New Indian Spy Centres In Kashmir To Keep Tabs On Terrorists
18 July 2003
The Daily Times
New Delhi: The Indian government has set up special espionage centres at several places across the country to keep an eye on 'terrorists' in Held Kashmir and in India. These centres are in addition to the Intelligence Bureau (IB), Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and the state intelligence apparatus. Focused to gather information about suspected terrorist activities, the centres have initially been set up at Srinagar, Hyderabad, Guwahati, Mumbai and Kolkata. Personnel of the IB, RAW and some paramilitary forces who have developed expertise in intelligence gathering have been deputed to these centres. The centers will, in fact, work parallel to the existing intelligence apparatus and report directly to a multi-agency centre set up in the IB headquarters here. Their task is to spy on terrorists and gather information that helps prevent terrorist strikes. The Indian Home Ministry, led by Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani, felt that fighting terrorism with guns was not proving sufficient and the intelligence coming through the existing networks was not specific and therefore could not be acted upon quickly. The new centres have been set up with a mandate to pass on their input directly to the Joint Task Force (JTF) set up in New Delhi as part of recommendations by the Kargil Review Committee for strengthening India's intelligence system. The JTF, which draws members from Indian defence forces, paramilitary forces, intelligence agencies and the state police, would examine the input generated by the new centres and promptly take appropriate measures, including alerting the concerned states' police and providing action plans to deal with the problem. The espionage centres are also due to be established in Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot and Indore, as the Home Ministry suspects that the banned Students' Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and other Muslim outfits in those cities could harbour militants. New Delhi chose to disclose the establishment of these centres at a recent meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee, attached to the Home Ministry, to highlight the efforts being made to prevent terrorist attacks.