Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh chairing the meeting on internal security issues related to the Northeast, in New Delhi on Tuesday. – PIB
The police chiefs of northeastern states were taken aback when Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today did some tough talking expressing his concern at the poor quality of investigation and low prosecution and conviction rates.
The meeting was convened by the Union Home Ministry to review the internal security situation of the Northeast, which was attended by the state chief secretaries and DGPs.
Singh chaired the meeting which was also joined by Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Dr Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and senior officers from the Central Government and northeastern states.
“Unfortunately, prosecution and conviction ratio in criminal cases in some northeastern states is very poor. In one state the prosecution ratio is only five per cent in comparison to all-India average of 86 per cent. In some states, kidnapping, abduction, extortion are rampant, but in all such cases the ratio of prosecution and conviction is less than one per cent, which is unacceptable,” Singh said.
“When a criminal goes scot-free then people lose their confidence in the justice system. When the ratio of acquittal is so high then moral legitimacy of the state is undermined and at the same time, it incentivises the crime. The basic reason of high number of acquittal is result of poor investigation. It has been observed that scientific tools are not being adequately used during investigation,” the Union Home Minister said.
In some states of the Northeast, the state of forensic science laboratories is not satisfactory. The respective police chiefs should pay special attention in this direction, Singh suggested.
The Union Home Minister said proliferation of illegal arms is also rapidly increasing, though most part of the Northeast has become free from militancy. But due to large number of illegal arms, the crime rate is still high in the region. “I would advise all the state DGPs to launch massive campaigns against illegal arms traders and holders,” Singh said.
“Barring the Siliguri corridor, all northeastern states have international border. And through these borders illegal arms, narcotics, fake Indian currency are being smuggled into the country. These border areas are practically un-policed. There is a need to accord top priority to policing and opening police stations in these areas,” he opined.
“If we think about future security threats radicalisation has emerged as a big challenge. Radicalisation is a trans-national
phenomenon. If it is not stopped, it could take the form of terrorism. The Northeast is very vulnerable to such threats, so it is necessary to identify the agents of radicalisation,” he said.
“Some operate in the garb of religion and some in the garb of NGO and sociocultural and economic development. Their activities should be closely monitored and if necessary, preventive action should be taken. Funding of such organisations could be from abroad. So flow of foreign funds should be closely monitored,” Singh said.
He also raised the issue of repatriation of Bru tribals from Tripura to Mizoram. The grant of citizenship to Chakmas and Hajongs pending for long should be resolved, he opined. “Resolution of these issues will lead to decrease in crime and tensions. The states concerned should take urgent steps to resolve these issues,” he said.
Earlier, he began his address by saying that in the past few years security situation in the Northeast has improved significantly. In the region major areas have become free from militancy and in the remaining few pockets militants are fast losing their support, he said.
“Effective counterinsurgency, responsive development and considerable improvement in our relationship with the neighbouring countries have led to better internal security situation,” he said. But he pointed out that armed gangs in the guise of militants are involved in extortion, kidnapping and abduction.
“In the region, the Government of India has fast-tracked development works. Development of road, rail, air, power and digital infrastructure are among many initiatives taken by the Centre. Better emphasis on development of local human resources has led to better security situation and better results are expected in other sectors as well. Our Act East Policy has opened doors of the region to Southeast Asian markets,” he said.
“In Northeast India, human and natural resources are rich and it is essential that we create a secure and peaceful environment for its proper utilisation,” he said.
News Source: Assam tribune