In a bid to counter the twin threats of Maoist violence and terror threats in urban centres,the state government today sanctioned the creation of a total of 1,656 posts in the police force,which will include three companies of a special task force to be stationed in the three naxal-hit districts of Bankura,Purulia and West Midnapore.
The decision was announced after a Cabinet meeting that saw maverick Sports and Transport Minister Subhas Chakraborty taking on Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. Why are we taking so many policemen? Arent we getting dependent on police? Chakraborty asked.
The chief minister was quick to respond. The proportion between our population and policemen is very low. There are still vacancies of 12,000 policemen in our force, Bhattacharjee said.
The state government will also raise another 1,074-strong task force,which will be trained at Barrackpore to tackle urban terrorism.
The Cabinet meeting on Wednesday also saw some fireworks when minister in-charge of fire Pratim
Chatterjee and minister of state for disaster management Sri Kumar Mukherjee crossed swords over the control and management of a search and rescue team for which the Cabinet has sanctioned 180 posts.
The fire department,following the Mumbai terror attacks,formed the group whose task will be to launch search and rescue operation for people who are likely to fall victims in case of a terror attack. As the proposal cropped up,Mukherjee got up to say that in case of a search and rescue operation,his department also had a role to play. The chief minister then said he was clearing the posts but the two departments would have to sit together and work on the modalities.
The Cabinet has also cleared the creation of 50 posts of women fire-fighters. However,setting aside the original plan of the fire department that proposed a separate unit of women fire-fighters,the CM said the women would have to be distributed in all the units.
Following a clamour by ministers for regularisation of casual workers of their departments,the chief minister asked them to submit a list of all those casual employees who have worked for more than 10 years.