Intel gathering: Panel on Home Affairs questions officials

The MPs wanted to know what had been done to improve intelligence gathering and why internal security institutions like the Multi Agency Centre, the National Counter Terrorism Centre and Natgrid had been slow to take off.

Written by Abantika Ghosh | New Delhi | Published:October 7, 2016 4:20 am

Members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs Thursday grilled officials of the Home Ministry and paramilitary forces responsible for border security on the learnings from the infiltration attempts and attacks before and after Uri.

The meeting lasted nearly three hours, and was attended by Home Secretary Rajeev Mehrishi, whose absence from previous standing committee meetings had irked the MPs, along with senior officers of the BSF, ITBP, Seema Suraksha Bal among others tasked with border security.

The MPs wanted to know what had been done to improve intelligence gathering and why internal security institutions like the Multi Agency Centre, the National Counter Terrorism Centre and Natgrid had been slow to take off.

Natgrid, incidentally, was conceived after the 26/11 attacks by former home minister P Chidambaram, who now chairs the standing committee.

Sources revealed that when one MP asked about the results of the post-facto analysis following Uri and other such incidents, when there have been repeated reports of “intelligence failure”, Mehrishi referred the question to a Defence official. Chidambaram then stepped in and said that intelligence gathering is the mandate of the Home Ministry. However, there were no clear replies from the government side, sources said.

The committee stayed clear of the issue of surgical strikes as it did not want to make it an “Opposition vs Army issue”, said a source present in the meeting.

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