The erosion in inter-community relations
is something that should worry us all. The capacity of the
administrative set-up to check such deterioration seems to have
weakened. This would be true of the police administration as well. There
is, therefore, a case for re-orienting our police forces to effectively
track the sentiments of the people and inter-community tensions as they
rise. Advance identification of potential trouble makers, timely use of
preventive sections of the law, alongside seeking cooperation of the
community for maintaining peace should be the first instruments to be
deployed, well before the situation deteriorates. It is particularly
important to obtain assistance of saner elements of the society to
marginalise those who are overtly intolerant and aggressive. We must
train our police personnel to develop these soft skills. The grassroots
information and intelligence collection systems that have traditionally
been a part of policing have languished in some places. The role of a
vigilant and effective beat constable can be vital in detecting communal
tensions. I hope you would pay adequate attention to these aspects of
Challenges from Social
The use of bulk SMSes and social media to
aggravate the communal situation is a new challenge that the recent
disturbances have thrown before us. We need to fully understand how
these new media are used by miscreants. We also need to devise
strategies to counter the propaganda that is carried out by these new
means. Any measure to control the use of such media must be carefully
weighed against the need for the freedom to express and communicate. I
am sure that in the coming months our police forces would be able to
work out effective strategies to deal with these tendencies.
Left Wing Extremism
The ability of Left wing extremists to
gradually increase their numbers, enhance their 'military potential',
and entrench themselves in some areas of the seven affected States in
the country is and should be a cause of worry. Acquisition of indigenous
capacity for fabrication of hardware and the ability to ideologically
sway sections of society into raising a clamour about violation of human
rights only adds to the complexity of the situation. The Para-Military
Forces have to play an important role in minimising the loss of lives
due to the use of Improvised Explosive Devices and preventing the
exploitation of inter-State boundaries by Left Wing Extremists. The
State police forces on their part must ensure that Left Wing Extremists
that are apprehended are prosecuted quickly and effectively.
The Left Wing Extremists affected States
also need to improve the police-population ratio, strengthen police
infrastructure and equip their police forces with better weapons, better
communication systems and better training.
In Jammu and Kashmir, we are beginning to
see increasing infiltration attempts, across the Line of Control and
even the International Border. There are also indications about
terrorist groups maintaining their ability to use the sea route.
Vigilance, therefore, needs to be exercised not only on our land borders
but along the coast line as well. The comprehensive scheme of Maritime
Domain Awareness to be led by the Navy would help strengthen coastal
vigilance, whereas deployment of more permanent border obstacles and
better sensors could improve the situation along the land borders.
Notwithstanding recent pressure for infiltration into Jammu & Kashmir,
the collaborative efforts of Police and Security Forces have led to a
significant decline in the number of operating terrorists as also in
terrorist violence in the State of the Jammu and Kashmir. Improvement
in the security environment resulted in a successful Amarnath Yatra this
year and in a record number of tourists visiting the state. The State
has also successfully conducted the Panchayat elections and is now
poised to take up the responsibility of conducting elections to the
Urban Local Bodies.
But the threat from terrorism in the
hinterland continues to be a cause for worry. Although 19 interdictions
have taken place, terrorists were able to strike in Mumbai and Delhi
last year and in Pune this year. Investigations in these cases are yet
to conclude. We are still in the process of developing capabilities to
take pre-emptive action in respect of terrorist threats. Realignment of
operational approaches, training of police personnel and more effective
collaboration among States and between States and the Centre should form
part of our overall strategy of dealing with the menace of terrorism.
While addressing this conference on
earlier occasions, I had emphasized upon the need for filling up all
existing vacancies in our police forces and their adequate training. It
is in this context that I am happy to know that 3.9 lakh Police and
Central Armed Police Forces personnel have been recruited in the last 30
months and 6.35 lakh have been trained. But more efforts need to be
made by the States to fill the vacancies.
Cyber Crime and Newer
Police leaders should also dedicate
themselves to planned technological upgradation of their forces. There
are many emerging areas where our police forces need to develop new
expertise. I have already mentioned the use of new media by miscreants
to spread rumours and falsehood. Another such area is our
cyber-security. Our country's vulnerability to cyber crime is
escalating as our economy and critical infrastructure become
increasingly reliant on interdependent computer networks and the
internet. Large-scale computer attacks on our critical infrastructure
and economy can have potentially devastating results. The Government is
working on a robust cyber security structure that addresses threat
management and mitigation, assurance and certification, specially
building capacity and enhancing research. To this end, we need to build
partnerships between Government, academia and the private sector.
Women and Social
There is a feeling that violence against
women and the elderly is growing in the metropolitan cities. I have
touched on the subject in my addresses in the preceding years as well.
Maintaining a secure environment in our cities requires special skills
built around our knowledge of technology, economics and sociology.
Therefore, policing the metropolitan areas, especially controlling the
organized crime and protecting the vulnerable in these areas require the
focused attention of our police forces.
These are a few thoughts which I wish to
share with you. I wish you all the very best in your efforts for
ensuring the Rule of Law in our country and a safe, secure and peaceful
environment for all our citizens.