Tribune News Service
New Delhi, September 18
The Cabinet approved an amendment to the Explosive Substances Act that will help control the movement of ammonium nitrate.
Under the new regulations, it will be mandatory to set up CCTVs where a large number of people gather such as malls and multiplexes to provide the minimum necessary benchmark security system.
This came after the Prime Minister admitted that there were gaps in intelligence gathering. The major decisions taken late last night included the launching of a separate scheme to strengthen the intelligence units of various states. The states have been asking for modern equipment in this regard and the demand was raised during the conference of DGPs convened by the home ministry last month.
A separate scheme to provide assistance to the states for strengthening their intelligence machinery, which had been under consideration for some time, was also approved by the Cabinet. At present, the assistance is provided under the modernisation of police forces (MPF) scheme. In the scheme, there is a component of mega-city policing for strengthening the security at crowded places. Assistance in this area will be provided under a separate scheme for installing CCTVs and surveillance systems in cities. The Centre would provide the equipment for intelligence, vigilance and surveillance to the states.
The report of the Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) that has suggested new and tougher laws on terror, would be studied by a group of experts. As far as the issue of legal provisions for dealing with terrorism was concerned, some suggestions from the ARC and others about further measures to be taken had been received. These were being looked into by a group of experts. The issue of a central agency which had also been under consideration for some time was also being looked into by this group, said union home secretary Madhukar Gupta.
Besides, the Cabinet gave in-principle approval for amending the Explosive Substances Act. The home ministry made it clear at the meeting that India-specific regulations needed to be made to include ammonium nitrate. The substance had been used in all the serial blasts this year.
At the national level, a research and technical centre in the Intelligence Bureau would be set up to deal with terrorist activities. Gupta said it would be a dedicated centre for continuous monitoring and analysis of the modus operandi of the terrorists. The demand of the Delhi police for 7,612 additional posts to operationalise 11 more police stations in the Capital in the current fiscal was also approved. As many as 130 extra vehicles had also been sanctioned to complement PCR vans, and 58 border posts identified in addition to the existing 27.