Birth and Development of IISSM (1978-1996)
It all started during early 1978. On a sunny morning either of January last week or February first week, my telephone started ringing. At that time I was sitting in the sunny lawns of my Patna house, completing some article which was to be sent to “Dharamyug,” Mumbai, the same evening to catch the dateline. During those days, I was practically jobless, as I was unceremoniously removed from the service by the management of “Pradeep” and “Searchlight” (a Hindustan Times Group Publication) where I was a special correspondent, for my frank and fearless writing in favour of JP movement and against imposing of emergency by Smt. Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India.
Remaining one full year and half during 1970-71 as a War Correspondent during Bangladesh Liberation War came as a saviour to me and I had started a small firm for providing ex-servicemen re-employment as security guards and also to do some intelligence / investigation work for the corporate world. Besides, I was continuing to be a freelance journalist and a number of newspapers and magazines including “Dharamyug” from Mumbai, “Maya” from Allahabad and “Sandesh” from Ahmadabad used to carry my articles regularly.
I was almost finishing the cover story for “Dharamyug” when my telephone again started ringing. My wife came outside and told me that some Henry from Mumbai was on line. I picked up the phone. The person who was calling was Mr. Henry Bawa, Managing Director of Little More Services, Mumbai, which was India’s No.1 private investigating agency of the time. I had heard about him. I was wondering how he came to know about me. After brief introduction, he told me “Mr. Sinha, I have some part investigation to be done in Kolkata. I tried to find a suitable investigator in Kolkata, but could not succeed. Mr. D.G. Bhattacharyya, Ex-Director General of West Bengal Police and Managing Director of Security and Detective Bureau, has highly recommended your name for the job; as such I am contacting you. The job is lucrative. I pay you `5000/- per day plus all expenses on airfare, hotel, taxi, entertainment, etc. But, you have to camp at Kolkata till the work is finished and you have to give me telephonic report everyday.”
After finishing “Dharamyug” cover story, I had no important assignment in hand. So, I readily agreed and caught the next flight to Mumbai and reached Santacruz Airport. Mr. Henry Bawa smartly dressed in suit & bow was standing personally to receive me. He drove me himself in his large Impala car to his Cuff Parade office. He briefed me about the assignment, told me what precisely he wanted, took me out for lunch and after lunch, gave me Rs.20000/- and air-ticket for Kolkata. I reached Kolkata and completed the part assignment in precisely 3-days’ time, went back to Mumbai for giving the report with documentary proof. He gave me Rs.50000/- as my professional fees over and above my daily allowances which he had fixed. That was a lot of money for me at that time.
Later on, I came to know that the part investigation was related to “Emperor Ashoka” crash in Arabian Sea on the coast of Bandra, Mumbai on January 1, 1978, for which Mr. Bawa was defending Boeing Corporation, who were paying Mr. Bawa several thousands of US Dollars per day. On my report, Bawa established that the pilot of the flight was in disturbed state of mind and had consumed a few peg of alcoholic drink before taking off the flight and there was no technical fault in the Boeing 747. It was also proved that he was undergoing treatment for alcoholism at a reputed Kolkata hospital which was conclusively proved by the documentary evidence. On the basis of these evidence, U.S. Federal District Judge James M. Fitzgerald, in a 139-page decision issued in November 1985, rejected charges of negligence against the Boeing Company, Lear Siegler Inc, and the Collins Division of Rockwell International Corporation, in a suit related to the crash.
Now I had become a permanent associate of Mr. Henry Bawa and he used to train me, guide me, and give me a number of assignments for not only Eastern India but also for various other metropolitan cities of India like Delhi, Mumbai and Madras (Chennai).
On 24th September, 1981, the Department of Labour, Government of Maharashtra issued an ordinance banning private security agencies to operate in Maharashtra by “The Maharashtra Private Security Guards (Regulation of Employment and Welfare) Act, 1981.” Some agencies were given exemption on certain conditions. Mr. Henry Bawa who was the then Chairman of Security Association of India, challenged the government decision in Mumbai High Court. We all security operators from all over India supported him morally and financially.
In October 1982, Mr. Bawa was elected President of the World Association of Detectives (WAD) and decided that the annual conference of the WAD would be held in Hotel Taj Palace, New Delhi. He invited me to be specially present and participate and asked me to come two days in advance. When I reached Delhi and met Mr. Bawa in hotel room, he told me, “all members of Delhi are quite different from Mumbai, they talk too much and perform little.” I asked, “what happened?” Mr. Bawa said, “only after two days, the conference is to be inaugurated and they have not yet fixed the person who will inaugurate the conference. Can you help me in that?” I kept on thinking and then said, “I do not know many people in Delhi personally, but I know one person Mr. P.P. Nayar, IAS, who was till recently Chief Secretary of the Govt. of Bihar. Now he is Special Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs and also Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee. If you think he is a suitable person, I can approach him.” He said, “PERFECT”. Mr. Bawa appeared happy on the choice and I immediately called-up Mr. Nayar, fixed an appointment to see him. Mr. Bawa and myself went to his North Block Office to formally request him and he agreed.
Mr. Nayar came to inaugurate the conference. After inauguration, Mr. Bawa mentioned about the Maharashtra Private Security Guard Board Act and stressed for a Central Act to regulate these agencies under the Ministry of Home Affairs instead of Labour Departments of the State Governments. Nayar agreed and he fixed an appointment for a joint delegation of World Association of Detectives and the Security Association of India with Ms. Ramdulari Sinha, the then Minister of State for Home. She also agreed in the meeting that private security agencies should be regulated by the Ministry of Home Affairs and not by State Labour Departments.
