Madhya Pradesh to set up anti-terror squad

August 22nd, 2008 - 5:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhopal, Aug 22 (IANS) Having failed to get clearance from the centre for an anti-terror law on the lines of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Madhya Pradesh is now planning to set up an Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) in the state. “At a meeting of home department officials, headed by Home Minister Himmat Kotahri, it was proposed that an anti-terror squad be set up to meet the security challenges. A formal notification will be made soon,” a home department official told IANS.

He added that the ATS would be on the lines of the squads in Maharashtra and Karnataka.

“Since the inspector and sub-inspector level officials here still rely on outdated techniques and methods to gather intelligence, the security forces are also being made technologically savvy so that they can match the advanced techniques used by terrorists,” the official said.

The government is also planning to have special budget allocation for the ATS to provide resources such as office building, vehicles and sophisticated weapons.

Official sources said there is a plan to set up a technical cell of the ATS with its headquarters in Bhopal and units in all police zones of the state - Indore, Ujjain, Dewas, Gwalior, Jabalpur and Khandwa.

The ATS will initially have a task force of 175 police personnel, comprising three police superintendents, seven deputy superintendents of police, 13 police inspectors, 36 sub-inspectors, 54 head constables and 62 constables.

The state government has for long been trying to have an anti-terror law, modelled on the lines of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), to come down on terrorists but has failed to get the approval of the central government.

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