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Overview:

Established in 1969, the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) is the central government’s dedicated multi-skilled security agency primarily providing infrastructure protection services. It is one of the Central Police Forces (CPFs) under the control of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs. Initially raised for the protection of Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) and governmental installations, CISF today provides security for a wide variety of infrastructure, including airports, ports, heritage monuments, private companies, and natural resource fields. Like all armed forces under the control of the Home Ministry, CISF’s duties are not limited to its original mandate, and now include internal security, VIP protection, firefighting, training, security consulting as well as protecting UN missions.

more
History:

Following India’s independence, the central government embarked on an ambitious project to boost economic growth. The state of the country’s private sector made it clear that any heavy industrial and infrastructure development would have to be the prerogative of the government. In light of this, government-owned corporations (called Public Sector Undertakings or PSUs) were established. India’s first PSU, the Indian Telephone Industries (ITI) Limited, was established in 1948 under the control of the Ministry of Post and Telegraph. Over 60 more PSUs were established between 1948 and 1968.

 

Each PSU was responsible for its own security and generally headed by a military or police officer. No central guidelines or mechanisms existed, and as such the quality of security differed from PSU to PSU. As a result of evolving internal security threats, the government placed a security advisor within the Department of Industry tasked with security advising. A closer inspection of the security in place revealed some glaring problems, including understaffing, inadequate training and equipment, competing allegiances, and a lack of comprehensive support. The security advisor recommended setting up a centralized force dedicated to PSU security. A major push for this idea came in the aftermath of a fire at the Heavy Engineering Corporation in Ranchi. A subsequent report echoed the call for a central PSU protection force.

 

The Central Industrial Security Force Act, 1968 (Act 50 of 1968), adopted on March 10, 1969, provided the framework for the creation and management of CISF. CISF Rules provide the administrative basis for the force. CISF initially consisted of 2,800 personnel tasked with the protection of select PSUs that were completely owned by the government of India. Since then, however, the strength and role of CISF have greatly expanded. It is now tasked with the protection of a wide variety of infrastructure throughout India.

 

As for Act 50, it has been amended four times: 1983, 1989, 1999, and 2009. The 1983 amendment designated CISF an armed force of the Indian government, while the 1989 amendment expanded the responsibilities of the force to include protection of PSU employees. Operationally, the biggest change for CISF came with the 1999 amendment, which allowed the deployment of CISF in any situation deemed appropriate by the central government. Additionally, it called for the deployment of CISF personnel in industrial ventures owned or funded completely or partly by the government and established CISF security consultancy services for both public and private sector ventures. The 2009 amendment, adopted in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, authorized CISF to provide, on a cost-reimbursement basis, security to private installations. The amendment also enabled the deployment of CISF to protect Indian embassies abroad and participation in India’s UN missions. Following the September 11, 2001, attacks in the United States, the Indian government intensified efforts to place CISF in charge of security at major airports.

 

One of the biggest black marks in CISF history is the 1979 mutiny at the Bokaro Steel Complex where workers sought higher pay. Trouble started in March and culminated in a clash between CISF personnel and the Indian Army in June. More than 1,000 personnel engaged in “acts of insubordination and indiscipline, dereliction of duty, abetting from P. T. and Parade, taking out processions and raising many slogans, participating in the gherao of Supervisory Officers, participating in hunger strike and dharna” as well as “indulged in threats of violence, bodily harm and other acts of intimidation to supervisory officers” creating “a situation whereby the normal functioning of the Force at the CISF Unit, Bokaro had been rendered difficult and impossible.” Violent demonstrations continued, and developments resulted in the central government having to send in the Army. Rather than giving up, the involved CISF personnel engaged in a firefight with the Army resulting in casualties on both sides.

more
What it Does:

Headquartered in New Delhi, CISF’s 130,000+ personnel are led by a director general drawn from the Indian Police Service (IPS). The organization is divided into six sectors, each led by an inspector general: eastern, western, northern, southern, northeastern, and airport. It is additionally divided into nine different zones led by deputy inspector generals. The force consists of seven training institutes – six Recruit Training Centers and the National Industrial Security Academy (NISA). NISA also hosts the Fire Service Training Institute (FSTI), which provides fire and disaster management training.

 

Like all armed forces under the purview of the Home Ministry, CISF has multifarious roles. While its primary focus is infrastructure protection, government needs have broadened the force’s variety of tasks.

