With less than two months to go for the Commonwealth Games (CWG), the Delhi Police is still on a buying spree. Tenders for explosive-detecting units, like minesweepers and non-linear junction detectors, were only sealed last month and are yet to be delivered.
Delhi Police said their demand for "anti-sabotage crack units”, that were to be pulled out from specialised units like Border Security Force (BSF) and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), were scrapped by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) at the last moment. And that's why they had to make their own team.
"Obviously, we have limited specialisation in dealing with sabotage situations like detecting a mine or improvised explosive devices (IED) near Games venue or stadia,” said a senior police officer, on condition of anonymity.
"The MHA had promised to provide us trained men with kits, but when they did not, we decided to buy the equipment on our own,” the officer added.
Delhi Police had placed a demand for 3,000 commandos for Games security, but the MHA cited inability and agreed to arrange 1,450 trained men.
A special team of 25 SWAT commandos, who are attached with the Special Cell, will also be deployed for Games duty.
"There was no delay on our part in informing the Delhi Police. During review, we found that the demands were exaggerated. We cannot pull out men posted on the border and in hostile areas like Naxal-dominated states and put them on Games duty,” said a senior MHA official, who did not wish to be identified.
"It's not only buying the equipment but training the men also. All this takes time. These kits are handy in detecting explosive devices, like bombs fitted in transistors, hidden somewhere,” said the Delhi Police officer.
"We have limited expertise in handling such situations but we are giving our personnel training,” the officer added.
The MHA contended that the Delhi Police had been informed six months ago and it was not a recent development.
"We had several options and we have made arrangements which we have put in place. We are fully geared up to provide foolproof security during the Games,” said Rajan Bhagat, spokesperson, Delhi Police.