In a first of its kind initiative, the Union government on Friday convened a national conference of investigating agencies to discuss an array of issues—from tackling threats emanating from the social media use by global terrorist outfits to the atrocities against dalits.
The two-day conference, being organised by the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D), will also discuss how to improve coordination and quality of investigations being done by various agencies.
Addressing the meet attended by chiefs and officials of the NIA, state police forces and investigating agencies like enforcement directorate, Home minister Rajnath Singh said the "government is committed to punishing terrorists. We are working to strengthen the UA(P) Act and the NIA Act. We are considering legal protection for undercover operation, use of intelligence collected as evidence and entire gamut of issues relevant to combating terrorism."
Touching on the burning issue of dalit atrocities in states, Singh said the "government is committed for the empowerment and development of our dalit brothers".
"We have to create an atmosphere where our dalit brothers can approach police without hesitation when they are victimised. Our government has strengthened Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act by amending it in 2014. By this amendment, new category of offences has been added. Duties of public servant have been specified and punishments prescribed for negligence of duty. A chapter on rights of victims and witnesses has also been added. The implementation of this Act is the responsibility of state governments and local police."
Government officials said the use of Financial Intelligence Unit to counter money laundering and drug trafficking would be discussed in the closed-door meet. Effective co-ordination with the enforcement directorate over steps to be taken against money laundering is another important issue which will be addressed by the investigative agencies.
Singh said that as per the National Crime Records Bureau, the conviction rate of the crimes was very low. So, the quality of investigation was crucial in ensuring justice for the victims and punishment for the offender, he added.
The home minister said that our thrust should be on improving investigation at police station level. Apart from the quality of investigation at police station level, we also had to ensure proper courtesy to the victims and witnesses, he emphasized. Singh said that convenience of victims and witnesses must be taken into account when calling them for investigation. He also said that the victims should be kept informed about the progress of investigation from time to time.