Saturday, August 30, 2008

Special forces to man IT firms in City

Special forces to man IT firms in City
From Ajith Athrady, DH News Service, New Delhi:
Elite troops of the India Reserve Battalion (IRB) will provide security cover to the IT companies of Bangalore in the wake of the July 25 serial bomb blasts that rocked the City.


The government of Karnataka has set up a high level committee under the chairmanship of the State director general of police (DGP), Sri Kumar, to prepare the road map in this regard.

“The government is waiting for the committee’s report and as soon as we receive it, we will provide security to the IT companies in consultation with the firms,” Karnataka Home Minister V S Acharya told Deccan Herald here.

“The private IT companies may have to pay the charges,” Acharya said, citing the example of the Delhi Metro paying the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) for security cover. He claimed that several companies in Bangalore, which houses more than 1,700 IT and IT enabled service companies, have come forward to bear the security cover expenses, he said. The IRB is a Centrally funded police force trained to handle both security and law and order situations. Though raised by the Centre, IRB is deployed on request from the states. The states are in charge of the IRB troops on deployment and pay their maintenance expenses.

The government has already established an IRB battalion in Koppal district and troops from this battalion are being currently used for security maintenance.

“Now we are planning to set up two more battalions in the State. Each battalion will comprise 1,300 to 1,500 troops and will be trained in anti-terror warfare, crises management and other related issues,” he said.

As the cost to raise a battalion runs up to Rs 10 crore, the State would request the Centre for financial assistance, he said and added: “We have already discussed with the Centre issues like arms and other latest security equipment.”

The minister said the government has identified 52 major installations including reservoirs, power projects and premier institutions for being provided with IRB cover, while 280 other installations will be provided security by District Armed Reserve (DAR) personnel. The security cover would be under constant scrutiny with a high-level committee comprising the chief secretary, the home secretary and the director general of police (DGP) monitoring it at the State level.

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