'Terrorists may target religious places'

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New Delhi, Oct 3: Expressing apprehensions that religious places and peoples congregations, police and politicians may be targeted by terrorists by using sophisticated weapons, Home Minister Shivraj Patil today called for ''proactive policing based on reliable and actionable intelligence to contain crime, violence and terrorism in the country.

Inaugurating the All India Conference of DGPs/IGPs-2007 here, Mr Patil said that Sleeper Cells of Terrorists organisations may be found in mega cities which could become active when needed by them fake currency notes were being used to fund terrorism.

Pointing out that terrorists were using modern technologies and more sophisticated weapons and devices to commit crimes with ease and with lesser difficulty and risk, he said that the police should also use new ideas, equipment, technology and training to deal with them effectively. ''Perfect, reliable and actionable intelligence'' was required to perform policing in proper manner, he pointed out.

Expresing concern that the intelligence agencies of states were not strong and adequate enough to meet the demands of the present and future, Mr Patil said intelligence branches should be properly manned and equipped with modern gadgets and technologies. The information should be examined, analysed and sent to places where they could be used effectively, he added.

''No weapon or device is going to be as useful as intelligence can be, to control and contain crimes, violence and terrorism. That is why the development and strengthening of intelligence agencies should receive first priority in plans for combating crime and terrorism,'' he said and added that timely information and intelligence on naxal activites was also very important to check naxalite problem, he added.

Expresing satisfaction over the improvement in situation in Jammu and Kashmir, the Home Minister asked the security and intelligence agencies to be on constant alert and pursue hightened surveillance to check continued infilteration from across the border and counter terrorism operations.

Continued violence in Assam and Manipur and persisting factional clashes in Nagaland were cause for concerns, Mr Patil said and called for greater coordination between states in the region and among various security forces to facilitate synergy in the operations against insurgents. He also stressed the need for a more proactive strategy and concerted action to stop extortions in the region.


 Stressing the need for police reforms to enable the force to face growing challenges and also meet the democratic aspirations of the people, Mr Patil asked the state government to develop roadmap for legislating new police act based on the Model Police Act drafted by the Soli Sorabjee Committee. He called for making police more effective, stronger, modern, better trained, equipped, motivated and respected force.

He also urged states to increase allocation for policing activities in a visionary and planned manner to enhance strength and efficiency of police force. Pointing out that the police to population ratio was very low in India, he said it insufficient to meet the growing requirements of policing. The Home Minister asked states to augument the police by filling up vacancies at different levels without any delay.

Pointing out that women constitute only 2% of police force, he said that percentage of fair sex must be increased. Also weaker sections of the society, the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and minorities must get their share in the recruitment process for police force, he emphasised.

The Home Minisiter also proposed that members of Civil Defence units be used for policing purposes and police volunteers and Security Committees be formed in villages. Moreover, plans be made to use private persons and agencies for providing protection and security after proper training, he said.

He also emphasised the need for adequate and useful training of police personnel by adopting new methods and using electronic devices. The number of police training centres be increased and primary and refresher training facilities be provided at district level, he added.

Mr Patil called for modernisation of police force to meet the demands of the present and future. It should be done by modifying the laws, adopting new systems of working, new technologies, new procedures, new public relation methods and new methods of anticipating the situations and trying to find solutions to the problems, he said and asked the states to utilise the funds being provided to them by the centre for this within the agreed time frame.

The Home Minister asked the police to be proactive rather than reaction and handle with determination and vigilance the crimes committed against the weaker sections of the society, women, children, minorities, SC/STs and senior citizens.

Welcoming the delegates, Director Intelligence Bureau P C Haldar also stressed the need for police reform to make the force meet the professional challenges and make it an effective, competent and efficient force.

On this occasion, the Home Minister also presented the Indian Police Medal for Meritorious Services to 42 officers of the Intelligence Bureau.


UNI

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