Country's security a people-police enterprise, says PC

New Delhi: Home Minister P Chidambaram today made it clear that the country's security is a "shared responsibility" between people and security forces and cooperation from all is expected.

"Everyone has to be alert with what they see, hear and must report. Everyone has to chip in," the minister said in a press conference on Thursday.

stressing the need for people's participation in security related matters for their own safety.

The Home Minister also retorted to BJP's Arun Jaitley comment that the minister was heckled at the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital by the Delhi High Court blast victims' relatives on Wednesday.

"People were simply pouring their angst to a public representative and BJP's Arun Jailey is out of office for too long to understand it," Chidambaram said.

The jibe against Jaitley came as the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha was highly critical of Chidambaram about poor internal security.

"It is high time BJP shows statesmanship. It is not in the DNA of the BJP to maintain bipartisanship ," Chidambaram said in the media meet at the National Capital.

 Countrys security a people-police enterprise, says PC

Home Minister P Chidambaram. PTI

Admitting that his career as Home Minister has three blots till date, Chidambaram said, "We are building our security capacity brick by brick to neutralise a terror attack."

"It is wrong to say we are doing nothing," he said. "We are constantly maintaining vigil and gathering intelligence either to prevent an attack or respond to one. It will take time to build capacity when we can say that we are equal to the challenge."

Giving details about casualties in the Wednesday's Delhi High Court blast, the minister said, "Thirteen people died and 88 were injured. Out of the 88, forty are discharged and the other 48 are undergoing treatment at various hospitals in the city."

Chidambaram said three emails were received claiming responsibility of the blast but he termed the last email as "amateurish".

"The code was cracked within minutes and it indicated that the next attack would be in Ahmedabad. Nevertheless we are treating it seriously," the minister said.

Regarding the cracking of the case, Chidambaram said, "There are promising leads but not conclusive ones. All leads are being pursued round-the-clock. The first email sender from Khistwar (in Jammu and Kashmir) has been located and taken into custody for interrogation."

The minister, however, refused to take the blame for the absence CCTVs at gate No.- 5 of the Delhi High Court where the blast occurred.

"The Delhi PWD cancelled tenders for the CCTVs three or four times. Delhi PWD was risk averse as it feared criticism for any decision it takes," Chidambaram said.

Even though Chidambaram accepted that there are lapses in policing, he said that the government is trying its best to plug those loopholes. The minister appealed to the people to understand the difficulties of security personnel and cooperate with them. "From 15 August to December it is a difficult security situation because of festivals and anniversaries of other blasts," he said.

"An average policeman stands on his feet for 14 hours a day. He or she doesn't get weekly offs for three weeks," Chidambaram said, while explaining the challenges before the cops. "An Indo-Tibetan Border Police soldier is locked up for six months in a 10x15 feet cell at the height of 15,000 feet. The CRPF in Naxalite areas are exposed to the worst form of malaria," he said.

Saying that vacancies in different police forces in the country have accumulated to lakhs over the years, the minister said, "There are lots of police vacancies. Despite filling it up in lakhs in different police forces including Delhi Police, the vacancy still stands at five to six lakhs."

"Recruitment will go on until we reach the world average of police-population ratio. People must share security responsibility with the forces," the minister said, stressing the need for people's participation in security related matters for their own safety.

Chidambaram was uncomfortable at pointing fingers to Pakistan or Bangladesh until a concrete evidence is available before putting the blame of the recent blast to cross-border terrorist organisations.

"The epicentre of terrorism is the Af-Pak region. But it is not fine to point fingers at any country without concrete clues," he said.

The minister said all anti-terrorist agencies are working in tandem to crack the Delhi blast and the recent blast was not a case of intelligence failure.

"All intelligence inputs are actionable. Intelligence is unlike an invitation card. It has to be cracked from broad information," Chidambaram said, refuting an allegation made by the Delhi Lt Gov Tejinder Khanna recently that there was no intelligence to act upon.

"Every intelligence is pursued to its logical end until it is proved right and wrong.  The Faridabad car was such an instance that was followed till the end until it was proved that the car or the people related with it were not related to the blast," the minister said.

"We share information with everyone nowadays. It is no longer shared in a need to know basis. In 18 months, the NATGRID would be operational," Chidambaram said. The minister said that the Delhi Police special cell would be strengthened. "The Mumbai blasts in July this year will be cracked soon," he said.

The minister also refuted Jaitley's allegations of the six unsolved cases.

"Out of the six, one is in BJP-ruled Karnataka and looked upon by the state's police. The Varanasi blast case is with the Uttar Pradesh police. It is ruled by the BSP. The rest are with the Delhi Police," Chidambaram said.

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Updated Date: Sep 09, 2011 17:51:41 IST