Staff Reporter

Unarmed policemen withdrawn from field duties; armed personnel to conduct checks

HYDERABAD: The city police on Saturday revamped their security strategy by temporarily withdrawing all unarmed policemen from field duties after terrorists shot dead an unarmed constable at Khilwat junction in old city on Friday.

Blue Colt teams which patrol on motorcycles and beat constables who go on foot patrolling were withdrawn as these policemen do not carry weapons and could be easy targets for terrorists, officials felt.

However, surprise checks would continue and all police patrol vehicles, including Rakshak and other police vehicles would move in localities with a strong contingent of six to ten policemen, half of them carrying weapons.

Only the police officers who are accompanied by armed units would take up vehicle checking. While two or three constables would check vehicles, their colleagues armed with automatic and semi-automatic weapons would cover them.

“In fact, we wanted to adopt this system two days before the Mecca Masjid blast anniversary but the Friday attack forced us to change our plans,” a senior officer said.

Though attacks in urban areas were carried out by outlawed outfits of left wing extremists earlier, the targets had been mainly senior and top officials.

“The city police are caught in a peculiar situation of even home guards and constables becoming targets of terrorists. The men are being prepared to face the new challenge by taking some precautions,” the senior police official said.