No ‘risk allowance’ for Special Cell, SWAT commandos in Delhi Police

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has turned down a proposal by the Delhi Police, requesting a special “risk allowance” for the Special Cell — its anti-terror unit — and SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) commandos. Stating that it has recommended modifications in risk and hardship allowance in the Seventh Pay Commission, the Ministry has said officers do not need extra allowances. Sources say that the Delhi Police had proposed the special “risk allowance”, with a 60 per cent hike in their basic pay. However, the government said the allowance is “much more than what is payable” to personnel deployed for counter-insurgency operations.

In its proposal sent to the MHA in March 2016, the Delhi Police had said that anti-terror units of states such as Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh were getting such allowances and that the Delhi Police Special Cell and SWAT commandos should get the same. The ministry, however, said the Delhi Police is “under the central government and they should not compare themselves with the state government police”, sources said. A police officer, however, said a new proposal may be sent to the MHA. “We are working with the same dedication and risk to our lives as other state government police forces. We should also be given the same kind of facilities,” the officer, who did not wish to be named, said.

He added that Delhi is a potential target for many terrorist organisations and that they have to be prepared to tackle any situation. In its proposal, the Delhi Police said the Special Cell has worked out many cases related to terrorist activities, serial blasts and terror attacks. Since 2010, the cell has arrested 92 terrorists of different organisations across the country.
Stating that the cell has arrested over 30 terrorists belonging to the Indian Mujahideen (IM) in the past six years, the proposal said, “The most often ignored output of the arrest of IM terrorists was that the backbone of IM was broken. Till date, IM has not been able to carry out any terrorist attack in India.”

It added, “Before these arrests, the IM was able to successfully carry out many terrorist attacks at regular intervals. It is worthwhile to mention herein, that the IM carried out 21 terrorist strikes all over India which claimed the lives of 571 people…” The proposal also highlighted that in the last two years, the Special Cell had busted the first active modules of Islamic State (IS) and the Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS). The proposal also stated that the Special Cell has tracked down many inter-state gangsters, with its personnel having to face fire in 27 instances.

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