Located in western UP, Deoband is known for housing the Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband where the Islamic revivalist movement in Sunni Islam began. Many Taliban leaders are said to trace their origin to the seminary, having studied in Deobandi schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The seminary, however, has sought to distance itself from being associated with the terror activities and had issued a fatwa against terrorism in 2008.
ADG (Law and order) Prashant Kumar said the units are being opened to strengthen the Special Task Force (STF) and the ATS and land has been identified for such centres that will come up in many locations, including in Meerut, along the Indo-Nepal border in Bahraich and Shravasti, as well as around the upcoming Jewar Airport and Deoband, as such locations are
from an operational point of view as well as sensitive.
“The significance of Deoband is that it is on the border of Uttaranchal and Haryana and will also serve as a point to increase depth and efficiency (of the police) in western UP,” said Kumar. The government has allotted over 2,000 square metres of land to the ATS in Deoband.
Inspector General of Police, UP ATS, Gajendra Kumar Goswamy, said the motive of opening such centres is to expand the wing keeping in mind the increase in terror-related activities, especially with assembly elections around the corner.
At least 18 “sharp shooting” commandos will be chosen to run these centres, BJP shared on its Twitter handle, saying work on them has begun on a “war footing”. “It is the need of the hour that we learn from history and stay two steps ahead of it,” Sanjay Rai, UP BJP secretary said in a Twitter post, lauding CM Yogi Adityanath for his “far-sightedness” after seeing Taliban’s brutality.
However, senior Samajwadi Party leader Ram Govind Chaudhary criticised the move.