PM warns of 'footloose migrants'

HT Correspondent

New Delhi, Dec. 27 -- Police should not lose sight of the human rights of citizens and should be prepared to deal with challenges associated with urbanisation that was assuming "a monstrous shape", Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has told young IPS officers. "We have a large number of footloose young men who come to urban areas from rural areas in search of jobs, in search of livelihood strategies and if they do not get well absorbed in the process of development in rural areas, they can become a menace in society," Singh told Indian Police Service (IPS) probationers who called on him on Wednesday.

This was PM's first message to the police after the Sunday's crackdown at India Gate, which came in for widespread criticism for the force's highhandedness.

As part of urban policing, he said the police must learn to master and understand what motivated people to take to heinous crimes such as rape and "what is it that we can do to wean (them) away from heinous path".

Singh reminded the IPS probationers, a third of who are engineers, that the people did not have a "good image" of the police.

"This must change," he said, reminding them that the police was "charged with responsibility of law enforcement in a humane manner, which respects the fundamental human rights of our people".

India was a "functioning democracy" and the police must "never lose sight of the human rights of the citizens at large", he said.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.