Indian Agencies

Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC)

The Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) of the government of India analyses intelligence data from the Intelligence Bureau and the RAW, Directorate of Military Intelligence, Directorate of Naval Intelligence, and Directorate of Air Intelligence. JIC has its own secretariat that is under the Cabinet Secretariat.

Research and Analysis Wing [RAW]

The Cabinet Secretariat Research and Analysis Wing [RAW] is India's foreign intelligence agency. RAW has become an effective instrument of Indian national power, and has assumed a significant role in formulating India's domestic and foreign policies. RAW has engaged in disinformation campaigns, espionage and sabotage against Pakistan and other neighbouring countries. RAW has enjoyed the backing of successive Indian governments in these efforts. Working directly under the Prime Minister, the structure, rank, pay and perks of the Research & Analysis Wing are kept secret from Parliament.

In 1968 India established this special branch of its intelligence service specifically targeted on Pakistan. The formation of RAW was based on the belief that Pakistan was supplying weapons to Sikh terrorists, and providing shelter and training to the guerrillas in Pakistan. Pakistan has accused the Research and Analysis Wing of sponsoring sabotage in Punjab, where RAW is alleged to have supported the Seraiki movement, providing financial support to promote its activities in Pakistan and organizing an International Seraiki Conference in Delhi in November-December 1993. RAW has an extensive network of agents and anti-government elements within Pakistan, including dissident elements from various sectarian and ethnic groups of Sindh and Punjab. Published reports allege that as many as 35,000 RAW agents entered Pakistan between 1983-93, with 12,000 working in Sindh, 10,000 in Punjab, 8,000 in North West Frontier Province and 5000 in Balochistan. The Government of Pakistan frequently assigns responsibility for terrorist activity to the Indian Government, even when no supporting evidence can be verified. It is evidently in the interest of the Pakistani government to blame terrorist actions on external rather than internal sources, just as it would be in the interest of Indian services to obscure their hand in such actions.

RAW has a long history of activity in Bangladesh, supporting both secular forces and the area's Hindu minority. The involvement of RAW in East Pakistan is said to date from the 1960s, when RAW promoted dissatisfaction against Pakistan in East Pakistan, including funding Mujibur Rahmanh's general election in 1970 and providing training and arming the Mukti Bahini. During the course of its investigation the Jain Commission received testimony on the official Indian support to the various Sri Lankan Tamil armed groups in Tamil Nadu. From 1981, RAW and the Intelligence Bureau established a network of as many as 30 training bases for these groups in India. Centres were also established at the high-security military installation of Chakrata, near Dehra Dun, and in the Ramakrishna Puram area of New Delhi. This clandestine support to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), some of whom were on the payroll of RAW, was later suspended. Starting in late 1986 the Research and Analysis Wing focused surveillance on the LTTE which was expanding ties with Tamil Nadu separatist groups. Rajiv Gandhi sought to establish good relations with the LTTE, even after the Indian Peace Keeping Force [IPKF] experience in Sri Lanka. But the Indian intelligence community failed to accurately assess the character of the LTTE and its orientation India and its political leaders. The LTTE assassination of Rajiv Gandhi was apparently motivated by fears of a possible re-induction of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka and a crackdown on the LTTE network in Tamil Nadu.

The RAW and the Ministry of External Affairs are provided Rs 25 crore annually as "discretionary grants" for foreign influence operations. These funds have supported organisations fighting Sikh and Kashmiri separatists in the UK, Canada and the US. An extensive network of Indian operatives is reportedly controlled by the Indian Embassy in Washington DC. In 1996 an Indian diplomat was implicated in a scandal over illegal funding of political candidates in the US. Under US law foreign nationals are prohibited from contributing to federal elections. The US District Court in Baltimore sentenced Lalit H Gadhia, a naturalised US citizen of Indian origin, to three months imprisonment. Gadhia had confessed that he worked as a conduit between the Indian Embassy and various Indian-American organisations for funnelling campaign contributions to influence US lawmakers. Over $46,000 from the Indian Embassy was distributed among 20 Congressional candidates. The source of the cash used by Gadhia was Devendra Singh, a RAW official assigned to the Indian Embassy in Washington. Illicit campaign money received in 1995 went to Democratic candidates including Sens. Charles S. Robb (D-Va.), Paul S. Sarbanes (D -Md.) and Reps. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.) and Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.)

Intelligence Bureau (IB)
The Intelligence Bureau (IB) is the Indian government’s domestic intelligence agency, and reputedly the world's oldest intelligence agency. It is rather difficult to ascertain what the IB does, since its operations are outside the purview of audit or inquiry. In addition to domestic intelligence responsibilities, the IB is particularly tasked with intelligence collection in border areas, following the 1951 recommendations of the Himmatsinhji Committee (also known as the North and North-East Border Committee), a task entrusted to military intelligence organizations prior to independence in 1947. The IB was also tasked with other external intelligence responsibilities as of 1951. The Indian Telegraph Act authorizes the surveillance of communications, including monitoring telephone conversations and intercepting personal mail, in case of public emergency or in the interest of the public safety or tranquillity. These powers have been used by every state government. It has been reported that as many as 5,000 letters from abroad are intercepted every day by the Intelligence Bureau under the provisions of the Indian Post Office Act. Indian courts do not issue warrants or accept wiretaps as evidence, giving the police little incentive to intercept. Many wiretaps are conducted "informally" by agencies such as the Intelligence Bureau, and the targets are frequently opposition politicians. From time to time a few such cases have come to light, been furiously debated in Parliament, and declared illegal.

