Slow Train Coming
The only viable option thus available to India is to raise a specialised paramilitary force to suppress internal uprisings. Broad contours of the recommended Internal Security Force (ISF) are as follows:-
a) Command and Control: The ISF should function under and be paid for by the Ministry of Home Affairs. However, during wartime emergencies, ISF units could be put under command military formations (Sub Area and Area Headquarters) for augmenting resources for securing lines of communication.
b) Organisation: ISF units should be organised on the lines of infantry battalions and provided necessary specialised equipment (including airborne force-multipliers).
c) Manpower: There should be no direct recruitment to ISF. The complete manpower should consist only of ex-servicemen. As a matter of policy, no one other than an ex-serviceman should be inducted in this force to ensure that it develops a military-like ethos without any dilution. Short Service Commission (SSC) officers, after completing their tenure with the army could be offered absorption into ISF. To man senior ranks initially, suitable officers could also be taken on permanent secondment from the army. Once the initial inductees rise in ranks, they should man the complete structure. As regards the other ranks, medically fit personnel after the completion of their tenure of duty with the army, should be offered absorption on analogous posts in ISF with full protection of pay fixed in the pay band and the grade pay. However, military personnel should have the option to decline lateral shift to ISF and retire with standard pensionary benefits.
d)Training: ISF would need no training facilities of its own. Induction of fully trained soldiers would obviate need to impart recruits` training. Further, it should have arrangements for subscribing to vacancies on various courses run by the military.
e) Size and Structure: To start with ISF should consist of six battalions, grouped under two sector headquarters. Organisation structure should be modular and platoon-centric.
Image: A Central Reserve Police Force unit patrols a railway line during heavy snowfall at Bijbehera in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir, India, January 3, 2010. Picture copyright Associated press. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited