Mumbai, Nov 26 (IANS) Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram Friday called for modernising and equipping the country's police forces to ensure that they are ready to tackle challenges like the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.
Speaking at a function here on the second anniversary of the 26/11 attack, Chidambaram said that in the past two years, the country has learnt quite a few lessons and one of them was the need to pay attention to the police forces.
"There are over 300,000 vacancies in police forces all over India. We must recruit more police personnel. We must give them proper shoes, weapons, training, decent pay and housing," Chidambaram said.
If these basic needs were neglected, he said, how would India have a police force capable of rising to the occasion in times of tragedy or distress, like the 26/11 terror attacks.
Chidambaram said that while quite a bit has been done on this front, a lot more still needs to be done.
"I hope that Maharashtra, now headed by a dynamic young chief minister, Prithviraj Chavan, will show the way and lead the whole country on this aspect," Chidambaram said.
He paid homage to the memory of Mumbai Police assistant sub-inspector Tukaram Ombale who laid down his life but ensured that Pakistani terrorist Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab was nabbed alive.
Chidambaram said that if Kasab had not been caught alive, the 26/11 links to Pakistan would have remained "inconclusive."
He also handed over a CNG Station in Borivli to the family members of Ombale and paid rich tributes to his bravery which ensured safety and security of the citizens.