In a first of sorts, the Mumbai police crime branch, in coordination with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the Interpol wing of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), organised a one-day Interpol Awareness Programme for its officers at the Police Club in Azad Maidan on Friday.
Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police (crime) said that 95 officers from across 93 police stations and all units of the crime branch participated in the exercise. “While the police stations were represented by police inspectors (PIs) and detection officers such as police sub-inspectors (PSIs), the crime branch was represented by PIs,” said Roy.
The seminar was addressed by Arup Patnaik, Mumbai police commissioner; NS Kharayat, assistant director, CBI, Interpol; DK Ghosh, PRO, MEA (CPV Division and Extradition); Amarchand Sharma, under secretary, MEA, among others.
Patnaik said the aim of the programme was to make officers aware of the procedures and guidelines framed by the MHA and MEA in New Delhi for extradition, ways of seeking legal assistance from various countries as per the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties (MLATs) and extradition treaties.
According to Roy, of late, the Indian police have stepped up their efforts to get fugitive criminals from other countries with help from Interpol. Their requests, in case of crimes involving Indians abroad, too have increased. “In such a situation, we need more people to investigate overseas crimes and prepare the letter rogatories for foreign courts to bring back wanted criminals,” said Roy.
In view of the increase in work, the Mumbai police are contemplating expansion of their extradition cell, said Roy. The cell is currently headed by inspector Salini Sharma, who is aided by two PSIs in the task.