Monday, November 23, 2009
M.T. Shiva Kumar
Bangalore: In the wake of the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, the Karnataka Government announced the formation of an Internal Security Division with much fanfare.
A year later, this elite setup appears nowhere near combat readiness. In fact, the division is headless and comprises more office and administrative staff than security personnel.
Of the sanctioned strength of 757, there are 702 vacancies. Even among the 55 assigned to this much-hyped division, 33 are “ministerial staff” while the remaining 22 constitute security officials.
“Other than the building, nothing has been provided to the ISD,” said an official who did not want to be named.
The building remains a shell with no telephones and very little furniture. Though 112 drivers are to be appointed, none have been so far. Consequently More importantly, of the 33 technical staff needed for the division’s efficient functioning, not one has been appointed. Moreover, an official said the ISD is not considered a positive posting within the State’s security forces. Those banished from their parent organisations for political reasons have been transferred here. This is one reason why this supposedly cutting-edge unit does not have many takers, the official pointed out.
The ISD is part of a larger internal security setup that includes the Anti-Terrorist Cell (ATC), the Coastal Security Police (CSP) and Anti-Naxal Force (ANF).
Amar Kumar Pande, Inspector-General of Police who heads the ATC and has been placed in charge of the ISD, said “efforts are being made to upgrade it”.
But all may not be lost. According to sources within the ISD, the process of selecting 200 armed police constables is under way.
Director-General and Inspector-General of Police Ajai Kumar Singh was not available for comment.