 

Infrastructure Protection: CISF currently provides security cover to 308 units and fire protection services for 83 Industrial Undertakings. An “Industrial Undertaking” is defined in the CISF Act as “any undertaking pertaining to a scheduled industry and includes an undertaking engaged in any other industry, or in any trade, business or service which may be regulated by Parliament by law.” This can either be public or private. The 308 protected units include “atomic power plants, space installations, defense production units, mines, oil fields and refineries, major sea ports, heavy engineering steel plants, fertilizer units, airports, hydroelectric/thermal power plants, sensitive government buildings and heritage monuments and important Private Sector Units.”

 

In the realm of infrastructure protection, airport security is a CISF specialization. The hijacking of an Indian Airlines flight en route to Kandahar in 1999 started the debate for better security management at airports. In 2000, the Indian government relegated airport security to CISF. Prior to this move, state governments were responsible for their airports. After the 9/11 attacks in the U.S., this pace intensified, with the force now responsible for security at 58 domestic and international airports in India. This includes major airports in Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, and Ahmedabad.

 

CISF is also responsible for providing security for the Delhi Metro. The force started working with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation in 2007. More than 4,500 personnel guard 141 Metro Stations and the system’s 165,000 passengers. Early in 2012, CISF was also tasked with the protection of Reliance Infrastructure’s Delhi Airport Metro Express Line.

 

In addition to airports and the Delhi Metro, India’s 13 major ports are also under the security umbrella of CISF. In January 2012, the National Shipping Board (NSB) recommended that CISF be deployed to all ports in India, including 187 minor ports. NSB’s recommendation was based on the success of the CISF in guarding India’s airports.

 

After the 2008 Mumbai attacks, the government paved the road for CISF protection at private industrial facilities on a cost-reimbursement basis. The bill paid to the Indian government includes salaries and other related expenses, including uniforms, equipment, etc. In July 2009, Infosys was the first company to receive protection. Since then, the demand and scope have expanded greatly. In 2011, CISF provided security to or was in negotiations with Infosys Tech Ltd, Reliance’s Jamnagar Refinery, Delhi Airport Metro Express Line, Rajiv Gandhi Ninaivagam, Sriperumbudur (an area dominated by high-tech special economic zones near Chennai in Tamil Nadu), Digboi Refinery Plant, Assam, Omkareshwar Power Station Khandwa (Madhya Pradesh) and Brahmaputra Cracker and Polymer Ltd., Dibrugarh

(Assam). In 2010, CISF was inducted into Ratnagiri Gas & Thermal Power Station Ltd., Rajiv Gandhi thermal Power project, Hissar, Haryana, Mumbai Port Trust, BPCL, Kochi Refinery, MRPL Mangalore, and Southern Coal Field Bilaspur. It has been reported that about 100 companies have requested CISF presence for their facilities. 

 

The Government Building Security (GBS) unit of the CISF guards 29 government buildings, including North Block, part of South Block, and the CGO Complex in Delhi. Other facilities guarded include heritage monuments, including Taj Mahal, National Museum, Salarjung Museum, and the Red Fort.

 

CISF’s infrastructure mandate extends beyond the physical protection of the premises. The Fire Wing consists of more than 5,000 personnel and provides fire management assistance to 83 industrial undertakings most prone to fire-related incidents. These include power plants, space installations, heavy engineering and steel plants, refineries, chemical and petro-chemical facilities, etc. The CISF Fire Wing is one of the most well-trained and well-equipped firefighting units in the government.

 

VIP Protection: In the wake of the Kargil War, a Group of Ministers convened to thoroughly analyze all aspects of the Indian security establishment. The published report, known as the Group of Ministers Report on Reforming the National Security System, recommended that

 

“Security of vital points, areas and installations, as also of the VIPs, should ideally be with the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which is a professionally trained force for industrial/installation security. A Special Duties Group (SDG) should be created in the CISF for VIP security.”

 

Pursuant to this, CISF raised the Special Security Group (SSG) for VIP security. The SSG is used for protecting individuals with either Z-level security (a protective cover of 26 personnel) or Y-level security (a protective cover of 18 personnel). By comparison, those with a Z+-level security (a protective cover of 30 or more personnel, usually reserved for VIPs most at risk) are protected by the famed National Security Guards (NSG) “Black Cats.”

