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Home ministry had tweaked its plans keeping BJP in mind

Monday, 19 May 2014 - 10:57pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

Getting the whiff of a regime change at the Centre much ahead of the poll results, the union home ministry had tweaked its plans and policies keeping a BJP led government in mind.

Mandarins of the union home ministry, in-charge of various divisions, did so when they were told by the cabinet secretary Ajit Seth to prepare plans for the next government about three months ago.

The general view of the bureaucrats was that the work that had taken a back seat during the last phase of the Congress led UPA government, especially under home minister Sushilkumar Shinde, would have a chance to get a priority spot under the new regime that would come with a fresh mind set and clarity

Accordingly, many divisions tweaked their general outplay plans and policies by introducing aspects that would gel with the thinking of the new regime and their own goals or aims.

One of the key divisions, the anti-Naxal division, for example, putting more emphasis on security approach, has enlisted three specific set of priorities in it plan that can help it to tackle the Maoists effectively.

One, it has asked for deputing its choice of District Magistrate (DM) and Superintendent of Police (SP) in 20 worst Naxal-affected districts.

Two, it wants to have Inspector General (operations) of its choice at the zonal level in Naxal affected areas and let him or her be under direct control of the union home ministry.

And three, it wants to be allotted 25 additional combat ready battalions (25,000 personnel) of central armed police forces (CAPFs) in addition to the already present 72 odd battalions.

Sources said the security centric approach that had made much headway against the Maoists during Chidambaram’s tenure as home ministry took a back seat when Shinde replaced him thus giving the Maoists breathing space and regain strength.

"You can say that the ministry is hoping to see more of Chidambaram kind business-like approach in the new government and is preparing accordingly," said a senior official.

Ministry’s reassertion could be seen in the arrest of Delhi University Professor G N Saibaba who was being watched constantly by the ministry for a long time but was arrested through Maharashtra police very close to the government change.

The other important divisions of the North-East and Foreigners have brought in the Bangladeshi nationals issue as a priority area in their respective plans. The going could be tough for the NGOs that are dealt by the foreigner division under the foreign contribution regulation act (FCRA).

In the internal security division, the emphasis has come back on reviving the anti-terror cells and intelligence gathering system in a big way.

Setting out the priorities, the union home secretary Anil Goswami said that their priority areas would be Naxal, terrorism, Jammu and Kashmir and Northeast insurgency.

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