Expect nothing, live frugally on surprise.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Terror attack rocks Mumbai, ATS chief among 195 dead

Terror struck the country’s financial capital late tonight as “coordinated” serial explosions (12 of them ) & indiscriminate firing rocked areas across Mumbai. City was held on gun point as terrorist fired gun shots on the streets of the city. Which at this point of time seems like complete planned attack. City beared a Gaza strip look with gun being fired from AK-47 and grenade being shot at will. Several police personal and citizen were dead. Foreign nationals, Anti Terrorist Squad officers & Media persons were targeted. The first incident took place between 10.15 pm and 10.30 pm when bullets, apparently from automatic weapons, were fired at police and paramilitary forces outside the Taj Mahal Hotel in south Mumbai. Minutes later, bullets were fired near Hotel Trident - another five-star hotel - barely a kilometre away from the Taj. Trident is in a high security zone and lies just behind Air India and Maharashtra legislature buildings. Unidentified persons also opened random firing near Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, headquarters of the Central Railway, which is a world heritage building and remains crowded almost throughout the day. According to sources, two men rushed into a local train stationary at CST and fired indiscrimately.
Target Points:-

  1. The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower,Apollo Bunder, S.Mumbai
  2. Hotel Oberoi/Trident Nariman Point,S.Mumbai
  3. Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Railway Station
  4. Police headquarters in S. Mumbai
  5. Metro cinema, S. Mumbai
  6. JJ school of Art, N.A. M. G. Road, Fort, S.Mumbai
  7. Leopold's restaurant, Colaba, Nawroji F Road,S.Mumbai
  8. Blast in a taxi in Vile Parle, N.Mumbai
  9. Western Expressway, S.Mumbai
  10. Cama Hospital, Mahapalika Marg, S.Mumbai

Sequence of events:-

Wednesday, 26/11/2008

  • Millitants enter city via sea on boat.
  • Cafe Lehold, Nawroji F Road,Colaba, South Mumbai faces first attack at (09:30 PM IST, Wednesday, 26/11/2008)
  • Militants open fire at CST,Railway Station & UNESCO World Heritage Site(10:15PM IST)
  • Gun battle at Metro cinema (10:20 AM IST)
  • Millitants enter Cama Hospital, (10:30PM IST)
  • Militants hijack police gypsy and open fire on public at Colaba with AK-47, AK-56 & hand grenades (10:33PM IST)
  • Hotel Taj was one of the flashpoint, where 17 blasts has been reported so far (10:45 PM IST).