The IB has also employed officers, who submit letters and opinion pieces under assumed names, to ensure that newspapers carry the government’s point of view. The Intelligence Bureau (IB) procures information which is more often than not related to the security of the current Government rather than of the nation. 

Joint Cipher Bureau

The inter-services Joint Cipher Bureau has primary responsibility for cryptology and SIGINT, providing coordination and direction to the other military service organisations with similar mission. Most current equipment providing tactical intelligence is of Russian origin, including specialised direction finding and monitoring equipment. The Joint Cipher Bureau is also responsible for issues relating to public and private key management. The cryptographic situation in India is in the early stages of development. Cryptographic products are export-controlled licensed items, and licenses to India are not generally available for products of key length of more than 56 bits. The domestic Indian computer industry primarily produces PCs, and PC-compatible cryptographic products have been developed and are being used commercially. More robust cryptologic systems are not commercially produced in India, and progress of in this field has been slow due to the general unavailability of technology and know-how. Customised cryptographic products have been designed and produced by organisations in the defence sector are engaged in the implementation of cryptographic techniques and protocols.

Army Directorate of Military Intelligence

India's military intelligence traces its origins to the appointment in 1885 of Maj. Gen. Sir Charles MacGregor as head of the Intelligence Department of the British Indian Army. Headquartered in Simla, the Department was primarily tasked collection and analysis of intelligence relating to Russian troop dispositions in Central Asia. The departure of the British in 1947 marked the low point, as the British left behind very little in the way of assets or infrastructure for the Intelligence Corps of the newly independent India. Through the 1960s Military Intelligence was largely focused on field security services rather than external intelligence collection. Responsibilities primarily consisted of policing the army, rooting out corruption and misuse of facilities and equipment by Army personnel. Subsequently the increasing deployment of Army units in support of civil authorities has led Military Intelligence to focus on counter-insurgency operations.

Special Frontier Force

The Special Frontier Force has around 10,000 personnel, including a large number Tibetans. It was formed with the help of the CIA and the Research & Analysis Wing (RAW), India's foreign intelligence gathering espionage service. Their main objective is the disruption of logistics and other tasks, including disruption of the enemy behind its lines.

National Security Guards Black Cat Commandos

The National Security Guards [NSG], established under the National Security Guard Act of 1986 (Act 47 of 1986), is India's premier counter-terrorist force. The NSG provides security to VIP's, conducts anti-sabotage checks, and is responsible for neutralizing terrorist threats to vital installations. Its missions include engaging terrorists in specific situations, responding to piracy in the air and on the land, and rescuing hostages in kidnap situations. The NSG strength of around 7500 personnel is evenly divided between the Special Action Group (SAG) and the Special Rangers Group (SRG). The SAG is the offensive wing, with the members drawn from the Indian Army. The SRG, with members from central police organizations, supports the SAF in isolating target areas. NSG was established following the 1984 Operational Bluestar that caused widespread damage in the Golden Temple complex. Shortcomings in that operational indicated the need for a special force for executing such operations with greater precision. The NSG has been deployed on only a few occasions, including Operation Black Thunder I & II in the Amritsar Golden Temple complex in 1988, and the Operation Ashwamedh storming of a hijacked Indian Airlines aircraft at Amritsar airport on 24 April 1994. As part of its occupation of Kashmir, the Indian Government has deployed more than half a million soldiers and a quarter of a million paramilitary forces, including significant elements of the National Security Guards. While Indian forces have allegedly committed excesses, including torture, extra judicial executions, disappearances, wilful destruction of property and forced displacement in Kashmir, NSG personnel have not been prominently implicated in these activities

Directorate of Air Intelligence

Air Force intelligence responsibilities include imagery intelligence collection MiG-25R and Jaguar reconnaissance aircraft. During the 1971 war with Pakistan, Russian satellite imagery provided India with information on Chinese force deployments. And with advances in the Indian space program the Indian Air Force will be acquiring independent space-based imagery intelligence capabilities.

Naval Intelligence

The Navy Directorate of Signal Intelligence can intercept signals by means of communication equipment. Intercepts are routed through the Director of Naval Operations/Director of Naval Signals as part of operational tasking.

Coast Guard

The Coast Guard was formed within the Indian Navy on 01 February 1977 to respond to smuggling and poaching by foreign vessels, as well as to contribute to marine pollution control, performing the same border control functions for the Navy as the Border Security Force does for the Army. With a total manpower of around 5000, it has 42 ships, 13 aircrafts and 9 helicopters. It has three Regional Headquarters: Bombay, Madras and Port Blair, ten other stations which are called Coast Guard District Headquarters, along with stations at Okha, Vadinar, Tuticorin and Mandappam.

Union Ministry for Home Affairs

The Union Ministry for Home Affairs controls the nationwide Indian Police Service, most of the paramilitary forces, and the internal intelligence bureaus. The Police are a civil authority subordinate to the Executive, represented in the Union Government by the Prime Minister and in the States by the Chief Minister, and their respective Councils of Ministers. Prominent among the Union police forces are the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP). Each of these forces is headed by a Director/Director-General with the status of a three-star General in the Army. The CBI is controlled by the Department of Personnel of the Union Government headed by a Minister of State who reports to the Prime Minister. The other forces are controlled by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs headed by a Cabinet Minister.

