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Friday, Dec 06, 2019

Mumbai makes an effort, but more needs to be done

A few loopholes still need to be plugged, believe authorities, report P Thomas, M Sood & D Panigrahi.

india Updated: Sep 14, 2008 23:56 IST

The 2007 serial blasts jolted the Mumbai police into initiating some steps to curb terror.

They started their anti-terror campaign by creating public awareness. Soon, they followed it up with regular security drills at railway stations, lodges and guesthouses, combing operations in areas that can be used by terror operatives to find safe houses.

A dedicated counter-terrorism quick reaction team was created. It is armed and trained with the most advanced weapons and can reach any spot in the city at shortest notice during a terror attack.

In the third step, Mumbai acquired mobile control rooms and mobile electronic surveillance units that can be stationed at the spot to co-ordinate post-blast investigations.

The city also installed closed-circuit television cameras at major transit points. Mumbai’s Police Commissioner Hasan Gafoor told Hindustan Times that nearly 400 CCTVs would be installed across the city within a year. The Mumbai police are also armed with a crack team of cyber security experts.

“It is one of the best in the country. Even private firms have offered jobs to police personnel who work for our cyber cell,” said Joint Commissioner of Police Rakesh Maria.

Mumbai recently also started a cyber police station.

But a few loopholes still need to be plugged, believe authorities. The bomb detection and disposal squad seems to be neglected. A bomb squad official is insured at Rs 1.25 lakh, but an officer from the anti-terrorism squad is insured for Rs 10 lakh.

The sniffer dogs are insured for as little as Rs 10,000.

This apart, one of the major problems that agencies face during post-blast investigations is the identification of suspects.