Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ajit Doval, ex-IB chief on intelligence failure

Interview with Shri Ajit Doval on IBN channel on Sept. 15, 2008- in Evening at 6 PM

Ajit Doval, ex-IB chief on intelligence failure
Sept. 15, 2008, IBN channel

Anand: Good Evening Mr. Ajit! The Delhi blasts have once again proved beyond doubt that terrorists are miles ahead of the IB when it comes to planning and execution. What’s also becoming clear is that increasingly they are getting the erudite & tech savvy lot to join their bastions to disrupt the peace in this country by choosing locations at will and with an intention to cause maximum harm. These are ominous signs that we need to nip the evil in the bud or be prepared to witness bloodshed in front of our eyes. No doubt, society at large has a role to play. The simple tenet 'Know thy neighbor' needs to be practised to be aware of one's surroundings. As someone who has been part of the counter-terrorism and counter-intelligence operations, where do you think the lacunae lie and how can we prevent such mindless acts of terror from becoming a routine affair?
Ajit Doval: Firstly, let me assure you that India's intelligence capabilities are not as low as rated by you. Of course, any major blast is a failure and accountability must be fixed. But more important is the intelligence agencies initiating pre-emptive actions to degrade the capabilities of subversive and terrorist organisations. In a large country with democratic freedom 24 x 7 security cannot be ensured and some desperate persons, if they have got the training equipment and motivation to cause explosions, they can't always be prevented. But what is more important is that they are neutralised before they acquire and position these capabilities to bleed the nation. I think covert offensive operations duly empowered and legalised by the state will help a lot provided the nation can muster political will for that.
Shridhar:After major blasts in Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Jaipur; Now in Delhi. It is really a shame on Indian intelligence. Are you still waiting for the same to happen in all other Indian cities? Better to implement POTA, to nab terrorism. What do you say about this, sir....!
Ajit Doval: I think in today's conditions even POTA is not sufficient. We need to go for laws tougher than that with the provision that any misuse will also be a punishable offence within the Act.
Chandan Sharma: Does India need to become more aggressive when dealing with issues related to Pakistan and do we need an organization like CIA which are not only meant for intelligence gathering but which can eliminate prospective threats within and outside the country through unofficial means.
Ajit Doval: I think we need to bring all central intelligence agencies under one umbrella to ensure seamless integration in their operations, assessments and response. We also need to take a re-look about how to deal with Pakistan from an intelligence perspective. Indian intelligence overall needs to show greater aggressiveness in its approach towards safeguarding vital national interests.
Chenna Padmati: Dear Ajit Doval Sir, though we are seeing the bomb blasts occurring in USA, UK and India, but the frequency at which these are occurring in India is very high. After the London blasts the UK police have thwarted all other attempts by terrorists. What are the reasons in India for having so many Blasts? I would like to know how Indian intelligence differs from US and UK. Please give your answer in detail.
Ajit Doval: I think the first difference is the mere size of the problem that is faced by them and by us. They do not have 15,000 kms of land border of which nearly 9,000 is with Pakistan and Bangladesh which account for infiltration of terrorists, smuggling of arms and explosives and the terrorists finding easy sanctuaries across the borders. Pakistan has been waging a proxy war against India and hence the terrorist and subversive groups have received major support from Pakistan to bleed India which is not the case with the UK. Unfortunately, in India the fight against terror has been politicised and there is no national political consensus on the issue which exists in most of the Western countries. India has also not been able to bring in tough anti-terror laws like the UK and other Western countries despite the fact that it has been the world's largest victim of terrorism.
Rohit Kundra: Hello Mr Doval, You obviously have a very healthy and wise experience in Regards to Intelligence, can you tell the Failures of RAW,IB can be attributed to Red Tape , bureaucracy which I am very sure is one of the causes of our failure to prevent any incident. Look at Israel, probably 1/10 size of India, and 100 times better Intelligence Operations compared to our own, better than the US I would assume, Do we need Government Interference at all, since Govt. is anyways hopeless and hapless in most cases.
Ajit Doval: Red tape is definitely a big stumbling block in a country's performance in various areas of governance. Security and intelligence are no exceptions. I think there is an urgent need for de-bureaucratising India's intelligence agencies both form outside and within.
SRIRAM: Does it demotivate you, as a person fighting terror that SIMI was once banned only to be allowed to function once the Govt. changed and so did the affiliations and vote bank?
Ajit Doval: I think the overall approach towards radical extremist groups including SIMI has been rather soft. The Govt. should have been more firm in dealing with SIMI.
Abhishek: As a common citizen, how can we contribute to improve the situation?
Ajit Doval: Maintaining a high degree of alert and informing the police if anything suspicious comes to your notice.
Nagarajan: Don't you think it's impossible for the intelligence agencies to locate the various spots in a particular city where the terrorist group are planning to strike unless the network is smashed beforehand. It's therefore important to strengthen ground level policing at crowded who become police informer for intelligence agencies.
Ajit Doval: It is not impossible for the intelligence agencies to strike at their hideouts but they can do it only with the full involvement of police authorities. Intelligence operatives do not have powers of the law to strike on their own, arrest, seize, or raid terrorist premises. These powers are only with the police.
Malay Ray: Why can't we have tougher laws to punish all close relatives of terrorists? It is understandable that some innocent people will suffer; but aren't the people suffering from these explosions innocent too? That's one way to build social and emotional pressure on terrorists.
Ajit Doval: The basic jurisprudence of our criminal law is opposed to the idea of sharing responsibility for criminal actions by those who are not co-conspirators or part of a criminal act. Unless we can prove that the family members had connived, no action can be taken against them. I don't think that in today's world, it will be possible to make laws holding innocent persons, even if they are family members, accountable for the acts of a particular terrorist.
