The ground level Intelligence gathering mechanism of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), crucial for its survival in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) area is soon going to take a big hit.
The biggest paramilitary force deployed in the LWE area has wound up its key Intelligence training apparatus – the Intelligence School at its Kadarpur academy.
The CRPF top brass thinks that the school is not serving much purpose and its purpose can be served by the training academy. But officers who are keen see CRPF develop its own excellent Intelligence generating capacity like the BSF's G branch say such excellence cannot be achieved without having proper and dedicated school.
Incidentally, it comes at a juncture when CRPF in one of the worst encounters with the Maoists lost 11 of its personnel, besides 4 jawans from accompanying state police in Sukma, Chhattisgarh. The only Intelligence School, affiliated with the CRPF training academy at Kadarpur, was inaugurated in February 2012 by the then Union home minister P Chidambaram when he also agreed to CRPF's long-pending demand and sanctioned a separate Intelligence cadre to the force for LWE area – 8 for each battalion, 12 at DIG level and 16 personnel at the level of range.
In the last two years of functioning, the Intelligence school had trained a little over 1,000 security personnel most of who wer edeployed in the Maoist-affected regions and were generating crucial Intelligence. The efficacy of the trained persons reflected very well on ground as their quotient in Intelligence generation had already reached 20% on whose basis the CRPF had managed to carry out several successful seizures and escape ambush traps laid out by the Maoists, sources said.
Run by a bare minimum strength of 20 people – one inspector general of police as its head, two deputy commandant level officers, one inspector and others - the Intelligence School had fixed the target to train 3,100 CRPF personnel in Intelligence by 2015 and make CRPF as effective as BSF's famous G branch in gathering and analysing Intelligence.
dna tried to speak to the CRPF director general Dinesh Trivedi about the development but failed to contact him. However, a top-level CRPF said the Intelligence wing will continue to operate on the ground. But he could not spell out how it would be able to get the crucial specialized training needed to carry out field operations. "It was our own initiative and not sanctioned by the home ministry. The work of imparting Intelligence can be done by the academy too," a senior CRPF official said.
However, some other officials differ. "You need to build institutional mechanism not kill especially when you need it and it is doing good work. This will soon lead to drying up of Intelligence wing – a key for success in LWE area. At least the home ministry should have been kept in the loop," a source said.
A senior home ministry official confirmed that the ministry does not know about the development but said even if it was not an official matter the ministry should have been consulted. The Intelligence School run by a former G branch head of BSF was regularly imparting one month training comprising of 15 different courses to not only CRPF but also personnel of Central Industrial Security Force that provides security to key installations.
Besides this, the CRPF has also shut down eight of its 16 auxillary training schools.