Additional chief secretary home, Chandra Iyengar, who took over the home department four months after the attacks, tells Ketaki Ghoge that 26/11 forced the state to shake up the entire police administration.
How has the state’s mindset changed since 26/11?
After the attacks, we realised that the local police will also have to face such acts of war. This led to structural and mindset changes about security and policing. Our primary reaction has been to carve out elite groups trained for terrorist attacks like the Force One and Quick Response Teams.
What else has changed at the governance level?
The Ram Pradhan committee that probed the attacks flagged off certain concerns that we have addressed. The three main changes are processing of intelligence, delegation of purchasing powers to the police and procuring better weapons and vehicles. We have put in place a weekly review of intelligence inputs by state and central agencies by the home secretary. Every fortnight, the home minister chairs such a meeting.
There has been talk that the police do not get enough funds for modernisation.
There never was reluctance towards the security budget, if one could justify the need. We could not spend monies budgeted to us, so we didn’t get more. Post the attacks, police are demanding more funds and justifying such demands by buying modern weaponry, vehicles, equipment.
Are the police getting training to use new equipment?
We are setting up more training schools including a marine training school at Raigad and changing our modules to make them more relevant. That means better infrastructure and a mix of field and classroom training. We hired 1,500 police inspectors and sub-inspectors this year. A constabulary training school is also being set up to ensure that the first man on ground zero is better trained.