July 13 blasts: ATS, crime branch at loggerheads
Investigations into the July 13 triple blasts have suffered a major setback with the crime branch and the Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) refusing to cooperate with each other.mumbai Updated: Aug 06, 2011 02:12 IST
Investigations into the July 13 triple blasts have suffered a major setback with the crime branch and the Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) refusing to cooperate with each other.
Sources say that the bonhomie displayed by the two elite agencies after the blasts has come to an end. "We do not have any more joint meetings. The crime branch men have stopped attending the meetings that are held at our headquarters every evening," an ATS source said while adding that the two agencies have also stopped sharing information with each other. "They would take information from us, but would not share their intelligence with us," the source alleged.
A senior crime branch officer, when contacted, downplayed the absence of their officers from the meeting. "It's only the last few days that we have not attended the meeting. We have not made much progress, so there is nothing to share," the officer said on condition of anonymity.
After the blasts, in an effort to present a united face in front of the media, the additional director general of police (ATS) Rakesh Maria and joint commissioner of police (crime) addressed the media together. The briefings took place only twice in the past three weeks.
The ATS and crime branch had faced flak over their rivalry and after the blast it was announced that joint teams comprising officers from both agencies would be made. Twelve such teams were made and the crime branch also made three additional teams. Sources said that the crime branch and ATS officers are now working on their own and their is no co-ordination between the agencies.
The blasts probe has run into several roadblocks. Senior officers of the National Investigation Agency left the city just days after the blasts complaining that the ATS was not co-operating. Also, forensic reports prepared by the NIA and the National Security Guard (NSG) have turned out to be contradictory.