Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Police officials gallantry awards

Karnataka Governor H. R. Bhardwaj has presented the awards to the policemen at a ceremony organised by the Home Department at Raj Bhavan to present medals to the distinguished police officials.

Medals for the years 2007 and 2008 were given to 55 police officials for their invaluable services. These included President’s police gallantry medals (for showing extra-ordinary courage and risking their own lives), President’s Distinguished Police Medals (for extra-ordinary efficiency and dedication over a period of time) and Police Meritorious Service Medals (for those who have completed 20 years of service and shown efficiency, commitment besides making achievements).

I can act tough: Acharya

The soft spoken doctor, who took over as home minister two years ago, has had a stormy innings so far with his handling of sizzling controversies including the church attacks and the acts of moral policing leaving a lot to be desired. Probably one of the most criticised ministers in the state Cabinet besides the Reddy brothers of course, Dr V.S. Acharya has stoically taken it all in his stride knowing quite well that the public outcry would die down sooner than later. This trusted associate of Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa spoke to Bhaskar Hegde about the law and order situation in the state and police reforms.

Excerpts from Deccan Chronicle

You will soon be completing two years in office. Looking back, how do you rate your performance as home minister?

I am pretty satisfied. The law and order situation should not be gauged in isolation. If you were to take into account the situation prevailing across the country, we are definitely better off. Several initiatives have been launched including the modernisation of the police force and the internal security wings including ATS, ANF and Coastal Security Force. I am confident that in a year or so, there will be perceptible changes.
There does not seem to be any perceptible change at the grassroots, be it corruption or the problems in ensuring a speedy and fair investigation into controversial cases.

We just cannot wish away corruption. We are implementing several measures like filing e-complaints which can put an end to the misuse of power. I agree that there is an urgent need to clamp down on corruption but this has to start from the top. We are trying to be a role model on that front. Take any parameter like crime detection rate, recovery rate and conviction rate, Karnataka’s performance is far better than other states.

Caste and cash deals seem to be playing a big role in the appointment and transfer of officials.
We have introduced a new system wherein everyone should function in both executive and non-executive posts. We have set up a Police Establishment Board which will take care of police transfers. Transfer of officials above the rank of deputy superintendent of police, is done through the department of personnel and administrative reforms (DPAR). I have to admit that there is a lot of pressure on us. We are implementing changes, slowly though.

Coming to the issue of security, the city has witnessed two bomb blasts in two years. They were low-intensity bombs which ensured the damage was minimal. Would you admit that you have failed to come up with a fool-proof strategy to secure the IT hub of the country?

We are facing logistic problems. Some of the accused were trained in Kerala. They come here, finish their assignment and go back. They don’t do it there. I would still assert that compared to Mumbai or any other north Indian city, we are much safer. Of course, there is a lot to learn once a major incident like a bomb blast happens. The blasts at Chinnaswamy stadium have forced us to put in place a new protocol. In future, we will take over the entire premises when a match or an important event is happening, not just the ground or the galleries.

Aren’t you going to fix responsibility and take disciplinary action against senior officials to send out the message that they cannot be caught napping like this?

The investigation has just started. We have to complete the investigation before fixing responsibility.

The Opposition had accused you of being soft, naive and a proxy home minister. Do you feel you deserve to be described in this manner?
I have been tough when the situation demands such an approach. I do not have to be assertive and make a show of it. If someone is saying I am not assertive, I can give an example to counter them. Which home minister would refuse to extend the deadline for the city’s night life despite all the pressure to do so? It show how strong I can be. And I am no dummy. In a democratic set-up, crucial decisions are taken after consulting the Chief Minister.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

25.04.2010: VSA by Sathya in KannadaPrabha

24.04.2010: Shimoga

Strict vigil is being maintained on naxal movements in Malnad, says Acharya (TheHindu)

SHIMOGA: Home Minister V.S. Acharya said on Saturday that naxal activities in the districts of Shimoga, Chikmagalur and Udupi were completely under control.

