Modernisation of police force crucial for democracy: Patil

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Mumbai, Aug 27 (UNI) Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil has said, that in a democracy, peace and progress can be achieved only by maintaining law and order and a programme of modernising the police force is underway.sought.

In an interview to AIR, which was broadcast yesterday, Mr Patil said under this programme, modern vehicles, arms, ammunition and modern means of communications would be provided to the police force. Effectively, police could match the lethal power of AK-47s used by underworld with their own, he quipped.

In the last five years, the government had spent Rs 884 crore on the modernisation programme, he said.

As part of the process, 33,000 posts had been filled in the last three years to augment the police force. In the next 15 days, additional 14,500 posts will be filled, he said.

Mr Patil said the government had increased the salaries of policemen and had made arrangements with big hospitals to provide qualitative medical treatment to them.

Also, houses admeasuring 440 sq ft would be constructed for police personnel and for the retired employees, a five per cent quota will be reserved in Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) buildings, he added.

Considering the threat perception this year, the police force will be more vigilant during 'Ganeshotsav' festival, he said, adding, the Central Government will provide more 30 battalions for security.

He also appealed to the Ganesh 'mandals' to assign the task of controlling the crowd and maintaining security to their volunteers. They should inform the police about the movements of suspected people and material. This will help police to fulfil their duty by paying attention to criminals and anti-national elements, he assured.

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