New Delhi, Sept 16: India is likely to set up Integrated Law Enforcement Centres (ILEC) in a bid to check and investigate the increasing cases of border crimes that have a direct impact on the national security. If reports are to be believed, the ILECs will consist of officials from Customs, NIA, NCB, DRI, local police, Enforcement Directorate, anti-trafficking cells, Intelligence Bureau, FSL, Special Bureau (RAW) etc.

Notably, Home Minister Rajnath Singh has set up a five-member committee to speed up the implementation of the proposal of setting up of ILECs. However, as the law and order is a state subject, it will be interesting to see what role they play in setting up of the ILECs.

As per a report by senior IPS officer Santosh Mehra, who is currently serving as IGP (Personnel) with the BSF, the existing arrangements that are in place to put a control over cross-border crimes are not adequate enough. The report further says that India’s border management lacks strategic thinking. India’s border with Bangladesh runs 4,096 km and it is 3,323 km with Pakistan. The country also shares 1,751 km border with Nepal and 1,643 km border with Myanmar. The report also claimed that the India-Bangladesh border is more porous than the Indo-Pak border.

What is the need of ICELs?

The borders of India are guarded by the Border Security Force (BSF), Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) however, they have a limited role to play in controlling and tracking the cross border crimes which include smuggling of arms and ammunition, trafficking in fake currency, narcotics, endangered species, cattle among other things. As per a report in The New Indian Express, the ICELs will be stationed at Land Port Authorities of India-established existing and proposed Integration Check Posts (ICPs). At these centres, all types of cross-border crimes will be registered and investigated.

Notably, the Centre, as per the 11th Five-year Plan, has taken up the task of setting up integrated check posts at 13 locations at Indian borders and some of them have been operationalised as well.

Other countries that have arrangement for border management

USA: In the US, the 9/11 attack led to the formation of the Department of Homeland Security. It focused only on the management of land and coastal borders and involved the merger of 22 agencies.

European Union: The external border management of the European Union is being taken care by Frontex.

Canada: The border management in Canada is looked after the Border Services Agency which was formed by the amalgamation of the components of Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, Citizenship and Immigration Canada,among others.