The Centre has issued an advisory to states asking them to reserve 33 per cent of posts in police forces for women, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said today. He also said that under the Nirbhaya Fund created after the gruesome Delhi gangrape of 2011, nearly 40,500 police personnel are being trained especially for protection of women and cyber security. Singh said two projects have been sanctioned under the Nirbhaya Funds and 60 counsellors would be hired in the next two years. "I have written to Chief Ministers of all the states with regard to 33 per cent reservation in women and police. State governments have taken cognizance of it and are working in that direction," he said while replying to a debate in the Lok Sabha on Demand for Grants of Home Ministry. During the debate, the Opposition accused the government of slashing funds for major programmes like internal security and police modernisation, saying this would weaken the fight against terrorism and extremism. The Home Minister, while rejecting the opposition contention, said the government will roll out in a few months a student-police cadet scheme for which an action plan has been prepared. The Student Police Cadet Project is a school-based youth development initiative that trains high school students with an aim of helping them evolve as future leaders by inculcating within them respect for the law, discipline, civic sense and resistance to social evils. Talking about Kashmir which witnessed unrest last year, he said a plethora of measures were being taken to improve the law and order situation there. Referring to the Pathankot terror attack that took place in Janury last year, the Home Minister said the Centre took it up as a challenge and the investigation were at an advanced stage. On the terrorism front, he said the killing of militants have increased.
While 99 terrorists had been killed in 2011, the number rose to 222 in 2016, he said.
Also, 1442 terrorists surrendered last year, against 394 in 2011, Singh said.
With regard to casualties suffered by the security forces in terror and naxal violence, he said while the government is providing assistance to their kin, corporates are also being contacted for help in this regard.
In this context, he showered praise on Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar who has declared that he would give Rs 9 lakh each to the families of 12 CRPF personnel killed in naxal attack in Sukma in Chhattisgarh recently.
Elaborating on the measures taken to contain Left Wing Extremism (LWE), Singh said the areas affected by naxalism are reducing.
He said the number of districts affected by naxalism has reduced from 106 to 68, with 35 being the most affected, across seven states like Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Maharashtra.
"Their number is decreasing and will decrease further," the Home Minister said while noting that the Centre shares forces and intelligence with the states besides the financial assistance in dealing with the problem.
The Centre as well as states have also undertaken a number of developmental works in naxal affected areas, the Home Minister said. Elaborating, he said in 35 districts, 358 new bank branches, 752 ATMs and 1789 post offices have been opened over the last two years. The number of police personnel who have died in violent attacks has gone down from 611 in 2011 to 278 in 2016, Singh said. He said number of extremists who have surrendered before the law enforcing agencies have gone up from 1442 in 2016 to 384 in 2011. Emphasising that insurgency was a big challenge in the northeast, Singh noted that there was a significant decline in insurgency. "There was a 75 decline in insurgency cases in Northeast over the last two decades," Singh said.
Singh said that in the year 2016, the least incidents of insurgency took place in the country. The Home Minister rejected the opposition charge that the allocation for internal security has been reduced and said the assistance under Security Related Expenditure (SRE) has, in fact, been hiked for the financial year 2017-18. With regard to the issue of "intolerance", the Home Minister said the number of cases has come down significantly from 823 in 2013 to 703 in 2016. At the same time, he said the issue concerns state governments as law and order is a State subject. On the facilities for the paramilitary forces, the Home Minister said the goverment has taken steps to deal with the housing problem for the personnel. He said the personnel of the paramilitary forces who suffer injury would be deemed to be on duty while they recuperate in hospital. The Centere has also approached the Sarojini Damodaran Foundation seeking education of the children of the martyrs, Singh said. On grievance redressal in the paramilitary forces, he said there are mechanisms available in this regard. The Centre is also providing financial assistance to the India Reserve Battalion. He acknowledged that cyber crime was increasing in the country and said 66 cyber forensic centres would be opened in states and union terrotories. On the fencing of Indo-Bangladesh border as demanded by Trinamool Congress members during the debate, the Home Minister said the work in some areas is delayed because of problems in acquiring land for the purpose. He appealed to the West Bengal government, through the members of Trinamool Congress which rules the state, to expedite land acquisition so that the work can move at fast pace. "We had made request to the West Bengal government but it has not been been met yet. Please tell your Chief Minister to speed up the land acquisition so that we can speed up the fencing work," he told Trinamool members. Other reasons that are preventing cent per cent fencing of the border with Bangladesh are riverine, mountains and objections by neighbours. The Centre, Singh said, is taking up pilot project based of space-based technology to secure the borders. Rubbishing criticism that the budgetary allocation had not been utilised, Singh said, "We have already spent 91 per cent of the fund and the rest the will spent before the end of the current fiscal." He also rejected allegations that the Centre is not providing enough assistance to West Bengal government for the Enclaves which have been transfered from Bangladesh to India. "It is not proper to say the government is not paying attention to those who have come from Bangladesh and become nationals here," he said. He said Rs 140 crore were allocated in the year 2015-16 and this was hiked to Rs 340 crore in 2016-17 but only Rs 140 crore could be released as the state government could not provide the utilisation certificate. "We will release all the money once utilisation certificates come," he added. On PoK refugees, he said assistance will start this financial year itself. He said 20,000 families have taken forms, out of which 3,000 families have submitted documents. About the national capital, he said Delhi Police, which comes under the Home Ministry, was taking effective steps to check crimes. CCTV cameras are being installed and training is being given to the people, he added.