 

Security Consulting: The Consultancy Services of CISF were launched in December 2001. The impetus for this move came from the growing liberalization and privatization of the Indian economy. As companies began to play a larger role in the Indian economy, a security need was identified. CISF, with its over three decades of infrastructure protection experience, was tapped to assist these entities in devising comprehensive security solutions. Services offered by CISF include “threat perception and risk analysis, assessment of manpower requirements, security and fire audit, procedures for material security, internal intelligence, fire protection measures, crowd control and management procedures, executive protection, and crisis management schemes.” Almost 100 have utilized the consultancy services. Among these are GMR, Hero Honda Motors, Petronet-LNG Terminal, Manganese Ore Mines of MOIL Ltd, ESI Hospital, CtrlS Data Center, Transpek Silox Industry Ltd, and Allahabad High Court.

 

Other Duties:

 

  • The 1999 amendment to the CISF Act opened up the force for deployment in any area and situation that the central government sees fit. Given India’s internal security challenges, it was not surprising that CISF has been assigned law and order maintenances duties on numerous occasions. CISF biggest internal security duty involves election security in sensitive areas.

 

  • CISF also provides training to other central and state government entities. As an example, CISF played a central role in training the Karnataka State Industrial Security Force (KSISF), which will act as Karnataka’s CISF.

 

  • CISF is deployed abroad to protect Indian diplomats. Personnel have served in Kathmandu, Nepal and Islamabad, Pakistan. Additionally, CISF personnel have also been recently deployed to Haiti as part of a Formed Police Unit (FPU) in support of India’s UN peacekeeping commitments.

 

CISF is active in disaster management, and its battalions are a part of the National Disaster Response Force. Furthermore, CISF is also India’s designated “first responder” for nuclear, chemical, biological and natural disasters.

more
Where Does the Money Go:

CISF’s budget has more than tripled since 2000. While inflation and other economic variables play a role, a major factor for the budget increase has been CISF’s rapid expansion. Although neither CISF nor the Home Ministry provides actual breakdowns of the CISF budget, it can be concluded that expansion projects will eat up a significant chunk of the force’s budget. The recommended deployment of CISF at 187 minor ports, requests by private companies for CISF presence, and an increasing internal security role will generate pressure for the expansion of the force. Additionally, CISF is facing a shortage of 10,000 personnel and has decided to ramp up its recruitment. As expected with any force, operating expenses including salaries, equipment, housing, and functioning of training institutes take up most of CISF’s budget.

more
Controversies:

Corruption

Corruption is a systemic problem in India, and the armed forces are not immune from it. In fact, special protection accorded to the military in conjunction with generally lax standards often enable armed forces personnel to engage in illegal behavior, frequently without the threat of conviction. Between 2001 and 2010, more than 260 cases of corruption and sexual harassment were lodged against the CISF. In March 2012, CISF personnel were arrested for their involvement in large-scale opium theft from the Government Opium Alkaloid Works. There were similar reports of CISF personnel asking and receiving bribes. In one instance, a CISF officer demanded bribes from four constables in exchange for accepting their resignations. In March 2012, the All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU) demonstrated in Assam against the killing of a man by CISF. The AICCTU maintains that the agitation occurred because the men refused to pay the bribes demanded by CISF personnel. Apparently, it doesn’t cost all that much to bribe the CISF. The AICCTU Secretary Subhash Sen accused the CISF personnel of corruption and alleges that “the CISF takes regularly Rs. 10 to Rs. 15 as a bribe.”

 

Four Other CISF Cops Arrested In Opium Siphoning Case (by Rajeev Dikshit, Times of India)

CBI Arrests an Inspector of CISF for Accepting a Bribe of Rs. One Lakh (Probe Times)

Bribe For Entry Into Refinery: HC Dismisses Plea Of CISF Man (by Rahul, Lawyers Club India)

CISF Officer Held On Corruption Charges (by Special Correspondent, The Hindu)

more
Suggested Reforms:

Focus on Core Role

Armed forces under the Home Ministry, despite their initial mandates and designated roles, are used for a variety of purposes, some of which they are not trained for. The CISF is no different in this regard. The expansion of CISF duties, while beneficial in the short term by providing manpower, has stretched the force too thin with the possibility that performance of its core duties may be compromised. Various proposals have been put forth for the reformation of the central police forces, and by extension, CISF.

