CISF to take over VIP security

NEW DELHI, JAN. 31. At the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), the buzzword is expansion. Spreading its wings far and wide, the force is into airport security in a big way and recently launched consultancy services for the private sector.

Addressing a press conference here today, the outgoing CISF Director-General, B.B. Nanda, said the paramilitary force was raising its specially-trained commando units to take over VIP security.

``We will be churning out our own Black Cat commandos for taking over the security of all VIPs, including Ministers. Only the Prime Minister and the former Prime Ministers will be provided security by the Special Protection Group (SPG), all other VIPs will be given security by our commando units,'' Mr. Nanda said.

Induction of the CISF into VIP security would take the pressure off from the National Security Guards (NSG), a specialised force trained in anti-subversive and counter- terrorism operations.

The aviation security wing of the CISF is already providing security at 34 airports and is gearing up for the take- over of security arrangements at Delhi and Mumbai airports also.

Though the CISF was facing a financial crunch sometime ago, it received a shot in the arm when the Government decided to hand over airport security to it in December 1999. ``Except Delhi and Mumbai airports, our men provide security at all other major airports such as Jaipur, Jodhpur, Patna, Amritsar, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Jorhat and Dibrugarh.''

The CISF D-G said all major Government buildings were also being guarded by the CISF personnel. These include Nirman Bhavan, Shastri Bhavan, Krishi Bhavan, and Lok Nayak Bhawan.

He said a recent survey had shown that 86 per cent of those contacted expressed their opinion in favour of the CISF security, saying the personnel were ``polite but firm'' in enforcing security norms at the airports.

In the private sector, the CISF was accepting offers to provide consultancy services on threat perception and risk analysis, access control systems, security and fire audit, integration of security manpower, intrusion detection mechanism and disaster and risk management plan.

The force expects private sector giants in the fields of oil and petroleum and telecom to respond to its consultancy services. ``Though we are not allowed to provide physical security in private sector undertakings, we hope the Government will amend the rules soon,'' Mr. Nanda said.

As the CISF opens new vistas for its personnel, the force is also faced with a shortage of nearly 10,000 to 15,000 personnel. It has also been asked to provide security at important national highways like Delhi-Jaipur and others in the southern parts of the country. It has also completed a survey for the security of the Taj Mahal.

``From a time when even the existence of the force was under threat, we have turned the corner. The CISF will be the force of the future. Recently we provided security for prestigious exhibitions like Nizam's Jewels and Picasso's paintings. From Government buildings to monuments to airports, the CISF will be the most visible force in the near future,'' Mr. Nanda said.

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