Guwahati: Even in the 21st century, there are still police stations in the country without telephones. And the Northeast of India is no exception, where 371 police stations don’t have telephones and 43 of them don’t even have mobiles or wireless devices or connectivity.

The statistics were revealed in the department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee report on Home Affairs on ‘Police-Training, Modernisation and Reforms’, which was tabled in the Parliament on Thursday. The figures furnished by the Bureau of Police Research and Development are dated January 1, 2020.

Out of the 74 police stations in Meghalaya, 62 don’t have telephones and at least nine of these do not have any vehicles or even a mobile or wireless device. Of the 84 police stations in Manipur, 9 do not have vehicles, 64 don’t have telephones, and at least 11 do not have any wireless or mobile devices.

In Arunachal Pradesh, 54 out of the 91 police stations have no telephone, while at least 4 police stations have no vehicles or even mobiles and wireless devices. In Assam, however, 144 out of 344 police stations don’t have telephones, at least four stations do not have any vehicles and one of them does not have any mobile or wireless device.

While all of the 86 police stations in Nagaland have vehicles, 36 of them do not have a telephone, and 18 others do not even have a wireless device of mobile. Similarly in Tripura, while all 82 police stations have vehicles, at least 14 do not have a telephone, but all have wireless or mobile devices.

Mizoram and Sikkim are the only two states in Northeast India with a perfect score here – with all 42 police stations in Mizoram and 29 in Sikkim equipped with phones, vehicles and wireless devices or mobiles.

The Committee, in its report, has expressed concern that 257 police stations in the country do not have vehicles, 638 do not have telephones and 143 police stations do not even have wireless/mobiles.

“In the 21st century India, there are police stations without telephones or proper wireless connectivity especially in many sensitive states like Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha and Punjab, particularly in view of the fact that some of these states had been rewarded with better performance incentives in the year 2018-19,” the report said.

Further, a very sensitive border Union Territory like Jammu & Kashmir also
has a sizeable number of police stations that do not have telephones and wireless sets.

The Committee has recommended that the MHA may advise such states to
immediately equip their police stations with adequate vehicles and communication
devices, else it may lead to disincentivization of modernisation grants from the Centre.
For the Union Territories, MHA may ensure that the needful is done at the earliest.

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