To ensure better intelligence gathering, strong informant base and in-depth investigation of terror cases, the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of the Maharashtra police has decided to request the state government to increase the tenure of assistant commissioners, police inspectors, sub-inspectors, head constables and constables.
There have been instances wherein an officer probing the case had to be released due to the completion of tenure, transfer or promotion. The new person who then took over had to either make a fresh start or rely on others who had leads, said a senior official from the ATS, requesting anonymity.
A case in point could be the sudden promotion of an officer probing Pune’s German bakery blast. “Others working with him made up for his absence. However, it would be ideal if the tenures are longer and the new officer posted in the ATS worked as an understudy with the old officer before taking over the unit,” said the officer.
“We have various proposals for improving the ATS. Several of them have either been approved or are under consideration. Modernisation by supplying arms, getting hi-tech equipment, adding new recruits, and a longer stint for officers is under consideration,” said a senior official from the home ministry.
Also, in most cases, the officers are reluctant to share informers, said a former ATS official. “Especially the ones who work in Mumbai and Thane.” There have been cases wherein officers have targeted other officer’s informers. “So by increasing the tenure, the official will be able to give the understudy a feel of the environment before he takes up the responsibility,” he added.