 

One of the proposals aims to divide the current seven forces into three, each responsible for either internal security, border security, or infrastructure security. A revamping of this scale will remove CISF’s extraneous duties, such as internal security, natural disaster management, and VIP security, and allow it to focus on infrastructure security. Another proposal calls for the setting up of a separate VIP security force that would remove this burden from CISF as well as other forces that have nothing to do with VIP security.

 

Time to Merge Troops under Home Ministry (by Nitin Pai, Daily News & Analysis)

New Agency Should Handle VIP Security: NSG Chief (Thaindian News)

more
Debate:

Armed Forces Special Protection Act (AFPSA)

On January 2, 2012, CISF personnel fired at a group of demonstrators in Boniyar, Jammu & Kashmir protesting power cuts at the NHPC plant, a facility under CISF protection. An 18-year-old student named Altaf Ahmad was hit and died of gunshot wounds. The killing triggered a wave of protests and demands that the responsible personnel be tried and held accountable. In the wake of the protests and demands for trial, CISF personnel involved in the shooting were arrested by State Police. In response, CISF invoked the AFSPA and subsequent immunity. Opponents, however, believe that given CISF’s role, the involved personnel are not eligible for AFSPA.

 

AFSPA Applies to CISF

The CISF and the Indian government advocate this position. They point to the fact that Kashmir is a “disturbed area,” and as a result armed forces involved in internal security duties have AFSPA cover. Additionally, the Indian government has pointed out that “the area where the incident took place is a banned area.” (This isn’t really accurate. Banned areas are places where insurgency is ongoing. This would be a restricted area, where a government installation is located.)  CISF also mentioned state police forces need central government permission before arresting members of an armed force under central government control. 

 

In March 2012, the All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU) demonstrated in Assam against the killing of a man by CISF. AICCTU maintains that the agitation occurred because the men refused to pay the bribes demanded by the involved CISF personnel. 

 

AFSPA Does Not Apply to CISF

This position is advocated by Omar Abdullah, chief minister of Jammu & Kashmir, and a strong opponent of the AFSPA. Abdullah criticized the killing as “excessive” and “inexcusable” and pointed out that despite Kashmir being a “disturbed area,” AFSPA does not apply to CISF since CISF personnel were involved in infrastructure protection duties and were not on a “counter-insurgency deployment.” He stated that “Central Industrial Security Forces (CISF), whose troopers opened the fire, are not a part of the CI (counterinsurgency) grid operating in Jammu and Kashmir and have been hired by the NHPC (National Hydroelectric Power Corporation) exclusively for the security of their installations across the state, and are not under the operational command of either the unified headquarters or the state government.” Additionally, Public Prosecutor Shahid Ali Shah argued that CISF actions were not official in nature since there was no “reasonable connection between the act complained of and discharge of the official duties.”

 

Background

CISF Invokes AFSPA in Boniyar Killing (by Umer Maqbool, Greater Kashmir)

CISF Men Charged for Boniyar Killing (by Umer Maqbool, Greater Kashmir)

‘No AFSPA Cover for Arrested CISF Troops’ (Times of India)

No AFSPA Protection for Arrested CISF Men: Omar (Hindustan Times)

CISF and Police Fight in Court over Death of Jammu and Kashmir Teenager (by Aman Sharma, India Today)

CISF Firing Unwarranted and Inexcusable: Omar Abdullah (by Masood Hussain, Economic Times)

‘Govt Sanction Not Required for Trial’ (by Altaf Baba, Greater Kashmir)

more
Former Directors:

Niraj Ranjan Das

Niraj Ranjan Das served as director general of CISF from November 2008 to January 2012.

 

After completing postgraduate studies in political science at the Delhi University, he became a 1973 batch West Bengal cadre IPS officer.

 

He started his police career in West Bengal. His roles included SDPO, Bishnupur, Addl.SP-South Industrial 24 Paraganas and Inspector General of North Bengal and South Bengal. He also served in Orissa as SP Behrampur, SP vigilance (Cuttak division) and DIG Vigilance Orissa.

