The state Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS),which operates from a century-old bungalow in the Shahibaug area of Ahmedabad,will soon move to a swanky state-of-the-art office near NIRMA Institute on the SG Highway.
The ATS is likely to shift to the specially-designed office for anti-terrorism operations by March-end. This move would make the ATS self-contained and equipped with the latest technology. Some technologies have already been installed on the campus while some more would be added soon, ATS chief Manoj Shashidhar told The Indian Express.
The new office,spread over 13,500 square metres,will have three major blocks for administrative work,hostage intervention and officers respectively.
Equipped and secured with sensors,GPS and other latest security technologies,the campus would be a training ground in itself for ATS officers and CHETAK commandos. The state government had allotted a commando unit to the ATS after they were trained under retired Army Major Balbir Singh in Jodhpur.
The campus will have a separate ground for regular training besides a practice shooting hall.
The ATS had conducted a joint security drill with the National Security Guards two months ago after which its officers decided to hold such drills for all the state police personnel. The police officials may be brought here in batches to learn terror handling techniques,ATS officials said.
The Quick Response Team (QRT),which was formed after the 26/11 Mumbai attack,would also be stationed at the new office. ATS officials said that having QRTs on the same campus would help in quick reaction during emergencies.
The five-room colonial bungalow at Shahibaug is a makeshift office for the ATS with hardly any scope and space for new technologies or training . A small administrative block was set up later in the premises to accommodate four to five officials.
The present office had been occupied by quite a few encounter specialists who are now behind bars in connection with alleged fake encounters Sohrabuddin Sheikh,Tulsiram Prajapati and Ishrat Jehan.
When the ATS moves out of the bungalow,the structure would be handed over to the Coastal Security wing of Gujarat Police,which is currently based at Gandhinagar. Sources said the move to bring the Coastal Security office to Ahmedabad aims to help it work in coordination with other security agencies,especially the ATS.
The bungalow belonged to a Britisher and was taken over by the state government when Gujarat was formed in 1960.