Here today, gone tomorrow | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Here today, gone tomorrow

After every crisis, the Mumbai police raised specialised units. The latest is Force One, born out of the 26/11 terror attacks. Hindustan Times does a status check of four units raised since 1989 and finds that only one exists today.

mumbai Updated: Dec 08, 2009 01:41 IST

Quick Response Team (QRT), 2003

The unit was conceived after the terrorist attack on Akshardham Temple at Gandhinagar, Gujarat in September 2002.
Then joint commissioner of police, law and order, Ahmad Javed, had supervised the training of the commandos by National Security Guard veterans.

Status: The formation of the Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) in the subsequent period with a mandate different from that of the old ATS signalled the wane of the force. The QRT was merged with the ATS. Police commissioner D Sivanandhan decided to revive the QRT after the 26/11 attacks

Motorcycle Commandos, 2000-2001

Nine years ago, Mumbai had buddy-pairs of carbine-wielding, motorcycle-borne commandos.

A pet unit of then police commissioner M N Singh, the army had trained the 200 commandos in unarmed combat.

Their aim: reach the spot of crisis as soon as possible.

Status: The unit seized to exist after Singh’s retirement in 2002. Commandos either idled away at the armed police headquarters at Naigaon or were posted at the commissionerate. “Had they been trained and deployed well, they could’ve played a decisive role during the 26/11,” said Singh.

Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS), 1989

It was the first anti terror unit of the Mumbai police.

Formed by then additional commissioner of police A.A. Khan, its objective was to counter the activities of Khalistani separatists and Kashmiri extremists trying to gain a foothold in Mumbai.

It was a compact team of 36 men, 32 officers and four constables. The ATS made history when it killed Maya Dolas, a top Dawood Ibrahim gang operative, and five of his associates in an eight-hour long encounter at Lokhandwala in 1991.

Status:
The unit was disbanded following Khan’s retirement. “It was the most unfortunate decision,” Khan said.

Special Operation Squad (SOS), 1989

Formed by then joint commissioner of police, Arvind Inamdar, the SOS was the city’s first elite commando unit.

The team of 50 men consisted of one inspector rank officer, nine sub-inspectors and 40 constables.

It was equipped with bulletproof vehicles, jackets and AK 47s. Salaries of SOS members were one and half times more than those of their counterparts.

Status: Late last year, the unit—which had an office at the police commissionerate at Crawford Market—was disbanded. Some of its men have been diverted to the Quick Response Team and the rest to the State Reserve Police Force.“If standards were maintained, it would have transformed into a formidable commando unit and there would have been no need to raise other units,” said Inamdar.