Internal Security Challenges Discussed at Annual Police Conference

The annual police conference organised by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) for the year 2022 will be held in Delhi from January 20-22. Like the eight such conferences in the past, which are attended by top police officers of the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be attending all the sessions at the three-day conference. The Directors-General of Police of all States and the Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) will participate in the conference.

Format of the Conference

  • Since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government came to power in 2014, a conscious decision was taken to organise the conference outside the national capital. This is the first time the conference will be held at the Pusa Institute in Delhi.
  • The last conferences were held in Guwahati, Rann of Kutch (Gujarat), Hyderabad, Tekanpur, Kevadia (Gujarat), Pune and Lucknow. Over the years, the format of the conference has undergone significant changes with various core groups comprising police officers holding discussions on key internal security issues in the run-up to the conference. In 2021, the officers were requested to submit papers on contemporary security issues to be discussed at the conference.

Chinese Influence in India

  • Chinese commercial entities in India being used by the neighbouring country to collect personal data to gain “economic control” and “influence minds” is among the key topics to be discussed at the ongoing annual police conference in Delhi, according to a senior government official.
  • According to the official, sustained investigation by the intelligence agencies since 2020 has revealed a “disturbing picture” of the role of Chinese commercial entities in India. The investigation began after the June 15, 2020, incident in Ladakh’s Galwan where 20 Indian soldiers were killed in violent clashes with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
  • The topic “managing influence of Chinese commercial entities” is expected to be discussed threadbare on January 22. The assessment by agencies found that the commercial entities operate in India with five primary objectives — influencing minds, build economic control, acquisition of data, for espionage and to target scientists to compromise innovation and intellectual property rights (IPRs), a preliminary paper prepared on the topic said.
  • It said the objective of counterintelligence is pursued through top officials of Chinese companies in India, adding that small-size shell companies were also used as financial conduits to fund espionage rings and resident agents.

Countering Chinese Influence

  • The Intelligence Bureau created a new wing — China Coordination Centre — to collaborate with financial enforcement agencies to investigate Chinese companies. “Chinese Influence in the neighbourhood and implications for India” is another key topic listed for discussion at the conference.
  • The assessment found that the border tensions propelled by China were aimed “to keep India constrained and occupied in facing the resultant challenges” and “force resolution of bilateral issues on its own terms.” It said that India needs to use its soft power in terms of culture, tradition, religion, and language to counter the growing influence of China.

Strategies to Deal with Mass Agitations

  • The officers at the conference will discuss “Evolving strategies to deal with mass agitations: Including countering online mobilization of crowds and the use of social media platforms”.
  • This topic is particularly relevant in the current scenario as mass agitations and protests have become a common occurrence in the country. The conference will also discuss ways to counter the use of social media platforms to mobilize crowds and incite violence.

Synopsis

The annual police conference organised by the Intelligence Bureau is a crucial event in the field of internal security and policing. It provides an opportunity for the government, intelligence agencies, and the police force to come together and discuss the challenges and opportunities in maintaining internal security. The conference is an important platform for decision-making and policy formulation, and for sharing knowledge, expertise, and best practices among the police officers and other stakeholders involved in the maintenance of internal security.

Written by IAS POINT

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