BHUBANESWAR: Shortage of trained police personnel came in the way of effective countering of Maoist menace in the State at a time when the rebels were spreading their wings to newer areas.
In its latest report, the CAG said in eight police districts, including several Maoist-affected ones, only 1,054 police personnel, which is 22 per cent of the required 4,896, had undergone training in handling sophisticated weapons during 2004- 2011.
While 49 of 954 police personnel in the Maoist-affected Koraput district were trained, in Rayagada district only five per cent __ 38 __ of the 626 personnel were trained in handling sophisticated weapons. Trained personnel in other districts were 110 out of 259 in Nayagarh, 42 out of 140 in Jharsuguda, 89 out of 288 in Sundargarh, 76 out of 364 in Dhenkanal and 38 out of 1,553 in DCP, Bhubaneswar. However, all the 162 police personnel in Cuttack district were trained in handling sophisticated weapons. The CAG maintained that shortfall in utilisation of training slots assigned to the State during 2004-2010 was 39 per cent. Besides, the number of police personnel, trained in handling sophisticated weapons in the State as on March 31, 2011, was not available with the Home Department.
The Department maintained that with setting up of three more police training colleges, each having a capacity of 1,500, the problem of non-availability of trained manpower was being sorted out.
The CAG has also criticised the State Government for not having a long-term strategy to counter the Maoist menace. Central guidelines for modernisation of police force (MPF) scheme required the State Government to draw up five-year perspective plans.
The State Government prepared a perspective plan for 2000-05. However, it did not prepare such plans for 2005-10 and 2011-16. There was nothing on record to indicate that the State Government had laid out a long-term strategy to improve the operational efficiency of the State police, particularly for tackling the growing LWE activities in the State, the CAG report said. During 2004-11, the Department spent ` 374.66 crore under the scheme on procurement of modern weapons, vehicles, equipment, communication systems, computerisation, security/intelligence equipment, forensic science laboratory and construction of residential and non-residential buildings for police forces. While 55 per cent of the total allocation was allotted and spent for construction of residential and non-residential buildings, only 11.5 per cent of the allocation was spent on important activities like communication, computerisation, forensic science, intelligence gathering, improving investigation and human resource development.