After Sharad Pawar, experts slam poor intelligence network
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After Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar slammed poor intelligence gathering on part of the police, experts, too, have criticised the security agencies for failure to prevent Wednesday's serial blasts in the city. They have blamed poor communication between junior and senior police officials for the incidents.
Suresh Khopde, retired IPS officer, said the methods that police officials use for policing and gathering intelligence were outdated. "The police seldom have knowledge about the socio-economic realities of the region and the ideologies of terror outfits," he said.
"Tackling terror is not the same as dealing with dacoits or robbers. The police don't seem to understand this. Intelligence plays an important role in coutering terror attacks. Lack of proper intelligence apparatus that provides apt inputs is a major reason behind the failure to prevent acts of terror, the most recent example being the blasts here," said Khopde.
"Technical know-how and infrastructure are a necessity, but what is more important is having a human intelligence network. The police department has recently undertaken major recruitment drives for constables. But there's little dialogue between the foot soldiers and higher officials. Thus, the potential of these constables and their contacts for gathering information is rarely used," said Khopde.
According to Bhaskarrao Misar, former DGP and former police commissioner, several other ways of collecting information are being overlooked. "Running a terror network is a costly affair. They have to spend lakhs to recruit one terrorist. Now, as cash transactions have become inconvenient and risky, the handlers often use bank accounts opened under fake names by submitting bogus documents. The bank officials, who are under pressure to open new accounts, overlook these discrepancies. If such cash flow is checked, it can be a major setback for terror activities," said Misar.
Khopde feels that the police was still using outdated methods. "They are still using outdated command-and-control methods. However, community policing, or soft policing, is the need of the hour. I used this method in Bhiwandi, Mumbai, which brought in a considerable change in the crime scenario there. I had submitted a plan for tackling terrorism based on my experience in Bhiwandi to senior police officials but haven't received a response from them."
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