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'Pak cannot try 26/11 accused'

Last updated on: June 24, 2009 15:09 IST
K P S Raghuvanshi is back in the hot seat as chief of Mumbai's Anti Terrorist Squad. When the ATS was initially formed, he headed the unit. He was then transferred as the additional director general of police, railways following which Hemant Karkare took over the job. Following Karkare's death in the 26/11 attacks, Raghuvanshi was put in charge of the unit once again.

In this interview with rediff.com's Vicky Nanjappa, the new ATS boss speaks about Mumbai in the aftermath of the attacks.

How does it feel to come back to the post which you headed once before?

It is not something new for me. As you are aware, I headed the Anti Terrorist Squad in the past. So it is not an entirely new experience for me. It is a tough job and most of the time our work is underground and often goes unnoticed.

Don't you think that things have changed especially in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks or do things continue to remain the same?

After 26/11, there is a whole new dimension to my job. A lot of new responsibilities have been added to my duties. So it is definitely more challenging.

What is the Mumbai police doing about security following an attack of such a magnitude? Are residents safe?

We need to upgrade our capabilities since terror outfits seem to be changing their modus operandi each time they carry out an attack. There is an absolute need for us to be one step ahead all the time especially in terms of assessment and imagination.

Mumbai has always been on the hit-list of terrorists for obvious reasons. We are working hard on upgrading and I am sure that we will keep improvising from time to time.

Can you tell us the difference you find in the police force post and pre-26/11?

As of today we are better prepared in terms of intelligence. Our response will surely be better in the future. I would like to add here that the forces which took on the terrorists during the 26/11 attack were excellent and they fought valiantly and bravely. Unfortunately, we lost several lives.

In the future I can assure that we will be much better and more prepared.

There was a very unfortunate and embarrassing lack of coordination between the Mumbai and the Uttar Pradesh police in terms of intelligence and sharing information. I am speaking of Sabahuddin and Fahim Ansari over here who had given out a lot of information of what was coming in Mumbai.

The coordination is much better as of today. The intelligence sharing has improved a great deal and all those persons involved in counter-terrorism including military intelligence meet regularly and update each other. There is lot of information that is being shared. This, I am sure, will go a long way in combating terror.

What about the ATS? Is it completely equipped or is there something more that you need or have asked for?

The Mumbai ATS will soon have a dedicated intelligence gathering unit. We have sought for that and the government has approved the same in principle.

All security forces claim that there has been a massive crackdown after the deadly attack. What about Mumbai? Have the terror modules which helped execute the attack come down in number?

This is a hypothetical question. I would like to add here that due to our strict scrutiny and thorough crackdown, the number of modules have come down drastically. However, it is a continuous process and we have to remain vigilant all the time and continue with the hard work.

What are your views on how Pakistan has reacted to the entire incident?

This question is political and it would be best if the politicians themselves answered the same.

What about the several accused who are still in Pakistan?

The accused that India needs are still in Pakistan and that country claims to have cracked down on several of them. Those persons have to be brought down here and tried in our courts.

It is of no use if Pakistan tries those accused since it will not make any difference to our war against terror. I feel that those persons ought to be extradited and brought down, questioned and tried over here in our courts.