Maharashtra would soon have a special state security force on the lines of the Central Industrial Security Force following demands from various organisations after the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008. A bill in this regard was recently passed in the state legislature even as opposition members objected to many of its provisions.
The bill was drafted after the centre's suggestion to the state government to consider raising the state's own industrial security force to share the burden of the Central Industrial Security Force and ensure proper security arrangements for private and public sector industries, Minister of State for Home Ramesh Bagwe said. The centre has amended the CISF Act 1968, so as to make available security services to private and joint venture industrial undertakings. The approval to the bill would enable the state government to have its own force.
"There is a huge demand for security by private installations like malls, multiplexes, power stations and religious places. However, police force cannot fulfil the need and hence the special force would do the job," an official from the home department said. The government will impart training to the security force personnel in dealing with situation in the wake of threats from terrorist organisations, anti-social elements and the underworld, the official said. The private installations will have to pay for the service, he added.
Initially, the Home department is planning to recruit about 5,000 personnel for the job and depending on the demands further recruitment will be done, he said. The security force personnel will also have powers like the police to arrest a person involved in anti-social activities, he said, adding the force will be set up under Maharashtra State Special Security Corporation. However, Shiv Sena MLC Diwakar Raote claimed that the new force would discourage morale of the police. Opposition Sena-BJP members in the Legislative Council staged a walkout in the House while discussing the Bill and the government approved it in their absence. "Is the government trying to say that police are not doing their work properly ? What is the need of the new force when we are already dealing with problems related to the police," Raote said.