KARNATAKA

Intelligence Wing in a shambles

BANGALORE OCT. 3. The State Government and the police top brass have neglected Bangalore's Intelligence Wing, which is in utter shambles.

The Intelligence Wing, which is often accused of failing to collect information about terrorist groups and underworld gangs, comprises only 99 personnel and has just seven vehicles. This minuscule force has been entrusted with the mighty job of gathering intelligence in Bangalore, a city with a population of more than 50 lakh, apart from a floating population of about 20 lakh.

An Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), two inspectors, 17 sub-inspectors, 53 head constables, and 26 constables in the Intelligence Wing have to depend on one jeep, five motorcycles, and a scooter to criss-cross the City to gather intelligence, highly placed sources told The Hindu.

Further, the Intelligence Wing has no computers to store, classify, and retrieve the intelligence gathered. The entire work is done manually, on paper.

"If some information gathered a couple of months ago is needed at present, we have to go through a large number of files and search for the information, as we have no computers," the sources said.

A few computers that are available are being used by the Foreigners Registration (FR) section, which also comes under the Intelligence Wing.

Explaining the practical difficulties faced by the wing, the sources said all the constables and head constables attached to it have to depend on buses for transportation.

"If a constable is asked to collect some information from Yelahanka or Madivala, he has to change two buses to reach the place from the Commissioner's office on Infantry Road. As this is time consuming, we often fail to get the required information."

A request made by the City Police to the Government on October 30, 2000 to provide BMTC bus passes for the constables and head constables of the Intelligence Wing has not been acted upon so far, the sources said.

Meanwhile, according to the sources, the Secret Services Fund has not been released to the Intelligence Wing for the past few months.

None of the policemen in the wing have been given any training in intelligence gathering, which is considered to be a highly professional job. Surprisingly, intelligence gathering does not form part of the regular police training in Karnataka.

The State Government's apathy towards the Intelligence Wing is evident from the fact that over the years it has not taken seriously certain proposals on augmenting the staff strength, filling up vacancies, and providing infrastructure.

For instance, the post of the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Intelligence), who is the head of the City's intelligence wing, was vacant from September 30, 1997 to February 4, 1999 after K.S. Raviraj was transferred. During this period, S.S. Anne Gowda, DCP (VIP Security), held additional charge of the Intelligence Wing.

Further, the DCP (Intelligence) has to look after the passport, immigration, and FR sections, which makes it difficult for the officer to focus on the Intelligence Wing.

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