JAMMU: Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Wednesday instructed the police to initiate process of releasing those political prisoners in the state against whom no criminal charges are registered.
“Urging the police to become part of the change with the arrival of a new government, Mufti said the role of the police beyond providing security is of crucial importance to provide people much needed relief on different fronts. He said the presence of police at different levels should be a source of re-assurance to public rather than a cause of fear,” according to an official spokesman.
The Chief Minister was holding a detailed review with the Director General of Police K. Rajendra here after assuming office, the spokesman said. IG, CID, Mr. B. Srinivasan also attended the meeting.
“The police will have to bring in a behavioural change amongst themselves and present a soft humane face to the people and a helping hand to the needy. The police has played a significant role in the conduct of recent assembly elections which have further strengthened the democratic institutions and procedures in the state. Similar spirit has to be displayed by the police in other day to day matters dealt with by it,” Mufti said.
He instructed the police to initiate a process of releasing all those political prisoners in the state against whom no criminal charges are registered. He also directed making the passport clearances time bound and minimising the procedural wrangles.
“Initiating a process of release of political prisoners would send a positive message across the political spectrum of the state. Dissent in democracy makes the system vibrant and dynamic and we should always try to evolve such a system adding democracy is a battle of ideas and it should not be held hostage to the agreements or disagreements on issues,” the Chief Minister said.
He observed that the delays in issuing passports and providing clearances for travel have been a constant source of dismay and irritation for common people and directed the police authorities to make the police verification process time bound and transparent. He asked the police authorities to evolve a practicable mechanism by which more and more such cases are decided in quick time frames and the minor procedural wrangles are done away with.
On the issue of providing travel documents to intending Hajj pilgrims, the Chief Minister categorically directed that their cases should be cleared well in advance and no pilgrim should be subjected to inconvenience and difficulties during the whole process.
The Chief Minister urged upon the police to encourage a people-friendly approach within its ranks and make the organisation more accountable and transparent with a greater degree of integrity. He also emphasised on improving the professional skills of police particularly in areas like crime control and traffic management so that people are served in a better way. He said the traffic management on the National Highways and in the cities is becoming more of a challenge for Police with the addition of more and more vehicles on roads.
Mufti also directed the DGP to prepare a comprehensive plan for the rehabilitation of surrendered and released militants “so that they are integrated into the mainstream of the society.” He said these youth should be given a chance to settle down and lead a normal life as other citizens of the state and contribute to the society.
Mufti also instructed setting up of a helpline and distress call centres at various places outside the state for the people who are in need of help. This, he said, would go a long way in giving people of the state particularly students a sense of confidence while they are studying or travelling.
The Chief Minister also advised the DGP to undertake on-the-spot recruitment process in the police particularly in areas which are under-represented in Police department. This, he said, would give the residents of these areas a sense of participation in the governance besides improving their representation in the force.