Aditya Sanghi:Hi, When we got to know about operation BAD, the next target was to be Delhi, isn’t it a total failure of our intelligence that even after getting the code word, we were not able to avoid these blasts? It brings up a big question mark on the competence level of the intelligence if they are at all keeping pace with technology. Such attacks can never be avoided by police, it needs to be owned by the intelligence. Thanks, Aditya Sanghi Informatica Business Solutions
Ajit Doval: Intelligence working is not confined only to intelligence agencies. The local police has to know their area, the movement and activities of people operating there and ground level sources of information at police station level. Once the intelligence about likely terrorist strikes in Delhi were known, the organisation which is likely to strike, identity of some of its operators etc had been obtained particularly after detailed interrogations of arrested SIMI activists. The police apparatus should have been more vigilant and pro-active.
RK: Sir, I don't blame the Intelligence Agencies. Don't do feel that without strong anti-terror laws, its too much to ask from Intelligence Agencies?
Ajit Doval: I totally agree that intelligence by itself is not the complete answer to terrorist threat. Even if one knows many things but is unable to take any action for want of suitable laws and other empowerments, the problem can't be tackled. India needs very strong anti-terror laws to make use of the knowledge available about the terrorists and their over ground support base.
Nitin Mjh: Hello Sir...I wish to know how was terrorism countered and curbed in Punjab and can't we adopt similar kind of strategies and policies to curb this Islamic terror as well?? Thanks Nitin.
Ajit Doval: I think there are a lot of lessons to be learnt from Punjab as also successes in north-eastern states like Mizoram. At the same time, it is important to understand that all conflicts have their own special characteristics and one model cannot be automatically supplanted in another theatre. Actually, we can learn more from our Kashmir experience in dealing with radical Islamist extremist threat.
ANIL SHETTY: After 9/11 - attack on USA. There is no attack on USA more than 7 years. If they can maintain their security, Why we cannot maintain at least 50% of them.
Ajit Doval: All security systems operate in a certain environment and setting. Our internal and external environment as also availability of resources are quite different than what is obtaining in the US. They have taken a doctrinal decision to take the war from where terror threat emanates. That is in their defensive-offence mode. So the theatre of conflict is say in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq or other countries. For various reasons, we are operating in a defensive mode. There is a need to have a re-look at overall strategy to tackle terrorism.
Armoredfish: What do the intelligence agencies normally do? That has to be told to the public now. It is time. It is mostly political intelligence for the ruling party. We do not have any covert agency like the MI6 or the U.K or elsewhere. What is your take on this?
Ajit Doval: Intelligence agencies provide knowledge component at policy formulation, policy execution and operational levels. We do have an elaborate intelligence network covering all the areas of internal and external intelligence. The Indian intelligence agencies are as covert but at the same time accountable to the government as MI-5 & MI-6. However, their activities can't be disclosed to the public and large number of misgivings about their poor performance are because of ignorance about their role and activities. There are large number of successes to their creidt of intelligence agencies which unfortunately can't be shared with teh public. Nevertheless, there is need for considerable improvement.
Vivek: Good Evening Mr. Doval, Is our security apparatus so weak that these attacks just can't be stopped or it merely shows the lack of political will on the part of current government to deal with it.
Ajit Doval: Security apparatus is not weak but obviously in recent years has not been able to cope with the challenges faced by it. There is an urgent need to strengthen and reorgnaise it. Political will is of course the most important component of response mechanism. It detremines the response, capability, in various other allied areas, including efficiency of police forces. Of late, we find poor political will in fighting terrorism.
Aditya Sanghi: Hi, Me as a lay man gets a feeling that there isn’t any coordination between states which is one of the major reasons for the failure of intelligence. What one state says seems to be ignored by the other state or centre. How true is this? Is there a scope for improvement and if yes then what are the top three things that come to your mind to improve this? Thanks and regards, Aditya Sanghi Informatica Business Solutions
Ajit Doval: It is not true that there is no coordination amongst the states though there is nothing so good which cannot be improved. The problem lies at times in legal; formalities which have to be completed before action or info provided by one state to the other is complied with. For example, Gujarat Police could not arrest Abu Basheer from Azamgarh though they had info about his activities. UP Police also could not hand over Basheer after arresting him till he was produced in the court of law and orders obtained. In this interim, lots of useful clues were lost and many conspirators got alerted and fled. In some of the states there is no sensitivity to terrorism and their police forces do not take follow-up action as fast as possible. However, gradually more and more states are coming forward to extend their cooperation.
aathrey:Do you think there is a need for special central Intelligence agency with quick hassle free communication from the top to bottom and vice-versa and from one corner to the other with no politician poking their nose.
Ajit Doval: As far as intelligence agencies are concerned they do have fast and dependable channels of communication. However, what is needed is a nationwide security communication grid which can integrate communication between intelligence agencies, police forces, paramilitarty organsiations and defence forces where they are involved in internal security duties. Such a grid should also be connected to national data bank on terrorists so that any information regarding the terrorists, their plans, movements which are known in one part of the country are automatically transmitted and accessed by other agencies.
Vinay: Our intelligence seems to lag in terms of technology and I.T. Also some hidden traffic cameras would have been helpful. Does our intelligence department spend enough money to upgrade itself from time to time?
Ajit Doval: Technology is an important component of modern day intelligence. All Indian agencies do have high tech capabilities besides having a separate organization known as National Technical Facilities organization which is dedicated to development of new tech and integration. Some highly eminent scientists are involved in tech development for intelligence services. As far as hidden cameras are concerned, it is a good preventive and detective measure that can be used for policing purposes. It is being used in some areas. However, it does not come within the domain of intelligence technical gadgetry.

