The Maharashtra government and police received 21 terror alerts on the day of the ICC World Cup final here, Home Minister R.R. Patil said in the Legislative Council on Thursday.
“During the match, we got 21 alerts, some saying terrorists would come in a balloon, through a pipeline and by sea, air and road,” he said.
To explain how strained the machinery was, Mr. Patil said that since last year, the State had received 447 threat alerts from various agencies.
As for police reforms, he said the government decided to put more than 10,000 police stations online to make information on culprits easily accessible across jurisdictions.
Admitting that 57 per cent of the force still lived in slums, he said housing was an important concern. The government would build around 6,000 housing units at a cost of Rs. 115 crore.
“After 26/11, the attitude towards police reforms has changed. Now, it is not seen as a wasteful expenditure. The Home Department has got the budgetary allocation we sought.” The Centre had approved the grant of 2,000 bullet-proof jackets for the police force. “We have received 500 jackets, and they were used during the [World Cup final] match.”
Mr. Patil also referred to the use of chemical weapons by terrorists. “Training centres will be set up to train personnel in [dealing with] terrorism in urban areas.” He also promised to take steps to make Maharashtra a “Naxal-free State.”
Mr. Patil announced the suspension of senior IPS officer Jawahar Singh, who allegedly allowed the media to interact with some blast accused and circulated CDs of the interaction.
Expressing concern at the poor conviction rate in the State, he said a team of senior police officers would visit States with a high rate of conviction to study the methods.
To increase the strength of the force, 22,000 personnel would be inducted over the next two years.