Internal Security Trends and Incidents

Jul, 11, 2018

[op-ed snap] Don’t blame it on WhatsApp: on rumours and lynch mobs


Mains Paper 3: Internal Security | Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media & social networking sites in internal security challenges

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: Mob lynchings cases and ways to prevent them


Whatsapp is an emerging threat

  1. A ‘serial killer’ painted in a luminescent green is on the loose and travels in the pockets of more than 200 million people in India
  2. Rumours on WhatsApp that there are child kidnappers and cattle traders roaming around have led to mob lynchings
  3. Such rumours are posited as incontrovertible facts

Ignorant masses

  1. A debate has been framed around the growing use of technology by the “ignorant” masses and the responsibilities of a technology platform
  2. But these actions can largely be attributed to the sectarian discourse set by our political leadership
  3. It is easy to get swept in this wave of social panic and draw neat narratives which ignore factual complexity
  4. It is a deepening divide that is damaging fraternity within society, and the structural reforms necessary to restore law and order

Important facts

  1. The government maintains no central data on public lynchings
  2. The legal framework in India does not have any anti-lynching offences either
  3. In the absence of official data or a substantive law, media reports which quote the police become the principal source to build a public narrative
  4. The victims of mob lynchings are quite often members of nomadic tribes and religious minorities
  5. Some of the identities of the victims demonstrate that their distinction from the local communities and lack of power, their “othering”, and absence of state protection were significant factors in the distrust which rose to the level of organised mob violence

Is WhatsApp the sole offender?

  1. We ignore the problems within our legal framework and law enforcement
  2. Making policy choices with the same ease with which we install applications on our smartphones is leading to WhatsApp being made the principal offender in designing a technical architecture which offers security, privacy and has expanded the avenues of free expression and political organising for masses of Indians
  3. But WhatsApp cannot and should not perform the duties of our democratically elected government

Way Forward

  1. Our problematic framing is leading to public officials and police departments escaping accountability as they continue to place the onus of governance on a private corporation for maintaining an ordered and democratic society
  2. It is the duty of public commentary to fix responsibility and penetrate the clouds of deception, rhetoric, mystification, obscurity and indeterminacy
Jun, 16, 2018

[op-ed snap] The changing nature of violence


Mains Paper 3: Security | Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level:  Not much

Mains level: The editorial highlights commonness amongst all mass agitations and protests and suggests security agencies understand their evolving nature. This will help them modify their tactics for effective handling of such situations.


Public Outrage vs. Police

  1. Events in Thoothukudi have helped turn the spotlight on the changing nature of violence, and the inadequacy of existing rules and procedures to deal with various new-era protests ranging from Stone Pelting , Dalit Angst to Farmers Agitation.
  2. This should be instructive, for new-era protests are redefining the internal security landscape.
  3. At present no one, the courts of judicature included, seems to understand the shifting taxonomy of violence.

What causes such Violence?

  1. In instances of this kind, it is vital to try to determine the actual trigger that led to the violence.
  2. For instance, in the December 2012 Delhi gang-rape case, it was the ‘unsynchronised eruption of simmering anger’ which seemed to have been the tipping point.
  3. A mere reference to the failure of intelligence, the usual charges against the administration, or to excessive use of force by the police is inadequate to explain the turn of events of such violence.

Absence of Leaders OR Provocateurs

  1. The widest gap separating the official version from that of the public is about the presence/absence of ‘agent provocateurs’ among the protesters.
  2. Agitations also tend more and more to be ‘leaderless’.
  3. It is no secret that many of today’s large-scale protests across the country are prompted by militant elements from outside, who are pre-programmed to create chaos through Social Media.
  4. Prolonged agitation multiplies its intensity. This is a phenomenon seen in other protest movements elsewhere as well.

Age of repressed anger

  1. This is the age of ‘high voltage’ revolt, basically an expression of repressed anger.
  2. Much of this arises from an “embedded wisdom” that the system is being “manipulated” in favour of the rich, the powerful, and the big multinationals.
  3. With several hundreds of workers now thrown out of work following the closure of the Sterlite factory, the danger is that they could become new nodes for instigating fresh rounds of violence.

Radicalization by LWE

  1. In Thoothukudi, the revolt was against Sterlite and its so-called disdain for the environment and the suffering of the locals.
  2. Far away in Bhangar, West Bengal, just a few miles away from Kolkata, for months villagers have been up in arms against a power grid project for which land had been acquired many years ago.
  3. The conditions may be different, but the opposition remains equally intense.
  4. In most instances, we see organisations genuinely interested in the welfare of the locals initially launching the agitations, which gradually tend to be taken over by extreme right-wing and left-wing organisations.
  5. The result remains the same: widespread disruption.

