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Spurred by ISIL's clarion call, Rakesh Maria asks ATCs to stay alert

Friday, 4 July 2014 - 6:15am IST | Agency: dna

With the newly-found Iraq-based terror outfit Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) asking terrorists from across the globe to support them during festival season, Mumbai police chief Rakesh Maria has asked all anti-terror cells (ATCs) to stay on their toes. This is the first time that the Mumbai police have mentioned ISIL in their communication with the force.

"Presently, the Ramzan festival is on. In the past, Maharashtra has seen four attacks (during Ramzan). At present, members of ISIL are active and killing innocent people in Iraq. ISIL has also declared the formation of a new country and asked terrorists across the world to support them," said a letter written by Maria to the force on Tuesday.

In September 2012, ATCs were established in each police station, with each cell comprising an officer and four constables. ATCs are responsible for gathering information about terrorist activities.

The letter also said that, in the recent times, the misuse of social media with the intention of creating disharmony has resulted in economic and human loss in the state. "Ramzan has begun, followed by various other festivals such as Janmashtmi, Independence Day, Ganesh Chaturthi, Navratri, Bakri Eid, Diwali and Moharrum," it said.

The letter instructs ATCs to "visit vital installations within their jurisdiction and alert security guards, pay regular visits, check alertness of guards and do dry runs so that if there is any laxity, it can be fixed." The letter also states that details of new tenants should be checked.

The ATCs have also been asked to trace missing children within the jurisdictions of their respective police stations, especially those who fall within the age group which makes them potential members for terror outfits. "Get mobile call data records of these children and trace them through their email address or social media profile. Check whether they have any links with terror elements," said a senior police officer.

"ATCs have been asked to take SIM card providers into confidence so that they inform them if someone comes to them asking for a SIM card without proper documentation. They have also been asked to check with old car sellers about sold vehicles and details of the buyers," added the officer.

Maria has told all senior inspectors of police stations that those posted in ATCs should not be given any other duty and should not be reshuffled.

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