Indian security firms: IPL could have been held in India

Published 25 March 2009

Cricket is near religion in India, but fear of terrorist attacks forced the organizers of the high profile Indian Premier League (IPL) to shift the competition from India to South Africa (this is like moving NFL games to, say, Bulgaria); a coalition of Indian private security firms says the move was unnecessary

They love cricket in India, but the risk of terrorist attacks — vividly demonstrated in the attack by Pakistani Islamists on the Bangla Desh cricket team two weeks ago — has forced to organizers of the high profile Indian Premier League (IPL) to shift the competition from India to South Africa.

Not everyone thinks it was necessary to do so. Indian private security providers claim the tournament could have been held in India if the organizers had utilized the vast pool of their trained personnel. The central organization of such firms had written to IPL chairman Lalit Modi in this regard, offering several additional services including assistance in internal and external intelligence gathering.

In such events, at least 80 percent of the security arrangement is already being provided by private security agencies. And for IPL, we could have played a larger role as the government cannot spare much resources due to elections,” Kr Vikram Singh, chairman of India’s Central Association of Private Security Industry, said.

There are more than 50 lakh (lakh is a unit of the Indian numbering system equal to 100,000; 50 lakh thus equals 5 million) trained private security personnel available in the country. This pool also include armed security guards, who are basically ex-servicemen and well-versed in handling different weapons, he said.
These agencies also offer a large pool of private intelligence personnel, who, they claim, can assist in gathering internal and external intelligence to abort any kind of threat in time. “Intelligence is the key of security and we have a huge pool of officers trained for gathering and analysis of intelligence inputs,” Singh said.