'Citizen engagement can improve policing'

Local communities had helped root out terrorism in Punjab, recall experts


Geetanjali Minhas | April 22, 2010

Speakers at a seminar on police-citizen cooperation
Speakers at a seminar on police-citizen cooperation

At a seminar held on Wednesday, experts underlined the need for the police to engage with local communities in fighting crime and law enforcement.
“Local cooperation with law enforcement agencies is extremely important like it happened in Punjab ,” B Raman, Former Additional Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, said at the seminar, part of a series on police-local community interactions, held in Chembur suburbs of Mumbai
D. Sivanadhan, Mumbai police commissioner, said the police had been taking several steps to build citizens trust in the security and law enforcement set-up, by mobilizing mohalla committees, slum panchayats, and women vigilante groups, for general vigilance.

M.K. Narayanan, former national security advisor and now West Bengal governor, observed that the ‘rich classes’ had regrettably been indifferent to the efforts to improve security and law enforcement – a situation that must change for the better.
Dr Anil Kakodkar, former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, said that state police vehicles  should have radiation detection  monitors mounted  on them and personnel should be trained to use them.
Emergency response centers should be set up at identified locations and Atomic Energy Regulation Board should lay down permissible limits for radiation and for action from emergency response teams, he added.

Discussing the larger security issues, Narayanan said Pakistan continued to exploit terrorism as part of the state policy and Lashkar-e-toiba (LET) continued to threaten India’s security.
”While the new breed of terrorists is operating seamlessly across nations, borders and societies and the advent of suicide bombers and suicide missions pose threats to the best security set-ups, comprehensive international  effort to  counter terrorism is yet to be seen,” he pointed out.
G. Parthasarthy, foreign policy expert, observed that Pakistan, unlike India , had not been able to have a national identity for themselves and the use of radical Islam by the Pakistan military – not the ordinary citizens -- was a result of this identity crisis.



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