Mangalore: Quick Reaction Team to Counter Terrorism - IGP A M Prasad

December 10, 2008

The recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai have exposed the vulnerability of the country’s coastal region to such attacks.  Mangalore being a coastal region with its underworld links and proximity to Mumbai is certainly susceptible to Mumbai-like attacks.  The developments of the recent past establishing the involvement of locals and their links with the terrorist outfits have traumatized people to a great extent.  The city is agog with rumours of all sorts keeping people on their tenterhooks. 

In a free-wheeling chat with Daijiworld's Florine Roche IGP (Western Range) A M Prasad delineates the preparedness of the police force to deal with the risk posed to this part of the region. 

Is the coastal city of Mangalore vulnerable to terrorist attacks?
Being a coastal region with a good network of connectivity, Mangalore is no doubt vulnerable to attacks.  It has the Kaiga Nuclear Plant, has many religious places of importance and houses offices of some IT giants.  But the police are making every effort to neutralize such attacks. 
What are the measures undertaken to face such an eventuality?
We have initiated joint patrolling with the Customs Department to patrol in the shallow waters.  The Customs Department has given us 2 boats and Coastal Security Police Force (CSPF) is going to patrol the area.  The Coast Guard and the other security agencies will guard the deep waters about 4 to 5 nautical miles from the coast.  We are also undertaking aerial survey in these areas. Minor ports such as Bunder, Malpe, Kundapur, Ganguli, Bhatkal, Kumta and Karwar are guarded by police personnel from the local police stations to watch unauthorized movements of vessels and men.  
What are the long terms measures undertaken to safeguard the coastal region? 
The Ports and Fisheries department has been instructed to issue identity cards to all the fishermen who go out in the sea.  It will be done by December 2008.  About 25,000 fishermen have to be issued the identity cards and so far only 3000 cards have been issued. 

What steps are initiated to counter terrorism per se?

We have a long coastline and this region is a part of terrorists’ network. I agree there are some lacunae particularly with regard to the preparedness in dealing with terrorism. We are taking all precautions by setting up an Anti Terrorist Cell (ATC) and Quick Reaction Team (QRT) who will be trained in sharp shooting and other necessary skills. They will be reserve police to be used only when required.  These sharp shooters will be drawn from local police and Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP).  Coastal policing will also be strengthened and through ATC we will give importance to improve intelligence gathering.
Is the police force properly equipped to face such a challenge?
We will provide the QRT with AK-47 rifles and they will be trained by KSRP.  They will also be provided with bullet proof jackets and other equipments so as to make them a formidable force to offset set terror attacks.  
Do you have sufficient police force to meet the new challenges?

As of now there is one police for every 150 people who will be brought down to 100 and we are working on that count.  The police in this region have been constantly facing challenges such as underworld nexus, terrorism, naxal menace, communal disturbance etc.  There is no doubt the job pressure has increased but we are prepared to face any challenge efficiently.  

CSPF is said to be facing staff shortage….. 

CSPF has been functioning for the past 4 years with five police station limits of Mangalore, Malpe, Bhatkal, Karkal and Kumta.  4 police stations are occupied.  There is a 50% shortage of sanctioned strength of staff in CSPF but the local police will assist them.   We have ordered speed boats for CSPF which are expected to come by May 2009. Once these boats are arrived coastal patrolling will be better and foolproof. 

Any measures to strengthen security in hotels, malls, markets and public places….?

We want to help and sanitize the security arrangement in hotels. We will soon be holding a meeting of hoteliers and apprise them about the need to inform the police if they suspect anything amiss or suspicious among its customers.  We have also requested the mall authorities to install Access Control Door Frame Metal Detectors and also conduct physical search of people on entry points.  

What role can the public play in preventing any acts of terror?

People’s co-operation is a must to effectively face any challenges posed by the forces inimical to the security of the region.  The perception of the general public has to improve and they have to report anything strange or suspicious to anyone in the police hierarchy.  The police will ensure confidentiality of their identity.  

After the death of top police officials in Mumbai attacks how are you going to keep the morale of the police force and that of the general public high?

A good catch and good detection can build up the morale of the police force and also create confidence among the police force.  We had good success in countering terrorism, naxal problem and underworld activities.  But we are not complacent with that success and the police force is aware of its responsibility of providing security to the people. 

People can dial 100 or contact police control room on telephone number 2220500, which are operational 24 hours.  

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Comment on this article

  • Pastor E. W. Frank, Udupi/Udupi

    Fri, Dec 12 2008

    I am glad that we have a wonderful IGP Mr. A. M. Prasad, whom I know personally for many many years. He really has a vast experience in the Police Department, including IB, and I have seen him as an honest Police Officer. There are quite a few IPS Officers in Karnataka, who are very duty minded such as Mr. Bipin Gopalakrishna, Mr. Negi, ADGP . Udupi District SP Mr. Pravid Powar, IPS also is an excellent Police Officer. However I am proud to have Mr. Prasad as IGP and I wish him to  remain in Mangalore till he gets his promotion. May God bless all these officers and also keep our Karnataka Police as good examples to other States of India.


    Wed, Dec 10 2008


  • Vishal D'Souza, Mangalore / Bangalore

    Thu, Dec 11 2008

    Central & state governments should act quickly to the threat posed by terrorists in GOA. It's a hotspot terrorist target during Christmas & New Year. Central govt should not keep in mind the votebank when innocent people of india & foreigners are being killed on our soil. Most of the business we have now is from foreign countries ecspacially from US. If they look at us as potential  terrorist threats we may lose all the oppurtunities ecspecially in the field of IT, inturn which may affect our unemployment growth drastically, also the tourism. Govt should take much more action at this moment without taking votebank into consideration. We dont need India's Talibanisation.

  • James Dsouza, Mangalore

    Wed, Dec 10 2008

    Just look at the picture how many are physically fit enough to run behind terrorists, there is no bomb disposal squad in mangalore, with two boats can the south canara police patrol the entire coastline from kasaragod to honnavar?more than 200kms?

    First the south canara police have to gain confidence of local people by decent behavior and then required is physical fitness and to be professional. permanently deploy Naval boats and coast guard , we are still not able to bring the culprits of Mumbai carnage to justice.

  • joe Gonsalves, Mangalore - U.S.A.

    Wed, Dec 10 2008

    I have read with great interest Florine's interview with Mr. A.M. Prasad - the Inspector General of Police - Western Range. Mr. Prasad has not minced words with regard to his plans to face any terrorist problem. With his long experience and fund of knowledge I tend to think that we are in safe hands. I have known this police officer for several years. He is an amenable person but means business and does not spare any one when the need arises. It is not just Law Enforcement department that has to play its role but it is the duty of every Mangalorean to rise to the occasion and even make a proposition to Police Department to enroll themselves to fight for a cause and thus forestall any situation.

  • vinnu, mang5alore

    Wed, Dec 10 2008

    Daijiworld this a wonderfull coverage.Thank you

  • Amit, Gangulli

    Wed, Dec 10 2008

    I think there is no port in Kundapur there is a port in Gangulli and once it was famous for huge quantity of gold and silver smuggling. I think this is good plan we should keep eye all the ports smaller and bigger.

  • Felix F., India/ME

    Thu, Dec 11 2008

    While asking questions about the proposed security systems for Mangalore, it would have been appropriate to ask what is being done to stop people like N.Modi and L.K. Advani from making hate and violence filled speaches and actors like Amitab Bachhan from acting in violent movies which to a certain extent instigates violence and terrorism in the community.

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