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.

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