‘Indian Mujahideen is Pak’s local outsourcing of terror’

‘Indian Mujahideen is Pak’s local outsourcing of terror’
Date: Sept 21, 2008
Mail Today spoke to the country’s three most renowned security experts – former BSF director-general Prakash singh, former IB director Ajit Doval and retired D-G of the NSG and former Delhi Police Commissioner Ved Marwah – to get a closer insight into what Indian Mujahideen is all about:

Is IM an email ID or is it really the new name for terror in India?
AJIT DOVAL: IM is a case of local outsourcing of terror done by Pakistan. In SIMI, Pakistan’s terror outfits found a perfect ally in terms of ideology, age-group and reach across the country.
VED MARWAH: Don’t discount the Pakistan hand in IM. Make no mistake – IM could be a radical local outfit but it is a part of a global jehadi network.
PRAKASH SINGH: IM seems for real, but it can’t be mistaken for a completely indigenous outfit as it wanted everyone to believe through its emails.

But all 13 names of IM cadre given out by the Delhi Police today belong to Azamgarh in UP and are all educated youth…
AJIT DOVAL: It is a cleverly thought-out strategy to militarise some young Indian Muslims and polarize the Indian Muslim population.
VED MARWAH: These are local networks which have been raised by groups like LeT and ISI in Pakistan. The local cells are activated when a terror strike is executed in India.
PRAKASH SINGH: The ‘mastermind’ is using the expanding SIMI network in India to rope in the new generation of educated. IM has apparently sourced its educated and tech-savvy cadre from its parent body, the SIMI.

