'Onus on cops to get intelligence'

Hindustan Times | BySoumyajit Pattnaik, Bhubaneswar
Nov 25, 2007 11:23 PM IST

The fifth report of the second Administrative Reforms Commission has made several recommendations to bolster the state intelligence agencies, reports Soumyajit Pattnaik.

Whenever the country comes under a terror attack, a blame game is sparked off between the Centre and the states on whether the Centre had issued prior warnings and the state intelligence agencies failed to respond to that, and vice versa.

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The fifth report of the second Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC), headed by M Veerappa Moily, and the K Padmanabhaiah Committee that have submitted their reports on the structural changes in the police to meet the new face of terror — have made several recommendations to bolster the state intelligence agencies.

The ARC report said: "Even today, the basic source for all conceivable information remains the police station, although there are Special Branches in all the states to gather intelligence. Indeed, collection of intelligence is the responsibility of the policemen."

"Information is collected through various sources — the beat constable, the traffic policemen, field visits, interaction with officials of other departments, study of FIRs, use of informants etc."

"Nevertheless, due to pressure of law and order duties, such efforts remain inadequate. Work pressure has considerably slackened such efforts in intelligence gathering."

The ARC further noted that with the constitution of specialised wings in each state, the police stations sometimes feel that collection of intelligence is no longer their responsibility.

"It has also been observed that often the information collected as 'intelligence' is about an event which has already taken place," the report mentioned.

The Padmanabhaiah Committee says: "Presently, the intelligence apparatus is not integrated with well-defined hierarchical or collateral linkages. It is neither obligatory on the part of the state police to share intelligence with other intelligence gathering agencies or vice versa, nor mandatory to act upon it with seriousness that it deserves. The existing amorphous arrangements which heavily rely on personal equations and subjective appreciation needs to be replaced by professionally worked out institutional arrangements."

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