 

Prior to his appointment as director general of CISF, he was on deputation to central government for more than 16 years, 14 of which were spent at CISF. He served as the additional director general (East Zone) for the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) when he was selected to be CISF’s director general.

more

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Founded: 1969
Annual Budget: Rs. 3564.01 crore ($700.6 million) (2012-2013)
Employees: 130,155
Official Website: http://cisf.gov.in/
Central Industrial Security Force
  • Latest News
Bookmark and Share
Overview:

Established in 1969, the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) is the central government’s dedicated multi-skilled security agency primarily providing infrastructure protection services. It is one of the Central Police Forces (CPFs) under the control of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs. Initially raised for the protection of Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) and governmental installations, CISF today provides security for a wide variety of infrastructure, including airports, ports, heritage monuments, private companies, and natural resource fields. Like all armed forces under the control of the Home Ministry, CISF’s duties are not limited to its original mandate, and now include internal security, VIP protection, firefighting, training, security consulting as well as protecting UN missions.

more
History:

Following India’s independence, the central government embarked on an ambitious project to boost economic growth. The state of the country’s private sector made it clear that any heavy industrial and infrastructure development would have to be the prerogative of the government. In light of this, government-owned corporations (called Public Sector Undertakings or PSUs) were established. India’s first PSU, the Indian Telephone Industries (ITI) Limited, was established in 1948 under the control of the Ministry of Post and Telegraph. Over 60 more PSUs were established between 1948 and 1968.

 

Each PSU was responsible for its own security and generally headed by a military or police officer. No central guidelines or mechanisms existed, and as such the quality of security differed from PSU to PSU. As a result of evolving internal security threats, the government placed a security advisor within the Department of Industry tasked with security advising. A closer inspection of the security in place revealed some glaring problems, including understaffing, inadequate training and equipment, competing allegiances, and a lack of comprehensive support. The security advisor recommended setting up a centralized force dedicated to PSU security. A major push for this idea came in the aftermath of a fire at the Heavy Engineering Corporation in Ranchi. A subsequent report echoed the call for a central PSU protection force.

 

The Central Industrial Security Force Act, 1968 (Act 50 of 1968), adopted on March 10, 1969, provided the framework for the creation and management of CISF. CISF Rules provide the administrative basis for the force. CISF initially consisted of 2,800 personnel tasked with the protection of select PSUs that were completely owned by the government of India. Since then, however, the strength and role of CISF have greatly expanded. It is now tasked with the protection of a wide variety of infrastructure throughout India.

 

As for Act 50, it has been amended four times: 1983, 1989, 1999, and 2009. The 1983 amendment designated CISF an armed force of the Indian government, while the 1989 amendment expanded the responsibilities of the force to include protection of PSU employees. Operationally, the biggest change for CISF came with the 1999 amendment, which allowed the deployment of CISF in any situation deemed appropriate by the central government. Additionally, it called for the deployment of CISF personnel in industrial ventures owned or funded completely or partly by the government and established CISF security consultancy services for both public and private sector ventures. The 2009 amendment, adopted in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, authorized CISF to provide, on a cost-reimbursement basis, security to private installations. The amendment also enabled the deployment of CISF to protect Indian embassies abroad and participation in India’s UN missions. Following the September 11, 2001, attacks in the United States, the Indian government intensified efforts to place CISF in charge of security at major airports.

 

One of the biggest black marks in CISF history is the 1979 mutiny at the Bokaro Steel Complex where workers sought higher pay. Trouble started in March and culminated in a clash between CISF personnel and the Indian Army in June. More than 1,000 personnel engaged in “acts of insubordination and indiscipline, dereliction of duty, abetting from P. T. and Parade, taking out processions and raising many slogans, participating in the gherao of Supervisory Officers, participating in hunger strike and dharna” as well as “indulged in threats of violence, bodily harm and other acts of intimidation to supervisory officers” creating “a situation whereby the normal functioning of the Force at the CISF Unit, Bokaro had been rendered difficult and impossible.” Violent demonstrations continued, and developments resulted in the central government having to send in the Army. Rather than giving up, the involved CISF personnel engaged in a firefight with the Army resulting in casualties on both sides.

more
What it Does:

Headquartered in New Delhi, CISF’s 130,000+ personnel are led by a director general drawn from the Indian Police Service (IPS). The organization is divided into six sectors, each led by an inspector general: eastern, western, northern, southern, northeastern, and airport. It is additionally divided into nine different zones led by deputy inspector generals. The force consists of seven training institutes – six Recruit Training Centers and the National Industrial Security Academy (NISA). NISA also hosts the Fire Service Training Institute (FSTI), which provides fire and disaster management training.

 

Like all armed forces under the purview of the Home Ministry, CISF has multifarious roles. While its primary focus is infrastructure protection, government needs have broadened the force’s variety of tasks.

