Prime Minister, Dr
Manmohan Singh, addressed the Annual Conference of DGPs/ IGPs -2012 in
New Delhi today. Following is the text of the Prime Minister’s speech on
“It is more than 150 years since the Police Act came into force. The
story of our police forces during this period is marked by countless
examples of courage, valour, and sacrifice. Thousands of our policemen
and women have laid down their lives in the performance of the duty. I
join you all in paying homage to all these gallant persons.
I am happy to announce that to mark the completion of 150 years of
policing in India, a commemorative medal will be awarded to all
policemen who were on duty between March 2011 and February 2012.
Let me also take this opportunity to congratulate all those who have
been awarded medals today. I hope to see their high standards emulated
in large numbers in the future.
Today is the concluding day of this very important conference. I am sure
you have had useful and productive discussion on many issues that
critically concern the police forces of our country. I would add to your
deliberations by flagging some points that I feel you should consider
The ethnic, religious and cultural diversity in our country is a source
of strength and vitality to India. We must therefore, continue to
strengthen the thread of unity running through our variegated societal
landscape. It is in this context that the increase in the communal
incidents in the country in the past few months and the revival of
ethnic tensions in the North East in recent weeks have been particular
causes of concern to all of us. The ethnic disturbances of the North
East assumed a national dimension with the flight of people belonging to
the North East from various towns of South and Western India. This
further strained the communal situation in the country, which was
already showing some signs of deterioration, particularly in the states
of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala.
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 policing.
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.
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.
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.
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 requires 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