New Delhi: In a sudden reversal of stand, Defence forces have been allowed by the government to procure jammers for operational use under a new policy aimed at checking random proliferation of jammers.
Defence forces, who were last month excluded from the list of agencies eligible to procure jammers, have now been included, in addition to Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) like Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).
"Jammers can be procured only by Defence Forces, CAPFs, state police and jail authorities," the revised policy issued by the Cabinet Secretariat said.
Defence forces use jammers along the international border and Line of Control (LoC) to block wireless and telecom signals to check infiltration from across the border.
The new policy surprisingly excludes both internal and external intelligence agencies--Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Research and Analysis Wing (RAW)--from procuring jammers.
However, central armed police forces fighting militancy in Jammu and Kashmir, naxalism in some states, and insurgency in north eastern states have, for the first, time been allowed to procure jammers.
Jammers can be bought only by states' police department, jail authorities, and central government's security agencies like RAW and IB, as per the old policy.
The Cabinet Secretariat has evolved norms for procurement and use of jammers by states, union territories, defence forces and central police organisations.
"Private sector organisations and or private individuals cannot procure or use jammers in India. These norms take into account the need to guard against random proliferation of jammers as well as to ensure that jammers installed do not unduly interfere with the existing mobile phone networks," the new norms said.