are rising day-by-day.”
“The administration should ensure that funds are properly utilised and audited on time as it’s their onus to protect citizens,” he added.
Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has released special funds for security related expenditure and also for modernisation of the police force.
The central funds were meant for acquisition of advanced weapons; intelligence equipment including UAVs, night vision devices (NVDs), surveillance system; modern communication equipment and state-of-the-art equipment.