Karnataka may reinstate anti-terror squad

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Parameshwara was miffed at the lack of intelligence and counter-terrorist mechanisms in the city.

Bengaluru: Concerned at the negligible intelligence apparatus in the city police, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Home Minister G. Parameshwar are reportedly mulling on re-installing the Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) in the police commissionerate as a much-needed capacity building exercise to map the extremist and anti-national elements in the city; gather credible intelligence to prevent terror attacks and communal riots, liaise with the Internal Security Division (ISD) of the state police, the Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau (SIB) and other intelligence and enforcement agencies for actionable intelligence.

The ISD was created after the 26/11 Mumbai carnage as an umbrella counter-terrorism outfit for the state, including Bengaluru.

According to sources, Mr Parameshwara was miffed at the lack of intelligence and counter-terrorist mechanisms in the city after a senior police officer admitted to him that the counter-terrorism infrastructure with the city police was negligible.

“Though there is periodic sharing of intelligence among various agencies, the city police needs to have its own ATS with arrest powers. The key posts, of joint commissioner and deputy commissioner of police (intelligence) have also been lying vacant for quite some time now,” said an official source.

The city and state police were reportedly caught unawares earlier this year after the Delhi police (special wing) on January 6 arrested Maulana Anzar Shah Qasmi from Ilyasnagar in the city with the logistic help from the local police for alleged links with Al Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) and the subsequent arrests made by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), of the 2014 Church Street blast accused – Alemzeb Afridi alias Mohammed Rafiq alias Jaweed, who was residing in the city and had alleged links with the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and Mohammed Afzal, who was also arrested by the NIA from the city for alleged links with the banned Islamic State of Iraq & Syria (ISIS).

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