India's CRPF urges new intelligence wing

May 19, 2008 at 2:41 PM

NEW DELHI, May 19 (UPI) -- An Indian paramilitary force has proposed setting up a separate intelligence wing to help it counter Maoist insurgency within the country.

With the Central Reserve Police Force taking a greater role in anti-Maoist and counterinsurgency operations, the force again is seeking approval for the new intelligence division from the Finance Ministry.

Serious thought is being given within the Interior Ministry to allow the CRPF to set up its own intelligence wing, a ministry official said.

The federal Finance Ministry earlier turned down the proposal because of lack of funds. The topic came up for discussion again after the CRPF set up a Special Armed Force to counter left-wing extremism amid reports that Maoists would be stepping up their activities across the eastern corridor.

Recent operations in the state of Jammu & Kashmir in which six Jaish-e-Mohammed militants were killed were carried out on the basis of intelligence information provided by CRPF personnel, as the paramilitary force has selected a few people from every battalion to gather intelligence locally.

The push for a separate intelligence wing comes at a time when the CRPF, the world's largest paramilitary force, is being headed by V.K. Joshi, who has mostly been with the central intelligence agencies.

Counterinsurgency operations of CRPF have been affected by irregular communication and intelligence sharing between the force and various affected states, the official said.

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