India’s police ill-equipped, inadequate: Chidambaram

Raipur, June 2 (Calcutta Tube) Home Minister P. Chidambaram Wednesday admitted that the country has an ill-equipped police force that makes policing difficult in a country of over 1.1 billion people in a troubled neighbourhood.

‘Policing a country of over 1.1 billion people is not an easy task. Policing a country in a troubled neighbourhood makes the task more difficult. And policing a country with insufficient police stations and inadequate and an ill-equipped police force makes the task almost formidable,’ Chidambaram said in his inaugural speech at the 40th All India Police Science Congress here.

Pointing to the inadequate number of police personnel in the country, the home minister said there were 335,000 posts lying vacant.

‘According to figures given to the central government, the total number of sanctioned posts as on March 31, 2010, in all ranks, is about 21 lakh. Of these, about 335,000 posts are vacant.

‘Thus, the police-population ratio for the whole country is about 160 per 100,000 people. This ratio is much lower than the international norm…and conceals more than it reveals,’ he said.

In Bihar, he said, the ratio is as low as 75, in Uttar Pradesh it is about 115, in Andhra Pradesh it is about 125, in Orissa about 135 and in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand – the two states most affected by leftwing extremism – the figure is 205.

‘The first order of business is to enhance the capacity of training institutes in the states to at least double the present capacity and to recruit at least double the number of policemen and women every year,’ Chidambaram said.

He added that most states barely have sufficient capacity to impart even basic training to new recruits.

The three-day congress will extensively discuss several issues, though terrorism and left-wing extremism will be the prime focus.

The event, organised by the Bureau of Police Research and Development, New Delhi, in association with the Chhattisgarh Police, will also discuss the modernisation of the police and the use of data-management in the system.

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