So then, who is the ‘mastermind’? Abu Bashar or Abdul Subhan Qureshi alias Tauqeer, the Osama of India?
AJIT DOVAL: In such a terror act, the actual mastermind may very well be a person who is not actually executing the terror strike or is not even making the bombs. He could be a person doing the main planning and strategizing.
VED MARWAH: We can say only about the mastermind of a certain serial blast. There can be links between various blasts but the real planner could be sitting far away in Karachi, Dubai or Kabul.
PRAKASH SINGH: It is not proper on part of the police to quickly say that they have killed the mastermind of Indian Mujahideen as Delhi Police did just hours after the encounter. The police made two arrests and these persons should be first interrogated properly to know the complete contours of the crime.

But what has prompted this local element-driven terror in India? Are Gujarat riots, which finds mention in each email sent by the IM, to blame for it?
AJIT DOVAL: I would say that SIMI started organizing itself in a big way and its underground cadre became active after POTA was lifted in December 2004. Regarding Gujarat, I would say that such riot-hit areas could have been targeted by the SIMI as a catchments’ area for new recruits.
VED MARWAH: What we need to nip this terrorism in its bud is to stop the unfortunate policy of going soft on terror where even cabinet ministers are backing SIMI. Centre-state co-operation on terror has broken down in the tenure of this government.
PRAKASH SINGH: The Gujarat riots did lead to a new evolution of terrorism in the country. But these terrorists cannot use that as a pretext to kill innocents.
(As told to Aman Sharma)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Bleeding from within

Bleeding from within
*Ajit Doval
25 Aug 2009
Source: New Indian Express

The country’s internal security environment, which suffered steady deterioration during UPA’s earlier five-year rule, continues to remain a cause of serious concern. Now that the government is no more fettered by pulls and pressures of coalition partners, which its apologists claimed prevented it from decisive actions in the past, it is regrettable that the situation is showing no signs of abatement. I would like to point out some of the disturbing trends which indicate callous apathy of the government to attend to this vital aspect of governance thereby not only endangering the safety and security of the aam aadmi but also seriously undermining the national interests. These are illustrative and not an exhaustive list of serious acts of commission and omission by the government.

Left Wing Extremism
* Fast spatial growth of the problem. When the UPA government took over there were estimated 76 districts in nine states (MHA Annual Report 2004-05) of the country affected by LWE. Today, as per a study carried out by Centre for Land and Air Warfare Studies, corroborated by many other experts on the subject the number ranges from 203 to 252 districts in 18 states. Practically 35 districts are getting sucked into the vortex of LWE every year despite the prime minister proclaiming on November 4, 2004 that naxalism constitutes the biggest threat facing the country. The pathetic response to a security threat that at the highest level is assessed as the biggest national threat raises serious doubts, both of the capabilities and intentions of the government.

* As per the figures released by the database of International Institute of Strategic Studies giving details of each incident of Left Wing Extremism, the total fatalities for the five-year period from 1999 to 2003 stood at 1,550. As against this the figures for the five-year period from 2004 to 2008 stand at 3,177, depicting an alarming increase of 100 per cent. The current year gives no signs of comfort. In seven months of the current year 475 people including 255 civilians have lost their lives. (Figures given by Mail Today — July 13, 2009). Similarly, the number of Naxalite incidents is also consistently showing an upward trend. In seven months of the current year 1,130 incidents have been reported as against 1,591 in entire 2008. (Figures given by Mail Today — July 13, 2009).

* Other cause of serious concern is the high rate of killing of police personnel. From 2004 to 2008, 877 brave policemen were martyred. While last year 231 police personnel were killed, in seven months of this year the number had touched the figure of 230. The police personnel need better protection against land mines and IED’s as also frequent ambushes. They need better body protection equipment, weapons, communication and transport facilities.

* The strength of armed guerrillas has swelled from less than 7,000 in early 2004 to somewhere around 13,500. Left extremists, today, have many more and much sophisticated weapons; some of them suspected to be from external sources. They raise funds nearly to the tune of Rs 1,200 crore a year and accretion in their financial strength is directly in proportion to funds released for development of Naxal affected areas. One lesson of insurgencies world over is that pumping funds without required infrastructure, accountability and administrative apparatus to ensure its fruitful absorption only enriches the insurgents. The extremists have acquired tactical skills, terrain knowledge and intelligence capabilities, that too in inaccessible rural and forest hinterland, that the security agencies are finding it difficult to cope with.


