In a bid to strengthen the information-gathering mechanism to thwart terror activities, the Gujarat government has decided to create a special intelligence unit by direct recruitment of cadres.
"We will be directly recruiting about 60 per cent of field staff, mainly at the level of police sub-inspectors, for intelligence gathering through state recruitment board," Principal Secretary (Home) Balwant Singh told PTI.
"The direct recruitment for intelligence operations means these staff will be deputed for intelligence gathering only. They cannot be transfered for policing duty," Singh said.
At present, the state intelligence wing, which is under the CID, gets field officers from police force that are transferred back for policing duty after some time.
The move is seen as an attempt to revive the intelligence wing following the recent blasts in Ahmedabad where 55 people were killed and planting of 24 bombs in Surat.
Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil had criticised the failure of state intelligence wing in gathering prior information about the serial blasts in the city.
The state government plans to revamp totally its intelligence wing after the blasts, officials said.
Amid allegations and counter-allegations on the failure of central and state agencies in gathering information about the blasts, this seems to be a step in right direction, they said.
"We are yet to decide about the number of officials to be directly recruited at higher levels than sub-inspectors," Singh said, adding the decision was taken long back but the government has expedited its implementation after the blasts.
The newly recruited cadre will be placed under the CID's (crime) intelligence wing, Singh said.
The home department has already send a proposal to the state's Gaun Seva Pasandgi Mandal, responsible for such recruitment, for carrying out the process.
"We have to device a foolproof recruitment procedure for selection of people to create a first of its kind intelligence cadre in the state," Mandal chairman Yashodhar Bhatt said.
"What we want in candidates is they should have an aptitude and inclination for intelligence gathering as they will have to do on that field only," Bhatt said.
During Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's recent to the city after the Ahmedabad blasts, Chief Minister Narendra Modi had sought the creation of a special cadre for intelligence like IAS and IPS.