Thursday,27/11/2008

  • ATS chief Hemant Karkare (IPS) broght dead at JJ Hospital with 3 bullets, after leading operation at Cama hospital (02:20 AM IST, Thursday, 27/11/2008)
  • ATS officer Ashok Kamte killed at cross fire with millitants at Metro cinema.
  • Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus, JJ school of Art is under attack
  • More than 100 people have been killed & 387 have been injured.
  • 9 terrorist have been killed in encounter in Hotel Taj.400 people were rescued from Hotel Taj & 170 from hotel Oberoi.
  • 2 terrorists (alleged) have been captured by ATS (5:30 AM IST)
  • 177 of 195 dead are Indian national rest 18 are foreigners.
  • Several people are held as hostages in Hotel Taj, Nariman Point & Oberoi(Trident)
  • Milltary has started several operations with ATS, CRPF, STF, Mumbai Police ( including CST which is now under millitary control).
  • Navy being called by Home Ministry, central.
  • NSG (National Security Guards) commandos have been air lifted from New Delhi to Mumbai for anti-terrorists operations (05:00 AM IST, Thursday, 27/11/2008)
  • NSG reaches Mumbai (07:00 AM IST)
  • No order from Police commisioner & Home Ministry to start operation.
  • City under complete control of Military, NSG, STF,ATS,CISF & Mumbai Police.
  • 'Deccan Majahedeen' claims responsibilities of attack via e-mail to news agencies/channels.
  • Cama Hospital cleared of milittants. Under army control now. (08:30 AM IST)
  • A couple and old lady dies in 'threat firing' early in morning (08:45 AM IST)
  • NSG trying to negotiate with millitants but fails. (08:45 AM IST)
  • NSG commandos (200 of them) with help of STF, ATS,Military (5 columns, 800 in numbers) & Navy starts special operation to gush out millitants now, probably 2 or 3 of them. 6 foreign nationals among 15-20 hostages. (08:50 AM IST)
  • Few (approx.40) people, all civilians, move out of the hotel as NSG moves in. (09:10AM IST)
  • Anti-terrorist operations on at 3 places viz. Taj Palace, Hotel Oberoi (also known as Trident) & Nariman Point (09:20AM IST)
  • An hour after operations began, no clue about the progress as no gun-shots heard in last 30-35 minutes(10:30 AM IST)
  • NSG asks media not to go into detail of operation on air as millitants might be wtching on TV. Media asked to take cautious approach at immensely tense and vulnerable situation (10:35 PM IST)
  • Citizens,World & Media wait & watch as NSG and rest do hard job at ground zero.30-35 persons remain hostage, including 2MPs (10:50 AM IST)
  • DGP AN Roy : " Complicated operation, time factor not known". Terrorists are believed to be asking ransom. Operation continues.....(13:25 HRS IST)
  • Hotel Taj Palace free of hostages, search on there for any hiding terrorists. Final assault at Taj. Hostage crisisis at hotel Trident/Oberoi & Nariman point. NSG go all out at terrorist at these 3 places. (14:30 HRS IST)
  • Coast Gaurd & Indian Navy launch massive search operation at Indian coasts looking for escaping millitant's boat (14:45 HRS IST)
  • Indian coast Guard & Indian Navy get hold of MV Alpha by which terrorists supposedly reached Mumbai (via Gateway of India) from Karachi Port, Pakistan(15:45 HRS IST)
  • 6 Blasts occur in Oberoi in last 15 minutes, gunbattle continues at Trident & Nariman Place. (16:05 HRS IST)
  • Atleast 200 people are feared stuck in Hotel Oberoi as intense gunbattle continues to rescue citizens of difffrent nations. (17:45HRS IST)
  • 6 fresh blasts at hotel Oberoi/Trident & Nariman house (18:00 HRS IST)
  • Fire again breaks out at Taj Palace (18:10 HRS IST).
  • 1 alive terrorist of Pakistan national captured from Taj hotel (18:25 HRS IST).
  • Terrorist kill their own head, who was master mind of this attack, body was recovered by STF in Mumbai (19:00 HRS IST)
  • Hotel Taj palace is now free of militants, struggle continues at Oberoi though, 2 force personnel killed. (22:00 HRS IST)
  • 26th hrs after it all started, the fight continues as brave hearts continue their fights & Mumbai struggle for euillibrium (23:00 HRS IST)

Friday, 28/11/2008

  • 7 rescued from Hotel Oberoi including 3 foreigners (00:05 HRS IST)
  • Rescue operations carry on at Hotel Oberoi (00:30HRS IST)
  • 2 NSG commandos injured in operation at Hotel Oberoi (02:30 HRS IST)
  • Fresh fire break out Hotel Oberoi (03:00 HRS IST)
  • More person brought out of Taj Palace (05:00 HRS IST)
  • Army,NSG & STF decides to air drop commandos at Nariman point as it gets difficult to gush them out (05:45 HRS IST)
  • Operation continues at Oberoi & Nariman place (07:30 HRS IST)
  • More grenades blasts at Nariman Point (08:30 HRS IST)
  • Helicopter continue to hover around Nariman Point, as rescue operation continues (09:45 HRS IST)
  • Operation reaches decisive phase as security forces corner terrorist at Nariman point (10:05 HRS IST)
  • Civilians are finally evacuated from Nariman point (10: 25 HRS IST)
  • Trident is under control of NSG as 2 terrorist are shot dead says NSG (14:30 HRS IST)
  • Operation continue at Taj and Nariman house (15:00 HRS IST)
  • Heavy firing at Nariman point and Taj palace. Maharashtra Home Minister RR Patil says police has strong proof of Pakistan's involvement. There is no formal announcement though. (16:20 HRS IST)
  • Heavy firing at Taj Palace as army launches grenade attacks. No remaining survivors at Taj (16:45 HRS IST)
  • 45 hours after it started on 26/11/2008 at (21:50 HRS IST) NSG commandos get full control of Hotel Oberoi & Nariman house (18:28 HRS IST), serach is going on for any explosives inside these 2 buildings. 2 terrorist are killed at Nariman House
  • Meanwhile. heavy firing continue at Taj Palace (18: 35 HRS IST)
  • Two terrorist held by security forces, interrogation starts. Meanwhile, heavy firing continues at Taj Palce (21:15 HRS IST)
  • PM of India: "We have strong evidence of Pakistani involvement"
  • Pakistan's official spokesperson strongly denies India's allegation.
  • ISI chief to visit India for intelligence co-operation.
  • The operation got finally over after 59 hours at 08:05 HRS IST 29/11/2008 of fight by security forces. Heavy firing were exchanged as 1500 rounds of gun shots were exchanged. Fire intensified as day broke down and darkness gave way to bright day light making it easier for security forces to intensify operation. 5 terrorist are killed at Taj Palace. (08:05 HRS IST 29/11/2008)

