Separate training modules for police to tackle crime in tribal areas

New Delhi, Feb 25 (IANS): The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is mulling separate training modules for police personnel to tackle crime in tribal areas and strengthen village policing.

It has asked Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy (SVPNPA) Hyderabad and North East Police Academy (NEPA), Shillong to prepare training modules for the state police.

The government's move follows the recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs in its 237th report submitted in Parliament on February 10.

The Parliamentary panel recommended that the SVPNPA, Hyderabad and the NEPA, Shillong may collaborate with state training institutes to include the study of the cultural gap among the tribes, and include their aspirations and tradition as part of the training curriculum of the police personnel.

"The training manual of the states may also be suitably amended so that the police officers are made aware of local traditions and customs particularly of the tribals and other vulnerable groups," the Committee said in its reports.

The Parliamentary panel also said that police personnel posted in the tribal belt should have regular interaction with the tribal leaders, NGO activists, non-state representatives like the lawyers, university professors along with scholars having specialisation in tribal issues for better handling of the crimes in their areas.

Policing in tribal areas is quite different from the rest and the number of police stations in these belts are also less, therefore, the policing in these areas is quite different, a senior official posted in the tribal belt said.

He also said that because of topography and forest region, police presence in these areas is very less which also led to the rise of Maoist's dominance in the tribal areas of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha and neighbouring states.

"Majority of the tribal population is not that literate, educated and they have been living there in traditional ways since ages. The village's rules and customs only work as policing for them," the police officials said. With the expansion of the policing system in these states and number of police stations were set up in these areas but due to lack of adequate facilities for the police personnel, the police forces are not willing to stay there for longer time, they added.

Since the villages are now getting closer to the towns with an increase in the population, the government is also willing to revise and strengthen the village police system.

The Parliamentary Committee has also asked the MHA Ato coordinate with states and Union Territories to make arrangements for providing training to the members of the village policing system about their role and responsibilities to help the police in the maintenance of law and order in the rural area.

It also recommended that the BPR&D undertake a study by collecting state-wise data on the village policing system in the country in order to make a proper assessment of the prevalence and performance of the village policing in the country.

The panel also suggested that the MHA may encourage the state/UTs and incentivise them for setting up village policing systems as it would reduce the burden of the local police stations at semi-urban, Notified Area Councils (NACs) and towns in policing, vigilance and crime prevention.



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