Friday, June 05, 2009

Officers can't be leaders in rooms: Maharashtra Director-General of Police

Pune: Maharashtra Director-General of Police SS Virk said here on Thursday that police officers need to lead from the front during emergencies and not stick to rooms and offices. “We can’t be leaders in rooms and offices. We can’t let down our people,” he said during the inauguration of induction training for Force One — a special commando force at the state-level, along the lines of NSG, to tackle terror and Naxal attacks.

Virk encouraged the 220 young cops selected for commando training by saying that he would like to lead the “Force One” in emergency situations. “We have serious challenges ahead. Commandos should be ready to face any kind of situation. I would like to lead the commandos in emergency operations.”

He said the police “system” has been “revised” after 26/11. “Quick response teams (QRTs) and riot-control teams have been formed. We have hired 46 boats for coastal patrolling. The co-ordination among police, Navy, Coast Guard and intelligence agencies has improved. And now we will have “Force One” for tackling serious situations like Mumbai terror attack.”

Home Minister Jayant Patil, who was also present on the occasion, said the state government will provide top class weapons, modern equipment, technology and other facilities to “Force One” commandos.

“We have selected 220 cops out of 1,600 who had applied. The selection was made after a series of tests,” Patil said. “It was not easy to get into Force One, which is the first commando force of a state in India. Only those having high-grade physical fitness were selected. We aim to make Force One one of the best anti-terrorist forces in the world,” he said.

“Force One will be initially installed at Mumbai and then at strategic locations like Pune and Nagpur. It will be able to reach the terror attack sites in a short span of time,” Patil said.

The commandos of Force One would now undergo strenuous induction training at SRPF, Pune. Expert trainers from NSG and retired Indian Army commandos will train them. They will be subjected to physical endurance, mental toughening, psychological test, combat shooting, tactical shooting and other training. Modern weapons have been provided for the purpose. Deputy Inspector General S Jagannathan will lead Force One.

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