Watch Your Back
The Indian Government
will do well to learn from the declaration made by the US Secretary of Defence Robert M Gates at the Naval Academy in April 2010, where he pledged: "And when I send you in harm`s way, as I will, I will do everything in my power to see that you have what you need to accomplish your mission - and come home safely".
Contrast the above pledge with the attitude of the Indian Government. In utter disregard to their safety, it has inducted ill-equipped and inadequately trained CRPF forces to battle Naxalites, making them easy fodder for the elusive insurgents. It is a grave and criminal dereliction of duty, grossly unfair to CRPF personnel and their hapless families.
As seen above, embroilment of the army in counter-Naxalite operations is the worst thing that can happen to the country. Creation of ISF is an extremely viable scheme that harnesses the expertise and experience of ex-servicemen. It will not only result in substantial financial savings to the Government but will also guarantee life time employment to scores of ex-service personnel. Therefore, it should be implemented in its entirety without any delay.
A word of caution would not be out of place here. The fundamental strength of ISF would lie in its ex-servicemen character and it should not be diluted. Authorities must resist temptation to use higher appointments in ISF to park police officers. ISF should not go National Security Guard way, wherein the real punch is provided by the military component but ironically, the Director General is a police officer.Image: An Indian paramilitary soldier peers out from the window of an armored car during a protest in Srinagar, India. Picture copyright Associated press. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited Also see: Omar seeks 30,000 new Kashmiri cops to replace CRPF | Maoist threat: Deploy the Babus, not army
Major General Mrinal Suman, (retd) AVSM, VSM, PhD directs the Defence Acquisition Management Course for Confederation of Indian Industry and heads its Defence Technical Assessment and Advisory Service. A prolific writer, he is often consulted by policy makers and the Parliamentary Committee on Defence, and is regularly invited to address various industrial chambers in India and abroad. The views expressed here are his own.)
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