 

Infrastructure Protection: CISF currently provides security cover to 308 units and fire protection services for 83 Industrial Undertakings. An “Industrial Undertaking” is defined in the CISF Act as “any undertaking pertaining to a scheduled industry and includes an undertaking engaged in any other industry, or in any trade, business or service which may be regulated by Parliament by law.” This can either be public or private. The 308 protected units include “atomic power plants, space installations, defense production units, mines, oil fields and refineries, major sea ports, heavy engineering steel plants, fertilizer units, airports, hydroelectric/thermal power plants, sensitive government buildings and heritage monuments and important Private Sector Units.”

 

In the realm of infrastructure protection, airport security is a CISF specialization. The hijacking of an Indian Airlines flight en route to Kandahar in 1999 started the debate for better security management at airports. In 2000, the Indian government relegated airport security to CISF. Prior to this move, state governments were responsible for their airports. After the 9/11 attacks in the U.S., this pace intensified, with the force now responsible for security at 58 domestic and international airports in India. This includes major airports in Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, and Ahmedabad.

 

CISF is also responsible for providing security for the Delhi Metro. The force started working with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation in 2007. More than 4,500 personnel guard 141 Metro Stations and the system’s 165,000 passengers. Early in 2012, CISF was also tasked with the protection of Reliance Infrastructure’s Delhi Airport Metro Express Line.

 

In addition to airports and the Delhi Metro, India’s 13 major ports are also under the security umbrella of CISF. In January 2012, the National Shipping Board (NSB) recommended that CISF be deployed to all ports in India, including 187 minor ports. NSB’s recommendation was based on the success of the CISF in guarding India’s airports.

 

After the 2008 Mumbai attacks, the government paved the road for CISF protection at private industrial facilities on a cost-reimbursement basis. The bill paid to the Indian government includes salaries and other related expenses, including uniforms, equipment, etc. In July 2009, Infosys was the first company to receive protection. Since then, the demand and scope have expanded greatly. In 2011, CISF provided security to or was in negotiations with Infosys Tech Ltd, Reliance’s Jamnagar Refinery, Delhi Airport Metro Express Line, Rajiv Gandhi Ninaivagam, Sriperumbudur (an area dominated by high-tech special economic zones near Chennai in Tamil Nadu), Digboi Refinery Plant, Assam, Omkareshwar Power Station Khandwa (Madhya Pradesh) and Brahmaputra Cracker and Polymer Ltd., Dibrugarh

(Assam). In 2010, CISF was inducted into Ratnagiri Gas & Thermal Power Station Ltd., Rajiv Gandhi thermal Power project, Hissar, Haryana, Mumbai Port Trust, BPCL, Kochi Refinery, MRPL Mangalore, and Southern Coal Field Bilaspur. It has been reported that about 100 companies have requested CISF presence for their facilities. 

 

The Government Building Security (GBS) unit of the CISF guards 29 government buildings, including North Block, part of South Block, and the CGO Complex in Delhi. Other facilities guarded include heritage monuments, including Taj Mahal, National Museum, Salarjung Museum, and the Red Fort.

 

CISF’s infrastructure mandate extends beyond the physical protection of the premises. The Fire Wing consists of more than 5,000 personnel and provides fire management assistance to 83 industrial undertakings most prone to fire-related incidents. These include power plants, space installations, heavy engineering and steel plants, refineries, chemical and petro-chemical facilities, etc. The CISF Fire Wing is one of the most well-trained and well-equipped firefighting units in the government.

 

VIP Protection: In the wake of the Kargil War, a Group of Ministers convened to thoroughly analyze all aspects of the Indian security establishment. The published report, known as the Group of Ministers Report on Reforming the National Security System, recommended that

 

“Security of vital points, areas and installations, as also of the VIPs, should ideally be with the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which is a professionally trained force for industrial/installation security. A Special Duties Group (SDG) should be created in the CISF for VIP security.”

 

Pursuant to this, CISF raised the Special Security Group (SSG) for VIP security. The SSG is used for protecting individuals with either Z-level security (a protective cover of 26 personnel) or Y-level security (a protective cover of 18 personnel). By comparison, those with a Z+-level security (a protective cover of 30 or more personnel, usually reserved for VIPs most at risk) are protected by the famed National Security Guards (NSG) “Black Cats.”

