The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), charg-ed with protecting the state from extreme threats, is struggling with an acute shortage of middle- and lower-rank officers, who form the crux of the investigating staff.
According to details revealed in response to an RTI query accessed by Hindustan Times, 89% of the police sub-inspector posts are vacant as of Septem-ber 1. Overall, of the 732 posts sanctioned for the squad, 238 are unfilled, a shortfall of 39%.
The state government has promised that the issue will be addressed soon. “We are aware of the staff shortage. The problem should be resolved by March next year,” said additional chief secretary (home) Umesh Chandra Sarangi.
Officers in ranks between police inspector and sub-inspector form an important part of the force as they have a strong field presence, with sources that help investigate or pass on alerts about a potential threat.
Only 10 of the 90 posts of sub-inspector were filled as of September 1; only 38 of 50 police inspectors are currently in service. More-over, the ATS requires 191 police constables, but has only eight.