MHA tells states paramilitary forces are not substitutes for local police

MHA tells states paramilitary forces are not substitutes for local police

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has asked states not to treat paramilitary forces as "substitute" to the state police.

The ministry directive comes in the wake of the West Bengal government's objection to the withdrawal of central forces from Darjeeling,

Developing a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for processing the requests of deployment in states, the MHA said such applications should be made only in an emergency.

"State governments often make requests to the Centre for deployment of CAPFs (Central Armed Paramilitary Forces) even for occasions where the state should normally be in a position to take all security measures from their own resources by dispatching police and state armed police," the MHA communication states.

"State governments are reluctant to de-induct CAPFs and keep requesting the extension which should not ordinarily be made unless there are adequate security reasons for their extension," it added.

A senior official said the MHA has to deal with a number of requests from the states "at the drop of the hat" for paramilitary deployment and this is "not an ideal situation".

The official cited the recent objections from the Bengal government and it approaching the Calcutta High court over the withdrawal of forces from Darjeeling.

According to the SOP, paramilitary forces would be able to meet "more pressing commitments" like guarding borders, fighting an insurgency, anti-Maoist operations and in "related situations which need immediate mobilisation" of forces.

"CAPFs cannot substitute the state police force as their deployment is related to emergency/unforeseen crisis in states for maintaining law and order," the MHA said.

It noted that the Centre has sanctioned India Reserve Battalions in the states, whose purpose is to make states self-sufficient in dealing with the law and order and internal security situation by avoiding being dependent on paramilitary forces.

The MHA has now advised states to set up a state-level committee under the chairmanship of the additional director general (law and order) where local representatives of Intelligence Bureau and paramilitary forces may be co-opted.

These committees should examine and scrutinise the requirements of paramilitary forces by keeping in view internal security, the previous scale of deployment, optimal utilisation of state resources, intelligence inputs and availability of forces in nearby locations.

Its recommendation for deployment or extension of deployment should be specific and indicate the quantum of forces needed along with solid reasons to back their views.
DH News Service

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