The rapid growth of the internal intelligence bureaus and the increased use of paramilitary forces against separatist insurgencies and communal unrest have given the Home Ministry increasing day-to-day control over law and order operations. Centrally controlled paramilitary forces are deployed throughout India and have been responsible for significant human rights abuses in Jammu and Kashmir and the northeast. These abuses ultimately raised questions about the effectiveness of civilian oversight and the extent of the Government's willingness and ability to prosecute offenders vigorously. Army units are also deployed for internal security duty in Kashmir and the northeast, and generally show greater respect for human rights than the paramilitary forces, although they have also been responsible for some abuses. The 25 state governments have primary responsibility for maintaining law and order. However, the central Government provides guidance and support through use of national paramilitary forces and in law has ultimate responsibility for protecting the fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution. The bulk of the Indian Police is comprised of forces in the States. Each State has its own force headed by a Director-General of Police (DGP) who is equivalent in rank to his counterpart in the Union Government forces. A number of Additional Directors-General or Inspectors-General of Police (IGP) who look after various portfolios, such as Personnel, Law & Order, Intelligence, Crime, Armed Police, Training, and Technical Services are located at the State Police Headquarters and report directly to the DGP. Major cities in a State are headed by a Commissioner of Police (CP) who, again, reports to the DGP. Areas outside these cities in a State are divided into Districts of varying size. Each district is headed by a Superintendent of Police (SP) and supervised by a Deputy Inspector-General (DIG) whose jurisdiction is called a Range, composed of a group of three or four districts.

The administration of Prisons in India is the sole responsibility of the States. All prisons are managed by State governments or by the Union Territory administration. The Central Government is largely concerned with policy formulation and planning services. In each State, the head of prison administration is an Inspector- General who is usually a police officer. The Union Ministry for Home Affairs controls most of the paramilitary forces, the internal intelligence bureaus, and the nationwide police service; it provides training for senior police officers for the state-organized police forces. The armed forces are under civilian control. Security forces have committed significant human rights abuses, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir and in the northeastern states.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is India's premier investigating agency, responsible for a wide variety of criminal and national security matters. The was established on 01 April 1963, and evolved from the Special Police Establishment established in 1941. The Central Bureau of Investigation is controlled by the Department of Personnel of the Union Government headed by a Minister of State who reports to the Prime Minister, although it is administratively part of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs headed by a Cabinet Minister. The Central Bureau of Investigation has been responsible for the inquiry into the Bofors Case. Associates of the late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi were linked to alleged pay-offs made in the mid-1980s by the Swedish arms form AB Bofors, with $40 million in kickbacks moved from Britain and Panama to secret Swiss banks. The $1,300 million arms purchase of 410 howitzer field guns involved in the sale were reported to be inferior to those offered by a French competitor. In 1994 two scientists with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and two Indian businessmen were arrested for allegedly conspiring to sell space secrets to two Maldivian women, who were originally described by newspapers as agents of Pakistani intelligence, for money and sex. The CBI investigation did not reveal the existence of a spy ring, and by early 1995 it was clear that the case was more a product of inexperience and over exuberating on the part of the police and Intelligence Bureau.

Central Reserve Police Force

The Central Reserve Police Force, established under the Central Reserve Police Force Act of 1949 (66 of 1949), includes some 165,000 personnel organized into 70 battalions, including seven rapid action battalions and two women battalions. The force is lightly armed and deployable throughout the country, serving as a back-up for the State Police should situations get out of control. Though initially created to respond to riots and civil disorder, over time the Force has become involved in counter-insurgency operations for they have proven poorly prepared. At times of general elections to Lok Sabha and to the Legislative Assemblies, the State Governments generally seek assistance of the Central Government Offices and Departments located in the States for deployment of their employees in connection with the conduct of elections. The civil employees of Central para-military forces like the Border Security Force, Central Reserve Police Force, Central Industrial Security Force may also be required for such election duty.

Rapid Action Force (RAF)

The Union Home Ministry established the Rapid Action Force (RAF) on 11 December 1991, with the mission of responding to large scale communal riots and related public disorders. This specially trained anti-riot force became fully operational in October 1992, and there are currently 10 battalions comprised of personnel from all communities. RAF is deployed to cover most of the politically volatile parts of the India. There was recurrence of communal riots in Maharashtra in the first week of January 1993. To help the local police to control the situation, substantial paramilitary forces, including the newly created Rapid Action Force were made available by the Centre. Army columns also were deployed to help the Administration to control the riots and restore normality.

Special Protection Group

The Special Protection Group, with about 3000 personnel, is used for the protection of VIP personnel such as the President and Prime Minister. They are trained like the US Secret Service. Recruits include police and NSG commandos. The Officer cadre is mainly IPS Officers from various state/central cadres. The Special Protection Group provides proximate security to the Prime Minister of India and the members of his immediate family. Proximate security includes protection provided from close quarters, during journey by road, rail, aircraft, watercraft or on foot or any other means of transport, and includes the places of functions, engagements, residence or halt and shall comprise ring round teams, isolation cordons, the sterile zone around, and the rostrum and access control to the person or members of his immediate family. The Special Protection Group, over a period of time, grew both in size as well as in specialisation. The SPG is divided broadly into the following four categories:  

OPERATIONS - This category looks after the actual protection duties. In the Operations Branch, there are components like Communications Wing, Technical Wing and Transport Wing.

