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After Sydney and Peshawar attacks, India to frame hostage policy

DC | RAJNISH SHARMA/ NAMRATA BIJI AHUJA
Published Dec 17, 2014, 12:48 pm IST
Updated Mar 30, 2019, 6:31 am IST
Sydney, Peshawar events makes MHA rethink policy on such attacks
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh
 Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh

New DelhiWith the increasing possibility of al Qaeda and IS increasing their footprint in India, the Centre is planning a comprehensive National Hostage Policy that will spell out its strategy in case of a hostage crisis.

Top sources said that a consultation process would be initiated soon to draw up an elaborate blueprint and standard operating procedures. In all probability, sources added, the national security adviser would be made the nodal point. Top officials said the security and intelligence agencies felt a well-defined hostage policy was needed given the spate of terror incidents across the world.

 

“India is one of the worst affected by terror, but we don’t have a policy that will be followed by all agencies and states when facing a hostage crisis. Something should be done, much the way the government drew up a stringent Anti-Hijacking Bill after the IC-814 incident in 1999,” a senior security official said.

There are plans to constitute a task force that would examine in detail such policies that have been put in place by some other countries particularly Israel and America.

Even though intelligence experts say that India’s security requirements may well be different from those of the other countries but it will help give a clear insight regarding the broad contours of what the policy should be like.

 

“What we intend to do by way of this policy is that it will spell out an elaborate strategy or Standard Operating Procedures that would be required to be followed in such situation.

We will also examine the possibility of whether a separate clause can be added to existing laws by way of an amendment to deal exclusively with this crime,’’the official added.

The Centre has decided to prepare its security apparatus to prevent a Peshawar re-run in the country. The Union home ministry is in the process of preparing a national plan to deal with such emergencies.

 

The MHA has decided to issue detailed advisories to all security agencies and states, ou-tlining the SOP and guidelines to tackle such terror threats.

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