States not doing enough to strengthen police: Chidambaram


New Delhi : Home Minister P. Chidambaram Monday expressed regret that the state governments had not done enough to strengthen the police force and improve intelligence-sharing, which he said were key to fight the security challenges India faces.

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“We had circulated a questionnaire to the state governments requesting them to indicate the present status under a number of heads and on a number of issues. I regret to point out that the response from the states is far from satisfactory,” Chidambaram said in his address to the internal security conference attended by chief ministers here.

The home minister said the police reforms “have not received the attention they deserve” despite Supreme Court directions in that regard.

“I regret to point out that many state governments have not yet constituted the Police Establishment Board. Nor have they fully complied with the other directions,” Chidambaram said.

The situation of vacant posts in police is “quite alarming”, he added.

The home minister said that the setting up of the Multi-Agency Centre (MAC) and (state-level)-MACs had made intelligence-sharing better but “there is scope for more improvement”.

The MAC, tasked to collect intelligence in real time and optimise intelligence flow between different agencies, was made operational in January this year after the terror attacks in November.

He added that the state governments needed to raise and deploy their own Special Intervention Units (SIUs) and Quick Reaction Teams (QRTs) in as many cities as possible even as four National Security Guard (NSG) hubs have been set up in the country.

The central government had suggested that the states raise a State Industrial Security Force on the lines of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and “I would request the state governments to respond to the suggestion”, the minister said.

Stressing that the government was focussing on coastal security and border management, Chidamabaram regretted that the construction of coastal police stations, outposts and check posts as well as border outposts (BoPs) was going on at a “slow pace”.