TRAINING - This category deals with the training of personnel on a continuous basis; The SPG imparts training in physical efficiency, firing, anti-sabotage checks, communication and other operative aspects connected with close protection drills and having a bearing on VVIP security with a view to maintaining a high level of physical fitness and to fine-tune the operational skills of SPG officers. The Syllabi of the training program is constantly reviewed and updated to effectively thwart threats from newer areas and in keeping with existing threat perception.

INTELLIGENCE and TOURS - This category looks after the threat assessment, internal intelligence pertaining to personnel, verification of character and antecedents, tours and other allied jobs.

ADMINISTRATION - This category deals with personnel, procurement and other related matters.

Before 1981 the security of the Prime Minister at his residence and offices used to be looked after by Special Security District of Delhi Police under the charge of DCP. In October 1981 a Special Task Force was raised by I.B. to provide ring-round and escort to the Prime Minister during his movements both in Delhi and outside. Then after the assassination of Indira Gandhi in October, 1984, a review was undertaken by a Committee of Secretaries and it was decided to entrust security of the Prime Minister to a Special Group under unitary and direct control of designated officer and S.T.F. to provide immediate security cover both in Delhi and outside. These decisions were taken as short term measures. Then subsequently in February 18, 1985, MHA set up Birbal Nath committee to go into the issue in its entirety and submit its recommendation. In March, 1985, the Birbal Nath Committee submitted its recommendations of raising a Special Protection Unit. 

On March 30 1985 the President of India created 819 posts for the unit under Cabinet Secretariat. The SPU was then rechristened Special Protection Group and the post of IGP was redesignated as Director. The SPG came into being on 8th April, 1985 when Dr.S.Subramaniam, then Joint Director (VIP Security) in the IB assumed Office. Creation of SPG required an elaborate exercise in order to clearly delineate responsibility of various agencies concerned with the security of the Prime Minister. The provisions contained in the 'Blue Book' which lays down security guidelines for the protection of the Prime Minister had to be harmoniously blended with this new concept of proximate security. Intelligence Bureau and the State/UT Police concerned were responsible for coordination, collection and dissemination of intelligence affecting VIP security. State/UT Police concerned and the SPG were responsible for providing physical security arrangements for the Prime Minister; the Intelligence Bureau was to provide the required intelligence inputs to these operational agencies. The Special Protection Group functioned as a security group purely on the strength of an Executive Order for three years without a legislation, from April 1985 through 02 June 1988. The Special Protection Group was constituted and trained specially to provide protection to Rajiv Gandhi as Prime Minister, in view of very high threat to him from several sources. But the organisation created for the proximate security of Shri Rajiv Gandhi as Prime Minister did not contemplate provision of protection to him when he ceased to be the Prime Minister, and faced magnified threats.

After the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, the SPG Act was amended in 1991 to provide security to former Prime Ministers and their immediate families for a period of five years from the date on which the former Prime Minister ceased to hold office. The SPG cover for Sonia Gandhi and her children lapsed in December 1994, and was been extended for 10 years from the date Rajiv Gandhi demitted office as PM. An increase of about 40 per cent was made in the 1997-98 Union Budget in the allocation for the Special Protection Group. 

Central Industrial Security Force

The Home Ministry's Central Industrial Security Force, established under the Central Industrial Security Force Act of 1968 (50 of 1968), consists of some 90,000 personnel who guard public-sector areas. The Central Industrial Security Force is responsible for security services at ports and other transportation facilities, as well as various other facilities, such as the new mint situated at Cherlapally on the outskirts of Hyderabad. The Central Industrial Security Force has been reported to have encountered problems with official corruption, as well as having been implicated in human rights abuses which harmed peasant communities in rural India. In 1996 the Madras Port Trust board approved a plan for disbanding the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) at the Madras port, and creating the port's own security force by either borrowing from the State police force or by recruiting directly or by other means. However the government has recently passed a law stating that all the government-run institutions, including Public Sector Undertakings [PSUs], are required to employ guards from Central Industrial Security Force. At times of general elections to Lok Sabha and to the Legislative Assemblies, the State Governments generally seek assistance of the Central Government Offices and Departments located in the States for deployment of their employees in connection with the conduct of elections. The civil employees of Central para-military forces like the Border Security Force, Central Reserve Police Force, Central Industrial Security Force may also be required for such election duty.

