Home Minister P Chidambaram on Monday had some sharp words for state governments for their handling of the police when he said the officials were being treated as footballs who were kicked "here and there".
"Throughout the last nine months, my effort has been to impress upon state governments, the security forces and the people at large that we can no longer do business as usual. I cannot claim great success in this regard," he said in his address at the three-day conference of directors general and inspectors general of the police in New Delhi.
He highlighted the non-constitution of the Police Establishment Board, which would decide on transfers and postings. "It is a matter of deep regret that many police officers have been reduced to a football, to be kicked here and there, from one post to another, without regard to the damage done to the job as well as the officer," he said.
Chidambaram had some blunt questions for the police chiefs present at the meeting.
"I ask you to search your hearts and answer the question, what is the average length of tenure of a district superintendent of police? What is the average length of tenure of a station house officer?"Why do you remain silent when arbitrary postings and transfers are made by the state government? Is it not your duty, as police chiefs, to raise your voice not only on behalf of your officers but also on behalf of the people whom your duty is to protect?" he asked.