The Union Government in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has been making systematic efforts to counter threats from various sources including jihadist terror groups from our neighbourhood, cross border terrorism from Jammu and Kashmir, violence by Left Wing Extremists (LWE) and insurgency in the North East Region. According to official sources, the Government has been working relentlessly to deal firmly with such threats to country’s internal security. As a result, the internal security situation is under control. Besides, there has been steep decline in terror attacks in the hinterland and violence by LWE.
Added to this, the Government of India has deployed a large number of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) in the critical LWE affected areas, the North East Region and Jammu & Kashmir. The Central Government has also raised Special Forces like the National Security Guards (NSG) and the Cobra to tackle special challenges to internal security. According to the MHA, the operational capabilities of the CPAFs are revised constantly to improve their equipment upgradation, training needs and capacity enhancement, on need basis.
Official sources have revealed further that some other security measures include augmenting the strength of CAPFs, establishment of NSG hubs at Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Mumbai, empowerment of Director General, NSG to requisition aircraft for movement of NSG personnel in emergencies, tighter immigration control, effective border management through round the clock surveillance and patrolling, setting up of observation posts, border fencing, flood lighting, installation of high-tech surveillance equipment, upgradation of intelligence machinery, strengthening of coastal security, amendment to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 in 2008 and 2012 to strengthen the punitive measures to combat terrorism and subversive activities, creation of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) under the National Investigation Agency Act, 2008 to investigate and prosecute offences under the Laws as specified in its Schedule.
Other important measures to strengthen internal security include establishment of the National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) to link data bases for collating actionable intelligence to combat terrorism and threats to internal security, amendment to the Money Laundering Act in 2009 to include certain offences under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, as predicate offences, raising of cross-border terrorism in all its manifestations including its financing at all bilateral and multilateral fora, and India’s zero tolerance policy against terrorism.
In addition, a close and effective coordination mechanism amongst intelligence agencies at the Central and State Governments’ levels has been put in place. The Multi Agency Centre (MAC) has been augmented and reorganized to function round the clock for real time collation and sharing of intelligence with other intelligence agencies and States, ensuring seamless flow of information between the Central and States’ agencies that have helped bust many terror modules, thus neutralizing terror attack plans.
Be that as it may, the bane of all such security measures continues to be snag in coordination mechanism and occasional slippages in the well integrated coordinated machinery that at times results in breach of national security. Nevertheless, one hopes that with attendant vigilance, alert mindedness and constant improvements in the security apparatus, country’s time tested core civilsational values of tolerance, national integration and communal harmony with unity in diversity will continue to shine India in the comity of nations!