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Mumbai police commandos better than the NSG: Sivanandan

By Prasanna D Zore
Last updated on: April 21, 2010 17:26 IST
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Mumbai police commissioner Dhanushkodi Sivanandan is confident that the 1,000-strong police commando team that has been "trained by the best professionals in the world" are better than even the National Security Guards as far as their preparedness to handle 26/11-like terror attacks are concerned.

He was replying to a question from the audience at a seminar on 'Fight against Terrorism' on whether the Mumbai police commandos were as good as the NSG commandos.

"Our answer will be (Mumbai police commandos are) better than the NSG," he told a packed house at Chembur in suburban Mumbai. He assured Mumbaikars that the city police is now well-prepared to handle any emergency. To combat terror attacks the Mumbai police has requisitioned 39 combat vehicles and very soon they will be inducting bullet proof combat vehicles too, he said.

Talking about how tech-savvy the police force has become he said his mobile teams now use GPS (global positioning system) technology to reach the area of crime in 2 to 5 minutes.

However, the fact that no amount of sophisticated imported technology will help Mumbai police solve crimes or acts of terror without active cooperation of the people of this city, he said. He was emphasising on the point highlighted by strategic expert and columnist B Raman who while speaking at the seminar observed that the London Metropolitan police succeeded in containing acts of terror in London post the July 2005 train bombings there because of the active cooperation from various communities in the city.

West Bengal Governor M K Narayanan earlier delivered the keynote address at this seminar followed by Dr Anil Kakodkar, former chairman, Atomic Energy Commission, Dr Raghunath Mashelkar, former Director General CSIR, and foreign policy expert G Parthasarthy.

Later addressing a press conference on the sidelines of the seminar the Mumbai CP said that shifting of IPL semi-finals due to the spate of bomb blasts in Bengaluru recently to Navi Mumbai is a compliment to capability of the Mumbai and Maharashtra police.

"I take that as a compliment and the confidence entrusted by the country. I would only say that all the IPL matches conducted in the city went without any problem. Even the teams staying in various hotels in Mumbai are our responsibility."

We are giving the Navi Mumbai police all the technical and manpower support that has been asked.

"Even though the semi-finals will not take place in my area (Mumbai city jurisdiction) I can assure the people that everything will go off well. I request the people to not feel the pressure and go out to the stadium to enjoy the game," Sivanandan said.

The first of the two semi-finals and the game for the third position and the finals on April 25, will all be held at D Y Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.

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Prasanna D Zore in Mumbai