Govt to set up 72 coastal police stations, train locals

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New Delhi, Nov 28 (UNI) The government today decided to set up 72 new maritime police stations in the coastal areas at a cost of Rs 500 crore and train state police personnel in combating activities to prevent recurrence and effectively deal with terror attacks like one in Mumbai in which 124 people have been killed and 284 injured.

Home Minister Shivraj Patil held a high-level meeting in which short-term, medium and long-term strategies to upgrade security in metro and coastal areas were deliberatedupon. The meeting decided to set up new police stations and provide fully equipped boats imported from abroad to police in coastal areas so that they could effectively check militants coming through sea routes as they did in Mumbai terror attacks, Special Secretary M L Kumawat told reporters here.

Admitting that the NSG commando movement from Manesar to Mumbai took a few hours, he said government has also decided to provide training to local police in commando operations so that in future such delays could be avoided in dealing with urban terror.

Moreover, local commandos could work for longer hours without fatigue. Moreover, other steps to improve megacity policing was also deliberated, he said.

With the Centre sending one more contingent of NSG today,.

at present 477 NSG commandos are involved in anti-terror operations in Mumbai with the army, Navy and Mumbai police.

providing support to them. Two NSG personnel, including Major Sandeep Unnikrishan and Hawaldar Chander, have till now sacrificed their lives in the operations which was still on at the Taj Hotel while Oberoi Hotel has been fully scanned and guests taken out.

Eight foreigners were among 124 people killed while 22 foreigners were among 284 injured, he said based on information received from Maharashtra Police and NSG. Among the foreigners killed three were from Germany, one Japanese, one canadian, one Australian and two yet to be identified. Among 22 foreigners injured two were from the US, five from UK, three from Germany, one Norway, one Spain, one Canadian, one Finland, one Philippines, one Australian, one Italian, two from Oman, one Chinese and nationalities of two could not be established.

Significantly, unexploded Chinese made grenades have been recovered along with AK 47 rifle and pistol from the eighth floor of Oberoi hotel, he said.

Refusing to comment on the number of terrorists involved in the attack or those killed, he said at present the focus of the anti-terror operation was to neutralise them.

However, security forces felt that about six terrorists could still be at Taj Hotel, people were found dead at Oberoi hotel.

About the death toll, he said that the number might increase further as many bodies were still being recovered.

UNI AJ JT RN2238

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