Delhi Police is set to expand it anti-terror SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) unit with the formation of teams in all six ranges in the capital.
As SWAT commandos have to be pressed into action within a minute of an alarm being raised, police feel a dedicated SWAT team for each range will help improve response time. Sources told The Indian Express that a proposal for the unit’s expansion is being drafted by police.
Delhi has six police ranges and 11 police districts.
“Being the national capital, Delhi is always on the radar of terror groups. A single team stationed at one location cannot cover the entire city during an emergency. Therefore, it is necessary to expand the unit,” said a senior police officer.
The SWAT unit was formed in 2009 in the wake of 26/11 terror attack in Mumbai, to counter terror operations in highly complicated situations.
SWAT commandos are highly trained along the lines of the National Security Guard, and are equipped with AK-47 rifles, MP5 machine guns, Glock 17 or 26 pistols, and corner shot devices for enhanced night vision.
They are also trained in Krav Maga, a self-defense system developed for the Israel Defense Forces.
The commandos are further equipped with a pencil torch, bulletproof helmet, bulletproof jacket, a cutter and a commando dagger. They also wear special knee and elbow pads for protection during covert operations.
At present, the unit has 160 commandos. The team, which comprises personnel from the rank of constable to inspector, receives 10 months of training at Jharoda Kalan in southwest Delhi. They are then inducted to the unit, which is headed by an ACP-level officer.
The unit also has a bulletproof mine protected vehicle, which is stationed near India Gate and other strategic locations. Sources said Delhi Police is planning to buy more such vehicles for the new teams.
Sources said each team, comprising at least 30 commandos, will be headed by an inspector and remain stationed in their respective ranges.
The commandos from the present SWAT team will be distributed among the new teams, they added.