Speaking to presspersons before the inauguration of the Gamaka programme organised at Hosahalli near here, Dr. Acharya said that strict vigil was being maintained on the movements of naxalites in the Malnad region. All facilities were being provided to the police and the Anti-Naxal Squad personnel to carry out operations, he said

The rules of the Forest Department in the region were hampering full-fledged combing operations against naxals, Mr. Acharya said. A meeting of officers from the Police and Forest separtments was convened at an undisclosed place near Karkala in Udupi district on April 16 to address the issue, he added.

Dr. Acharya said that investigations were on to identify the culprits behind the explosions outside the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. It was not unwise to disclose the identity of the masterminds before the investigation was complete, he said.


Dr. Acharya announced on the occasion that the Government would provide Rs. 100 crore for the development of Koliwad in Dharwad district, the birth of place of poet Kumaravyasa.

He said that the Veeranarayana Temple of Gadag, which inspired Kumaravyasa, would be developed as a research centre.

He said that the government would provide all the necessary help and support in preserving and developing Gamaka.

Dr. Acharya announced that Kumaravyasa Award would be given from this year to encouraging the Gamaka artistes. The award comprises cash award of Rs. 3 lakh.

Mathoor Markandeya Avadhani and H.R. Keshavamurthy presented a Gamaka recital.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Police too have Human Rights!

As if fighting the Maoists was not enough, the police involved in the anti-Naxal operations in Chattisgarh are stretched on another front where they have to spend a considerable time in courts.

Police often get bogged down by cases of alleged human rights violations in various courts resulting in diversion of manpower affecting its operational capabilities in the operations in the Naxal-hit state, top police officers said today.

And the man worried is none other than Director General of Chhatisgarh Police Vishwa Ranjan who finds himself in a catch-22 situation as his men have to spend more time in courts with lawyers to counter the propaganda of Naxals which is being spread through human rights activists.

The case of Dantewada, the heart of Maoist insurgency, has been cited by the police to buttress their point.

The district Superintendent of Police Amresh Misra has to spend half his time in Delhi with lawyers in a Public Interest Litigation filed before the Supreme Court by a human rights activist Himanshu Kumar alleging that 13 people were killed in fake encounters.

In fact, all the 13 persons were alive and their statements have been recorded before a magistrate in a Delhi Court, says Ranjan.

"But to counter this (allegation), my SP has to spend most of the time in Delhi briefing lawyers," he told
PTI here. (Read Full Report)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Home Minister at St Aloysius & Radio SARANG

20 April. The College campus is calm, silent. Students are busy with their end-semester exams. But the brisk activity marked the St Aloysius College campus (specially the Chapel, Mass Communication Department, and Radio SARANG area). It was Dr V.S. Acharya -the Home Minister of Karnataka- on a personal visit to the Chapel and to the Radio SARANG 107.8MHz for an interview!

Karnataka Home Minister, Dr V. S. Acharya visited the St Aloysius College to relish the paintings of the world famous Chapel, this afternoon.Dr V.S. Acharya visited the Jesuit Residence, spent some time with the Jesuits in their dining room. Dr V.S.Acharya informed the College authorities two days about his desire to visit the entirely painted Church of St Aloysius College. Fr Vincent Pinto SJ, our expert on College Chapel paintings, explained the painting. Dr Acharya himself exhibited a deep understanding of the Chapel paintings (stories behind the paintings like St John de Britto, St Francis Xavier, Jesuit philosopher Robert de Nobili, and other saints).
After spending about 45 minutes in the Chapel, Dr Acharya -with his security staff- visited the Jesuit Residence and shared tea. And then, he visited the Community Radio SARANG 107.8MHz, for a short interview. (Full report/ more photos from Rego`s Media Page/ Mangalorean)

Lessons to be learnt!

