New Delhi: The police is an instrument to keep the ruling political party in power and every party has done so, former Union Home Secretary G K Pillai said on Wednesday.

"Any ruling party, irrespective of whether it is CPI-M, or DMK or AIADMK or Congress... anybody, the police is an instrument to keep the political party in power. Every party has used this," he said at a round table conference on Naxal insurgency.

The retired IAS official also said that IPS officers fear punishment of being transferred.

"Because police do a lot of activities which are outside the purview of law. You have property disputes; you have any number of issues, encroachment all these things are informally solved by the police in the country. Hundreds and thousands of cases are solved (by police). You don't go to the courts but they are solved by the police informally," he said.

"Now what happens is in some cases the police did not do justice because the system has lacked justice. In some of the states, vested interests approach the police and therefore the police then become an arm of the vested interest to work the other way around...they are going to create more injustice...," Pillai said at the discussion on "Spatial issues and Maoist insurgency in India" organised by the Observer Research Foundation.

"You don't have the rule of law because no IPS officer is willing to, well I say, take the punishment of being transferred, he said.

"Police training is a punishment posting. In the IPS, any of IPS officers sent as principal or so of police training college...is a punishment posting," he said.

Ex-IPS officer M L Kumawat, who had served as Special Secretary (Internal Security) in the Union Home Ministry, said the Maoists are spreading their tentacles in urban areas and state capitals as part of their "urban perspective plan".

On the Naxal issue, Pillai said the "core of the problem" is spread in 700,00 sq km area in various states.

"I think the whole Maoist movement itself was accelerated in the last decade primarily because of this economic boom because the number of MoUs, number of mining projects which came up in this area...suddenly come up...," he said, adding that the government has to be credited for developments going in the right direction in Naxal-hit areas.

Pillai also said the issues in the Maoist-affected states bear a "history of exploitation" but government schemes are being launched and implemented to address these issues.

(Agencies)