CHANDIGARH:Calling for strengthening of border defence, former Punjab DGP K P S Gill on Thursday said the Army and National Security Guard should not be used to deal with terrorists. Instead, the state police force should be fully equipped to deal with such issues.
“It is high time we had a relook of our border security.... The BSF is doing its duty in a good way. But they need to use technology more. The border should be properly fenced and lit up at night. The government should focus more on border areas and spend more funds on them,” Gill said.
“During my tenure as DGP, we did a study that said 75 per cent of the terrorists came via 125 villages located along the border in Amritsar and Gurdaspur districts of Punjab,” he said.
Gill said Punjab needed more funds for police modernisation. “In my tenure, we made a Punjab plan, which was cleared by then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi after a five-and-a-half-hour-long meeting. We did some work as per that plan on the border, but it has been 20 years now. So the border needs to be strengthened as per today’s requirements,” he said.
Rejected the idea of using the Army and NSG for operation against terrorists, Gill said, “Why are we trying to glorify these terrorists by using the Army or NSG? The government should equip state police forces with weapons and other gadgets and train them properly to handle such situations and then let the state police forces handle terror situations.”
Gill also advocated a special law and courts to deal with terror cases. “In our Constitution, there is no mention of terrorism. But it has been there since Independence. Legal experts at that time never thought that terrorism will reach this level. During the days of terror in Punjab, TADA was enacted. It was later revoked and other laws enacted. Today, we need a stringent and overall law to deal with terrorism in all its aspects. Designating special courts to quickly deal with terror-related cases is also important. Here we take 20 years to deal with such cases,” he said.
He lauded the Punjab Police for Dina Nagar operation and said that if they have taken even 22 or 40 hours and caught the three terrorists alive, it would have been more commendable. When asked about station house officers in Punjab being appointed by political bosses and not the DGP, he said, “It is a nationwide phenomenon, which is disturbing and has been there for years.”