UTs not part of Police Force Modernization Scheme
JAMMU, Nov 20: As the Union Territories across the country are not part of the Modernization of Police Force Scheme, the administration of newly created Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh is mulling to take up the issue with the Ministry of Home Affairs for alternate mode of financial assistance keeping in view the strategic importance of the region.
The Ministry of Home Affairs is extending help to the States under the Modernization of Police Force Scheme to fully equip their police forces up to the desired level keeping in view their financial constraints.
The objective of the scheme is to gradually reduce the dependence of the State Governments on the Army and the Central Armed Police Forces to control internal security and law and order situations by equipping the State police forces adequately and strengthening their training infrastructure.
Moreover, the focus of the scheme is to strengthen police infrastructure at the cutting edge level by construction of secure police stations, training centres, police housing (residential), equipping the police stations with the required mobility, modern weaponry, communication equipment and forensic set-up etc.
Three Himalayan States including the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir were getting financial assistance on 90:10 Centre-State sharing basis while as the remaining States are eligible for financial assistance on 60:40 sharing basis.
As far as Union Territories are concerned, the Police Modernization Scheme was implemented since 2006-07 and was subsequently extended for two more years and majority of funds were utilized towards construction of police stations and housing for the police personnel. However, the scheme for the Union Territories lapsed in March 2013.
Following bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir State into two Union Territories as per the provisions of J&K Reorganization Act passed by the Parliament in the first week of August this year, J&K and Ladakh have ceased to remain part of the scheme.
This was admitted by the Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy in the Lok Sabha today while responding to a question regarding implementation of Modernization of Police Force Scheme and funds allocated to the States and Union Territories.
“Union Territories are not part of this scheme”, the Union Minister mentioned in the written reply while giving details about the funds released to the States during 2018-19 and current year 2019-20.
He informed that an amount of Rs 43.19 crore was released to the erstwhile State of J&K during 2018-19 financial year while as an amount of Rs 39.9 crore was released during the current year prior to the bifurcation of J&K into two Union Territories. However, there was no mention about the mechanism evolved for meeting the requirement of police forces modernization in the Union Territories.
“The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh are not like other UTs of the country because on one side there are two hostile neighbours and on the other side J&K is facing internal law and order problem because of Pakistan sponsored subversive activities”, sources said, adding “in view of these aspects modernization of police force is imperative for better management of law and order situation and to keep strict vigil on the activities of the hostile neighbours”.
They further said, “the administration of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh is mulling to approach Ministry of Home Affairs for alternate mode of assistance for modernization of police force”.
“The possibility of MHA having already made some arrangement keeping in view the strategic importance of J&K and Ladakh Union Territories cannot be ruled out but clarity will come only when a formal communication is issued in this regard”, sources said.
It is pertinent to mention here that despite huge financial assistance under Modernization of Police Force Scheme to the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir Police is still reeling under infrastructure shortage. Moreover, newly created Ladakh Police needs vast infrastructure to make operational all wings.