CISF’s special force to guard ‘vulnerable’ Indian missions

Days after it brought in an Ordinance amending the CISF Act to enable its personnel to be deployed abroad at Indian missions....

Written by Raghvendra Rao | New Delhi | Published: February 1, 2009 1:04:04 am

Days after it brought in an Ordinance amending the CISF Act to enable its personnel to be deployed abroad at Indian missions and on UN peacekeeping duties,the Central government has given the go-ahead to raise a special force within the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) which would be deployed to guard “vulnerable” Indian Missions across the globe starting with the Indian Embassy in Kabul.

Top Home Ministry sources told The Sunday Express that the Ministry of External Affairs was already in the process of grading all the Indian Missions (Embassies and High Commissions) into various categories depending upon their threat perceptions. “The CISF has been tasked with raising a special force which will be then be deployed at the Missions considered vulnerable,” a top ministry official said. The Centre has also raised the cap on the size of CISF from 1.10 lakh to 1.45 lakh. “This means that an additional 35,000 personnel will now be inducted into the force thus giving it more space to carve out a special force to guard Indian Missions,” the official added.

The July 7,2008,suicide bomb attack on the Indian Embassy in Kabul,sources said,had exposed “serious vulnerabilities” in the security systems in place not only in Afghanistan but in many Indian Missions abroad,prompting the Indian government to raise a special force for such duties. To start with,this special force could be deployed to guard Indian Missions in Afghanistan,Pakistan and Iraq— all considered vulnerable from the security point of view.

Further,the idea to raise a special force within CISF also stemmed from the realisation that guarding Indian Embassies,High Commissions and Consulates in other countries required a specialised set of training and skill-learning,much different from what the central para-military forces normally train for currently.

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