IT bellwether Infosys Technologies on Friday became the first private firm in India, post the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, to get security cover from the elite Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) for its sprawling campus in Bangalore.
"I would like to thank the central government, the home ministry, and the state government for helping us get the security services of CISF personnel," Infosys chief mentor N.R. Narayana Murthy said while welcoming a detachment of 101 troopers at the campus in Electronic City, about 15 kms from the city centre.
CISF Inspector General R.K. Mishra said: "This is for the first time since its creation in 1969 that the CISF will be providing security cover to a corporate organization. We are pleased and proud to be entrusted with the responsibility of security at Infosys."
"CISF will act as an arms support. Our main task is to delay, deny and neutralize any possible terror strike in Infosys. We'll provide unobtrusive and inclusive security cover, and regular security cover of the Infosys will be done by the existing security personnel of the company," Mishra added.
The CISF personnel will provide a 24X7 protection shield to the Indian software giant which, intelligence agencies believe, could be a target for terrorists. The detachment comprises an assistant commandant, an inspector, 12 sub-inspectors, 18 head constables and 69 constables.
Mandated with "anti-terrorist and anti-sabotage" duties, the CISF personnel will not be responsible for "watch and ward" duties that will continue to be provided by the 350 personnel of a private security firm, another CISF official said.
Infosys will be shelling out around Rs.100,000 daily for the CISF cover.
The decision to deploy the CISF for security duty at Infosys follows appeals from private industrial houses, hotels and hospitals for central security after the Nov 26-29 Mumbai carnage that claimed the lives of over 170 people, including 26 foreigners.
CISF has 79 requests pending from private establishments. These include Reliance Jamnagar Refinery, Wipro, Taj Hotel (Mumbai), Trident Hotels (eight locations), Hotel Marriott (Mumbai), Delhi Public School (three branches in Delhi), Jaypee Group of Hotels (eight locations) and energy major Torrent Powers (Ahmedabad).
"The need for security cover to vital private installations was felt following intelligence reports that Pakistan-based terrorists might try to target them by launching a surprise attack similar to the one in Mumbai," said Mishra.
Infosys board member T.V. Mohandas Pai said CISF cover would soon be given to the entire Electronic City that houses several IT companies.
"Around 100 IT companies are part of Electronic City. However, 25 big companies have agreed to bear the cost of the CISF security cover in and around Electronic City. Thereafter, Infosys is also planning to deploy CISF personnel across its various campuses, including the Mysore campus, the largest training centre of the company," Pai added.
"The CISF team is highly trained in the art of weapon handling, fighting terrorists and using latest technology to thwart any kind of terror threats. They are a bunch of young and intelligent men and we're hopeful of giving best of security cover to Infosys," Mishra said.