Amid Devyani row, US offers to train Indian cops

India and the United States may have been engaged in a battle of nerves for the past one month over the Devyani Khobragade case, but that has not stopped the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) from offering to train 30 middle-level police officers on crisis negotiation.

This is the latest offer from the US on training Indian police officers. The training will be conducted in an Indian facility between March 24 and 28.

The Home Ministry has now written to all states and paramilitary forces to suggest names of officers in the rank of assistant superintendent of police to superintendent of police for training. The US Department of Justice has offered an advanced course intended for law enforcement officers assigned to crisis negotiation units, or those planning to set up a formal programme within their agencies.

The topics of the five-day training include negotiation for hostage and kidnap incidents, negotiation technologies, faculty development and establishing crisis negotiation units.

The fresh offer for training comes at a time when India is upping its ante over the diplomat issue by asking the US embassy in New Delhi to shut down commercial activities on its premises by January 16. The diplomat has been accused of underpaying her domestic help, whom she brought from India. The subsequent arrest of Khobragade became a diplomatic flashpoint between India, which accused the US of not honouring the Vienna Convention in providing her diplomatic immunity.

Besides the fresh training offer, the US will host a group of 15 officers in Moyock in North Carolina for a 17-day training programme on “Advanced Explosives Incident Counter Measures”. This programme is aimed at providing expertise in advanced skills, tactics, techniques and procedures to tackle sophisticated terrorist attacks.

Last month, the Union Home Ministry invited applications from police officers for another training programme by the US, which is to be conducted in India for 12 days in February, on interdicting terrorist activities.

The Home Ministry has already selected 24 officers for the hostage negotiation-training course to be conducted in the National Security Guard Academy in Manesar beginning next Monday.

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