Border Security Forces

The Border Security Force (BSF) is responsible for guarding India's land borders during peacetime and prevent trans-border crimes. BSF has an extensive intelligence network to support these missions. The BSF was established on 01 December 1965, following Pakistani intrusions in the Rann of Kutch earlier that year. The total strength of the BSF is approximately 180,000. Nearly, one third of the BSF is deployed in Jammu & Kashmir. As part of its occupation of Kashmir, the Indian Government has deployed more than half a million soldiers and a quarter of a million paramilitary forces. Beginning in 1990 the Indian central government deployed the full range of paramilitary forces to Kashmir, as the Army was unwilling to commit its forces to the counter-insurgency operation. The BSF had never been committed tor this type of operation. The BSF transformer itself from a border force to a counter-insurgency formation, and established an intelligence network in the area. However, more units of the force were deployed without the required specialised equipment and training. Allegations of human rights violations in Kashmir primarily implicate the BSF. The first three years of BSF search, cordon, detention and killings produced an increase in the incidence violence in the Valley. Overused personnel committed excesses, including unacknowledged detentions, "disappearances" and other human rights violations. Torture is practiced to coerce detainees to reveal information about suspected militants or to confess to militant activity. It is also used to punish detainees who are believed to support or sympathize with militants. Security legislation authorizes the security forces to shoot to kill and to destroy civilian property, increasing the likelihood of abuses.

By the beginning of 1995, over 400,000 troops were reportedly deployed in Kashmir, including eight army divisions and other independent brigades across the state. At least fifty-six of 148 battalions of Border Security Forces - each including one thousand men - are engaged in Kashmir. Thirty-nine in the valley and seven in Doda District are involved in counter-insurgency operations, and ten along the line of control are involved in border security operations. Security forces committed an estimated 100-200 extrajudicial killings of suspected militants in Jammu and Kashmir during 1997. Although well-documented evidence to corroborate cases and quantify trends is lacking, most observers believe that the number of killings attributed to regular Indian forces declined slightly from the previous year. According to press reports and anecdotal accounts, those killed typically had been detained by security forces, and their bodies, bearing multiple bullet wounds and often marks of torture, were returned to relatives or were otherwise discovered the same day or a few days later.

Impunity has been and remains a serious problem in Jammu and Kashmir. Security forces have committed thousands of serious human rights violations over the course of the conflict, including extrajudicial killings, disappearances, and torture. Yet, during the period January 1, 1990 to June 30, 1997, only ten members of the security forces were tried and sentenced to 10 or more years imprisonment for violations of human rights in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab. Civilian deaths caused by security forces in 1997 diminished for the fourth consecutive year in Jammu and Kashmir. This decrease apparently is due to press scrutiny and public criticism of abuses in previous years, increased training of military and paramilitary forces in humanitarian law, and greater sensitivity of commanders to rule of law issues. The security forces have not abandoned the abduction and extrajudicial execution of suspected militants, nor accepted accountability for these abuses. However, the inclination of many commanders to distance their units from such practices has led to reduced participation in them and a transfer of some of such actions to countermilitants. Killings and abductions of suspected militants and other persons by progovernment countermilitants, believed to operate under the direction of the Border Security Forces, continue as a significant pattern in Jammu and Kashmir. Countermilitants are former separatist militants who have surrendered to government forces but have retained their arms and paramilitary organization. Although precise numbers are unavailable, progovernment countermilitants may have committed 100 to 200 extrajudicial killings in Jammu and Kashmir during 1997. Human rights groups believed that the number was slightly lower than in 1996. Government agencies fund, exchange intelligence with, and direct operations of countermilitants as part of the counterinsurgency effort. Countermilitants are known to screen passersby at roadblocks and guard extensive areas of the Kashmir Valley from attacks by militants. In sponsoring and condoning countermilitant activity, which takes place outside the legal system, the Government cannot avoid responsibility for killings, abductions, and other abuses committed by these irregulars. Perhaps as many as 3,000 continue to operate in Jammu and Kashmir, particularly in the countryside, outside major towns. During 1997 the Government took steps to organize Kashmiri counter-militants as a battalion in the paramilitary forces as a means of bringing them under enhanced control and military discipline.

In Punjab the pattern of disappearances prevalent in the early 1990's appears to be at an end. Hundreds of police and security officials have not been held accountable for serious human rights abuses committed during the counterinsurgency of 1984-94. However, steps have been taken against a few such violators. The CBI actively is pursuing charges against dozens of police officials implicated in the "mass cremations" case. Police in the Tarn Taran district secretly disposed of bodies of suspected militants believed to have been abducted and extrajudicially executed, cremating them without the knowledge or consent of their families. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has reported that 984 unidentified bodies were cremated by Punjab police in Tarn Taran. Most reportedly were killed by Border Security Forces while trying to cross into India from Pakistan, were unidentified victims of accidents or suicide, or died in clashes between militant factions. However, 424 were apparently militants killed in the interior of the district, 291 of whom were subsequently identified. These numbers demonstrate the extent of the bloodshed during those years and, given the pattern of police abuses prevalent during the period, credibly include many killed in extrajudicial executions. Under the auspices of the UN and with USG encouragement, counternarcotic officials of India and Pakistan have continued the cooperation begun in 1994. Indian and Pakistani officials met three times in 1995 and agreed to speedy exchange of information and contacts. Narcotics representatives also participate in the quarterly meetings between the Indian Border Security Force and the Pakistani Rangers. Few tangible results have yet come out of these meetings At times of general elections to Lok Sabha and to the Legislative Assemblies, the State Governments generally seek assistance of the Central Government Offices and Departments located in the States for deployment of their employees in connection with the conduct of elections. The civil employees of Central para-military forces like the Border Security Force, Central Reserve Police Force, Central Industrial Security Force may also be required for such election duty.

