Starting tomorrow, top intelligence and security officials of the country will discuss for three days the rising threat from China and Pakistan. The Intelligence Bureau - which is responsible for the internal security of the country - is organising a 56th DGP level conference in Lucknow. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair the conference.
"Drone attacks in Jammu have shown that there is a major change as far as terror attacks and dealing with our neighbours is concerned, so it's going to be one of the major focus areas in the conference," a senior official disclosed.
Two Indian Air Force personnel were injured when two explosive devices were dropped from a drone on the IAF station in Jammu on the intervening night of June 26-27 this year. The IAF station was 14-15 km from the International Border with Pakistan.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah after the attack had asked border guarding forces to map border areas and identify weak spots.
Last month during his visit, he had pulled up the armed forces as the Poonch encounter had spilled over for days. Following this, all border guarding forces conducted mammoth exercises to strengthen the security grid in both eastern and western border areas. "Drones have introduced a new element along the border areas. To counter it, border guarding forces have taken measures, and to strengthen the efforts of guarding the border, states are also being roped in. So, a discussion is slated on this issue too," the senior official added.
Border Security Force plays a crucial role in guarding the western sector while Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) does the same for the eastern sector.
Another issue that is going to be discussed is the trust deficit of the public at large on men in uniform. Recent cases in many states have shown that the public does not trust men in khaki. How to make the police force more people-friendly is another agenda item in the three-day conference which starts on Friday afternoon in Lucknow.
The conference is being held in a hybrid format this year. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Research Analysis Wing Secretary Samanth Goel along with DGP of States/UTs and Heads of Central Armed Police Forces and Central Police Organizations will attend the Conference physically at the venue in Lucknow, while the remaining invitees will participate virtually from 37 different locations at IB/SIB Headquarters.
As per the Ministry of Home Affairs, top cops will also discuss other issues including Cyber Crime, Data Governance, Counter-Terrorism challenges, Left Wing Extremism, Emerging Trends in Narcotics trafficking, Prison Reforms among others.
Officials claim that since 2014, PM has taken a keen interest in the DGP conference. "Unlike the symbolic presence earlier, he makes it a point to attend all sessions of the conference and encourages free and informal discussions that provide an opportunity to top police officials to directly brief the Prime Minister on key policing and internal security issues affecting the country," an MHA official said.
Interestingly, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is also going to attend the conference. UP goes to the polls early next year.
"The conference is being held outside Delhi since 2014, and the sitting state CM is always invited wherever it's held," a senior MHA official explained.
"There is nothing wrong in inviting a Chief Minister of the state where the conference is being held. DGPs discuss very serious issues and involvement of CMs is a welcome step," says former Special Director and IB veteran Yashowardhan Azad.
In line with the Prime Minister's vision, the annual conference which used to be customarily organised in Delhi is being organised outside the capital since 2014, with an exception of the year 2020 when the conference was held virtually.
The conference was organised in Guwahati in 2014; Dhordo, Rann of Kutch in 2015; National Police Academy, Hyderabad in 2016; BSF Academy, Tekanpur in 2017; Kevadiya in 2018; and IISER, Pune in 2019.