‘For good policing, keep politics out’ | india | Hindustan Times
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‘For good policing, keep politics out’

india Updated: Feb 23, 2013 01:52 IST
HT Correspondent

There has not been a single terror attack in the US since the 9/11 tragedy in 2001, while India had to suffer 11 strikes since the 26/11 Mumbai attacks in 2008 — one in every five months across five cities, claiming 60 lives.

Now, the question that is being asked by the man in the street and experts as well is: What ails the Indian security system?

For one thing, most experts demand that intelligence agencies and the police force be kept out of the reach of the politician, although creating political consensus on the anti-terror measures is absolutely crucial.

Besides, increasing the size and raising the quality of the force has become necessary. In terms of the sheer number of bodies on the ground, India needs to act fast — it has 102 policemen for each hundred thousand people, which is not even half the US average of 238.

While former BSF chief EN Rammohan said, “The Indian Police Service has become deeply politicised”, a former home secretary, who didn't want to be identified, said not more than 60% of India's intelligence capabilities was used for sniffing out threats.

Then, what are the agencies being used for? Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley said in the Rajya Sabha on Friday that the practice of using agencies for political intelligence gathering must end.

Jaitley said, “Several other countries have geared up their systems to prevent the recurrence of terror incidents”, but India has clearly failed on that front.

Reviving the system of beat policing to gather ground intelligence and technology upgrade - to counter terror and increase efficiency - are some other issues being raised.

The quality of manpower in the ground-level forces is also an area of concern, as a technologically challenged force becomes helpless while facing the savvy terrorist.

P Chidambaram, current finance minister and former home minister, recently admitted that the main reason for India’s borders being porous was that the border guards were not backed by technology.

He said, “There are 191 battalions of the BSF, ITBP, SSB and Assam Rifles on our borders, but little technology.”

But former IB chief Ajit Doval thinks that technology cannot replace human intelligence. “There is no sufficient focus on human intelligence either, which is a tricky area to crack.”