ATS officers under attack:-

  • ATS Special squad ACP, Ashok Kamte (IPS), is reported to have died in Operation
  • ATS encounter specialist ACP Vijay Salaskar (IPS) is also dead as bullet hits his head in cross-fire.
  • ATS chief Hemant Karkare (IPS) is dead in operation.
  • 3 more senior ATS officers of IPS ranks are fighting for their life in hospitals.
  • 16 police personnel including 4 senior officers (3 of IPS Rank) died in operations. 2 SI, 2 ASI & 6 constables include among police deaths.
  • STF, NSG, Millitary & ATS trying to crack into hotels. Cross fire still on.
  • CISF deployed at airport.
  • Millitary & STF do flag march to restore normalcy in the city
  • Fire still on at Taj Palace.

Aftermath:-

  • Emerging hostage situation in Taj Palace, Oberoi hotel and Cama Hospital.
  • All educational institute & Govt,PVT. office to remain close today.
  • No trading at BSE & NSE: SEBI
  • Domestic & international flights cancelled/delayed
  • Local train run late
  • England cricket tour of India has been cancelled.
  • Championship matches shifted out of Mumbai.
  • Australia rejects to visit India for T-20 cricket championship.

Other operations is on in several places in Mumbai as i write....

A man injured in a gunbattle is carried to a hospital
Injured people in the terror attack at Oberoi Hotel in Mumbai being carried away by police personnel to hospital COP OUT: Mumbai cops stand guard after the shooting inside Chhatrapati Shivaji Railway Terminus.
An Injured being carried out of Hotel Taj,Mumbai,India. Atleast 10 attacks have been reported so far, news are still pouring in.
In what looks like fresh attack of terror, firing has been reported from 9 different places, while blasts have occurred in two different places. There are conflicting reports about the firing, with some reports putting it down as AK 47 fire, while others reports put it down to machine gun fire. The firing has taken places at the CST railways station, Colaba, Nariman point and outside the Taj and the Oberoi hotel. Firing is still going on in the Taj hotel, with reports saying that 4 terrorists could be holed up inside.Blasts have been reported from Majhgoan and Vile Parley. Police sources have put the number of injured between 240 to 250.The attack could be a possible act of terror, police say. Two separate incidents of firing reported from south Mumbai on Wednesday night, one in Colaba and another near CST station and around ten to twelve people are feared injured.One policeman is reported to be injured in the firing in Colaba. Gunshots were heard near CST station. The shootouts took place at Colaba and CST while a grenade exploded at Mumbai CST. Additional Commissioner of Police Deven Bharti confirmed the shootout at Colaba but did not give out details and say if there was any casualty.Police cordoned off the CST and none was allowed to enter it.Two persons armed with automatic weapons and hand grenades are reportedly holding up inside CST stations.Sounds of gunshots are still being heard. Hundreds of onlookers gathered outside the station. The station and premises has been evacuated.FURTHER NEWS IS AWAITED... One policeman was injured in the firing at Colaba and a number of people were wounded at CST where two armed men opened indiscriminate area.Colaba is one of the most congested and high-profile areas of Mumbai and CST the busiest railway station. The shootouts took place at Leopold Café in Colaba and CST while a grenade exploded at Mumbai CST. Additional Commissioner of Police Deven Bharti confirmed the shootout at Colaba but did not give out details and say if there was any casualty. Police cordoned off the CST and none was allowed to enter it.However, other reports suggested that at least 15 people were wounded in shootings near the Oberoi and Taj Mahal hotels and local television said it could be a terror attack.There were reports of firing around several landmark buildings in the Colaba-Nariman Point area, including the Taj hotel, Oberoi and other tourist attractions and pubs like Leopold's. The top floor of Oberoi was said to be on fire amid reports of blasts in the area and blood-smeared bodies were being brought out of the Taj lobby. Firing and blasts were also reported from Mazgaon, the Metro Junction, Crawford Market and Colaba. There were reports of a blast in a taxi on the Western Express Highway, near Vile Parle, but there was no confirmation. The firing and bombing apparently started close to the Gateway of India. The gunbattle then moved on towards CST and raged on for over 45 minutes from 10 pm, sending commuters running out of the station. The assailants also fired into the crowd at CST and people on the trains and then ran out of the station themselves and into neighbouring buildings, including Cama Hospital, after being challenged by cops. SRPF personnel then entered the iconic BMC building -- just opposite CST -- to take aim at the assailants, BMC commissioner Jairaj Phatak said. "We fear some of the assailants are still inside the station and we want to catch them if they come out," a police official said. Vikhroli police station senior inspector Habib Ansari was on his way to work from his Colaba home when he saw two armed men, with sophisticated weaponry, trying to run into bylanes near the Gateway of India. "I rushed back to Colaba and all policemen, including GRP and RPF personnel, were called up," he added. Bhisham Mansukhani, a journalist, was attending a wedding reception at the Taj's Crystal Room. "I was inside the bar when glass shards almost hit my eye," he said. "More than 200 people were escorted inside Chambers, a business centre inside the hotel," he added.

