TODAY -

MHA to give more teeth to local cops in NE India
Source: The Sangai Express / Courtesy - Mail Today

New Delhi, March 19 2018: With BJP's "unstoppable surge" in the North Eastern (NE) States and development becoming the core agenda in the region, top Government sources said the Ministry of Home Affairs is up with a plan stressing on "local policing as road to development in these States". The NDA Government in New Delhi is preparing a blueprint to realise the "poorna vikas (complete development)" goal of the saffron party in the region, they confirmed.

"Development can only happen in peace and that can be ensured only by the local police taking a proactive role in the development growth engines, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi envisages for the region, rests on local States' police taking the mantle of handling local law and order and ensuring development activities," says a senior MHA source, requesting anonymity.

Elaborating the MHA's thrust, the source told Mail Today : "MHA is seriously pushing the idea that the local police must be at the forefront of handling local crime and State law and order issues.

The reason to do so is from the fact that North East in the last three years, especially in 2017, has seen the minimum violent incidents and sharpest dip in insurgency time has come to leverage this growing peace and suitable environs for development, including infrastructure building in the region, by giving the local police the role it stands for" .

This move is seriously being discussed and there is a concerted effort to reach out to the local police in North East States with a clear plan to strength their own capacity to handle crime and criminals, upgrade their armoury, modernise local police infrastructure as many districts even lack adequate police stations.

"The MHA is also ready to create a separate Central fund for security related provisions and even for constructing the requisite police infrastructure and to get their forces trained to handle the local crime situation.

We will also give them training with weapons and intelligence gathering," says the MHA source.

Admitting the fact that a holistic development faces a hurdle under the cover of para-military forces standing in every corner, the source added: "Local crime must be handled and citizens must engage with the local police for their grievances.

Not only it infuses a sense of normalcy, the local police also get engaged in vital intelligence gathering to aid security forces.

It gets further teeth to handle criminals and miscreants to ensure 'business as usual', eventually leading to big infrastructure projects, roads and connectivity networks and crime-free inter region passage to boost tourism" .

The region needs hospitals and hospitality sector both working in full swing and that can happen only if the local police are capable of handling those thwarting their expansion and utility, the Government source said, adding, "The MHA feels that the para-military and other special forces deployed in the region can be engaged exclusively in intelligence gathering against terror modules, patrolling the borders and for special operations other than local crime and maintaining law and order in North Eastern States" .

The Central Government's idea to engage the local police is encouraged by its recent experiences in Manipur and Assam.

"In Manipur, the abductions have come down drastically since we started engaging the local police to handle it.

We have been telling this to the previous Chief Minister, but it didn't work out as now.

In Assam too, the violent incidents have come down and we're now laying our focus on other States like Arunachal, Mizoram and Nagaland to tackle crimes of cross-border infiltration as the para-forces can check on the borders, but those who still sneak in can only be identified and caught with local intelligence gathered by State cops" .

Sources say extortion, smuggling and infiltration are big concerns in Tripura and it is up to local police to handle this issue.


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