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Sabotage alert for forces

Sabotage alert for forces

Author: Bhavna Vij-Aurora
Publication: The Telegraph
Date: February 3, 2008
URL: http://www.telegraphindia.com/1080203/jsp/nation/story_8856996.jsp

The home ministry has asked all security establishments to watch out for possible infiltration of their ranks by terrorists or their sympathisers.

The warning has come after investigators and intelligence agencies confirmed that the New Year-eve attack on the CRPF camp in Rampur that killed seven jawans and a civilian was an "inside job".

The Intelligence Bureau suspects this may not be an isolated case of infiltration.

Based on IB inputs, the home ministry has written to the defence ministry asking it to warn the three armed forces that they may have been compromised. Minister of state for home Sriprakash Jaiswal confirmed this.

All security establishments, including the central paramilitary forces, have been asked to do a sabotage check on their personnel.

"Although there is a drill at the entry level where all recruits are verified thoroughly and their backgrounds checked, there is always the possibility that a few of them, seen as amenable targets, are approached to help the terrorists later. So we can never let our guard down and need to keep checking regularly," an intelligence official said.

The CRPF camp attack is worrying because this is the first instance of successful infiltration. "There are reports of infiltration from various paramilitary forces and even the army several times. But most are detected and taken care of without making them public. However, this is one case where it went undetected and the personnel managed to help the terrorists," the official said.

Officials from IB and the Research and Analysis Wing will help the paramilitary forces screen new recruits as well as personnel who might have spent over five or 10 years in service.

The security agencies have been asked to keep a tab on soldiers' bank accounts as well as property acquisition or change in behaviour and lifestyle.

"Although there are several in-built checks and balances in the form of the hierarchical control system, one can never be too sure about these things. Even if a single person in an organisation is subverted, it can be potentially extremely dangerous. There are opportunities galore for security personnel to indulge in acts threatening national security or life of a VVIP or a sensitive structure like the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre," the official said.

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