Plea to the media: Please Let the investigating officers do their job, do not spread rumours, do not be informants to the miscreants by giving live coverage of the scene of investigations, DO NOT quote irresponsible officials who want remain anonymous!

Moreover please do not pass judgements when the investigations are on...

Monday, April 19, 2010

Bomb blasts & betting lobbies

The Karnataka police is probing whether the IPL ''betting lobby'' had a hand in Saturday's bomb blasts at M Chinnaswamy stadium following which two Indian Premier League semi finals to be played Bangalore were shifted to Navi Mumbai, Home Minister Acharya said on Monday.

Karnataka Home Minister V.S. Acharya sees a conspiracy in the recent stadium blasts and announced that the State Police are investigating the alleged involvement of the cricket betting lobby.

Addressing presspersons here on Monday, Mr. Acharya said that the police were looking at all angles, including the betting lobby's role, in the low-intensity blasts outside the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium ahead of the match between Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore on Saturday.

The police have intensified combing operations and additional information will come only after the probe is completed.

Expressing his annoyance over the organisers shifting the Indian Premier League (IPL) semi-finals to Mumbai on the grounds of security fears, he said “minor incidents” such as detection of a few crude bombs could not be the only reason for the decision. “We had assured the organisers of all security; no bomb was found at the stadium. Some material was found, non-explosive in nature … such as sodium chloride. We are conducting a thorough investigation. There appears to be some other reason for the shifting of the IPL fixtures, which we will know once the investigations are over. Some frustrated elements could have been behind it,” he said.

Dr. Acharya was emphatic there was no connection between the stadium blasts and the serial blasts of July 25, 2008, which killed a woman in the city.

Two bombs exploded at the Chinnaswamy Stadium barely 45 minutes before the start of the IPL league match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians on April 17, leaving 17 persons, including security personnel, injured. The organisers went ahead with the match, albeit an hour late. Subsequently, the police found two live bombs on Sunday in the stadium's vicinity. (TheHindu)

Bombs meant to get match postponed

“We told them that combing operations in and around the stadium were on and would continue till every nook and corner is searched. However, they took the decision to shift from Bangalore for their own reasons. I will not comment further”, Acharya said.

A day after explosions rocked Chinnaswamy Stadium during the IPL match on Saturday, State Home Minister V S Acharya insisted that there was no security lapse on the part of the government.

Bangalore Mirror spoke to Acharya on the event and the subsequent shifting of the semifinal matches to Mumbai. Excerpts from the interaction:

Q: Despite an assurance from the state government that there will be no threat to cricket matches in Bangalore, the venue has been sifted to Mumbai. Why did the organisers lose faith in you?
Acharya: We told the organisers that all arrangements would be made to ensure the safety of the stadium and it would be under our control. Despite our assurances, they shifted the venue. There could be different reasons for this —I don’t want to comment on them. They are the managers and they have every right to change the venue. We did our best to convince them.

Did the state government receive any intelligence inputs about the bomb blasts earlier?
We did not receive any information from the Centre.

Why didn’t the police foresee the threat?
There is no security lapseon our part.

But bombs were recovered even a day after the Mumbai Indians versus Royal Challengers-Bangalore (RCB) clash...
We managed to comb the area within a few minutes after the explosions and ensured that no untoward incidents took place inside the stadium.

What could be the motive behind the blasts? What is the message that the terror elements are trying to send?
Someone wanted to postpone the match and they had placed objectionable materials in an attempt to change the match schedule but we foiled their plans. It could have been planted in the morning hours. Nothing has happened inside the stadium.

Have you zeroed in on any specific terrorist group?
We are investigating the matter. Whoever is behind the act will be punished.

Late night events led to the change of venue?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Self restraint by the media, is the need of the hour

Plea to the media: Please let the investigating officers do their job, please do not spread rumours, do not be informants to the miscreants by giving live coverage of the scene of investigations, moreover please do not pass judgements when the investigations are on...

