Speaking at the passing out parade of Indian Police Service (IPS) probationers at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy, the president said times were challenging for the police forces.
"These are challenging times for our police forces. There has been a worrying bout of communal violence in some parts of our country, accompanied by deterioration in inter-community relations. There is need to strengthen the ability of our district and local administration to notice such tensions in their initial stages and take necessary measures to contain them quickly," he said.
Stating that there was no room whatsoever for complacency, Mukherjee said the nation had great expectations from the police forces.
He said the police should be a partner in growth, development and peace.
"My vision of the police for future India is not that of a law enforcing body but of a pro-active service provider, a partner in growth, development and peace.
"As police officers, you should always ensure that the grievances of the common man are redressed. This would require a change of role of the police from a reactive to a pro-active agency, which, in partnership with other stakeholders, will create a peaceful and secure atmosphere conducive to the growth and prosperity of our nation."
Describing police constables as the visible face of the government, the president stressed the need for paying enough attention to their training and development and improvement in their service conditions.
"Inculcating in them the highest degree of discipline, integrity and commitment is absolutely necessary. They are the cutting-edge of your work force and the image of the police overall depends on their conduct, behaviour and professionalism.
"The public forms an opinion about the quality of governance based on the response and efficiency of policemen at the grass roots level," he added.
Pointing out that atrocities against women and children had shaken the conscience of the nation, Mukherjee called for effective policing of the urban areas and protecting the vulnerable.
Stating that India continued to be targeted by terrorism from abroad as well as threats from within, he said the government was committed to deal with leftwing extremism in a comprehensive manner.
"While we must meet these challenges head on and address them with determination and persistence, the actions of our police forces must respect the human rights of our people and the letter and spirit of our constitution," the president added.
--IANS (Posted on 05-11-2013)