Home Guards

Apart from Army, Navy, Air Force and other security agencies, the twin voluntary organisations - Civil Defence & Home Guards were raised to provide protection to citizens in any untoward situation. Therefore, 6th December every year is celebrated throughout the nation as Raising Day of the organisation. On that day in 1946, first Home Guards Unit was conceived and raised in erstwhile Bombay State during turmoil period of civil disorders and communal riots, as a civilian voluntary force in aid of administration as an auxiliary to Police, under the stewardship of late Morarji Desai, ex-Prime Minister. After the raising Home Guards in 1946, the concept of the voluntary citizens force was adopted by several States. In the wake of Chinese aggression in 1962, the Centre advised the States and Union Territories to merge their existing voluntary organisation into one uniform voluntary force known as Home Guards. The role of Home Guards is to service as an auxiliary to the Police in maintenance of law and order and internal security, help the community in any kind of emergency such as an air-raid, fire, cyclone, earthquake, epidemic etc, help in maintenance of essential services, promote communal harmony and assist the administration in protecting weaker sections, participate in socio-economic and welfare activities and perform Civil Defence duties. Home Guards are of two types - rural and urban. In border States, Border Wing Home Guards Battalions have also been raised, which serve as an auxiliary to the Border Security Forces. The total strength of Home Guards in the country is 5,73,793 against which the raised strength is 405043 Home Guards. The organisation is spread over in all States and Union Territories except in Arunachal Pradesh and Kerala.

Home Guards are raised under the Home Guards Acts and Rules of the States/Union Territories. They are recruited from various cross sections of the people such as doctors, engineers, lawyers, teachers, professionals, Government Servants, employees of public and private sector organisations, college and university students, agricultural and industrial workers etc., who give their spare time to the organisation for betterment of the community. All citizens of India, who are in the age group of 18-50, are eligible to become members of Home Guards. Normal tenure of membership in Home Guards is three to five years. A Home Guard, whenever called up for duty/training, is paid duty/training allowance at prescribed rates to meet out of pocket expenses. Members of Home Guards with three years services in the organisation are trained in police in maintenance of law and order, prevention of crime, anti-dacoity measures, border patrolling, flood relief, prohibition, fire fighting, elections and social welfare activities. In the event of national emergency, some portion of Civil Defence work is also entrusted to the Home Guards. The Ministry of Home Affairs formulates the policy in respect of role, target, raising, training, equipping, establishment and other important matters of Home Guards. Expenditure on Home Guards is generally shared between Centre and State governments as per the existing financial policy. 

Intelligence Collection Systems


One of the three Indian Air Force Reconnaissance Squadrons is equipped with 10 MiG-25R and 2 MiG-25U [trainer] aircraft outfitted to perform imagery intelligence collection.

Country of Origin. CIS (formerly USSR).
Similar Aircraft. F-14 Tomcat, F-15 Eagle, MiG-31 Foxhound.
Crew. One.
Role. Reconnaissance.
Armament. Air-to-air missiles.
Dimensions. Length: 70 ft (21.34 m). Span: 41 ft (12.6 m).
Wings. High-mounted, swept-back, and tapered with square tips.
Engine(s). Two turbojets. Large rectangular air intakes below the canopy and forward of the wing roots. Dual exhaust.
Fuselage. Long and slender with solid, pointed nose. Box-like from the air intakes to rear section. Bubble canopy.
Tail. Twin, sweptback, and tapered fins with angular tips. Flats mid- to low-mounted on fuselage, swept-back, and tapered with angular tips.


One of the three Indian Air Force Reconnaissance Squadrons is equipped with 8 Jaguar aircraft outfitted to perform imagery intelligence.

Countries of Origin. France, UK.
Similar Aircraft. F-4 Phantom II, Mitsubishi F-1, MiG-27 Flogger, AMX.
Crew. One; trainer--two.
Role. Reconnaissance
Armament. Cannon, rockets, bombs, missiles.
Dimensions. Length: 51 ft (15.54 m). Span: 28 ft (8.54 m).
Wings. High-mounted, swept-back, and modified delta with blunt tips.
Engine(s). Two turbofans mounted to the rear of the cockpit. Rectangular air intakes on sides of cockpit. Engine exhausts show prominently under the forward portion of the tail.
Fuselage. Long, pointed, chiseled nose. Body widens at the air intakes rectangular to the exhausts. Overhanging tail section. Two belly fins. Bubble canopy.
Tail. Tail flats and fin are swept-back and tapered with square tips. Flats are mid-mounted on the fuselage with a negative slant.

Ecuador, France, India, Nigeria, Oman, UK.


