Combating Terrorism

Indian mianland has seen spurges of terrorist activities in recent past. Pathankot air base attack by Pakistan, 26/11 attack at Mumbai, millitant attacks in Jammu Kashmir northern region, Parliament attacks in 2001 are some to name them. The government both central and state along with army officials then take suitable actions to combat them. These actions are sometimes often debated on the floor of the house in the parliament on the issues of federalism whether central governments to handle law and order situation in some cases, it being a state subject. The need of the houe is to combat terrorism by using both human intelligence and technical intelligence rather than tiffling over federal issues on the floor of the house. Of course the constitutional provisions of 'who can handle what' has to be respected but the discussion should hover around the tools and techniques required to handle them.

India is a vast country with more than 6000 km of coastline in the mainland. So in Indian context, the coastal boundaries often pose terrorism issues which need to be handled meticulously. Let me elaborate this further. Apart from coastal surveillance mechanisms which include Indian Navy which safeguards the Indian coast along with Coast Guards set up under Indian Coast Guards act 1978, technical intelligence has to be deployed effectively. These include the use of drones, use of radars, camouflaged aircrafts which are often called stealth technology, use of infrared tools that can detect such terrorist activities from far off the coast without being dependent on the human resources completely. For achieving this, ministry of science and technology, ministry of shipping, ministry of aviation and home ministry has to work in tandem to achieve good results. Now coming to human intelligence part. Coastal surveillance mechanism need to deploy more human resources apart from these statutory bodies for e.g. fisherman who often cross the boundaries of water which are not in the territory of India often land up in unforeseen circumstances. Recent Italy marines case where two fishermen had been shot dead by them fit best in this situation.Such fisherman need to be trained proactively on what is the territory limit of our country. It is no doubt that they might not have been so sound in this knowledge. They often take such extreme steps because of poverty and for livelihood. So human intelligence in this case may contribute a little in combating terorrism by few degrees. 

Terrorism has not been limited to coastal boundaries only in India. Let us take a case of land locked place in our country which was subjected to terrorist activities in the past. Bodhgaya, which is a famous cultural pilgrimage place in Bihar was subjected to terrorist activities when a bomb was planted near Mahabodhi temple. This killed few people. Such attacks are highly condemnable because it aims to attack on the cultural fabric of the place. A large number of tourists from different parts of the country visit such places for whole year. This calls for increased preparedness from our side. Now again both human intelligence and technical intelligence will come for the rescue in such cases. Technical intelligence in this case may be - some technical devices to be already planted in the walls of such temples and buildings nearby that can detect such bomb implants. This will undo the need of sniffer dogs and police personnels who come at the sight of such accidents locating the place where such bombs were planted. Such gadgets if carefully planted can send signals to the police control rooms (PCR) in the nearby areas and then the police can take action beforehand. This will save many lives. But to achieve this better coordination among the various ministries and departments of the government like Ministry of Culture, Mnistry of Science and Technology and Home Ministry will be a prerequisite. Human intelligence is no short of such innovative steps to combat terrorism in such cases. What can be done is deploying police forces in casual dress ups who visit such places regularly and also some police personnels in their regular khaki attire to communicate with them in a regular manner. This will boost best interconnected networking of information sharing. Local people sometimes hesitate to cooperate with police in thir khaki dress. So such measures can give a fillip on how the human intelligence can work. Again all such temples, monastries, viharas, stupas which are high water mark heriatge places in the country need to be regulary mock drilled once in 2 years or so to see the preparedness of the situation. 

In Indian context, the discussion can not be limited to only coastal regions and land locked places. Hilly and mountainous areas which share international borders with countries such as Jammu Kashmir which share border with Pakistan, Arunachal pradesh which share border with China and Tibet and some north eastern states which share border with Mayanmar (Burma) are also susceptible to terrorist activities. Here first let us discuss human intelligence first as they are already effectively working in such boundaries. The exemplary team work that has been consitently shown by jawans and officers of BSF, ITBP and Assam Rifles at these border areas are epitome of success. They have been quite successful in checking the terrorist activites across the border but more needs to be done. For this, induction of more jawans, better training to be imparted to them in combat role are few determinants which are crucial in combating the terrorism. Recently, a number of women have been inducted by the Indian Air force and also Indian Army in combat role. This is an example which shows human intelligence have no linited boundaries. The need of the hour is effective policies and grassroots implementation by the executive in the country. Tehcnical intelligence in such areas are also crucial in combating terrorism. For example, better equipped technologies and instruments like better fire arms, radar technology at the border areas, choppers, motorcycles (mopeds) that can get access through badland topography in the hills and mountains can save human energy and produce better results. 

The crucial determinants in combating terrorism as discussed above in various cases are not only limited to human intelligence and technical intelligence. Its just a matter of time that these have evolved to combat terorism at present to be the best factors to be deployed. We need to be constantly on on toes on how we can combat terrorism in more effective manner. The learnings from other countries of the world which have faced such situations in the past also provide wih key inputs to come up with something very innovative. Something very crucial !


More by :  Kumar Kinchit

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