Bangalore: Karnataka home minister VS Acharya today said the twin blasts outside the cricket stadium here appeared to be a mischievous attempt' to create panic and alarm. Acharya told PTI by telephone from his hometown of Udupi that Union home minister P Chidambaram was in touch with the state government which was in the process of sending a report to the Centre on the low-intensity explosions.

Pointing out that the blasts took place not inside the Chinnaswamy stadium, venue of an IPL match, or at its gates, he said police had undertaken "all conventional checking". Now that these incidents took place in the vicinity of the stadium, the police would have to take "special care" in such scenarios in future, he said. "Looks like it was done to create an alarm. We are investigating from all angles. It's a mischievous attempt to create panic", Acharya added.

`Law and order situation has improved in DK'

MANGALORE: It is indeed a bad time to be a criminal, especially with underworld links in this part of the world, in recent times. Ever since a special squad of the Western Range police nabbed D-Company hitman Rashid Malbari and his henchmen on March 29, 2009 and foiled a bid to commit extortion by kidnapping and assassination of prominent persons, the graph of organized crime has nose-dived, leaving the men in khaki a relieved lot.

A quick perusal of numbers post-Malbari arrest tells its own story. Police in the district have accounted for 146 criminals with `alleged' underworld links and recovered around 43 firearms from their possession. This, says police commissioner Gopal B Hosur, is significant in that the main intent of the criminals arrested was to foment communal discord in a major way by targeting prominent personalities of either religious communities.

Hosur told STOI that a lot more can be done to keep the underworld elements firmly under the thumb. "By and large, we are successful in thwarting designs of fugitive underworld bosses, who seek to spread their reign of terror from abroad," he said. The unemployed youths of the region come in handy for them to carry out their nefarious designs. "Money and thrills of organized crime is a heady cocktail for these youth," he observes.

On reasons for increasing police success in cracking down on organized crime, Hosur opines, is primarily because of vastly improved law and order situation in communally-volatile Dakshina Kannada. "Police get a lot more time on their hands to investigate cases when there is no law and order situation to deal with," he says. "A lot more tact and time is needed in dealing with extortion related cases, which are more local," he adds.

Apportioning equal responsibility for the civil society to help the police in dealing with organized crime, and maintenance of law and order, Hosur says, "It is strange that builders, most often targeted by underworld with extortion related calls, do not lodge a complaint." Builders as a body must set aside their professional rivalries and stand united and stronger to counter threats facing their community rather than succumb to it, he adds.

The home minister V S Acharya observes that there is a definite strategy on part of the state police to take on organized crime. Not outlining this strategy, Acharya recently told STOI that the results are there for all to see. Hosur feels it is the faith reposed by the department on young officers to take on the underworld, which is yielding rich dividends. "It is their determination and our guidance that is winning the battle for us," he adds. jaideep.shenoy@timesgroup.com

Thursday, April 15, 2010

writeup of the week

Courtesy: VijayaKarnataka

Quote of the week

"If they want to remain politically ignorant of the strides in development that Karnataka has seen since the BJP government took over, and their intention is to belittle us at every step, there is nothing for us to add."
Dr VSAcharya on TOI, about the criticism of opposition parties for the sake of criticism

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Foundation Stone Laid for International Sports Complex in Mangalore

Mangalore, Apr 14: “The city will shortly be opening itself up for international level sports activities, mainly cricket, once the proposed international sports complex, which has been a long-pending demand of the sports-loving people of Dakshina Kannada district, is completed,” said Dr V S Acharya, state home minister, after participating in he foundation laying ceremony for the new international stadium-cum-sports complex at Bangrakulur in the city, on Wednesday April 14.

