Police force to be strengthened across country: Patil

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New Delhi, Nov 26 (UNI) Expressing serious concern at the recent bomb blasts in various parts of the country, including Friday's serial blasts in Uttar Pradesh, Home Minister Shivraj Patil today stressed the need to strengthen CID network across the country and said the number of police personnel would be increased to check the terrorist menace and the general law and order situation.

''The Centre is discussing the issue with various state governments and will be convening another conference of chief ministers in 15 to 20 days,'' the Home Minister said, replying to clarifications to his statement on the serial bomb blasts in UP.

Mr Patil said, ''Terrorism is a problem and can be tackled with the cooperation of all. Let us not get into blaming each other." He said he would give a written statement providing statewise graph of crime and terrorist situation while responding to the discussion on terrorism taken up in the House.

He said the police-public ratio was very big as compared to many countries and there was need to narrow down so that the special branches of police were able to collect information in their areas more effectively. There were just 14,000 police station in the country which were not adequate to look after the people in their respective areas.

''I have requested several states to increase financial allocations to police. The response is positive. Strengthening of special force is part of our long-term policy,'' he said.

The Home Minister said it was not that the Centre had not done anything. It had provided sophisticated machinery and gadgets as required to meet terrorists threats.

On a suggestion for a federal network to check crime, Mr Patil made it clear that India has a federal structure and the Centre never wanted to disturb it. ''Such a network can come into being only if all states agree to it,'' he said.

He said the suggestion could be discussed at the Chief Ministers' Conference again and an effort would be made to find a way out to jointly check such 'federal crimes'.

UNI

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