29 comments:

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Anonymous,  November 27, 2008 at 6:28 AM  

Only the unknown frightens men. But once a man has faced the unknown, that terror becomes the known.”

Anonymous,  November 27, 2008 at 6:54 AM  

No man dies for what he knows to be true. Men die for what they want to be true, for what some terror in their hearts tells them is not true.”

Anonymous,  November 27, 2008 at 7:00 AM  

The risk of a wrong decision is preferable to the terror of indecision.”

seema gupta November 27, 2008 at 9:36 AM  

" really painful to watch whole night the terror attack.... but shame on govt who is still sleeping.... there is no strict law or punishment against terror. criminals should be directly handged till death..... m too much tensed today.."

regards

Anonymous,  November 27, 2008 at 9:50 AM  

Democracies don't go to war against each other, and by and large they don't sponsor terrorism. They're more likely to respect the environment and human rights and social justice. It's no accident that most of the terrorists come from non-democratic countries.”

Dr. Neha Srivastav November 27, 2008 at 9:55 AM  

If, as it now appears, this was an act of terrorism it was a despicable and cowardly act. We will find out who was responsible and hold them accountable. If their intention was to deter us from our mission of promoting peace and security in the Middle East, they will fail utterly.”

Dr. Palki Vajpayee November 27, 2008 at 9:57 AM  

“Terrorism is the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives”

Anonymous,  November 27, 2008 at 9:57 AM  

“We should cooperate with others in the fight against terrorism around the world, in whatever ways are appropriate and possible. Because it's a global threat, invulnerability is global.”

Anonymous,  November 27, 2008 at 9:57 AM  

An act of terrorism totally outside the bounds of international law and diplomatic tradition. a crisis [that] calls for firmness and restraint.”

Anonymous,  November 27, 2008 at 10:00 AM  

it was horrible night 4 whole of India

Dr.Nishi Chauhan November 27, 2008 at 1:34 PM  

b4 u cud realise it has becum a global epdemic

Dr. Aradhna Awasthi November 27, 2008 at 2:34 PM  

its been horrible last 16 hrs,hopefully NSG,army.STF n all will win this battle

Er. Prachi Pandey November 27, 2008 at 4:07 PM  

its a act of desperation by terrorists, India will fight back
Jai Hind!!

Er. Nidhi Mishra November 27, 2008 at 6:13 PM  

its stongly condemnable act of coward who dont have any religion or faith. India will sin over it.
Jai Hind!!

