Kolkata: The Bengal government has decided to raise three specialised rapid action force battalions and station them in Siliguri, Durgapur and Barrackpore to handle law and order problems without delay.
The decision to form the battalions with 1,007 personnel each assumes significance amid questions on whether police response to last week’s communal strife in the Asansol and Raniganj coal belt over Ram Navami celebrations was delayed as specialised forces had to be despatched from Calcutta.
“Moving the forces from different parts of the state takes time. But now, these battalions will be the first to react in times of crisis. Because of their strategic location, in north, central and south Bengal, these battalions can reach the troubled areas fast,” said a senior officer of the police directorate.
A government notification issued last week speaks about creation of 3,021 posts for the three battalions. The posts will be created under 25 categories, including one commandant, one deputy commandant, seven assistant commandants, 19 inspectors, 39 sub inspectors, 146 assistant sub inspectors and 670 constables.
The force will be stationed in three corners of Bengal for their easy mobility – on the lines of the National Security Guard hubs which were set up across metros for quicker response to a crisis, post the Mumbai terror attack in 2008.
The NSG – an elite force specialised to combat terror attacks – had come into existence after the Operation Blue Star in Punjab but felt the need to set up multiple bases across India for effective response to a crisis after the Mumbai terror attacks.
In Bengal, at least till now, teams of Calcutta police and senior officers from other police districts are sent elsewhere to tackle law and order situations in most of the cases.