Karnataka to get anti-terrorism squad

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Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday announced the setting up of a special anti-terrorism squad (ATS) to curb terrorist activities in the state.

The development comes after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) announced the presence of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) in several states, including Karnataka, on Monday.

Speaking after a review meeting with senior police officers at the city police commissionerate here, Bommai said: “The government has decided to set up an ATS in the city after the arrest of a few JMB terrorists in the state. This is to curb terrorist activity in the state.

“There are anti-terrorism squads in Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi, and a similar squad would be set up in the state. Officers who have dealt with terrorism-related cases would be deployed in this squad,” he said.

All police officials, especially in the city and coastal areas, were directed to be on high alert.

On Monday, the NIA announced that Karnataka was among the states that were on the JMB’s radar for spreading its terror network. The group had set up 20 to 22 hideouts in Bengaluru and even conducted trials of rocket launchers in Krishnagiri hills along the state’s border with Tamil Nadu. It also plans to carry out subversive activities.

Bommai added that around 36 % of the total crime incidents in the state were being reported from the city. The geographical location of the city is such that criminals can easily escape to neighbouring states, making it difficult for the police to track them soon after the crime.

CEN police stations

Funds to set up eight Cyber Crime-Economic Officers and Narcotics (CEN) police stations in all eight divisions have been sanctioned. There will be separate officials to handle these cases, he said.

Bommai instructed the police to keep a track of gambling, betting and narcotics cases. 

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