Nishant RPV

Nishant, also known as pilotless training aircraft, is designed to perform discrete aerial reconnaissance, including target acquisition. The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), which has developed Nishant, has designed comprehensive capabilities in all aspects of flight control design and engineering for UAVs. Work is being carried out at the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) in Bangalore, an establishment of the DRDO. The Nishant remotely piloted vehicle [RPV] has undergone test flights at Kolar in Karnataka. The Nishant unmanned air vehicle has a range of at least 100 km. The 360 kg vehicle is designed for electronic intelligence and electro-optic reconnaissance for the Indian Army. Flying at 40 to 60 meters per second, Nishant is capable of battlefield surveillance with data sent in real time. The Aeronautics Development Establishment under the DRDO [Defense Research and Development Organization] is the lead laboratory for the Nishant's development and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited is the production agency. A single LRU integrated avionics package (IAP) has been developed to perform flight control, navigation and mission functions of Nishant aircraft. It consists of onboard encoder/decoder, GPS, flight control, mission and navigation modules. The digital flight control function is backed up by an analog stand-by module. IAP also manages automated safe launch, in-flight programmable way point navigation, and operation of payloads. It has been proven in more than 20 test flights of Nishant. Several configurations of ground stations have been developed for UAV programs to meet diverse needs of aerial targets and reconnaissance missions. Integrated telemetry, telecommand and tracking system designs have been realised. The mobile ground control station (GCS) incorporates a microprocessor-based encoder/decoder unit which interfaces with the jam-resistant data link to exchange command and data from Nishant. The air vehicle controller and the payload operator are provided with cues in the form of synthetic electronic displays which provide flight and trajectory data. A digital map display using GIS technology aids the controller to fly the UAV. A 35 mm Mini Pan Camera has been designed and developed at the CSIO, Chandigarh, which is suitable for use in low-speed aircraft operating at a low altitude, during daylight conditions. The Camera works on the principle of rotating mirror-lens-slit combination and moving film, resulting in recording of a much wider swath of the ground compared to frame strip camera. The design and development of this camera for Remotely Piloted Vehicle (RPV) was sponsored by the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), Bangalore. Three units of the camera have since been developed and submitted to ADE. The units were successfully interfaced with main Payload Interface Unit and subjected to prelaid environmental tests prescribed for Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV). One unit was mounted on `Nishant 3-4' and its performance during the flight trials was found to be satisfactory.

length 1.2 metres
wing span 1.5 metres
weight 300 kg
payload 45 kg
engine German ALVIS AR-801
endurance five hours
altitude up to 1,000 metres



The IRS-P5 (CARTOSAT-1), initially scheduled for launch in late 1999 using PSLV-C3, will be India's first high-resolution earth resources and imagery intelligence satellite system. With a PAN camera featuring a ground sample distance of 2.5 meters and Fore-Aft stereo capability, CARTOSAT-1 will provide a significant improvement in ground resolution, at the expense of multispectral capability and smaller area coverage, with a swath width variously reported as either 10 or 30 kilometres. The 2.5 m resolution will cater cartographers and terrain modelling applications, providing cadastral level information up to 1:5000 scale for thematic applications, useful for making 2-5 m contour maps. The follow-on CARTOSAT-2 planned for launch in 2002 will offer imagery with resolution of less than one meter, again with a swath width of 10 kilometres.

The cabinet on 25 June 1997 approved of proposals for two new remote sensing satellites to be built by ISRO at Rs 390.07 crore. At a meeting, presided over by the prime minister, the cabinet approved the proposal to build an Indian Remote Sensing Satellite-Cartosat-1-at a cost of Rs 248.49 crore.collection.

India is a longstanding parliamentary democracy with a bicameral parliament. A parliament sits for 5 years unless dissolved earlier for new elections, except under constitutionally defined emergency situations. State governments are elected at regular intervals except in states under President's Rule, i.e., rule by the central Government. On the advice of the Prime Minister, the President may proclaim a state of emergency in any part of the national territory in the event of war, external aggression, or armed rebellion. Similarly, President's Rule may be declared in the event of a collapse of a state's constitutional machinery. The Supreme Court in May 1995 upheld the Government's authority to suspend fundamental rights during an emergency. Although the 25 state governments have primary responsibility for maintaining law and order, the central Government provides guidance and support through use of paramilitary forces throughout the country. Serious abuses have included extrajudicial executions and other political killings and excessive use of force by security forces combating active insurgencies in Jammu and Kashmir and several northeastern states; torture and rape by police and other agents of government, and deaths of suspects in police custody throughout the country; poor prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and incommunicado detention in Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast; continued detention throughout the country of thousands arrested under special security legislation; lengthy pretrial detention; and prolonged detention while under trial. The organization and responsibilities of intelligence and security agencies do not appear to be established or regulated by legislative acts of the Parliament of India.

Official Secrets Act (OSA)

Under the Official Secrets Act (OSA), the Government may restrict publication of sensitive stories, but the Government sometimes interprets this broadly to suppress criticism of its policies. Human rights activists state that government pressure caused one national, English-language daily to suppress some stories and transfer a staff reporter.

Newspapers Incitements to Offenses Act

The 1971 Newspapers Incitements to Offenses Act remains in effect in Jammu and Kashmir. Under the act, a district magistrate may prohibit the press from publishing material resulting in "incitement to murder" or "any act of violence." As punishment the act stipulates that the authorities may seize newspapers and printing presses. Despite these restrictions, newspapers in Srinagar regularly publish militant press releases attacking the Government and report in detail on alleged human rights abuses. The authorities allowed foreign journalists to travel freely in Jammu and Kashmir, where they regularly spoke with militant leaders, and filed reports on government abuses.

