Even though Minister for Home Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan told the State Assembly recently that work has been initiated for establishing a State Investigation Bureau, a bit of probing with the State Police showed that it was still a distant dream.

The concept of a State Investigation Bureau, on the lines of the Central Investigation Bureau (CBI), was mooted a couple of years ago, but not much follow up was done.

“This concept is still very much in a tentative stage and the modalities of the new body, vis-à-vis Crime Branch and other investigation wings of the State Police are still being worked out. No detailed project report on the SIB has been presented to the State government till now,” K.S. Balasubramanian, State Police Chief told The Hindu.

One of the doubts regarding the SIB is whether it will make Crime Branch wing redundant, as the new unit is expected to specialise in detailed and focussed investigation into high-profile crimes. Those in support of the SIB said its role should be restricted only to the most heinous and sensational case. Even in financial fraud cases, only those involving big amounts, should be entrusted with the new agency.

According to the model being discussed, a new cadre will be formed. Personnel for this will be selected from among fresh recruits to the police, right from the sub-inspector ranks. It is also suggested that the personnel once inducted into the cadre should be allowed to continue there and specialise in their crime investigation genre on the basis of their talent and aptitude.

One of the present crises faced by Crime Branch was frequent transfers of its personnel. Also, if the personnel were assured of a longer tenure at the same cadre, they could be given specialised and advanced training in their stream of investigation.

At present, the concept is to build a force of around 150 personnel and later develop it into a full-fledged wing like the Q-Branch of Tamil Nadu Police or the Corps of Detectives of the Karnataka Police. Both these units are highly specialised ones dealing with high-profile cases like terrorist attacks.

Another point of debate regarding the SIB is whether this should be established within the existing framework of the State Police or to give it a separate structure. It is learnt that a rough outline about the force has been presented to the State government a couple of months ago.

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