Anonymous,  November 27, 2008 at 6:14 PM  

act of desperation to disturb communal harmony,

Anonymous,  November 27, 2008 at 6:58 PM  

act of coward

Anonymous,  November 27, 2008 at 6:58 PM  

Terrorism has become the systematic weapon of a war that knows no borders or seldom has a face or religion

Er. Snigddha Aggarwal November 27, 2008 at 11:14 PM  

whole of India is with Mumbai, surely normalcy will soon restore soon and city wil regain euilibrium. we wont bow down to terrorism.
Jai Hind!

Er. Prachi Pandey November 28, 2008 at 12:03 AM  

The attacks that left dozens dead in India's financial capital have dealt a fresh blow to the country as an investment destination, but India's size and growth will retain their allure over the long term.

India's shine had already been dulled as foreign portfolio investors fled from risk around the globe, helping send the country's once-soaring stock market down 55 percent this year. Tight liquidity, a battered currency and a slowing in its once-scorching economic growth add to the gloom.

The attacks on two luxury hotels and other targets were a reminder that risk in India extends beyond the red tape and crumbling infrastructure that investors accepted as a cost of doing business in the world's second-most-populous country.

"In the near term this highlights the risk of investing in markets which have instability of some form or the other," said Ashish Goyal, Chief Investment Officer at Prudential Asset Management in Singapore.

India, like other emerging and developed markets, has endured militant attacks before and managed to bounce back. Goyal said the long-term picture for India changes only if the latest attack hurts business, slows the economy and scares off foreign firms.

"It could raise the cost of security, it could raise the effectual cost of doing business, and at the margin that's not positive, but doesn't fundamentally alter the investment view or the perceived risk of investing in India," he said.

The timing of the attacks, which comes as the central bank struggles to defend a weakening rupee and stabilise credit markets, may hurt more than previous attacks, wrote Nikhilesh Bhattacharyya, an associate economist at Moody's Economy.com.

"This means that capital outflows will have a greater impact than they did in the past, though history suggests that any reaction to attacks in Mumbai will only be temporary," he said.
India's central bank expects the economy to expand by 7.5-8 percent in the 2008/09 fiscal year, but many private economists and some government officials see growth closer to 7 percent.

"We don't think there is any immediate impact on the Indian economy, although longer term, it will get that much harder to attract and retain foreign capital, at the margin," said Daniel Chui, Head of Investor Communications at JF Asset Management.

"Sentiment in India, particularly Mumbai, will be dented even more," he said from Hong Kong.


BRAVE FACE

Indian Trade Minister Kamal Nath on Thursday said he was confident the deadly attacks would not slow investment.

"This does not have an economic component," he told Reuters.

His confidence was echoed by Jan Masiel, a member of the European Parliament, who is visiting Mumbai with a trade delegation of eight.

"I don't think this affects India's image as a good place to do business in ... neither do we consider India to be an insecure or unsafe country to be in," said the Polish national, who was waiting to go back into the Taj Mahal Hotel, at the centre of the hostage drama and where many died.

Dr. Pragya bajaj November 28, 2008 at 8:35 AM  

Mumbai has experienced terror attacks earlier. In March 1993, simultaneous attacks on a number of targets resulted in over 270 fatal casualties Their origin was traced to Dawood Ibrahim and his associates who were based in Karachi. The multiple bomb blasts on Mumbai trains killed 200 people in July 2005.

Once again the investigations led to a link between those who carried out the blasts and Pakistan. The present batch of terrorists is reported to have landed close to the Gateway of India in rubber dinghies. The equipment, training and sophistication of their planning and the identity of a suspect arrested in Chowpatty would tend to indicate a Pakistani link.

Unlike in previous attacks when the casualties were all Indians, this time there are foreigners among the dead. There are also reports that the terrorists were particularly interested in US, UK and Israeli passport holders.

While an organisation called 'Deccan Mujahideen' has claimed responsibility the Indian agencies do not consider this a genuine claim; they feel that this is a Pakistani jihadi operation.

