The first batch of specially trained intelligence officers—a newly created cadre dedicated to assessing and collecting intelligence across the state—have passed out and would be put on probation from this month.
The first batch of 50 of these specially trained officers of the rank of Assistant Intelligence Officers (AIOs), were handed course completion certificates by Home Minister Jayant Patil at a discreet function at the Maharashtra Police Headquarters at Colaba on Monday.
The idea of having a dedicated cadre of intelligence officers was mooted soon after the July 11, 2006 serial train bombings in Mumbai.
This was on account of the fact that the traditional method of gathering human resources by the Special Branch, District Special Branches and the State Intelligence Department (SID) was found to have weakened.
However, formation of such a cadre was fraught with many difficulties, as their selection and induction procedure could not be chalked out in the initial phases.
Later on, largely due to the initiatives of former SID chief D. Sivanandhan, the modalities were finalised and the selection process begun.
The process was expedited following the November 26, 2008, Mumbai terror attack and the training of the first batch was undertaken at the police training facility at Kalina.
Sivanandhan, who is now Mumbai police commissioner, has served the SID and has had stints with the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
“A batch of 82 Senior Intelligence Officers (SIO) will be inducted in the force soon,” Sivanandhan told Hindustan Times.
This batch is under training at the state police’s training facility at Hadapsar near Pune.
The AIOs have been taught political science, history, tradecraft, history of various religions, social issues, labour issues, major languages of the country, including Urdu, and different facets of terrorism.
The SIOs would undergo similar trainings, will function under the SID and will not be transferred to any other branch of the Maharashtra police.