Still sitting ducks
The state government's unwillingness to accept and make public in totality the recommendations made by the Ram Pradhan Committee is a testament not only to its lack of nerve, but also to its incompetence.
Two and half years after the report and a 'confidential note' was submitted to the then chief minister Ashok Chavan, the government, instead of making the findings public and acknowledging the failure of the system, was more interested in safeguarding the image of politicians and bureaucrats who showed a lackadaisical approach prior, during and in the aftermath of the 26/11 episode.
It is sheer ineptitude and want of political will that has left the city vulnerable to such attacks. Had the politicians implemented the committee's recommendations, we would have been better prepared to tackle and pre-empt attacks, not react to them. Terrorists would have been thwarted from executing the serial blasts that rocked Mumbai in July this year.
The Mumbai police were cocksure of their dexterity and stature. A sense of complacence had set in, with the mindset that no terrorist could ever challenge their authority. But November 26, 2008 shook the very foundation of the force and the protectors of the common man themselves fell prey to the predator of terror.
The government was keen to appoint yet another committee to probe three areas -- intelligence from the centre, lacunae on the part of the police and recommendations to improve. This was done not because they were actually worried for the aam aadmi's security but were more worried about safeguarding their vote banks.
If the recommendations were not to be accepted, why did the government even bother to appoint senior former bureaucrats Ram Pradhan and V Balachandran to invest their time in pointing out the loopholes? The public has a right to know, especially in this city when they are sitting ducks for terrorists.