Rs 13.35 cr prog to train judicial officers, police in cyber crime

Government is embarking on an ambitious Rs 13.35 crore programme to train around 37,500 policemen and judicial officers in cyber crime in next two years to strengthen the investigation and prosecution mechanism as well as preventing such incidents.

Under the programme, 27,500 police personnel and 10,000 judicial officers and prosecutors will be trained in working of cyber domain, modus operandi of cyber criminals, basic understanding of evidences associated with such crimes, legal provisions, cyber crime identification, crime scene management and investigation procedures.

Of the 27,500 police personnel, at least 2,500 will be chosen from women Station House Officers (SHOs) across the country as they would be the first to inteact with victims and record their complaints. Of the 17,500 officers, states can add more women police officers for the training programme.

A senior Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) official told DH that the programme is being rolled out as the government feels that the understanding on cyber crimes cannot be limited to a few specialist investigative officers, as increasing use of internet and social media has resulted in a “plethora of varied crimes being committed in the cyber domain”.

The training is part of Cyber Crime Prevention Against Women and Children scheme under Nirbhaya Fund.

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Training programme for police personnel in cyber crime

3 day

(Police)

Any gender

3 day

(Police)

Women

3 day

(Prosecutors)

3 day

(Judges)

5 day

(Police)

Any gender

5 day

(Police)

Women

Tamil Nadu

1500

150

300

300

910

40

Uttar Pradesh

1400

140

600

600

910

40

Maharashtra

1100

110

600

600

630

20

Andhra Pradesh

1000

100

125

125

630

20

Bihar

1000

100

200

200

650

50

MP

Karnataka

1000

900

100

90

350

300

350

300

630

630

20

20

All India

15000

2000

5000

5000

10000

500

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The unveiling of the training programme comes weeks after the MHA asked states to set up systems to monitor “deep web” which is often used for planning and execution by cyber criminals. Its advisory on cyber crime prevention and control to the states has insisted on the need for gearing up institutional mechanism to tackle cyber crimes, which pose “technical, administrative as well as legal challenges” in investigations.

Three training modules have been designed. Two sepearate three-day programme has been devised for police personnel 17,000 personnel that includes at least 2,000 police women, who receive the complaints, and judicial officers. A five-day programme for 10,500 above the rank of Sub Inspector, including at least 500 women, for those investigate these cases.

An MHA concept note shared with states said that most of the crimes now have an element of misuse of computers, smart-phones and communication networks and these technologies are being used by criminals in committing conventional crimes.

There is a need to evaluate electronic evidences for nailing culprits and the training is aimed at enabling investigators to extract legally tenable evidences for securing conviction in courts.

(An edited version appeared in Deccan Herald on Feb 14, 2018)

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CPI(M) draft against Cong alliance, open to alliance with reg parties

The CPI(M) unveiled its draft political resolution on Tuesday ruling out an electoral understanding or alliance with Congress or be part of any national coalition for the Lok Sabha polls while keeping open options to have ties with regional parties in states.

The battle within the party is now moving to another level with warring factions led by General Secretary Sitaram Yechury and his predecessor Prakash Karat trying to consolidate their position before the Hyderabad Party Congress in April.

Supporters of Yechury is planning to use the two-month window to move amendments in the Party Congress to keep options open to have an electoral understanding with Rahul Gandhi-led Congress though Karat faction had managed to trounce their efforts in the Central Committee meeting last month, which finalised the draft.

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** Modi Govt has led to the onset of a right-wing authoritarian-communal regime

** BJP, run and controlled by the fascistic RSS, has consolidated its political position.

** However, there are signs of growing popular discontent

** Modi Govt has brought Indian economy to the brink of a crisis

** Utilising state power, BJP-RSS combine has spread its organisation and influence all over India

** Imperative to defeat BJP govt to isolate Hindutva communal forces and reverse anti-people economic policies

** Congress incapable of consistently fighting communal forces, follows neo-liberal policies

** Cannot have tactical line which treats them as allies or partners in a united front

** But, BJP and Congress not equal dangers

** State-specific alliance with regional parties, no national alliance

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Acknowledging that the “fascistic” RSS-controlled BJP has “consolidated its political position” in the country and that “there cannot be a line of treating both BJP and Congress as equal dangers”, it said the main task is to defeat BJP and its allies by rallying all secular and democratic forces. However, the CPI(M) feels that “this has to be done without having an understanding or electoral alliance with the Congress”.

Though it ranks Congress better than BJP as both are parties of “big bourgeois-landlord classes”, the CPI(M) draft questions Congress’ secular credentials too, saying it “professes to be secular but it has proved to be incapable of consistently fighting the communal forces”. Another problem cited is Congress neo-liberal economic policies for its anathema to the Grand Old Party.