Initial nature of protests creates an Illusion

  1. It is possible that the initial peaceful nature of the protests lulled the authorities into believing that matters were well under control.
  2. What they failed to understand was the metastasising nature of the protests and signs of the growing revolt of an ‘underclass’ against the so-called ‘elite’.
  3. The police also do not seem to have taken into consideration the kind of impetus provided to agitational methodologies by the ‘digital wave’.
  4. This qualitative difference has not filtered down enough to effect changes in administrative policies and police methodologies.

Police effectiveness in Question

  1. Advice from old-timers in the police on how to manage today’s crowds, including the erection of barricades and promulgation of Section 144, have little relevance in the circumstances prevailing today.
  2. Police effectiveness is also hampered on account of several other reasons, including that they are often outnumbered by mobilised crowds, driven by indignation and rage, predisposed towards creating disorder.
  3. The police on their part need to realise that existing laws and procedures notwithstanding, merely putting faith and focus on strength is not likely to succeed.
  4. It ignores the asymmetrical measures available to today’s mobs, and the limits that these impose on tactics and policies of a bygone era.

The Way Forward

  1. Whenever situations of this kind arise, there are a spate of reports regarding revamping intelligence and introduction of new methods to overcome the lacunae in intelligence collection.
  2. These are equally unlikely to succeed, unless the police strengthen their ‘contextual’ intelligence to deal with today’s situations.
  3. This involves anticipating the meaning of ‘street power’ – enhanced by information technology and the presence of flash mobs.
  4. New ‘smart tactics’ have to be developed. Simply blaming the police is no answer to the growing volumes of protests everywhere.
Dec, 26, 2017

[op-ed snap] Tackling Maoism


Mains Paper 3: Internal Security | Linkages between development and spread of extremism.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much 

Mains level: Very important newscard. The article talks about steps taken by government to counter the issue of Maoism(both development and security related).


Seriousness at the ground level

  1. The CRPF  has lost 40 personnel in two Maoist attacks in the first half of 2017 in Sukma, the most severely Maoist-affected district of Chhattisgarh
  2. But forces spirit to fight back has not dampened

Things are changes from government’s side

  1. The government’s response has matured in terms of deliverance, from reactive it has become proactive, and from localised it has become holistic

Positive work done against Maoism by the government

  1. Many new police stations and security camps were set up to prevent any major Maoist attack
  2. The cadre strength of the Maoists has consequently reduced
  3. When the Maoists decided to create a new zone, the target districts were immediately put on alert, so as not to allow them to gain ground. Security forces were redeployed to ensure better territorial command
  4. As the Chhattisgarh police have experience in tackling Maoists in Bastar, they are now coordinating with the bordering States to strengthen intelligence and ground presence
  5. Such coordinated proactive policing will dampen the Maoists’ plans

Not merely a Law and Order problem

  1. The Maoist problem is not merely a law and order issue
  2. A permanent solution lies in eliminating the root cause of the problem that led to the alienation of tribals in this area
    Government’s focus on development
  3. The focus now is to build roads and install communication towers to increase administrative and political access of the tribals, and improve the reach of government schemes
  4. The government has enhanced the support price of minor forest produce likeimli(tamarind)
  5. More bank branches have been opened to ensure financial inclusion
  6. All India Radio stations in the three southern districts of Bastar will now broadcast regional programmes to increase entertainment options
  7. And a new rail service in Bastar is set to throw open a new market for wooden artefacts and bell metal

‘Children in Armed Conflict’: A UN report

  1. According to the report, he Maoists are providing combat training to children in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh
  2. Despite the Maoists not wanting their children to study and get government jobs, remarkable work has been done in the field of school education and skill development

Role of civil society

  1. Civil society must join hands with the government in realising the villagers’ right to development
  2. Loopholes in implementing government schemes must not be used as a tool to strengthen the hands of the Maoists

The way forward

  1. If the youth are constructively engaged by the government, the recruitment of youth by the Maoists will slowly stop
  2. The paradigm of proactive policing and holistic development should ensure more such significant results in the future
Nov, 27, 2017

IAF banks on Tejas, new fighter to bolster fleet


Mains Paper 3: Internal Security | Security challenges and their management in border areas

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Particulars of Sukhoi 30MKI, Jaguar, Mirage, etc.

Mains level: Concerns of the IAF and steps taken by it to counter these concerns.


