Post Khagragarh, Malda, Bengal IB to have complete makeover

Kolkata, Feb 14: Caught off guard by the Khagragarh blast and Malda violence incidents, West Bengal Intelligence Bureau is going for a complete makeover in the next few months with a separate directorate, own recruitment, new offices in districts, subject specialists and language experts.

"The matter has been cleared and there will be complete overhaul and revamp of the State Intelligence Bureau (SIB). The entire process will be completed in next few months. The State IB will be headed by a official with a rank of director. Apart from deputation from state police, it will have its own recruitment," a senior official of the state home department told PTI on the condition of anonymity.

West Bengal

"In last few incidents such as Khagragarh explosion on October 2, 2014 and the Kaliachak vandalism on January 3, 2016, one of the main lacunae that had come up is the lack of proper intelligence gathering," said a senior official of state Intelligence Bureau, who did not wish to be named.

In a departure from the British-era system, the State IB will have its own recruitment drive to attract youths apart from deputation from the state police services.

"In the central intelligence bureau apart from the deputation from the police forces, they also have their own recruitment of intelligence officers in middle and lower ranks. But we didn't have this option. we had to take people from state police on deputation, which most of the state police personnel at lower levels are not willing to do as they are more comfortable in police station postings," said the senior official of the state Home department.

The official cited that in central agencies such as Intelligence Bureau and CBI, being a separate, cadre promotion and perks depend on performance and seniority.

"So if you have a new cadre where we independently recruit, then the personnel recruited will work whole heartedly as they know this is the organisation where they have to stay," the official argued.

The blast at Khagragarh on October 2, 2014, left two suspected militants dead. The probe led to the busting of a terror module of Bangladeshi militant group Jamaat-ul- Mujahideen Bangladesh.

Violence erupted in Malda's Kaliachak last month where a rampaging crowd attacked a police station and torched several vehicles.

The state IB official pointed out that there is an urgent need to expedite the human intelligence gathering mechanism in districts, especially bordering districts such as Malda, Murshidabad, Nadia, North and South 24 Parganas.

"At present, State IB personnel in districts are controlled by district police superintendent under the District Intelligence Bureau (DIB).

"But after this new system comes into being, districts will have separate IB offices under the supervision of a senior state IB officer," the home department official said.

The state government is already planning to come up with a new Intelligence office in Malda near Kalichowk, the area where violence broke out on Januray 3. Under the new system, language and subject specialists will also be recruited.

"We will also recruit language specialists, especially in Chinese and Urdu languages. We will also recruit Bangladesh specialists," said the official.

According to senior officials of state home department, the new system of the state IB will work in close coordination with the state police and central agencies.


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