 

Security Consulting: The Consultancy Services of CISF were launched in December 2001. The impetus for this move came from the growing liberalization and privatization of the Indian economy. As companies began to play a larger role in the Indian economy, a security need was identified. CISF, with its over three decades of infrastructure protection experience, was tapped to assist these entities in devising comprehensive security solutions. Services offered by CISF include “threat perception and risk analysis, assessment of manpower requirements, security and fire audit, procedures for material security, internal intelligence, fire protection measures, crowd control and management procedures, executive protection, and crisis management schemes.” Almost 100 have utilized the consultancy services. Among these are GMR, Hero Honda Motors, Petronet-LNG Terminal, Manganese Ore Mines of MOIL Ltd, ESI Hospital, CtrlS Data Center, Transpek Silox Industry Ltd, and Allahabad High Court.

 

Other Duties:

 

  • The 1999 amendment to the CISF Act opened up the force for deployment in any area and situation that the central government sees fit. Given India’s internal security challenges, it was not surprising that CISF has been assigned law and order maintenances duties on numerous occasions. CISF biggest internal security duty involves election security in sensitive areas.

 

  • CISF also provides training to other central and state government entities. As an example, CISF played a central role in training the Karnataka State Industrial Security Force (KSISF), which will act as Karnataka’s CISF.

 

  • CISF is deployed abroad to protect Indian diplomats. Personnel have served in Kathmandu, Nepal and Islamabad, Pakistan. Additionally, CISF personnel have also been recently deployed to Haiti as part of a Formed Police Unit (FPU) in support of India’s UN peacekeeping commitments.

 

CISF is active in disaster management, and its battalions are a part of the National Disaster Response Force. Furthermore, CISF is also India’s designated “first responder” for nuclear, chemical, biological and natural disasters.

more
Where Does the Money Go:

CISF’s budget has more than tripled since 2000. While inflation and other economic variables play a role, a major factor for the budget increase has been CISF’s rapid expansion. Although neither CISF nor the Home Ministry provides actual breakdowns of the CISF budget, it can be concluded that expansion projects will eat up a significant chunk of the force’s budget. The recommended deployment of CISF at 187 minor ports, requests by private companies for CISF presence, and an increasing internal security role will generate pressure for the expansion of the force. Additionally, CISF is facing a shortage of 10,000 personnel and has decided to ramp up its recruitment. As expected with any force, operating expenses including salaries, equipment, housing, and functioning of training institutes take up most of CISF’s budget.

more
Controversies:

Corruption

Corruption is a systemic problem in India, and the armed forces are not immune from it. In fact, special protection accorded to the military in conjunction with generally lax standards often enable armed forces personnel to engage in illegal behavior, frequently without the threat of conviction. Between 2001 and 2010, more than 260 cases of corruption and sexual harassment were lodged against the CISF. In March 2012, CISF personnel were arrested for their involvement in large-scale opium theft from the Government Opium Alkaloid Works. There were similar reports of CISF personnel asking and receiving bribes. In one instance, a CISF officer demanded bribes from four constables in exchange for accepting their resignations. In March 2012, the All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU) demonstrated in Assam against the killing of a man by CISF. The AICCTU maintains that the agitation occurred because the men refused to pay the bribes demanded by CISF personnel. Apparently, it doesn’t cost all that much to bribe the CISF. The AICCTU Secretary Subhash Sen accused the CISF personnel of corruption and alleges that “the CISF takes regularly Rs. 10 to Rs. 15 as a bribe.”

 

Four Other CISF Cops Arrested In Opium Siphoning Case (by Rajeev Dikshit, Times of India)

CBI Arrests an Inspector of CISF for Accepting a Bribe of Rs. One Lakh (Probe Times)

Bribe For Entry Into Refinery: HC Dismisses Plea Of CISF Man (by Rahul, Lawyers Club India)

CISF Officer Held On Corruption Charges (by Special Correspondent, The Hindu)

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Suggested Reforms:

Focus on Core Role

Armed forces under the Home Ministry, despite their initial mandates and designated roles, are used for a variety of purposes, some of which they are not trained for. The CISF is no different in this regard. The expansion of CISF duties, while beneficial in the short term by providing manpower, has stretched the force too thin with the possibility that performance of its core duties may be compromised. Various proposals have been put forth for the reformation of the central police forces, and by extension, CISF.

