‘Need for such units felt in the aftermath of Gulbarga shootout in January’

The State police will set up commando teams in all districts across the State in the next two years.

Home Minister K.J. George made the announcement at the inauguration of the District–Special Weapons and Tactics Team (D-SWAT), a programme designed by the Centre for Counter-Terrorism (CCT), at its centre in Kudlu on Tuesday.

Senior officials in the Internal Security Division said that a need for such units in the districts was felt after the Gulbarga shootout in January this year during which sub-inspector Mallikarjun Bande was killed.

24 commandos

Additional Director-General of Police (ADGP) of ISD Amar Kumar Pandey said the programme aimed to form SWAT teams. Each team would comprise 24 trained commandos, who would be placed under the charge of the District Superintendent of Police.

The teams would be utilised as quick response teams in case of any eventuality. They would be provided with state-of-the-art weapons by the district police.

Three-month course

The CCT would train these teams during a three-month commando course. At present, the first batch of 42 men, one each from all the districts, commissionerates and other units, was being trained under the Training of Trainers programme. These men would take charge of the respective SWAT teams in the districts.

The CCT would later train teams from four districts during each course and cover all the districts over the next two years. Mr. George, who witnessed a demonstration of counter-terrorism tactics by the elite counter-terrorism squad, Garuda, said the government was positively inclined to consider the demand of the personnel to increase their allowance as they had been deputed to the “high-risk force”.

The Minister added that the government would develop a state-of-the-art Disaster Management Centre, where officials from all departments would be put together and in case of emergencies, the political executive, including the Chief Minister could take command and work. The centre, which is in the planning stage, was likely to come up on Palace Road, he said.

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