The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cop-tracking to help tame Maoists

Jamshedpur, March 27: Laggard policemen on patrolling duty will be under surveillance of big bosses soon. So will be vehicles on anti-rebel missions.

The state government has decided to use satellite-based tracking system — Tetra Communication — to monitor the movement of all police vehicles, particularly those deployed for patrolling and carrying out anti-Naxalite activities.

While the system will help identify personnel shirking duty, it will be handy in spotting police vehicles attacked by Naxalites in woods. The system would help identify all the possible routes leading to that particular spot in no time.

The tracking system, to be introduced on pilot basis in East Singhbhum, would be installed by experts of an Australian firm having a centre at Burmamines. In fact, several aspects of this tracking system are developed by the Australian company.

Sub-inspector Asgar Ali, who will be the in-charge of the monitoring system in Jamshedpur, confirmed that he had been informed about the introduction of the system here on pilot basis. The system will be used along with the nation wide police wireless through a satellite-based network — Polnet.

Sources in the police said that selection of sites for setting up of base station and additional towers in the city had been completed.

“Everyone knows that policeman on patrolling duty bunk duty. After a round of patrolling, mostly vehicles are parked at a suitable location away from the eyes of officers and personnel spend time chatting. When they are asked about their whereabouts, they bluff,” said a police officer.

“In case of any problem, additional force can be sent to the crime spot easily. The officer sitting at the headquarters can easily locate the patrolling vehicles close to that place and direct them towards the crime spot.”

The system will be of great help to the police during the anti-Naxalite operations, especially is vehicles are surrounded by Naxalites from deep inside a jungle.

With the existing system, it is impossible to trace the exact location of the vehicle because only voice message is transmitted through wireless.

Once the new system is in place, all the possible routes, including the safest one, to that particular spot can be identified in a jiffy. “Based on the location, strategy could be drawn and reinforcement can be sent. In case there is some injuries, medical team can be sent through the safest route,” said a source.

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