January 2019
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Lessons after Pathankot attack: How India can build a stronger security mechanism

By Dhirendra Pratap Singh

The Pathankot terror attack represented an unprecedented national crisis which requires a matching response to ensure our security. This incident has exposed the inefficiency and incompetence of our intelligence agencies, Punjab Police and the lack of coordination among the various agencies involved in taking on the terrorists and flushing them out.

Terrorists crossed over near Shakargarh in Pakistan to Bamiyal village and later changed into army fatigues before seizing a private taxi and later the SP's SUV

Terrorists crossed over near Shakargarh in Pakistan to Bamiyal village and later changed into army fatigues before seizing a private taxi and later the SP’s SUV

ICTpost presents a comprehensive agenda for action which looks at key issues that need swift reform and radical change

Overhauling the police

India’s police forces are grossly understaffed. The country has one of the lowest policemen to population ratios in the world, just 142 per lakh people compared to ratios of 250 per lakh in Western countries.

Urgently needed

  • 1 lakh Level III bullet-proof jacket
    Rs.300 crore
  • 1 lakh Kevlar helmets
    Rs.100 crore
  • 1 lakh automatic carbines to replace.303 / SLR rifles
    Rs.5,000 crore

Toughening the law

The flaws within the Indian police system allow torture to routinely happen and it often casts doubt on the confessions made voluntarily. In the UK, where confessions to police are admissible provided they are not coerced or induced, the question of admissibility is decided in a separate ‘mini trial’ within trial.

Only the confessions that fall under elaborate judicial principles are admissible in the trial. Even in the US, any confessions made in violation of procedure and made under duress are not admissible.

The danger associated with allowing police concession is that it incentivises police complacency and bad investigation. The confessional statement often becomes the piece de resistance of the police case and works as an excuse to ignore the need for collecting other evidence.

 Be the change

It would be naive on our part to expect the police to keep a watch on every suspicious person or movement 24×7. Our responsibilities as concerned citizens have increased in these troubled times. Do not postpone the police verification as tomorrow may be too late.
Similarly, with busy marketplaces becoming terror hotspots, increased vigilance will not only generate greater public awareness but also make you an involved citizen. You can make the difference by insisting that your residents welfare association beef up security and work out an emergency plan in case of an attack. You could also insist that your children’s school keep a blueprint of its layouts and exits in case of emergency. You could also enroll in first aid classes so that in times of a crisis you know what to do. It’s time you take the lead by paying fines for violations.

Crime and Criminals Tracking Network and Systems- CCTNS
Even the oft criticised police, which perceives itself a victim of digital divide has acquired a better preparedness to reap the benefits of the ICT. The e-Cop application of Andhra Pradesh police and networking of all Police Stations (PS) using Virtual Private Network (VPN) by Karnataka police speaks volumes about the capability of the police to harness the potential of the ICT.

The aim of CCTNS is to create a comprehensive and integrated system for effective and efficient policing at all levels through a nationwide network with a bottom-top approach in accordance with the principles of e-Governance. The key objectives of the CCTNS project therefore include:

•    providing enhanced IT tools for investigation, crime prevention, law and order maintenance and other functions;
•    increasing operational efficiency by reducing manual and repetitive tasks;
•    better communication and automation at the back-end;
•    sharing crime and criminals’ databases across the country at state and central levels;
•    sharing intelligence on real-time basis, and
•    improving service delivery to the public and other stakeholders


INTEGRATE armed forces with the Ministry of Defence

APPOINT a chief of defence staff, a single point military adviser to the Government

FASTTRACK pending military purchases. Lay down time-bound programme for acquisitions and cut it down from the present six- to eight-year timeframe.

SET UP separate Ministry for Defence Procurement staffed by permanent specialists to smoothen the acquisition process

CREATE Raksha Udyog Ratnas from the private sector giving them the status of defence PSUs to boost indigenous defence enterprise

BUILD more greenfield shipyards within the country to encourage local shipbuilding and help coast guard and marine police meet force levels

INDUCT satellites,UAVs and long range spy planes to improve surveillance over land and sea

PLUG existing gaps in defence air space by inducting radars

ACQUIRE capabilities like precision strikes and night fighting than