Maharashtra to have own law for internal security

The newly drafted Maharashtra Protection of Internal Security Act (MPISA) has proposed setting up of Special Security Zones (SSZ) where movement of arms, explosives and inflow of unaccounted funds will be prohibited. The government made public the draft MPISA, 2016, defining Critical Infrastructure Sectors (CIS), and bringing nuclear reactors, dams, major projects, coastal areas under its ambit, with an emphasis on maintaining law and order and combating terrorism, insurgency, caste-related violence and communalism.

Senior officials of the State home department said that the government would seek public responses to the MPISA, asking for suggestions and objections before the Bill is presented to the legislature for approval. The draft has a provision for a jail term of up to three years and fine for those threatening the State’s security.

The act has also clearly defined the SSZs as having a separate police infrastructure. The zones will also have a command and control system, and separate Standard Operating Procedures (SoP) to be followed by the SSZ police, the draft act reads.
Maharashtra is the first State in the country to draft its own internal security act.

The draft act says 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 has defined internal security as a situation ‘posing threat to state within its borders, either caused or provoked, prompted, or proxied by a hostile foreign power, perpetrated even by such groups that use a failed, failing or weak hostile foreign power, causing insurgency, terrorism or any other subversive act targeting innocent citizens, causing animosity between groups, violence, destroy, or attempt to destroy public and private establishments.” Senior officials said the act has provisions to control by way of CCTV cameras access points to important establishments.