BJP says it will strengthen internal security
The BJP manifesto has stated that it would strengthen the role of National Investigation Agency (NIA) and put in place a system of swift and fair trial of terror-related cases. Established in the aftermath of the 26/11 attacks, the premier counter-terror agency has been marred by lack of manpower, especially at the level of superintendent of police. Its relationship with intelligence agencies too has been rough with the latter choosing to hand over top terror operatives to state police forces rather than the federal agency.
To ensure better coordination among agencies and independence of operations related to terrorism, the BJP manifesto also vowed to “insulate intelligence agencies from political intervention and interference”. The manifesto also aimed to “completely revamp the intelligence gathering system by modernising the intelligence department”.
The manifesto said, “It will be accountable for real-time intel- ligence dissemination. Digital and cyber security will be a thrust area.” To ensure such Central effort is well supported by boots on the ground, the BJP manifesto promised to provide state governments with all assistance to modernise their police forces and equip them with the latest technology. “This will be taken up on a mission mode approach,” the manifesto said.
It also touched upon the important issue of police modernisation with emphasis on training of police forces, giving them new technology, strengthening of investigations, overhauling prison system and improving cyber and marine policing. The manifesto, however, was silent on certain issues of police reforms such as delinking police from political influence and having fixed tenure for officers apart from separation of law and order and investigation wings of the police. The matter has been languishing with various state governments despite a Supreme Court order.
On the issue of Naxalism, the BJP manifesto was in favour of talks with Maoists but said it should be “conditional and within the framework of the Constitution”. It promised to chalk out a national plan to address Maoist challenge in consultation with state governments.