Since a few terrorists have been captured, their identities would surely be revealed in the next few days. The Mumbai police believe that the sophistication and skill of the terrorists would tend to indicate that they were not locals. It appears that a mother ship had dropped dinghies close to Mumbai. The Indian Navy has intercepted a vessel from Pakistan believed to have been the mother ship. Though in the 1993 operations the explosives came via sea the people who placed the explosives were from Mumbai. In this case, the terrorists landed on the Mumbai waterfront. Though sea-based terrorist attacks have been talked about, presumably those in charge had not paid adequate attention to it.

The counterterrorism efforts in India are fragmented among the state and central agencies. Efforts to have an integrated central agency to deal with terrorism have so far been thwarted by political parties who tend to place their own parochial interests higher than national interests. In the US, where they had a number of federal agencies dealing with different aspects of intelligence in the wake of 9/11 they found that there was inadequate coordination among them.

Hence, there was a failure to assess the 9/11 threat though there were bits of information. Subsequently, a new post of director of national intelligence was created to supervise and coordinate all intelligence agencies. In the biggest bureaucratic reshuffle in US history the department of homeland security was also created with bipartisan support. The terrorist threat India faces is far more severe than the one faced by the US separated from Europe and Asia by two oceans and having friendly neighbours in Mexico and Canada.

India has three unfriendly porous borders and nearly three decades of terrorism and proxy war directed against it. Yet our political parties are not sensitive enough to appreciate the need for intelligence coordination and an integrated internal security structure. Recently the Pakistani government stripped the ISI of its responsibility for political intelligence. Pakistan had to seek a multi-billion-dollar loan package from the IMF and the loan has been sanctioned with conditionalities.

Many in Pakistan have openly resented president-elect Barack Obama's friendliness towards India. The recent friendly remarks of Pakistani president Asif Zardari towards India have also not found approval among sections of the Pakistani establishment. A section of the Pakistani establishment and the ISI have been attempting to bleed India through a thousand cuts.

The ISI was known to create problems for its own government to advance its interests. Therefore, the possibility of rogue elements in ISI and jihadi elements in Pakistan conspiring to create tensions between New Delhi and Islamabad cannot be ruled out. This would keep ISI's pre-eminence in Pakistan's India policy and help it to argue with Washington that increased tension with India rules out Islamabad playing a more effective role on its western front.

The terror attack on Mumbai was aimed at hitting tourist traffic and its commercial relations with the US and other developed countries. It was also intended to club India with the Crusaders (the US and the West) and Zionists (the Israelis). This may look like an act of desperation by the jihadis and their friends in the ISI and Pakistani establishment. In a sense, the jihadis may be attempting to bring the clash of civilisations thesis to its denouement. One should not forget the original 'clash of civilisations' thesis was the two-nation theory which the Indian Muslims repudiated by choosing to stay on in India.

The present acts of terrorism is an attempt by the advocates of this thesis to create tension between the two communities in this country. Till now the US and other western nations were not adequately sensitive to terrorism perpetrated against India. This was partly because the casualties were all Indians. This time it is different.

While all evidence points to the involvement of Pakistani elements in the terror acts, New Delhi should at the same time be careful not to walk into the trap of creating major Indo-Pakistan tensions as a new president takes over in Washington and with India facing a general election in the next few months. The country expects the two national parties to get together to formulate a joint strategy to thwart the jihadi attempt to create a 'clash of civilisations' in this country.

Anonymous,  November 28, 2008 at 8:36 AM  

I shares the grief and the shock of the families, Indian and foreign, whose members were killed in the dastardly attacks. The immediate task before the Maharashtra government should be to remove the sense of insecurity that has gripped the people of Mumbai on the streets, in public places, and within their homes. A greatly stepped up vigil, a visibly larger presence of the police on the ground together with the military and security forces, should go some way in restoring public confidence. The Government of India, which has been quick to rush the army and the naval commandos to help contain the situation, should come to the aid of the State in a massive way in creating a sense of security in the immediate term. Mumbai as the country’s financial and business centre has always been an obvious target for those seeking to destabilise the Indian state, and terrorists attacks have been occurring in the city with a distressing frequency in the recent past – among them the serial bombings of 1993 and the train blasts of 2006. The State’s fractious and often bitter religious politics has not helped in keeping religiously motivated terrorism in check.

