Twenty-four-year-old Payal Jagatiya was busy shaking hands with her batchmates and taking pictures in her khaki uniform after taking part in the passing out parade at the police training academy in Karai. Although she would hardly wear the uniform once she is inducted in the special department, she says “it is better than being a teacher”.
“We are told that a girl should opt for teaching as a profession, and police department is perceived as the worst place to work. But I am here to change the perspective of the people who I know. My family has been supportive and I am looking forward to work not just on the desk but also in the field just like anyone else,” says the 24-year-old girl from Jamnagar as she walks away to the ceremony which marks the end of a nine-month-long training at the academy.
Jagatiya will be joining as an assistant intelligence officer (AIO) in the state intelligence bureau. She is part of the specially created cadre that joins the bureau directly through competitive exams. The first batch passed out in 2011 which ended the tradition of deputation.
Jagatiya is from the fifth batch that has a strength of 81 — 40 intelligence officers of police sub-inspector rank and 41 assistant intelligence officers (AIO) of assistant sub-inspector rank. Both the groups included 17 women officers each. According to senior officers, this is also the first batch of AIOs.
With this batch, the state police now has a strength of over 200 dedicated intelligence gatherers, including 50 women officers. Senior officials said that very few women are field officers, but they added that the new crop of officers will be sent to field as well for intelligence gathering.
The training of these officers including border visits — “media management, mobile technology & CDR analysis, interrogation techniques, VVIP security, intelligence collection- demo /practical on surveillance/shadowing” among others.
“They are taught by various faculties about espionage, surveillance and counter-surveillance and all sorts of intelligence gathering. There are faculties who come from National Intelligence Academy, New Delhi and experts from within the state and departments,” said Additional Director General of Police K K Ojha who is the director of the academy.
Narayan Prajapati, 28, a resident of Viratnagar in Ahmedabad, wanted to join “intelligence services” and claims that he didn’t join his previous selections twice for sub-inspectors. “I know Mossad,” he said when asked if he knew the profile of an intelligence officer. Although he said that he wants to appear in the Gujarat Public Service Commission for becoming Deputy Superintendent of Police, his profile would allow him to study more about his surroundings.
Apart from intelligence officers, 40 unarmed sub-inspectors and 274 Lok Rakshak Dal were also inducted in the state police on the occasion. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani lauded the state police and said that prosperity happens where there is a proper law and order. He also said that police have to change its image and be friendly with people.