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National Security: Do we need State Law or NCTC or Something else?
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Jayadev Parida | Date:02 Jun , 2015 1 Comment
Jayadev Parida
PhD Scholar in Centre for European Studies, School of International Studies, JNU, and a Cyber Security Researcher at the Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi

The priority need to be addressed, but the means and end should have a clear seer of apparatus. Organised Crime and terrorism has a negative kinetic power in the South Asian region. Porous border, stagnant cooperative security mechanisms has laid to the emergence of this complex cycle of threats. India is an enthusiastic super power in global level, it has to rethink its internal security architectures which is subsequently targeted by (un)conventional forces.

…terrorism and organised crimes have remained as gravest concern for India…

India’s national security is facing myriad of challenges both domestically and externally. Categorically those threats are underlined as Terrorism (home grown and cross border), Organised Crime, Left Wing Extremism, Communal Conflicts and Religious Intolerances, Economic and Social Discriminations. Problems are huge but solutions are engulfed by the political-sub-culture of this country. However, terrorism and organised crimes have remained as gravest concern for Indian government, many strategies have been made, and a lot more are under process. As Kautilya envisaged that ‘the concept of national security should not be treated in isolation[1]’, but in India, all of its 29 states unlikely ascribed to the ‘other option’.

Crime is a social fact and “crime” is not a single simple phenomenon that can be examined, analyzed and described in one piece. It occurs in every part of the country and in every stratum of society. Its practitioners and its victims are people of all ages, incomes and backgrounds. Its trends are difficult to ascertain. Its causes are legion. Its cures are speculative and controversial[2].

However, organised crime is not confined to the boundaries of any one country and has become a transnational problem. Organised criminal activity has existed in different forms since ancient times, but contemporary patterns of organised crime are infinitely more complex than they have been at any point of time in history[3].

Terrorist groups, whether indigenous or sponsored by outside states, need arms and money for their fight against the security forces.

Moreover, terrorism is the highest form of organised-(individual)-activity, but it has been diffused and diversified in the 21st century. The scholarship of Francis Fukuyama has underlined the rise of capital forces and the end of history, in which the Washington consensus will triumph over others. But the contradictory fellowship of Samuel Huntington underscores different narratives of the 21st century.

The 9/11 terrorist attacks on the US gave a clear message that the domination of traditional actor of international relations is at its declining position. ‘End of empire, shift of Power’, and technological headway has brought both opportunities and challenges to this century. But after the attacks issues of national security became the domain of concern in the statecraft the US. After the September 2001 terrorist attacks, the US has waged the ‘war against terror’ which later called ‘global war on terror’. Nonetheless, a volley of national policy, strategies and counterterrorism institutions has also been made and concretised to protect and prevent such kinds of critical incidents to happen again in the US. However, this attack precisely expressed the unseen of the power of the technology, which significantly bypassed the geopolitical power.

India has been targeted by the terrorist groups several times in a single year, but from a vantage point two incidents comes vividly; first on 13 December 2001 (the Parliament attack) and  the 26/11 attacks.

After the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks the FICCI Task Force Report on ‘National Security and Terrorism’ has come up with some recommendations, viz. creation of a National Counter Terrorism Agency; National Intelligence Grid, Ministry of Internal Security with a cabinet minister,  new intelligence agency dedicated to non-state actors, and end political misuse of IB etc[4]. But after a long seven years of backlog and political stalemate nothing concrete national apparatus has come yet to address the issues of terrorism. However, in the Indian context organised crime involves many activities, its linkages with terrorism stem from illegal trafficking of drugs, arms and human beings and money laundering.

The 21st century belongs to the cyber-technology. It also been reported that there were serious intelligence failure in the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks…

Terrorist groups, whether indigenous or sponsored by outside states, need arms and money for their fight against the security forces. Organised crime conglomerates need a clientele and couriers who can smuggle drugs, arms and human beings across the countries and regions. In India, the linkages between the two exist at national and transnational levels. At the national level, both terrorists and those involved in organised crime are within India. At the international level, collaboration exists between transnational syndicates and terrorists from inside and outside India[5].

According to the Ministry of Home Affairs annual report 2013-14, terrorism in the hinterland remained largely under control in 2013[6], but the on the other hand the Global Terrorism Index 2014, shows that since 2000, 90 per cent suicidal attacks have been taken place in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and South Asia (SA), which aroused insecurity in the reasons. Due to large number of terror incident in the SA the countries reportedly ranked much higher in global level: Afghanistan (2), Pakistan (3), India (6), Bangladesh (23), Nepal (24), and Sri Lanka (36)[7].

Moreover, the South Asia Terrorism Portal also assessed that India’s internal security apparatus continues to suffer extreme susceptibility under the control of an ignorant, deeply compromised and corrupt political executive. The system lacks the capacities even to deal with current challenges and transient emergencies, and will certainly and comprehensively fail if a generational shift in terrorist capabilities or intent – to include catastrophic or chemical-biological-radiological and nuclear terrorism (CBRN) – occurs[8].

The 21st century belongs to the cyber-technology. It also been reported that there were serious intelligence failure in the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks, simultaneously in 2013, some terror incidence had been occurred in the Jammu and Kashmir in which the terror groups reportedly used GPS tracker to locate their target for attacks and place for shelter. On the other hand the Al-Qaeda has been splintered and shattered but not dead; Taliban is silent, it still deadly; simultaneously, the rise of the ISIS has been posed a serious threats to the national security of all peace loving countries. The misuse of cyber-technology and the rise of ‘lone-wolf-radicals’ has been posturing a new and different composition of terror activity. The cyberspace also gives wider opportunities to organised criminals to accomplish their solo motive.

…the proposal for establishing a NCTC to coordinate the anti-terrorism efforts of the Union and the States has also become a plebiscitary dispute.

The fusion and fission factors of India’s national security need to be addressed with broad array of means. In the digital age the rules of engagement have been changed and it will reshape again according to the time. The Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act-1999 was adopted to curb the terror activity in the State, similarly most controversial bill i.e. the Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime Bill -2015 passed by the Gujarat government with same arguments. Like many other issues in these troubled times, the proposal for establishing a National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC) to coordinate the anti-terrorism efforts of the Union and the States has also become a plebiscitary dispute[9].

However, the ‘NCTC’ ‘tug-war’ must get its valedictory and before creating a police state, liberty to security, individual liberty and moreover national security should get top priority than narrow political interest. Indeed, it is quite difficult to assess what to have and what not, but a single window security approach makes things easier to address.

  1., Viewed on 25 March 2015.
  2. Task Force Report (1967): “The Challenge of Crime in a Free Society: A Report by The President’s Commission on Law Enforcement And Administration Of Justice”, Washington DC: United States Government Printing Office.
  3., Viewed on 30 March 2015.
  4., Viewed on 05 April 2015.
  5.,Viewed on 05 April 2015.
  6., Viewed on 05 April 2015.
  7., Viewed on 05 April 2015.
  8., Viewed on 05 April 2015.
  9., Viewed on 05 April 2015.
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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

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