To maximise international attention, the terrorists have targeted Café Leopold and Nariman House, both frequented by tourists, besides the hotels. Some reports speak of their seeking foreign nationals, mainly American and British, for hostage-taking. While some of the terrorists were killed, some have been injured and are in custody while yet others could have escaped after the shootings. The interrogation of those in custody should provide some details of the people and the organisation behind the attacks. The use of the sea route by the terrorists who could have landed on a small boat from out of a larger vessel in the high seas off the coast of Mumbai opens up the possibility of their coming in from Karachi. While the Government of Pakistan appears to be serious in putting any form of support that its Inter-Services Intelligence provided for terrorism behind and in its pursuit of improved relations with India, there are several groups in the country that go about quite openly recruiting and training people for terrorist attacks in India. Given the series of attacks within Pakistan itself, its government’s determination and ability to contain terrorist elements within is no doubt open to question. Nevertheless, Islamabad needs to be reminded once again to live up to the commitment made by President Pervez Musharraf to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on January 6, 2004 not to “permit any territory under Pakistan’s control to be used to support terrorism in any manner.”

The political fallout of the attacks is difficult to gauge right now. The Maharashtra and central governments, which have much to answer for, will obviously come under pressure to act decisively on the terrorism front. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has spoken of using existing laws such as the National Security Act, of amending the laws to close loopholes that could be used by terrorists, and of a Federal Investigative Agency to go into terrorist crimes. The United Progressive Alliance government would do well not to lurch towards the legal route, seeking to introduce draconian provisions drawn from the repealed and discredited Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) that lend themselves to easy abuse against the innocent and would hardly deter fidayeen attacks. In any case, the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act with equally stringent provisions has obviously not served as an effective deterrent. The focus instead should be on strengthening security through surveillance of public places, screening of entry, and more policemen on the ground. The Prime Minister’s stress on preventive measures, including strengthening the police and intelligence machinery and curbing the flow of funds to suspect organisations, is welcome. Owners of public places such as hotels need also to step up their vigil and put stronger security and screening measures in place. The strengthening of the intelligence machinery with increased manpower and more sophisticated equipment, which is promised every time a terrorist attack takes place, brooks no further delay. All this will no doubt constrain an open society and involve some inconvenience and costs but it is a price that has necessarily to be paid for security in dangerous times. The long term task should of course be to avoid the bitterness of religious politics and promote harmony among different sections.
Regards Sneha

Anonymous,  November 28, 2008 at 8:37 AM  

It is baffling how terrorism has metamorphosed over the last few years. One cannot but feel vulnerable. The UPA government has failed on the security front, adopting a responsive, instead of preventive, approach to terror despite a series of attacks.

Anonymous,  November 28, 2008 at 8:38 AM  

The Mumbai blasts have exposed the government’s failure to combat terrorism, which has not only claimed hundreds of innocent lives but also endangered peace and harmony.

All that the government seems to be doing after every attack is to condemn the dastardly act and instantly go into hibernation.

Anonymous,  November 28, 2008 at 8:38 AM  

Mumbai is a city where the people have overcome the trauma of frequent terror attacks, thanks to their never-say-die attitude. That is all the more reason why the government should get cracking and bring the guilty to book. Booking the guilty does not mean sending them to prison. It is time we started meting out punishment to terrorists like Indonesia did recently

Anonymous,  November 28, 2008 at 8:38 AM  

What do terrorists achieve by killing indiscriminately? They just want to destabilise, disintegrate and defeat our country on all fronts. It is argued that terrorists have no nation, religion, caste or creed. Therefore, terrorist attacks should be seen as attacks on the nation’s sovereignty. They should not be seen as religious issues or social conflicts.

Anonymous,  November 28, 2008 at 8:38 AM  

Why does the state always fail? The question needs to be addressed without demagogy. The time is not to blame the police and politics but to think out of the box to tackle the situation. National security must take precedence over all other considerations.

Anonymous,  November 28, 2008 at 8:39 AM  

Despite being a nation that is constantly in the shadow of terror attacks, we sadly lack an unequivocal anti-terror policy. Vote-bank politics and parochial prudery upstage the national interests. Even now, certain sections in Tamil Nadu brazenly glorify the LTTE. As long as we continue to politicise everything, India will remain a soft target

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