Special force for marine security in state soon

In view of the lack of expertise in marine policing, Gujarat Police has decided to directly recruit specially trained personnel in the marine police force. The new recruits will be specially trained by the Coast Guard and the Navy.

Senior officers in the state police recently took this decision following an advice by the state Intelligence Bureau to intensify marine policing in Gujarat, which has a 1,600 km long coastline vulnerable to terrorist attacks.

Director General of Police S S Khandwawala told The Indian Express that the policemen at present posted in the marine police stations are not trained for the job.

"The marine police stations have personnel from the state police, who have not undergone any specialised training for coastal duty. We need to completely revive marine policing in Gujarat. We have decided to start recruiting specialised marine police officers," said Khandwawala.

He said candidates will need to have a thorough knowledge of swimming and diving, and also be able to adjust to the needs of the coastal climate and challenges of coastal policing.

"Besides the basic training at the Police Training Academy, the new recruits will be first trained by the Coast Guards and then by the Navy. We have spoken to the Navy to give specialised training in sea patrol, handling terror attacks and other emergency situations. After undergoing this training, the policemen will be deputed at the marine police stations and will continue to work as marine policemen," he added.

DIG (Intelligence) S G Bhati said: "At present, the Coast Guard provides training to the policemen, which is usually of 15 days. A specialised training by the Navy is now required."

About 300 personnel will be directly recruited to the marine police force in the rank of constables and assistant sub-inspectors. The higher-rank recruitment will follow. The practice of deploying state police personnel in the marine police stations will be discontinued. Ten marine police stations were set up in the state four years ago, which remained non-functional. The state government later demanded 12 more marine police stations. The request is still pending with the Centre.

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