Thursday, December 24, 2009

Mumbai Terror Attacks Underline Lapses in Counter Measures

Be it terrorism or communal riots, citizens of Mumbai have been suffering from pain for years. The Babri Mosque in Ayodhya was demolished on 6 December 1992, and serial blasts were carried out in Mumbai in reaction to it in 1993. At that time also, the police department had been unsuccessful in stopping riots.

Security Negligence
The central intelligence network keeps informing the Maharashtra government, from time-to-time, of apprehensions of terrorist incidents. Before the 26 November 2008 incident also, it had warned the Maharashtra Government that some big terrorist incident could take place in Mumbai. It was also warned that terrorists could come through sea route, and carry out some big incident.
Despite it, the Maharashtra Government and Mumbai police did not take it seriously. This is the conclusion of the high-level committee appointed to probe into the 26 November 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack.

Leadership Capabilities Questioned
Since the eighth decade of the last century, India has become well acquainted with terrorism. There have been terrorist attacks on Parliament and in all big cities of the country. After every attack, an investigation committee is appointed, but its recommendations are never implemented. The report of the committee appointed to probe into the Mumbai terror attack has exposed several flaws in the police establishment.
Questions have also been raised about the leadership capabilities of former Police Commissioner Hasan Gafoor. There was warlike situation in Mumbai during the attack. The probe committee believes that this was guerilla warfare, and Hasan Gafoor has been found to be a total failure in forming a strategy to counter it.
An ordinary policeman is not capable of facing guerilla warfare, and only specially trained National Security Guards could tackle them, but the government and high-level police officers were totally nonplussed, and were not in a position to deal with the situation. Policemen facing the terrorists also did not possess modern weapons. Despite it, they bravely countered the trained terrorists. The committee has made detailed revelations in its report on all these aspects. The report says that there was utter neglect of management of intelligence reports and the prescribed criteria of crisis management.

Victim of Conspiracy
The main issue is that the report rejects outright the allegation by martyr Ashok Kamte's wife Vinita Kamte that her husband was the victim of a conspiracy. Several big cities of the country are still on the hit list of terrorists.
It is necessary to train policemen to face guerilla warfare tactics of terrorists, and equip them with latest weapons.

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