The government is planning to raise a new police force exclusively to guard India’s 7,000km-long coastline, which is porous and has allowed terrorists to cause mayhem on the mainland as was done during the 2008 Mumbai terror attack.
According to the home ministry, the force would be under the control of the central government and named Coastal Border Police Force.
“The proposal to raise the new force was discussed at a meeting called for review of all issues of all central paramilitary forces,” a home ministry spokesman said on Thursday after the meeting.
At present, the Indian Navy is responsible for maritime security while the Coast Guard secures territorial waters.
Surrounded by water on three sides, India doesn’t have a force to guard its coastline.
This vulnerability was exploited when 10 Pakistani Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists took the sea route to Mumbai and held India’s financial capital hostage for three days, killing 164 people.
In 1993, arms and explosives for the Mumbai serial blasts, too, were came through sea.
After the 2008 Mumbai attack, more than 170 coastal police stations have come up, equipped with boats, cars and motorcycles to guard the coastline.
The proposal for the coastal force was still at an early stage and was being worked on, a home ministry official, who attended the meeting chaired by minister Rajnath Singh, said.
“Half of the officer cadre of the new force will drawn from the India Police Service and the rest will initially come from other paramilitary forces on deputation,” the official said.
Terror is not the only concern. Several vital installations such as Kalpakkam atomic power station in Tamil Nadu and oil rigs, were built along the coastline. The new force would help guard them better, he said.