Pointing out that the internal security management in India is “outdated”, Vappala Balachandran, a security expert and a member of two-member high-level committee that inquired into the police response during 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, said Monday that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) should be empowered to take over all terror cases and inter-state crimes happening in the country.
During his talk on “Internal Security in India: Problems and Solutions” at the Indian Institute of Technology-Gandhinagar (IIT-Gn) Balachandra, the former police officer from Maharashtra, pointed out that currently the NIA “cannot suo moto take over a case” and has to wait for the directions from either the state governments or from the courts. He was also a senior member of RAW (Research and Analysis Wing).
“NIA should be strengthened to take over all terror cases and inter-state crimes immediately after occurrence,” he said in his talk where he focussed largely on the lacunae prevalent in internal security mechanism of the country, that included the absence of a federal force similar to those existing in countries like the US, Canada, UK and others.
In order to stress his point about the need for a federal force in India, Balachandran compared a historical event in the US in September 24, 1957 — when the then President Dwight Eisenhower moved troops to Little Rock, Arkansas to prevent a race-riot when Governor Orval Faubus refused to obey orders – to a similar event that happened in India in November 26, 1992 – when 20,000 central forces were moved to UP in anticipation of communal trouble, but the state government led by Kalyan Singh did not utilise them and the situation snowballed to Babri Masjid demolition in December 6, 1992.
He pointed out that the police force in India was not only “overburdened” with non-police duties such as detecting unauthorised constructions and tackling cattle-menace, but “thousands of police man-hours” were also spent in attending to local political priorities like ladies dance bars, detection of beef, etc.
“State police is not only deployed for security duties, but they also have to follow the guidelines of state leaders which may have nothing to do with national priorities…,” Balachandran added. He said, “The Coast Guard should be brought under the Home Ministry.”