In a three-month exercise,the Mumbai Police have identified 782 vulnerable terror spots across the city. This is the first anti-terror activity conducted by the specially formed Anti-Terrorism Cell (ATC) across police stations in the city. Most of the 782 spots are institutions and religious structures,the police said.
Police have asked the security officers of these identified spots to prepare their own Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) during a terror attack situation. There are times when these establishments are unprotected in one region if there is a terror attack in another area, said Krishna Prakash,Additional Commissioner of Police (south region). Private security agencies have also been asked by the police to train their personnel.
The police officers also said that the private security personnel of neighbouring establishments vulnerable to terror attacks,should know each others SOPs to ensure their protocols and evacuation patterns are in harmony during terror attacks. The November 26,2008 terror attacks which took place in separate locations at a railway station,two hotels,a restaurant,a religious centre and railway headquarters exposed the lack of intelligence and absence of co-ordinated response to terrorists.
According to officials,with terror attacks being orchestrated across distances,it becomes necessary to ensure that the responses are integrated in the counter terrorism grid.
Meanwhile,police personnel in Zone 2 have been chosen for ATCs first training session.
One police inspector and four constables from each police station are designated to work as ATC in 92 police stations. Formed in December,the idea was to have a dedicated intelligence wing at the local level,with each police station collecting intelligence within their jurisdiction.
The officers in ATC have also been asked to collect details and map all access routes of temples,mosques,gurudwaras and churches in their area. Foreigners on temporary visas and persons who rent apartments for a short period are also under constant watch,said an ATC officer. Most of the vehicle deals are also being scrutinised in the city,as most terror attacks have used vehicles to plant IEDs.
With South Mumbai being the most sensitive in the city,Prakash added that every zone has regular meetings with various stake holders on security protocols.