COIMBATORE: After criticisms that the intelligence units of Coimbatore City police failed to detect and prevent the recent car blast, the city police have decided to appoint ‘competent officers’ in communally sensitive areas. The police have also decided to increase the manpower of the Special Intelligence Cell (SIC) and Special Intelligence Unit (SIU) in the city.
According to sources, Jameesha Mubin, the deceased in the blast, was one among the 32 people investigated by the NIA since 2018.“He was to be put on shadow watch by the NIA and the city police, but they failed to monitor his activities,” sources added.
A senior police officer said, “Increasing manpower of the SIU across the State and the SIC in the city is the need of the hour. We suggest appointing additional staff for both SIU and SIC, which would help us to strengthen the intelligence against anti-social activities and extremists. We must also place competent intelligence officers in sensitive locations.”
Sources said that SIU functions under a DSP and it covers Coimbatore, Nilgiris, Tiruppur and Erode districts and the unit in Coimbatore city alone has one inspector and seven other police personnel.“But, additional manpower is required for SIU as eight officers are not enough to cover the entire city. Also, at least two intelligence officers should be appointed in each police limit to ease the shadow watch on the suspects,” they added.
“Similarly, the SIC, which functions under the control of the city police commissioner also requires additional strength to cover the city limits,” they added.The main function of the SIC is to monitor elements distorting communal harmony, besides those engaged in anti-national and terror-related activities. It should have one Assistant commissioner, two inspectors, four SIs and eight police personnel. But three major posts, including the assistant commissioner’s post, is vacant and it is being run with the support of the Armed Reserve unit, the sources stated.
“We will send a proposal to the head of the police force to get additional strength for the SIC, which includes creating one more inspector post and 22 other cadre posts. Once it is sanctioned, we will have two intelligence staff at each police station limit, which will help them in collecting intelligence inputs,” the sources said. “On Wednesday, the CM announced the initiation of a special unit in the State to prevent such incidents. We are also concentrating on strengthening the existing units,” the senior officer added.