“The state government is fully geared to extend full support in the progress of works of this sports complex. It will provide whatever is required, for the completion of the project as soon as possible,” he said after inaugurating the ceremony. As the city has been growing very fast, and also in view of the fact that it has been identified as the second major city in the state, there is a need for a good quality stadium, which in turn, will work to inspire the local cricketing talents as well as the sports lovers in city and surrounding regions to excel in these fields,” he added.

The programme was organized by Dakshina Kannada Cricket Association (DKCA) at the venue earlier earmarked for the stock exchange, where the complex is proposed to come up. This land has already been allotted to it by the district administration. The district administration has allotted 5.5 acres of land for the stadium, in the preliminary stage.

District in-charge minister, Krishna Palemar, said that there is a demand for 16 more acres of land for the sports complex. He added that if allotted, this will be helpful in earning the international level recognition for the complex. He hoped that the district administration will accede to this request by acquiring the adjacent lands. He also noted that there the district suffers from the lack of a good quality cricket stadium, and felt that with the inauguration of this stadium, this shortage will get fulfilled.

“There is no controversy either in the land acquisition or in the construction of sports complex at this spot. Hence, the work will be completed at the earliest,” he added.

The organizers informed at the programme that the sports complex will be constructed, duly adhering to international standards, which will be adequate for organizing international level cricket tournaments. DKCA will supervise the construction. The proposed land is located very near to the national highway in Bangrakulur area, where the international convention of Bunts community had been held several years back, with the participation of over a lac of people.

The foundation laying ceremony was held, duly following rituals connected with it. The stone plaque was unveiled by the home minister, to signify the inauguration of the construction of the complex.

MP, Nalin Kumar Kateel, MLA, Abhayachandra Jain, Coastal Development Authority chairman, Nagaraja Shetty, Dr Shantarama Shetty, vice-chancellor of Nitte University, president of DKCA, Dr Srikanth Rai, and secretary, Arun Kumar Shetty, were also present. (Daijiworld)

Ambedkar remembered

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Statues at Public places: scope for debate

Read more: Statues for news fabrication!

Police IT: tool for a future ready Police Force

BANGALORE: The state is all set to get a dedicated IT training school for its police force. The All India Police IT Training School will train them in IT-related applications to handle computerization process in the force.

Launching three software modules of
`Police IT' here on Tuesday, home minister V S Acharya said: "In February, the Prime Minister and the Union home minister appreciated the progress in Karnataka's police IT programme. During this discussion, we proposed setting up of Police IT Training School in Bangalore.
They asked us to send a proposal and we did it. We will provide land for the project and the Centre will fund the scheme," he said.

"Though Karnataka was the first to start computerization of police force, other states were ahead of us. Now, after the completion of three modules, we have made a comeback," DG and IGP Ajai Kumar Singh said.

"The Centre has accepted Karnataka as one of the leading states in implementing Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS) project, which aims to connect 14,000 police stations and 6,000 police officers across the country and also development of core application software, which can be customized by respective states. Now, we have been permitted to implement our own software -- Police IT," he said.

Currently, the software modules are being used by crime, law and order, and traffic sections. On Tuesday, modules for wireless, transport and armed reserve sections was launched, said IGP (crime and technical services) Sanjay Sahay, during his presentation on the website.

"Some of the requirements for installing the software are in place, which includes -- data centre, wide area network, anti-virus, asset management, trained manpower and help desk. More than 100 sessions have been conducted to train 4,000 personnel and 14,000 more need to be trained," he said.

What is Police IT? It is a programme to computerize the police department. There are 12 modules, which will be used for day-to-day policing and by 2010, the entire administration will be computerized

The modules include - crime, law and order, traffic, administration, finance, stores, armed reserve, motor transport, training, wireless, forensic science laboratory and executive information system

IT giant Wipro is assisting the department in developing the software and training the personnel. Plan to computerize the force was conceptualized in 1994, but the process was initiated by ADGPs ST Ramesh and Kucchanna Srinivas in 2004.
(Report: TOI, Photo:Daijiworld)