However, it is ready to cooperate with Congress and other opposition parties in Parliament on “agreed issues”. It would also cooperate with “all secular opposition forces” for a broad mobilisation of people against communal threat and wants joint actions of class and mass organisations, to “draw in the masses following Congress and other bourgeois parties”.

While emphasising the need for “appropriate electoral tactics to maximise the pooling of the anti-BJP votes”, it is an “Ekla Chalo” (walk alone) policy when it comes to alliance at national level where it will ally with only Left parties. It is ready for alliance with “specific” regional parties in states, which are not with BJP, but rules out any national-level alliance with them, virtually ruling out its participation in any efforts to have a united opposition taking on BJP.

(An edited version appeared in Deccan Herald on Feb 14, 2018)

Rs 1344 crore earmarked for fighting naxals

The government has earmarked Rs 1,344 crore for fighting naxals across the country and reaching out to people in Maoist-infested districts with development projects.

The bulk of the allocation, which is detailed in a Budget document ‘Output-Outcome Frame Work for Schemes 2018-19’, goes to projects proposed by states in 35 worst naxal-infested districts.

The budgetary allocation for Special Central Assistance for these districts is Rs 1,000 crore. Under this, funds would be provided to these districts in seven naxal-affected states in advance — Rs 28.57 crore per district per annum for three years — for undertaking the projects.

A senior official in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said this scheme is aimed at providing public infrastructure and services like school buildings, anganwadi centres, primary health centres, drinking water supply, village roads and furniture in schools. According to the document, this will help in filling critical gaps of emergent nature not covered under any development scheme.

“The government’s policy is multi-prong. Force alone would not help in tackling Maoist menace. We need to bring the fruits of development to these areas so that people can stand up to the ultras,” the official told DH.

Another Rs 200 crore is allocated for Security Related Expenditure (SRE) scheme. This amount would be spent on paying ex gratia to families of civilians and personnel killed in naxal violence, insurance premium of police, training and operational requirements, compensation for surrendered Maoists, security related infrastructure and other expenses of village defence committees.

The scheme is expected to reduce naxal violence and number of attacks on security personnel deployed in such areas. Last year witnessed the Maoists violence remaining below 1,000-mark for the first time in eight years but number of security personnel getting killed in action had recorded a rise.

Securing police stations also have got priority with the allocation of Rs 94 crore given under Special Infrastructure Scheme (SIS) for construction of 250 fortified police station. This would help in filling critical infrastructure relating to mobility of security forces and secure camping grounds and helipads in remote areas.

(An edited version appeared in Deccan Herald on Feb 12)

Sep IPC section needed to deal with crime against journos: MP

Concerned over the attacks on journalists and police failing to catch culprits, a Trinamool Congress MP will move a private resolution in Rajya Sabha on Friday seeking a separate section in Indian Penal Code dealing with offences against media persons.

Referring to the murder of Gauri Lankesh in Bengaluru last September, journalist-turned MP Vivek Gupta said in his private member resolution that cases of work related threats and violence against journalists are increasing. He also demanded a CBI probe into the murder of Lankesh, who was an outspoken critic of Hindutva forces.

Gupta said there is no umbrella scheme for the protection of security of journalists and media community while seeking a nationwide survey to get an actual estimate of number of journalists facing work-relate threats to formulate a protection plan and welfare for them. Another suggestion from the MP was setting up of a toll-free number so that journalists can contact police in case of emergency.

Quoting a report of Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the resolution said, “not a single case of journalist’s murder was solved in India over the past decade and 96% of cases of attack on media personnel remained unresolved since 1992.

Noting that the country ranks 136 out of 192 countries in 2017 on World Press Freedom Index released by Reporters Without Borders, the resolution said, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) database records only those cases of attacks on media persons where there is ‘grievous hurt of varying degrees’ but does not include murder of journalists resulting in under-reporting of cases. The number of journalists facing work related threats is “grossly under estimated” due to less reporting of such cases, it said.

The official statistics itself suggest 142 attacks against journalists for grievous hurt between 2014 and 2015. However, only 73 people were arrested in these cases.

“There in disparity across the states between the registered cases of attack on the media personnel and the number of persons arrested for these attacks, for instance, Uttar Pradesh registered highest number of such cases (64), but only 4 persons were arrested….whereas in 26 cases of attack on journalists which were registered in Madhya Pradesh, 42 persons were arrested. The conviction rate of the persons arrested for crimes against journalists is even lower than the arrests,” the resolution said.

(An edited version appeared in Deccan Herald on Feb 8, 2018)

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