Special Protection Group Act

The Special Protection Group Act, which received the assent of the President on the 2nd June 1988 provides for the constitution and regulation of an armed force of the Union for providing proximate security to the Prime Minister of India and the members of his immediate family and for matters connected therewith. The SPG Act had an extremely significant fallout with far reaching implications. It legally circumscribed the parameters restricting SPG protection exclusively to the Prime Minister and his immediate family members. This became a controversial issue when the question of providing protection to Rajiv Gandhi was debated after he had ceased to be the Prime Minister of India in December 1989.

Criminal Procedure Code

The Criminal Procedure Code provides for an open trial in most cases, but it allows exceptions in proceedings involving official secrets, trials in which statements prejudicial to the safety of the State might be made, or under provisions of special security legislation. Sentences must be announced in public. The police must obtain warrants for searches and seizures. In a criminal investigation, the police may conduct searches without warrants to avoid undue delay, but they must justify the searches in writing to the nearest magistrate with jurisdiction over the offence. The authorities in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, and Assam have special powers to search and arrest without a warrant. The authorities sometimes require permits and notification prior to holding parades or demonstrations, but local governments ordinarily respect the right to protest peacefully. At times of civil tension, the authorities may ban public assemblies or impose a curfew under the Criminal Procedure Code. There are three classes of prison facilities. Prisoners are not classified by the nature of their crimes, but by their standing in society. Class "C" prisoners are those who cannot prove they are college graduates or income taxpayers. Their cells are overcrowded, often have dirt floors, no furnishings, and poor quality food. The use of handcuffs and fetters is common. Class "B" prisoners--college graduates and taxpayers--are held under markedly better conditions. Class "A" prisoners are prominent persons, as designated by the Government, and are accorded private rooms, visits, and adequate food, which may be supplemented by their families. Class "A" prisoners are usually held in government guest houses.

Indian Telegraph Act

The Indian Telegraph Act authorizes the surveillance of communications, including monitoring telephone conversations and intercepting personal mail, in case of public emergency or in the interest of the public safety or tranquillity. These powers have been used by every state government. The Union Government also uses the powers of the Indian Telegraph Act to tap phones and open mail.

Armed Forces Special Powers Act of 1958

The Armed Forces Special Powers Act of 1958 remains in effect in several states, i.e., in Jammu and Kashmir, Nagaland, Manipur, Assam and parts of Tripura.

Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act

Under the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act passed in July 1990, security forces personnel have extraordinary powers, including authority to shoot suspected lawbreakers and those disturbing the peace, and to destroy structures suspected of harbouring militants or arms.

Disturbed Areas Act

The Disturbed Areas Act has been in force in a number of districts in Andhra Pradesh for more than a year. The Disturbed Areas Act remains in effect in several states, i.e., in Jammu and Kashmir, Nagaland, Manipur, Assam and parts of Tripura. It gives police extraordinary powers of arrest and detention. Human rights groups allege that security forces have been able to operate with virtual impunity in parts of Andhra Pradesh under the act.

Jammu and Kashmir Disturbed Areas Act

Under the Jammu and Kashmir Disturbed Areas Act passed in July 1990, security forces personnel have extraordinary powers, including authority to shoot suspected lawbreakers and those disturbing the peace, and to destroy structures suspected of harboring militants or arms.

Public Safety Act

The Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act (PSA) of 1978 covers corresponding procedures for that state. Over half of the detainees in Jammu and Kashmir are held under the PSA. The Government acknowledges that, as of August 1997, it held about 1,600 persons in connection with the insurgency in 5 detention centers in Jammu and Kashmir, compared with 2,070 persons acknowledged held in 1995. Of these 1,298 were held under the Public Safety Act.

National Security Act (NSA)

The National Security Act (NSA) of 1980 permits detention of persons considered security risks; police anywhere in the country (except Jammu and Kashmir) may detain suspects under NSA provisions. Under these provisions the authorities may detain a suspect without charge or trial as long as 1 year on loosely defined security grounds. The state government must confirm the detention order, which is reviewed by an advisory board of three high court judges within 7 weeks of arrest. NSA detainees are permitted visits by family members and lawyers and must be informed of the grounds for detention within 5 days (10 to 15 days in exceptional circumstances). At the end of 1997 approximately 500 persons continue to be detained under the NSA. The NSA does not define "security risk." Human rights groups allege that preventive detention can be ordered and extended under the act purely on the opinion of the detaining authority. Such a subjective decision cannot be overturned by any court.

Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act (TADA)

Although the law that had been subject to the most extensive abuse--the Terrorist and Disruptive Practices (Prevention) Act (TADA)--lapsed in May 1995, 3,785 persons previously arrested under the act continued to be held in a number of states at year's end, and a small number of arrests under TADA continued for crimes allegedly committed before the law lapsed. Criminal cases are proceeding against most of those still held under TADA, with more than 3,000 charged under other laws in addition to TADA. In March, the Government asserted that all TADA cases would be reviewed. In February 1996, the Supreme Court eased bail guidelines for persons accused under TADA, taking into account the large backlog of cases in special TADA courts. In reply to a question in the Jammu and Kashmir state assembly in May 1997, the Government reported that 15,826 people were detained under TADA in the state between 1990 and 1995. The Government acknowledges that, as of August 1997, it held 772 persons under the TADA in Jammu and Kashmir. TADA courts use abridged procedures. For example, defence counsel is not permitted to see witnesses for the prosecution, who are kept behind screens while testifying in court. Also, confessions extracted under duress are permitted in evidence


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