India is S set to get its first national marine police academy
in Gujarat. The state government is in talks with the Centre, besides the navy
and the coast guard, for this.
The academy will provide a coastal safety force from the
current pool of police officers and will also educate fisher folk in
identifying threats in their localities and working in tandem with the security
MPs from the state and the government had requested
permission from the Union home ministry to set up a marine police academy,
considering Gujarat has a 1,600 km coastline — the longest in India.
The home ministry has shown keen interest in the proposal
and is currently considering it.
The state government has already set up two marine commando
units, besides 10 marine police stations at Jamnagar, Porbandar, Surat and
other coastal districts.
A home ministry official said: “ We have approved a grant
for 12 (in addition of the existing 10) police stations at various coastal
locations. Also, 31 mechanised 12- tonne boats have been sanctioned for the
state.” On the police academy, the official said: “ Gujarat desperately needs a
marine police academy to develop a force which is capable of guarding the
coastal areas of the state and the nation.
At present, no such manpower is available anywhere in India
except with the navy.” The source added: “The academy will not only train
police officers but also the technical staff, who will be taught all about boat
operations and maintenance, using and maintaining surveillance equipment, etc.
The academy will also train the local fishing community,
which can help keep an eye out for suspicious activities in the sea or on the
coastline.” The need for such an institution was highlighted after the 26/ 11
attack in 2008. The 10 terrorists had come via the Gujarat coast in a boat from
They had reached Mumbai after looting the fishing boat, MV
Kuber, near Porbandar. Besides, the Gujarat coast was also used for smuggling
weapons used in the 1993 Mumbai blasts.