Faster induction of Tejas

  1. The Indian Air Force (IAF) is looking at Tejas and a single-engine fighter to be procured soon to arrest the dramatic fall in its squadron strength

Concerns of the IAF

  1. The rate of decommissioning of aircraft is way higher than the planned and even proposed inductions
  2. Tejas is a good aircraft, and 123 of them will be inducted in the force as planned
  3. But the numbers are not coming fast enough, and the requirement is much beyond that in other categories
  4. The IAF has a sanctioned strength of 42 squadrons and a projected requirement of 45 to face the anticipated threat of a two-front war
  5. Now, the force has 33 squadrons and by December-end, it will be down to 31

Steps taken by the IAF

  1. The IAF is upgrading most of the aircraft in its inventory. But from 2025, most of those aircraft such as the Jaguars and the MiG-29s will start going out
  2. In a month, the IAF is expected to issue the Request for Information (RFI) for over a 100 single-engine fighter aircraft under the Strategic Partnership model
  3. Lockheed F-16 and Saab Gripen are in the race for the order and have already tied up with the Tatas and the Adani group, respectively, to build the jets locally with technology transfer
  4. The order for 83 Tejas Mk-1A jets is expected soon
Nov, 21, 2017

New J&K surrender policy for local ultras

Image Source


Mains Paper 3: Internal Security | Security challenges and their management in border areas

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: Crucial for internal security


New policy

  1. The new surrender policy is considering provision of
    (1) “passports and jobs to any local youth who gives up the gun” and
    (2) “support for his full assimilation into society”
  2. Meanwhile, parents of two more militants have appealed through the media to their sons to give up militancy and rejoin the family
  3. Around 60 boys have already been brought back into the main stream

What was the old policy?

  1. Earlier, the surrender policy was limited to those who crossed the Line of Control into Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in the early 1990s and were stuck there


Oct, 18, 2017

Centre plans 13 new Integrated Check Posts to encourage engagement with neighbours


Mains Paper 3: Security challenges and their management in border areas.

The following things are important from UPSC perspective:

Prelims: Not much

Mains level: This article is important for mains, it talks about Integrated Check posts and why are they needed?



  1. A Cabinet proposal to set up 13 new Integrated Check Posts (ICPs) is being mooted by the Union Home Ministry to encourage India’s engagement with its neighbours belonging to SAARC region, as also Thailand and Myanmar.
  2. Among the 13 ICPs, seven will be along the India-Bangladesh border, apart from the three already operational there.
  3. Only one will be on the India-Pakistan border while four will be on the India-Nepal border and one on the India-Myanmar border.
  4. The cost of setting up 13 ICPs will be Rs 3,000 crore.


ICP- Integarted Check Post

  1. An ICP not only provides various services under one roof but is also equipped with cargo process building, cargo inspection sheds, warehouse, cold storage, currency exchange counters, Internet hubs, clearing agents, banks, vehicle scanners, isolation bay and parking.
  2. The new ICPs are able to interdict such elements while facilitating legitimate trade and comm
  3. The setting up of new ICPs was first proposed by the UPA government, which set up a separate body, Land Port Authority of India (LPAI), in 2011 for their management.
  4. The borders need to be secured against interests hostile to the country.
  5. It is therefore necessary to undertake integrated development of infrastructure at the entry points on our land borders.
  6. The Ministry of External Affairs was the first to recommend the four ICPs on the India-Nepal border, and the cost of ICPs on the Nepalese side will be funded by the ministry.
  7. Following the constitution of LPAI, an Empowered Steering Committee headed by the Secretary, Border Management (MHA) and secretaries or senior representatives from the Ministries of Finance (Expenditure & Revenue), External Affairs, Commerce, Defence, Road Transport and Highways, Planning Commission and Railways were involved to expedite the projects.
  8. However, after nearly 10 years, only seven ICPs have been set up, of which five are operational. One is expected to start functioning this year and another by next year.
Oct, 18, 2017

[op-ed snap] The right balance

Image Source


Mains Paper 2: IR | Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

The following things are important from UPSC perspective:

Prelims: Particulars of the SCO

Mains level: The article comprehensively explains the current issues related to India and the SCO. The UPSC is known to ask direct questions on such kind of topics. Very important for Mains Paper 2.



  1. The article talks about the relations between India and the SCO.

Speculations about the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)

  1. India’s relations with Pakistan and China have entered a difficult phase has also generated apprehensions in India about the forum creating new pressures on Jammu and Kashmir

Is the SCO’s objective and India’s expectations same?

  1. Countering extremism, terrorism and separatism is a major objective of the SCO
  2. Sceptics would say the apparent convergence between what the SCO does and India wants may be somewhat deceptive
  3. They would insist that the difficulties encountered by the recent Indian bid to isolate Pakistan in various international forums should caution India against expecting too much on this front at the SCO

What India should do?

