Keen to beef up Uttar Pradesh's security situation in the wake of last week's terror bombings in three cities, Chief Minister Mayawati on Monday announced the setting up of a special Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) on the lines of Maharashtra and Karnataka and the creation of a techno-savvy intelligence wing.
Addressing a press conference in Lucknow on Monday evening, Mayawati disclosed that she has urged the prime minister to return to the state its 13 Provincial Armed Constabulary companies stationed for security services in Delhi.
She said she has also sought the Allahabad High Court's permission to allow special trial of terrorists and hardcore gangsters inside the jail premises only.
"The terrorist strikes in Varanasi, Faizabad and Lucknow on Nov 23 have prompted us to set up a special force to deal with the growing menace of terrorism," she said.
"We need to make our security forces technologically savvy so that they can match the advanced techniques used by terrorists," she said.
The ATS, with its headquarters in Lucknow, would have units in all police zones of the state, namely Lucknow, Varanasi, Allahabad, Gorakhpur, Kanpur, Meerut and Bareilly.
It will be headed by an inspector general-rank officer and have one deputy inspector general, one superintendent of police (SP), one additional SP, one deputy SP besides other support staff.
The chief minister's blue-eyed boy Arvind Jain, the inspector general of Lucknow zone, has been given additional charge of the ATS.
Emphasising the need for a high-tech intelligence set-up, Maywaati lamented, "While reviewing the security situation I was astonished to find inspector and sub-inspector level officials relying on outdated techniques and methods to gather intelligence in criminal matters; some of these were reminiscent of the British Raj."
Till the time an independent ATS cadre is not in place, eligible officers from the police force would be inducted with a special incentive of 25 percent.
Mayawati also sanctioned Rs.67.5 million for purchase of sophisticated hi-tech equipment.
With a view to reinforcing and intensifying the base of her state's crack Special Task Force (STF), she also announced setting up of two more zonal units.
"The West Zone unit would have its headquarters at Meerut while the East Zone would be at Varanasi," she said. The units would be headed by DIG-level officers.
Among other measures announced by her were strengthening of security of courts with "deployment of as many as 25,000 Home Guards across different courts in the state". Last Friday's near-simultaneous terror bombings took place in the court premises of the three cities.
She said door-frame metal detectors, hand-held metal detectors and reflector search mirrors would be installed in 17 courts, while all other courts would have such arrangement in due course.
Mayawati has also written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh requesting him to return to the state 13 Provincial Armed Constabulary companies stationed in Delhi.