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  • National Investigation Agency: Do states have right to reject?

    The NIA was established in a concurrent jurisdiction framework, with provisions for taking up specific cases under specific Acts for investigation and prosecution. The NIA may be seen to conflict with responsibility that is exclusively with the states but it cannot be conclusively said that the Agency is unconstitutional

    May 12, 2014

    Anant Narayan Padhy asked: What steps the Indian Government is taking to combat terrorism?

    Vivek Chadha replies: Before taking a look at the measures undertaken by the government to combat terrorism, it is important to understand the different levels at which terrorism affects society and the security of the country. Terrorism essentially instils an innate sense of fear in the everyday life of a citizen, thereby diluting the perceived control of the state over law and order and its ability to govern. This state of lawlessness creates conditions which help the terrorist group achieve its political aims. In order to achieve this, the spectre of fear has to be unpredictable, sensational and display the helplessness of the state in the face of loss of life and property.

    This is achieved in case of India by terrorist groups through underground modules all over the country. In the case of a group like Indian Mujahideen, support in terms of training, funding and logistics is provided by Pakistan. The modular nature of the organisation makes it difficult to establish a hierarchy and thus tracking its activities are much more difficult. Recruitment to such groups fuels on perceived sense of alienation and deprivation.

    In order to fight this kind of threat, the government functions against terrorism at a number of levels. First, there is a concerted effort to address the root cause of alienation which affects communities or sections of society. This is done by addressing genuine concerns and through awareness campaigns that dispel false propaganda. Second, intelligence agencies keep track of radicalisation attempts by overground workers and recruitment agents in order to stop this process at its inception. Third, human and electronic means are used to tap into existing networks and cells to pre-empt terrorist strikes and arrest leaders, both inside and outside the country. Fourth, international cooperation with other countries facilitates follow up on suspects and cases in progress. Fifth, laws are legislated to provide the necessary legal framework for speedy conviction of terrorists through fast track special courts. Sixth, specialist agencies like the National Investigation Agency (NIA) have been established which investigate and prosecute terrorism related crimes in special NIA courts.

    These are some of the measures undertaken to fight terrorism. However, the best defence against terrorism is to ensure that the people do not have the incentive to pick up arms against the country by providing them equitable political, social and economic opportunities.

    Posted on May 6, 2014

    Coastal Security: Time for course correction

    Five years since the Mumbai terror attacks, the coastal mechanism remains weak. It is time to seriously consider the Indian coast guard as the single authority responsible for coastal security and accordingly amend the charter of the ICG.

    November 26, 2013

    Tracking the source of ‘Weapon Providers’ for NE Rebels

    It is well established that the armed ethnic groups in Myanmar act as the interlocking chain for the illegal weapons flow from Yunnan in China via Myanmar to the Northeast India. Reports indicate that the most effective illegal weapons trader in Myanmar is the armed ethnic group, the United Wa State Army (UWSA).

    November 07, 2013

    Pak Army Continuing Proxy War in Kashmir

    Though the Pakistan army denies its involvement in raising violence levels along the LoC, the international boundary and in the hinterland, it is understood well that without the active support of the army and the ISI, no serious attempt can be made by the terrorists to infiltrate.

    October 23, 2013

    Need to effectively manage the India-Nepal Border

    Transforming the India-Nepal border from an ‘open border’ to a ‘closed border’ would severely damage the traditional socio-cultural and economic ties. It would be prudent to keep the border open but manage it more effectively through mutual cooperation.

    September 19, 2013

    Arrest of Yasin Bhatkal: An Analysis

    The arrest of Bhatkal, head of the Indian Mujahideen, highlights the measures taken by security agencies including improved coordination in different states to apprehend a number of terrorists in the last few years.

    September 02, 2013

    The Maoist Threat

    As a nation, we have a tendency to react once a crisis overtakes us. This holds good in the case of natural disasters like the annual floods in the North-East, earthquakes, the tsunami, the most recent calamity in Uttarkhand or national security threats like Kargil, 26/11 in Mumbai, and the Chinese intrusion in Eastern Ladakh in April 2013. To this list can be added the chimera of Maoism or Left-wing Extremism (LWE).

    July 2013

    Meeting the Maoist Challenge

    A well-deliberated and finely calibrated response strategy with matching operational doctrines is essential to deal with the Maoist challenge.

    June 03, 2013

    India abstains and exposes the Arms Trade Treaty

    By abstaining from voting on the global arms trade treaty, India has exposed the treaty’s loopholes in not addressing concerns about illegal transfer of arms to terrorist organisations, insurgents groups and other non-state actors.

    April 08, 2013