  1. India must persist in the belief that change is inevitable and purposeful diplomacy can allow India to probe for new opportunities for regional security cooperation
  2. The recent kidnapping and killing of two Chinese nationals in Pakistan underlines the prospect that Beijing can’t forever remain untouched by the terror nurtured by Pakistan

Issues related to Belt and road initiative

  1. Differences between China’s President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi could not be masked
  2. If Xi argued that the SCO could become a major vehicle for its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, Modi articulated India’s reservations, especially the impact of the project on India’s sovereignty in Kashmir

Effective steps by the Indian PM

  1. The PM appears to have found the right balance between articulating India’s concerns and underlining India’s promise to strengthen inner Asian regionalism
  2. He outlined a realistic approach towards the SCO that combined a strong emphasis on countering terrorism and a readiness to explore win-win solutions for expanding connectivity
Sep, 29, 2017

[op-ed snap] Reforms money can,t buy


Mains Paper 3: Internal Security | Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate

Prelims: Cabinet Committee on Security, Central sector schemes and centrally sponsored schemes, Finance Commission

Mains level: The article  recommends that the government’s umbrella scheme modernization of police force must be followed by steps to grant the force autonomy from political masters.



The Centre recently approved Rs 25000 Cr modernisation of police force scheme which will be implemented between 2017 and 2020.

Modernisation of police forces

  1. It will strengthen the law and order apparatus, modernise state police forces and enhance their capacity to combat terrorism.
  2. It also has special provisions for women’s security, mobility of police forces, logistical support, hiring of helicopters, upgradation of police wireless, satellite communications, crime and criminal tracking network and systems (CCTNS) and e-prisons.
  3. The idea is to assist the states to upgrade their police infrastructure, especially in respect of transport, communications and forensic support, to enable them to effectively tackle the emerging challenges.

Funding Pattern of the scheme

  1. Out of the total outlay, the Centre will about 75 per cent while the states’ share will be the rest. Under the scheme, J&K, north-eastern states and states affected by Left-Wing Extremism will get a boost of Rs 10,132 crore.
  2. 14th Finance Commission’s recommendations increased the state’s share of central taxes from 32 per cent to 42 per cent, following which Centre de-linked eight centrally sponsored schemes (CSS) from its support in 2015.
  3. While central funding of modernisation of police was stopped, non-plan funding for the same would continued.
  4. Thereafter, majority of state governments were disinclined to make any investments in police.
  5. But, the Centre again started its funding in internal security with modernisation of police forces scheme on the recommendation of Cabinet Committee on Security.

Smart Police

  • The PM in 2014 enunciated the concept of SMART police. The smartness has two dimensions external and internal.
  • External Dimension refers to the uniform a policeman wears, the way he carries himself, his weapons, the communication equipment on his person, his mobility, response time, et al. The scheme would enhance his capabilities to respond to and deal with the kind of challenges he is confronted with in his day to day work.
  • Internal Dimension refers to the expanded acronym of SMART that is, the police should be strict and sensitive, modern and mobile, alert and accountable, reliable and responsible, tech-savvy and trained. This is far more important than the external dimension but the scheme hardly improves this aspect .

Problems with the police force

  1. Today we have Ruler’s police but what we need is People’s police.
  2. Accountability has to be to the Constitution, the laws of the land and the people of the country.
  3. The police is being accused of being insensitive to poor and tribals.

Way Forward

  1. Reliability would increase only when the police are objective, fair and impartial. Gadgetry won’t help here.
  2. It is the state of mind which matters. And to achieve that state of mind, police must be freed from the stranglehold of politicians.
  3. The scheme must be followed by structural reforms, institutions like the state security commission, police establishment board and complaints authority must be set up in every state in keeping with the directions of the Court.
  4. The GOI should bring police and public order in the Concurrent List of Schedule VII of the Constitution. Constitutional experts like Fali S. Nariman have strongly spoken in favour of such an amendment.
  5. Sustained economic progress needs the solid foundation of good law and order, and we cannot have good law and order in the country unless the police are reorganised, restructured and rejuvenated.


Cabinet Committee on Security

  1. The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) of the Central Government of India decides on India’s defence expenditure, matters of National Security, and makes significant appointments.
  2. CCS is chaired by the Prime Minister of India and comprises the Minister of Defence, the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Home Affairs, and the Minister of External Affairs.

Central Sector Scheme
It is entirely (100%) funded by the Union Government and implemented by central agencies.
These schemes are mainly related to the subjects in the Union list. Example- Golden Quadrilateral

Centrally Sponsored Schemes
A certain percentage of the funding is borne by the States in the ratio of 50:50, 70:30, 75:25 or 90:10 and the implementation is by the State Governments. These schemes are mainly related to the subjects in the State List. Example-MGNREGA