Only 10 of 196 Kashmir police stations have restrictions: Shah
New Delhi: Asserting that neither a “single bullet” was fired nor a “single person died” after the abrogation of the special status to erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday said the restrictions are now limited to areas only under 10 of the 196 police stations in Kashmir Valley.
Addressing the 2018 batch Indian Police Service (IPS) probationers, the Minister urged them to make tough yet correct decisions and said that some bold measures are necessary for people’s benefit without getting bogged down by the fear of a backlash.
“Not a single bullet had been fired or not a single person had died after the abrogation of Article 370. Only 10 police stations of Kashmir, out of 196, have Section 144 in force,” he said.
Shah reiterated that Jammu and Kashmir would not remain a Union Territory (UT) forever and that statehood would be returned once the situation normalises.
“All regional identities are inherently protected by the Indian Constitution. Article 370 was the root cause of cross border terrorism,” he said.
Speaking on the need for a National Register of Citizens (NRC), he asserted that it was essential not just for national security but for good governance as well.
“NRC must not be seen as a political exercise as it is very important to have a national citizen register in order to ensure that benefits of development reach all our citizens,” he said.
Referring to the need to improve police efficiency, Shah told the probationers that as IPS officers, their job would be to ensure that there is freedom to take required decisions and owning up of responsibility at all levels, without overstepping of boundaries.
He urged the young officers to encourage and inspire their staff and build the capacity of constables.
“An organization can only be as strong as its base, and the base of the police system is the constable,” he said.
Speaking on the increasing proportion of women in police at every level, Shah said that lady IPS officers can inspire other women to join the police.
“Gender-based reservation was not the answer to the issue of inadequate representation of women in the police. There is a need to change the societal mindset in this regard. This would gradually happen,” he added.
On police reforms, he said: “Reforming the system does not mean shunning the old ways of policing totally, rather it is a continuous process of adaptation of the old methods to address new challenges.”
Noting that the government is committed to police reforms, Shah encouraged the probationers to individually carry out small yet important improvements in local police functioning, wherever they were posted.
“Maintenance of law and order is very important to achieve Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of a $5 trillion economy.”
The Minister urged that the fear associated with the police be removed by bringing in positive behavioral change in personnel and said that the IPS as an institution must make this change percolate to the grassroots.
“Minimum use of force and maximum effectiveness should be the motto of police everywhere. There is a need of human touch and sensitivity in the police to gain peoples’ trust.”
The Minister called for a conceptual change in the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and said that the amended code must be in line with India being a welfare state.
Noting that the purpose of the CrPC has shifted from the preservation of the British Empire to the welfare of people, Shah said this has to be reflected in the provisions and application of the code.