Thursday, June 04, 2009

Plan to nix naxals kicks off, quietly

Anil Anand
Wednesday, June 3, 2009 2:39 IST Email


New Delhi: A revamp of the intelligence network and greater coordination among central paramilitary forces to counter naxalites, insurgents and terrorists are top on home minister P Chidambaram's agenda for his 100-day action plan that quietly kicked off on Monday.

The plan will focus on raising preparedness to meet security threats and maintain public order. If a situation arises, it envisages ensuring "quick response and decisiveness action" using advanced technology, highly trained human resources and modern systems.

Top on the agenda is left wing violence that has been engulfing more areas over the years. It has mooted a joint command of the Border Security Forces, Central Reserve Police Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police and other central paramilitary forces along with the state police, to combat the naxalites.

A high-level committee headed by national security advisor MK Narayanan has recommended setting up of a counter-intelligence centre under the Intelligence Bureau, a maritime intelligence and security centre under the National Security Council and creation of a centre for nuclear and missile intelligence that will have officials from intelligence and security agencies.

A significant part of the panel's recommendation, that forms the basis for the action plan, pertains to enhancing analytical capabilities of the intelligence agencies and setting up of an exclusive training centre for them. It has mooted state multi-agency centres for intelligence sharing.

However, a huge backlog of vacancies in the higher echelons of police could prove to be an impediment for this action plan. By the home minister's own admission, the United Progressive Alliance government had inherited a backlog of nearly 200 vacancies of Indian Police Service rank from its predecessor, the National Democratic Alliance regime, which has created serious administrative problems.

Home ministry sources felt the shortage of officers has hit work in intelligence agencies and at the operational levels in the central paramilitary forces. The Intelligence Bureau has been facing a serious crunch due to a shortage of officers.

"We have been able to provide only 13 IPS officers to the IB in the last six months. More needs to be done," Chidambaram admitted.

Impediments

The home minister blames the NDA government for sitting over a backlog of 200 vacancies of IPS officers

He says this created serious administrative problems

Efforts are on to provide 130 more officers to the Intelligence Bureau by the end of 2009

MK Narayanan committee has suggested a 10-15% increase in staff strength of security-related outfits

The committee also suggested re-employing retired security personnel as an immediate step

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