This was the beginning of conceptualising the Act which was ultimately passed by the Indian Parliament in 2005. One time it appeared that the Act would be passed in 1984. But, unfortunately due to Ms. Indira Gandhi’s assassination, the decision was deferred. There was a Steering Committee which was formed immediately and I was an active and the youngest member of the Committee. We kept on meeting all successive Home Ministers, Home Secretaries and even the Prime Ministers; but the file was moving as it moves in Indian bureaucracy.
In the year 1990, we received a call from the Home Ministry communicating that the Home Secretary would like to meet us. This was in response to my letter to the then Prime Minister Mr. Chandrashekhar. We enthusiscally went to meet the Home Secretary in a big conference hall. About 10-12 officials of Home Ministry, Intelligence Bureau and Prime Minister’s office were sitting. We were made to sit on the other side of the table. Then, it was announced that the Home Secretary was engaged in an other meeting and therefore, the Special Secretary Home Mr. P.P. Shrivastava, would preside over the meeting. Mr. Shrivastava came and gave us a patient hearing. Then he concluded the meeting by issuing a brief statement, which he had probably already prepared. He said, “The Government of India recognises the fact that the private security agencies are providing useful service and they have to come to stay in this profession forever and to work as an auxiliary force to the law enforcement agencies.”
He further said, “the Government of India also recognises the fact that there should be some kind of regulation, code of ethics, etc, for regulating the private security agencies. However, due to Economic Liberalisation Policy of Government of India, the Government of India is not in favour of considering any enactment to regulate any profession, which will be in contradiction to the current policy of the Government of India. Therefore, the Government of India appeals to the right-thinking private security professionals to develop some kind of mechanism by which they can standardise the profession, make their services professionally effective and useful and self-regulate the profession like the Bar Council of India or Chartered Accountants Institute of India.” Mr. Shrivastava finished his brief statement and left the meeting.
After the meeting was concluded, most of the participants were thoroughly disappointed. However, I was not. I saw an opportunity waiting for us. I went to meet Mr. Subodh Kant Sahay, the then Minister of State, Internal Security, and shared with him the deliberations of the meeting. He told me “Why Wait”, you start some organisation as suggested by the Special Secretary (Home) and I will see that Ministry of Home Affairs provide you all help and cooperation in the matter. I asked him “Would you like to become the first Chairman of the organisation?” He said, “yes why not?” This was the beginning of the concept of the Indian Institute of Security and Safety Management, which was later on named as International Institute of Security and Safety Management (IISSM) on growing demands from international members of IISSM.
A small committee was formed in 1990. Mr. Subodh Kant Sahay, MoS, MHA, was the Chairman, Padamshree K.N. Prasad was the Executive Chairman and I was the President and Director General. Some other known professionals like Mr. K.P. Medhekar, Raja Vijay Karan, Major P. Kalastree from Singapore, became Vice Presidents. Gen. T.P. Singh was the first Executive Director. We had our first ever Conference in Taj Mansingh Hotel, New Delhi during December, 1991. Mr. P.P. Shrivastava, IAS, Special Secretary, Home, came to attend the Conference and appreciated our initiative. Some foreign faculties like Mr. Paul Clark, Dr. Robbert Franza from USA and Dr. M. Jeyaraj & Maj. P. Kalastree from Singapore also attended.
In January 1991 Mr. K.N. Prasad was appointed as Senior Advisor to the Governor of Assam with specific assignment to conduct free and fair elections in Assam and restore democracy there. During Mr. Prasad’s absence, Mr. K.P. Medhekar was made the Executive Chairman. After Mr. K.N. Prasad returned from Assam, Mr. K.P. Medhekar continued as Executive Chairman and Mr. Prasad took over as the Chairman, which he continued till he breathed last on March 18, 2003. Lt. Gen. R.K. Anand was the second Executive Director. He had to shift to USA to be with his children in a year’s time and Mr. S.K. Sharma, IPS (Retd.), former Director General, National Crime Record Bureau, was appointed as the third Executive Director of the Institute. During his tenure a unique thing happened. Dr. Norman Spain, CPP, JD, a Professor of Criminology in Eastern Kentucky University, USA, received a Fulbright scholarship to come to India for six months and to study activities of IISSM. It was a big opportunity for us. We utilised Dr. Norman Spain in the best possible manner and organised several three-day workshops on Security and Loss Prevention at Hotel Samrat, New Delhi, Hotel Chanakya, Patna, Hotel Oberoi, Simla, SIS Training Academy, Belchampa, Coal India, Ranchi, TISCO, Jamshedpur, Gua Iron and Mines, Hotel Ramnashree, Bangalore, Hotel Center Point, Nagpur and so on. This really gave a big boost to IISSM and awareness to people in the security profession about IISSM activities. This also gave birth to various kinds of Professional Certification Programmes which IISSM is conducting these days.
In the year 1996 Mr. S.K. Sharma had to leave for Australia to be with his daughter. Therefore, he desired to be relieved from whole time engagement. As such he was elevated to the position of Vice Chairman and Mr. D.C. Nath, IPS (Retd.), former Special Director, Intelligence Bureau, became the Executive President & CEO of the Institute.