Crime Branch officials feel ATS sidelining them
There is a loud buzz among the officers and personnel of the Crime Branch (CB) that the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), the sole investigation agency probing the serial blasts case, is sidelining them and is not updating them on the investigation status.
Soon after the blasts, CB’s Assistant Commissioner of Police (Crime) Vinod Satav was chosen as one of the investigating officers in the case. The reason given for his appointment was that he was already probing the German Bakery blast case. Satav was an ACP with the ATS when he was handed over the German Bakery blast case.
There are six teams of the CB working on the case and all of them have been given different tasks by the ATS officials. Each of the teams are expected to submit their inputs everyday. But the team members feel dejected, as they feel that their peers in the ATS are not taking them into confidence.
“Everybody in the Crime Branch has been assigned tasks by the ATS, like collecting CCTV footage from various shops on JM Road, FC Road, Apate Road and other adjoining areas of Deccan. Some are collecting information on banned organisations and their members.
Some officials and personnel have been asked to conduct nakabandis in the above-mentioned areas and question commuters,” a CB official said. “Everyday the Crime Branch officers have to submit their reports at the end of the day and while submitting the reports, officers are not expected to ask any question on the investigation status.”
While selected ATS officials review the CCTV footage collected by the Crime branch officials, the latter are not even allowed to have a glimpse of the footage.
“There are multiple instances of the Crime Branch doing a commendable job in the German Bakery blast case while probing it alongside ATS officials. But even that time the Crime Branch as well as the city police were kept aside from investigation,” a CB official said.