Insurgency-hit states not utilising forces optimally: Govt

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New Delhi, Mar 19 (UNI) The Government today said insurgency-hit States were not utilising their security forces optimally and were depending ''heavily'' on central reserved forces.

Replying to supplementaries in the Rajya Sabha, Home Minister Shivraj Patil said 30 per cent vacancies in state police departments were compelling the governments concerned to ask for forces from the Centre.

''The Centre has 7 lakh personnel of which about 6 lakh are posted on international borders. We can provide only reserved forces which have to be withdrawn after some time and not permanent security. Security is a state subject and State Governments have to responsibility for that,'' the Minister said in reply to a question raised by Congress member Syeda Anwar Taimur about security forces being withdrawn from Assam for redeployment in Manipur during Assembly elections.

''We will provide all the help and support to state governments but at the same time they have to work towards creating their own forces so that every time there is an issue central forces don't have to be rushed....Election is also a responsibility for the centre which has to be fulfilled,'' he said.

Mr Patil stressed on the need for appropriate raising and utilisation of state forces to meet their needs.

''States must increase their forces in proportion to their population to check terrorsim whether in the North East or in Jammu and Kashmir. At present 6.5 lakh villages only have 14,000 police stations,'' he added.

When asked by SP member Abu Asim Azmi about the spread of naxalism in the country from 10 to 13 states, the Home Minister said Chhattisgarh was the most affected state and adequate administrative and financial support was being given to the state to counter the menace.

''Statistics presented in different forms will present a different picture.... Exaggerated figures lead to panic. We are working on the situation and have adopted multi-pronged strategies,'' he added.

On Independent member P C Alexander's query seeking details of the multi-pronged strategies to check terrorism and naxalism in the country, Mr Patil said efforts were being made to involve the local population and parties to engage the weapon yielding persons in talks, making village committees and providing financial assistance to state government for special policies.

''Other measures include action on the security front, focus on accelerated development, good governance and measures for building confidence in the local population,'' he added.

''The experience gathered in the process of countering militancy and insurgency in different areas is constantly used to formulate and calibrate strategies, plans and policies in this regard,'' the Minister informed the House.

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