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Advani regrets poor image of cops
Tara Shankar Sahay in New Delhi/PTI | November 04, 2003 21:20 IST
Last Updated: November 04, 2003 23:39 IST
Referring to the recent rape of a Swiss diplomat in a crowded locality in the national capital, Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani said, "A society where women are unsafe cannot claim to be truly free and civilised."
He regretted that the average policemen is perceived to be insensitive, uncooperative and unfair.
Delivering the inaugural speech at a conference of director-generals of police and inspector generals of police on Tuesday, he expressed pride at their efforts in fighting terrorism, but was "circumspect when it comes to aspects of police-society interface."
Even conceding that the police forces are stretched to the limits, this argument could not 'effectively answer the mounting allegations of them overlooking offences by the rich and the well-connected, harassment of the poor, of tardy investigation and custodial violence'.
These lapses, however, could not obscure the good work done by a majority of the police forces. Urging senior personnel to lead by example, Advani hoped that reforms would soon be introduced and implemented.
Intelligence Bureau Director K P Singh emphasised that despite their best efforts the influence of certain inimical forces continues to be undiminished 'leaving us little scope to loosen our guard'.
The IB and security agencies had unearthed and neutralised 187 jihadi terrorist modules (not including those in J&K), which had been sponsored from across the border.
Meanwhile, asserting that the government has always favoured resolution of all conflicts through dialogue and peaceful means, Advani hoped that the Hurriyat Conference would adopt a "sincere, realistic and constructive" approach when they come for talks with him.
The "tide in Jammu and Kashmir is turning. After the assembly elections last year, the Centre has rendered its fullest support to confidence restoring measures undertaken by the state government.
"Recently, we have added a new dimension to efforts to restore peace and normalcy in the state," he said referring to the talks offer extended to the Hurriyat.
"It is in this spirit that I have agreed to meet the Hurriyat leaders. I hope that they bring to these talks a sincere, constructive and realistic approach, consistent with the intense desire of the people of the state to see an end to the era of violence."
Referring to Pakistan, Advani said its sincerity to improve bilateral ties could be gauged by its response to India's demand to hand over 20 fugitives, including Dawood Ibrahim, whom the US recently declared a "global terrorist."
Expressing serious concern over growing left wing extremism, Advani said the Centre was planning to set up a special Central Reserve Police Force wing to tackle the menace and asked states to ensure all round development of areas affected by Naxal terrorism.
Naxalites have expanded their influence to nearly a dozen states and have acquired modern weapons as well as technology.
"The proposed wing will remain a striking force to be dovetailed with the composite action initiated by the states themselves against underground as well as overground Naxalites," Advani said.
Others present at the function included Ministers of Home Haren Pathak and I D Swami, Cabinet Secretary Kamal Pande, Home Secretary N Gopalaswami and IB Special Director A K Duval.
More reports from Delhi
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