Did Mumbai learn anything from 26/11?
They should have been addressed, as the absolute minimum preparation for fighting terror, and lessons learnt from 26/11
Ten years after Mumbai was held to ransom by terrorists, we need to see if the questions and lapses brought to light during the 26/11 terror attacks have been addressed. A decade later, words will be specious if we have not got our basics right. Every railway station, airport, public space must be equipped with top-of-the-line surveillance cameras.
These must give laser- and razor-sharp images and footage. We hope our force has been equipped with better weapons. We have also not heard about why bullet-proof vests, one of the big lacunae in the 26/11 attacks, were faulty. Who has paid the price for that? Was this because of corruption in the force? If it was, then, has a clean-up been done?
This is most important, given that there was a lot of controversy about the non-functioning vests post the attacks, but the issue slowly went off the news radar. At that time, one remembers the police force talking about their weapons, which were, of course, no match for the firepower of the terrorists. Weapons must be upgraded and be in top condition.
There were reports of guns getting jammed during shoot-outs. We were also witness to our police saying that some had not had adequate weapons or firing training, in fact, they were completely rusty. Hotels, clubs and other hubs have upped their security internally.
They must have well-maintained fire-fighting equipment, and clearly marked exit routes. Bigger and more technical details about terror-fighting budgets and Special Forces may be out of the purview of this edit. These are just some on-the-ground fundamentals that needed attention. They should have been addressed, as the absolute minimum preparation for fighting terror, and lessons learnt from 26/11.
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