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Talks with Israeli firms routine: DGP

By Our Staff Correspondent

MANGALORE, JUNE 25. The talks with Israeli firms specialising in the manufacture of surveillance equipment was general. It was not specific to tracking down the brigand, Veerappan, the Director-General of Police, T. Madiyal, has said. The Government had been examining the equipment to meet the security needs of the police force, he said.

Mr. Madiyal told presspersons here on Friday that the impression gained from this "routine deliberation" was that the Government had sought Israel's help to nab the brigand.

A few Israeli firms had come forward to demonstrate their gadgets and the department examined them.

He clarified that the department had processed the presentations from these firms on a routine basis.

Asserting that the department had been exploring all possibilities of nabbing the brigand, including use of technology, he said the view that the police relied on high-tech gadgets was wrong.

Asked if the brigand would ever be caught, Mr. Madiyal said: "Why not?" Urging the media to get over its obsession with failure of the department to nab the brigand, he said there were many other fugitives yet to be accounted for.

The police chief said this was not to gloss over "major omissions" on the part of the force.

Pointing out that it was difficult to find a person in a vast terrain that Veerappan was believed to be operating in, Mr. Madiyal in an obvious reference to the failure of the U.S. forces to pin down Osama bin Laden, said: "Even bigger and more sophisticated forces have not succeeded in nabbing their target." He said there should be some moderation on the Veerappan affair.

On the naxalite activities in the Western Ghats, Mr. Madiyal said the police had been keeping a close watch on their activities.

The department could not initiate action against a person or group of persons propagating their ideology, unless the Government banned such activity. The department would not spare them, if they transgressed the law, he said.

The police chief thanked the State and Union governments for providing the department with funds to modernise itself besides providing the personnel with better equipment, weapons, and training.

Despite four years of drought, the State Governemnt had given the department nearly Rs. 150 crore, he said.

Terming the morale of the police as high, Mr. Madiyal said this was the result of better professional and personal facilities provided to the personnel. Increased washing allowance to policemen, weekly off compensatory allowance, doubling of group insurance to Rs. 3 lakh, and better housing facilities were some of the steps taken in this direction, he added.

Referring to modern weaponry, Mr. Madiyal said steps had been taken to procure the 12-bore gun for beat constables replacing the conventional .303 rifles and new weapon would be in place in the next three months.

The police force was also equipped with the 7.62 rifle and the AK-47 assault rifles for specialised anti-dacoity and extremist operations, Mr. Madiyal added.

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