The Mumbai police’s counter-terror strategy is being built around improving mobility to reduce response time. The new police commissioner D Sivanandhan believes this is the way forward after the 26/11 experience.
Such strikes could be from anywhere, even the air, said Sivanandhan. So, it had become “imperative to augment our preparedness to 360 degrees, covering land, air or water”.
He was speaking on the sidelines of a function organised at the Police Gymkhana on Monday to showcase the latest vehicles the force had got.
He later clarified that there was no specific intelligence inputs regarding another terror strike on Mumbai, “but what I meant was since the threat perception remained all the time, we should have adequate cover for all sorts of threats, emanating from anywhere.”
Even the Pradhan Committee that probed the handling of the November 26, 2008, terror attack on Mumbai had warned that a strike from the air should not be ruled out.
At Monday’s function, Home Minister Jayant Patil too stressed that mobility was the need of the hour for the police force. The government was considering the use of helicopters to improve response time in dire situations, he added.
On display at the police gymkhana were three armo-ured personnel carriers — Mahindra Rakshaks — 30 Bole-ros, nine Scorpios, four troop carrier buses, 21 vehicle towing trucks, and 160 motorcycles.
Sivanandhan said two more Rakshaks would be added to the fleet so that all five regional control rooms in the city would have one.
These control rooms would be manned by 100 specially trained police personnel equipped with the latest protective and combat gear.
Sivanandhan said that apart from patrolling the streets, the beat marshals should also cultivate sources and collect intelligence about the happenings in their jurisdiction.