CISF's 9-month-old security units in 2 J-K jails await formal sanction

The force had taken over the security of the Srinagar central jail in Kashmir and the Kot Bhalwal jail in Jammu in October 2023 with a combined manpower of about 500 personnel on an "internal security duty" pattern by replacing the CRPF.
Representational image of CISF personnel standing guard at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi.
Representational image of CISF personnel standing guard at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi. (File Photo | Shekhar Yadav, EPS)

NEW DELHI: The CISF's security units deployed at two highly sensitive prisons in Jammu and Kashmir are yet to receive formal sanction even after nine months of their deployment, leading to a number of logistical and administrative issues for the paramilitary force, official sources said.

The force had taken over the security of the Srinagar central jail in Kashmir and the Kot Bhalwal jail in Jammu in October 2023 with a combined manpower of about 500 personnel on an "internal security duty" pattern by replacing the CRPF.

This change came about after it was felt that a force well versed in campus security and access-control should be entrusted with the security of these two prisons which house a number of terrorists and other hard criminals.

However, officials told PTI, the deployment last year was made on a temporary basis and the two separate Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) units are waiting for a formal sanction to be categorised as regular units.

An "internal security duty" pattern is a temporary arrangement for quick deployment of manpower.

Such a deployment of security personnel needs to be regularised by an official sanction by the Union home ministry, they said.

The temporary category of deployment leads to a lot of problems in personnel issues like the troops do not get regular house rent allowance (HRA) and linked benefits as financial sanctions are made on an ad-hoc basis.

A regular sanction to a CISF unit leads to better financial planning and personnel management, the officials said.

A senior Union home ministry official said a formal sanction for the two CISF jail units in Jammu amd Kashmir will be issued soon.

The units are functioning with all the required gadgets and security paraphernalia, he said.

The CISF security unit deployed at the newly inaugurated Ayodhya airport in Uttar Pradesh was also given a formal sanction after about two months of its deployment while the Parliament house complex security wing is also being notified as a regular unit by the Lok Sabha Secretariat, the officer said.

The two jails house an estimated 1,400-1,500 inmates with about 900 lodged in the Kot Bhalwal jail of Jammu.

The Union government is also working on a plan to hand over the security of more such "hyper sensitive" central jails to the CISF as and when the required manpower is available, a senior force officer said.

The 1969 raised force with about 1. 7 lakh personnel in its ranks is primarily tasked to guard 68 civil airports in the country at present apart from sensitive installations in the aerospace and nuclear domain.

It was recently given the task to guard the Parliament building complex in Delhi by replacing the CRPF and the Delhi Police.

The Union home ministry has recently sanctioned a manpower of 230 personnel to take over security of the Vijaywada airport in Andhra Pradesh next month apart from an additional strength of 222 CISF personnel for the soon-to-be operational new terminal of the Pune airport in Maharashtra.

Representational image of CISF personnel standing guard at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi.
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