Patil favours use of private agencies for security, experts differ

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New Delhi, Oct 3 (UNI) Even while Home Minister Shivraj Patil today advocated use of private persons and agencies for protection and security purposes, experts felt that it would be counter productive in absence of any regulatory mechanism.

''Private persons and agencies may be encouraged to discharge the duties to provide protection and security to themselves. Plans for these purposes can be made and used,'' the Home Minister told the Annual Conference of DGPs/IGPs-2007, organised by Intelligence Bureau here.

In view of the low police to population ratio in India, Mr Patil suggested new methods and systems to add to the police force to meet the demands of the prevailing situation. He said members of Civil Defence units could be used for policing purpose and in villages, police volunteers could be appointed. The concept of having security committees, in all villages, may also prove to be useful, he felt.

However, experts participating in the conference told UNI on condition of anonymity that utilising private agencies and persons was fraught with danger in view of absence of lack of proper training and regulatory mechanism.

''Most of the time private security agencies hire people and put them on security or guarding duty without any proper training or one months basic training. They lack the efficiency and effectiveness required for protection and security work.'' Similarly, use of private agencies for intelligence gathering would create problems as they would not be accountable to anyone, be it the police or the government, in absence of any regulatory framework. Instead of solving problems, they would create further problems by violating individual freedom, they said.

Moreover, most of the time it has been found that private intelligence agencies/ persons sell information to the highest bidder, so they may give information to terrorists instead of police if the former pay them better, thereby endangering national security, they pointed out.

UNI

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