Maharashtra government has enacted a stringent law — Maharashtra Protection of Internal Security Act — to deal with the challenges of terrorism, insurgency, communalism and caste violence.
MPISA -Maharashtra Protection of Internal Security Act, A new internal security Act, envisaged by the state’s police department, is expected to put this in black and white, thereby bridging the gap and plugging loopholes in the existing security arrangements. It is noted that Maharashtra is the first state in the country to have its own internal security Act.
- The draft covers various aspects including security of government and non-government establishments, coastal security, security audits, and target hardening.
- The department has already presented the 50-page draft before the state government. Also, the Home department is keen on successful implementation of this Act and has listed it under its ‘key result area‘.
- This Act will help the state deal with internal security in a comprehensive manner.
- The draft speaks of Standard Operating Procedures in case of an emergency and what roles stakeholders would play, in an elaborated manner. It also recommends that ‘internal security’ be made part of curriculum in schools and colleges to make youth aware of the possible threats.
- It is noted that Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), 1999 had helped state combat underworld dons and terror groups. MCOCA, with stringent provisions, came down heavily on those associated with organised crime syndicate and terror.
Internal Security Act :-
Maharashtra Govt. has proposed setting up of Special Security Zones (SSZ) where the movement of arms, explosives and inflow of unaccounted funds will be prohibited.
- Sectors like dams, defense institute bases, government facilities, nuclear reactors and transportation systems have been identified as Critical Infrastructure Sectors. The government has proposed strengthening of security of these sectors.
- The act entrusts the responsibility on the director general of police to draw an internal security scheme for the entire state and sub-schemes for districts and urban areas.
- The act has a provision for a jail term of up to three years and fine for those threatening the State’s security.
- As per this act, the police chief will have powers to ban or regulate the production, sale, storage, possession, or entry of any devices or equipment or poisonous chemical, biological or radioactive article or substances, or electronic content of potentially explosive nature or any inflow of funds.
- The Act also proposes to set up a State Internal Security Committee that consists of the Home Minister as Ex-officio Chairman and includes Minister of State (Home), the Chief Secretary, Additional Chief Secretary (Home), Director General of Police, Commissioner of Police, Mumbai and Commissioner State Intelligence Department.
- It will be the responsibility of the committee to frame guidelines to deal with challenges to internal security, to examine and discuss emerging intelligence inputs pertaining to challenges to the maintenance of internal security, to ensure that necessary resources are marshaled without any loss of time and made available to authorities concerned.