An IIPM Initiative
Wednesday, October 23, 2019

'Internal security too complex'


Prakash Singh, former DG BSF, talks in an interview:
MAYANK SINGH | Issue Dated: November 30, -0001, New Delhi
Tags : Militancy | Internal security | Paramilitary forces | ITBP | BSF |

What is the significance of para-military forces in the national security apparatus?
The internal security problem has become far too complex. The involvement of external forces has made it dangerous in the sense that while Pakistan is helping terrorists in Kashmir, Chinese equipment and arms, which it denies, have been found with insurgents working in north east India. The state police force is not able to control situations like these and it is here that central assistance is need. Thus, the role of the paramilitary forces becomes very important. These forces are also involved in securing and guarding our borders. They are made to switch roles such as disaster relief, holding mega events, law and order and VIP security.

What does modernization mean for para-military and are they getting adequate support?
Modernization is an ongoing process and it helps in keeping pace with times. The focus is on equipment, transport, training and communication while planning modernization and proposals are sent by the individual force to the MHA. There is no dearth of funds and the blame of delay should lie with the forces for not pursuing their case properly.

Are we are expanding our forces?
Yes. But there is a school of thought which says that instead of expanding the forces, the focus should be on strengthening them.

Considering the current internal security scenario what do you have to say?
As I said, the problem is being aggravated by outside forces. Recently very sophisticated communication equipment was found with Maoists. Add to it, the lack of political will and determination and absence of coordination and synergy. All this together have made the problems look bigger. Take the case of Naxalites, there is no national plan to deal with it. Every chief minister has his own panacea for a problem which affects them together.

There is resentment and lack of motivation among the force personnel. What is your assessment about the jawans?
Working conditions are really tough because of their role and charters of duty. While internal security is getting increasingly complex, adhocism is leading to too much confusion among the jawans who operate on ground. There are no plans for deploying them. They are just pushed in without giving any thought to logistics, communication and ration.These boys are left at the mercy of hope that nothing wrong happens. While CRPF forces are tossed from one corner to the other with multiple roles to fulfill, ITBP and BSF too along with the others have tough service conditions and multiple roles. All this takes a heavy toll on the soldiers. Uncertainty dogs them all the time. Also, the growing view that they are not getting a fair deal needs better examination. Rest and recuperation should be planned as it still has a huge deficit.

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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017