Home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on Sunday targeted Pakistan for its help to millitant infiltrating from across the border into the country. “We have information that Pakistan is helping millitant to enter our territory. We have intelligence inputs. But we are on an alert,” Shinde said here on the sidelines of an event to mark the police commemoration day.
He said his ministry had issued directions to all security forces to be extra vigilant during the festival season and ensure peace. “I also appeal to people to be extra careful,” he said soon after laying a wreath at a memorial for central and state police forces.
Referring to Jammu and Kashmir, Shinde said security forces cannot be withdrawn from the state till peace returns entirely.
“When I was in Jammu and Kashmir, locals asked me to remove the army from the Kashmir valley. But I told them that we can’t do so till the situation is peaceful. I will remove the army when the situation is peaceful,” he said.
Shinde was in the border state about a week ago on a security review tour when he met central security forces personnel posted there, apart from the civilian administration, to get apprised of the prevailing situation there.
The home minister also said he had visited the India-Bangladesh border on Saturday and assessed the situation there.
Earlier, attending the police commemoration day ceremony, Shinde paid tributes to 575 security personnel who laid down their lives in the line of duty in the last one year.
While 383 personnel from state police forces were killed between Sep 1, 2011 and Aug 31 this year, 192 men from the central armed police forces died during the same period.
This is the first time ever that all central police forces came together to observe the police commemoration day to remember their fallen comrades.
But, the government is yet to accord the status of ‘martyrs’ to the central police and paramilitary personnel who die in the line of duty, on a par with the defence forces personnel, though both fight insurgencies within the country.
On May 8 this year, minister of state for home Jitendra Singh had told parliament in a written reply to questions from Lok Sabha members that “no consensus” could emerge on according ‘martyr’ status to central police and paramilitary personnel who die in line of duty, when it was discussed by a committee of secretaries last year.
“The matter (for giving status of martyr to paramilitary personnel) was considered by the committee of secretaries on Sep 14, 2011 but there was no consensus on the issue,” Singh had then said.
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