The recent reports indicating large-scale infiltration of terrorists and weapons from Pakistan is a matter of serious concern. The army on April 25, 2009, paraded before the media, a Pakistani terrorist named Syed Moinullah Shah, who disclosed that he was member of a group of 120 people, who entered Kashmir earlier that month. The display of weapons recovered on his disclosures was mind boggling, both in quantity and their lethality. In the last few months there have been every day reports of fierce and long encounters between the security forces and the militants indicating presence of a new genre of terrorists — better armed, trained and networked. This exposes persistent claims of the government of sharp improvement in security situation in J&K. Even the army chief has indicated backing to these terrorists of the Pakistanis, and recently told the NDTV that ‘The camps, which were there on the other side, are still existing. There is definite support for infiltration from the other side. The kind of equipment with which these militants have been caught — whether in terms of weapons or communication equipment — indicate the tremendous supports given to them by the other side’. Quoting official sources Asian Age (April 24, 2009), reported that, ‘Available inputs confirm that 1,000 terrorists will be sent from 26 different terror camps located in several areas of Pakistan’. The report quoting an official further added, ‘Lashkar has at least 30 terror camps located in Muzaffarabad and Kotli. There are confirmed reports that at least 550 Lashkar militants are being prepared by their handlers for carrying out terror activities in India. They will also be sent to India by June end’. All these developments are indicative of a fast deteriorating security scenario with grave threats to India’s sovereignty and integrity.

It is surprising that the joint communiqué signed by the PM with his Pakistani counterpart makes no mention of continuing support to terrorists by Pakistan, the presence of camps there, continuous infiltration of terrorists from across the border but instead Pakistan’s concern on Balochistan has been added.


Terrorism continues to be the most serious threat confronting the nation; most of it. While it has a profound external component, efforts have also been made within the country to subvert some misguided youth. The government instead of dealing with the problem firmly and by building national capacities to contain and counter them is pursuing illusive diplomacy to deal with it.

In September 2006, the government claimed a major break-through in Havana when it declared that Pakistan was a terrorist victim and not a terrorist sponsoring state. In a statement the government said; ‘The fact is, terrorism is a threat to Pakistan and it has been a threat to India. We need to have a collective mechanism to deal with it’. Surprisingly, it came just after Mumbai blasts of July 11, 2006 in which 201 persons were killed and 714 injured in seven serial blasts. After the blasts the prime minister had said, “We are certain that the terror modules responsible for the Mumbai blasts are instigated, inspired and supported by the elements across the border”. And what was the consequence of this capitulation. From that date till Mumbai carnage of November 26, 2008, 18 major incidents of terrorist attacks took place in the country.

Pakistan let loose reign of terror in which 602 persons were killed and 1,649 were injured in a span of two years. And, what is the lesson we have learnt from this? We tamely signed a joint communiqué with Pakistan resuming the dialogue process in which instead of articulating our concerns as an aggrieved party we agreed that comprehensive dialogue would be de-linked from terrorism. Pakistan’s policy is very clear to coerce India into submission through bleeding it continuously, this was best articulated by Musharraf who during the SAARC summit in Nepal in January 2002 said that the Kashmir issue ‘was linked to Indian terrorism and cannot be separated’.

Despite repeated assurances by the government and claims of major diplomatic victory, Pakistan has taken no tangible and verifiable steps to stop its terrorist offensive against India and bring to book the culprits of 26/11 Mumbai blasts. It is not only that the appeal for detention of Hafiz Saeed has been withdrawn but no accomplices and associates of the 10 Pakistani terrorists who attacked Mumbai have been arrested or proceeded against. As the investigations have revealed the planning and preparations of Mumbai attacks took over one year in which Kasab and his associates were recruited, imparted training, provided weapon, communication lines were established, intelligence was collected, safe houses in Pakistan were established, their journey to Mumbai through sea was planned and various logistic arrangements were tied up. Most of it happened on Pakistani soil. It is not only the senior leaders of Lashkar-e-Toiba like Hafiz Saeed, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and Zarar Shah who were involved but also tens of others were active accomplices in this plan. Pakistan has taken no action against them. It is only hoodwinking the international opinion by pertaining to be keen to take action. But, what is most regrettable is that India lends credence and legitimacy to Pakistani claim by not only resuming talks but also agreeing to have intelligence cooperation between the two countries.

