Maharashtra to have security council, commando team: Deshmukh

December 1st, 2008 - 9:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Dec 1 (IANS) Maharashtra will soon have a security council and a crack commando team of its own to tackle terror in the state, Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh announced here Monday. The decision to form a state security council and a state security guard on the lines of the National Security Council (NSC) and National Security Guard (NSG) was taken here Monday.

Deshmukh told reporters at what could be his last press conference as chief minister - he has offered his resignation in the wake of last week’s devastating terror strike in Mumbai - that setting up of the two agencies was among the many decisions taken at state home department’s high-power committee meeting here Monday. The slew of measures aimed at strengthening the security setup in and around India’s commercial capital, he stressed.

The state security council will have the chief minister as its ex-officio chairman and ministers of home and finance as its members apart from the leader of opposition and leaders of political parties, Deshmukh said. It will also have as members prominent social workers and representatives of various sections of the society.

The state security guard, which should be in place within four months from now, will have commandos drawn from the police force. They will be imparted thorough training by experts from the armed forces and state industrial security force, the chief minister said.

As for strengthening vigil on the state’s vast coastline whose porosity allowed unchecked landing to the terrorists last week near the Gateway of India, Deshmukh said 12 new coastal police stations will soon be set up in addition to the existing 24. Besides, the state will press the central government for a unified command as the coastline extends to other states.

The chief minister also talked of a scheme to modernise the security machinery and provision of sophisticated weapons and gadgetry to the forces guarding the coast. “The force needs at least 24 speed boats,” he added.

The committee has recommended that the police officers and constables who displayed exemplary courage while fighting the terrorists and saving hundreds of lives be decorated with gallantry awards.

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