The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), an armed police force under the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), has assumed control of the security at Kot Bhalwal jail in Jammu. This high-security Central jail, which houses over 900 prisoners, including foreign nationals, was previously under the protection of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). The transfer of security responsibilities took place on October 20, with approximately 260 CISF personnel, led by a Deputy Commandant rank officer, now responsible for both inner and outer security at the facility.
This move had been anticipated, as it was reported by ANI on October 18 that the CISF would take over security at the Central jail. The decision to transfer security authority from the CRPF to the CISF was made by the MHA on October 13. Kot Bhalwal jail is the second prison in Jammu and Kashmir to be secured by the CISF, a paramilitary force with nearly 175,000 personnel. Earlier, on October 3, the CISF had assumed security responsibilities for Srinagar jail following an MHA order issued on September 22.
CISF Deputy Inspector General (Operations) Shrikant Kishore confirmed the transition, stating that the CISF personnel are responsible for round-the-clock security at both the inner and outer perimeters of Kot Bhalwal jail, which is one of the two high-security Central jails in Jammu and Kashmir. These jails house a significant number of dangerous terrorists and notorious criminals. Kot Bhalwal jail alone contains over 900 prisoners, including 17 foreign nationals.
Jammu and Kashmir has a total of 13 different types of jails, including two Central jails at Kot Bhalwal and Srinagar, eight district jails, and three sub-jails. The combined capacity of these facilities is 2,775 prisoners.
By taking over security responsibilities for Kot Bhalwal Central jail, the CISF has added this sensitive establishment to its list of critical infrastructure facilities, which includes nuclear installations, space establishments, seaports, power plants, and other important sites protected by the CISF. The CISF is responsible for security at 67 airports, the Delhi Metro, key government buildings, and iconic heritage monuments. Additionally, it has a specialized VIP Security unit that provides round-the-clock protection to important individuals. Following the Mumbai terror attack in November 2008, the CISF’s mandate was expanded to provide security for private corporate establishments as well.
Established in 1969 with just three battalions, the CISF has since evolved into a multi-skilled organization with a current strength of 171,635 personnel. The CISF provides security coverage for 358 establishments across the country and operates a dedicated Fire Wing that serves 104 of these establishments.