We would like the government to take immediate steps if it wants to make its electoral promise of zero-level tolerance to terrorism a reality rather than a mere electioneering slogan:

* Strengthen its intelligence apparatus, particularly at the operational level to pre-empt, prevent and punish the terrorists

* Accord early approval to various long pending state legislations against organised crimes

* Strengthen border security with higher technological support to control terrorist infiltration

* To restore the confidence of the people in the rule of law, execute the punishment accorded to Afzal Guru, the convict in Parliament attack case

* Establish special courts for speedy disposal of terrorism cases

* To strengthen counter-terrorist laws including bringing about changes in the evidence and criminal procedure laws to effectively deal with terrorist and their supporters

* Pursuing a two-pronged strategy in dealing with the neighbouring countries — generally promote good and friendly bilateral relations with all neighbours for mutual benefit and adopt a firm and unambiguous policy towards those meddling with India’s internal security and take effective measures to neutralise infrastructure/capability located therein, which is currently utilised by terrorists to unleash terror attacks in India.

* Set up national data bank of terrorist organisations and terrorists with nationwide e-connectivity

* Launch a major programme to assist state governments in the modernisation, up-gradation and restructuring of state police forces


On April 17, 2000 the Government of India appointed a Group of Ministers (GoM) chaired by the home minister with defence minister, external affairs minister and finance minister as its members to review the entire gamut of national security and recommend ways and means to revamp it in an integrated manner. The GoM submitted its report in February 2001, which was later accepted in its entirety by the Government of India in April 2001.

In its report, acknowledging that ‘illegal migration has assumed serious proportions’ the GoM recommended ‘there should be compulsory registration of citizens and non-citizens living in India. All citizens should be issued multi purpose identity cards and non-citizens should be issued identity cards of different colour and design. This should be introduced initially in the border districts and then extended to the hinterland progressively’.

The Government of India accepted the recommendation. Accordingly, the Citizenship Act 1955 was amended in December, 2003 to provide for compulsory registration of all citizens and issuance of national identity cards. A detailed system after series of inter-departmental deliberations and consultations were worked out for linking of the full details and entries from the national to state, district and sub-district levels. After soliciting the help of some IT experts a highly sophisticated software programme was designed. Through an elaborate and near automated system it was designed to provide unique national identity number to each Indian citizen above the age of sixteen and link it to birth and death records, passport details, record of property holdings, driving licence, income tax return, foreign travel records through emigration bureau, criminal records, educational institutions attended etc. It also envisaged biometric recognition details besides fingerprints. Responsibilities were delineated and the state governments approached for their role and support in making the plan a success.

When the change of government took place in April 2004 the scheme was at the takeoff stage. The funds had been allocated and a detailed action plan had been operationalised. Pilot projects had been launched in some border areas and necessary improvements brought about on the basis of experience gained.

It is quite confusing now the government has come with the new idea of unique identity cards trying to reinvent the wheel. While there was an allocation of Rs 44 crore for the MNIC in 2008-09, it has been slashed to Rs 10 lakh in 2009. On the other hand the government has allocated Rs 120 crore for unique identity cards. It is also intriguing why the subject has been shifted from the ministry of home affairs to Planning Commission. I would like to emphasis that issuing of this card was not so much a developmental need as the security need. It is meant to differentiate bona fide Indian citizens from illegal immigrants and foreign terrorists. The government needs to clarify whether the basic purpose for which national identity cards are to be issued has undergone a conceptual change. It also needs to be clarified what is the status of the earlier scheme which the government for the last five years has been claiming was being assiduously pursued.


The participation of citizens is essential for maintenance of internal security for a country as vast and diverse as ours. There are a large number of highly nationalists and contentious citizens who would like to extend their support in not only maintaining peace and order in the civil society but also play a supportive role in combating terrorism, insurgencies, extremism and other forms of threats to the nation. The government should initiate steps to leverage the civil society in maintenance of internal security. It needs to devise innovative methods of involving the community in exercising vigil for the security of neighbourhood on self-help basis and for constructive inter-action with Thana police. Plans for consultation with the community — for instilling a general sense of security and improving the public perception of the police force also needs to be introduced.

Ajit Doval

* The author is a former chief of the Intelligence Bureau