 

One of the proposals aims to divide the current seven forces into three, each responsible for either internal security, border security, or infrastructure security. A revamping of this scale will remove CISF’s extraneous duties, such as internal security, natural disaster management, and VIP security, and allow it to focus on infrastructure security. Another proposal calls for the setting up of a separate VIP security force that would remove this burden from CISF as well as other forces that have nothing to do with VIP security.

 

Time to Merge Troops under Home Ministry (by Nitin Pai, Daily News & Analysis)

New Agency Should Handle VIP Security: NSG Chief (Thaindian News)

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Debate:

Armed Forces Special Protection Act (AFPSA)

On January 2, 2012, CISF personnel fired at a group of demonstrators in Boniyar, Jammu & Kashmir protesting power cuts at the NHPC plant, a facility under CISF protection. An 18-year-old student named Altaf Ahmad was hit and died of gunshot wounds. The killing triggered a wave of protests and demands that the responsible personnel be tried and held accountable. In the wake of the protests and demands for trial, CISF personnel involved in the shooting were arrested by State Police. In response, CISF invoked the AFSPA and subsequent immunity. Opponents, however, believe that given CISF’s role, the involved personnel are not eligible for AFSPA.

 

AFSPA Applies to CISF

The CISF and the Indian government advocate this position. They point to the fact that Kashmir is a “disturbed area,” and as a result armed forces involved in internal security duties have AFSPA cover. Additionally, the Indian government has pointed out that “the area where the incident took place is a banned area.” (This isn’t really accurate. Banned areas are places where insurgency is ongoing. This would be a restricted area, where a government installation is located.)  CISF also mentioned state police forces need central government permission before arresting members of an armed force under central government control. 

 

In March 2012, the All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU) demonstrated in Assam against the killing of a man by CISF. AICCTU maintains that the agitation occurred because the men refused to pay the bribes demanded by the involved CISF personnel. 

 

AFSPA Does Not Apply to CISF

This position is advocated by Omar Abdullah, chief minister of Jammu & Kashmir, and a strong opponent of the AFSPA. Abdullah criticized the killing as “excessive” and “inexcusable” and pointed out that despite Kashmir being a “disturbed area,” AFSPA does not apply to CISF since CISF personnel were involved in infrastructure protection duties and were not on a “counter-insurgency deployment.” He stated that “Central Industrial Security Forces (CISF), whose troopers opened the fire, are not a part of the CI (counterinsurgency) grid operating in Jammu and Kashmir and have been hired by the NHPC (National Hydroelectric Power Corporation) exclusively for the security of their installations across the state, and are not under the operational command of either the unified headquarters or the state government.” Additionally, Public Prosecutor Shahid Ali Shah argued that CISF actions were not official in nature since there was no “reasonable connection between the act complained of and discharge of the official duties.”

 

Background

CISF Invokes AFSPA in Boniyar Killing (by Umer Maqbool, Greater Kashmir)

CISF Men Charged for Boniyar Killing (by Umer Maqbool, Greater Kashmir)

‘No AFSPA Cover for Arrested CISF Troops’ (Times of India)

No AFSPA Protection for Arrested CISF Men: Omar (Hindustan Times)

CISF and Police Fight in Court over Death of Jammu and Kashmir Teenager (by Aman Sharma, India Today)

CISF Firing Unwarranted and Inexcusable: Omar Abdullah (by Masood Hussain, Economic Times)

‘Govt Sanction Not Required for Trial’ (by Altaf Baba, Greater Kashmir)

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Former Directors:

Niraj Ranjan Das

Niraj Ranjan Das served as director general of CISF from November 2008 to January 2012.

 

After completing postgraduate studies in political science at the Delhi University, he became a 1973 batch West Bengal cadre IPS officer.

 

He started his police career in West Bengal. His roles included SDPO, Bishnupur, Addl.SP-South Industrial 24 Paraganas and Inspector General of North Bengal and South Bengal. He also served in Orissa as SP Behrampur, SP vigilance (Cuttak division) and DIG Vigilance Orissa.

 

Prior to his appointment as director general of CISF, he was on deputation to central government for more than 16 years, 14 of which were spent at CISF. He served as the additional director general (East Zone) for the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) when he was selected to be CISF’s director general.

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Founded: 1969
Annual Budget: Rs. 3564.01 crore ($700.6 million) (2012-2013)
Employees: 130,155
Official Website: http://cisf.gov.in/
Central Industrial Security Force
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