One 'terrorist' pierces Mumbai's Sagar Kavach

Apr 14, 2018, 07:32 IST | Rahul Mahajani

In a series of anti-terror drills along the state's coastline, one mock terrorist managed to evade security agencies and infiltrate the city; this has been their best performance since the 26/11 terror attack

The police and other security agencies keep a lookout along the city's coastline. Representational Image
The police and other security agencies keep a lookout along the city's coastline. Representational Image

Nearly a decade after the 26/11 terror attack, when 10 Pakistani terrorists invaded Mumbai from the sea, it turns out the city's coastline is still not entirely secure against infiltration. During this year's anti-terrorism drill, Operation Sagar Kavach, held on April 4 and 5, one mock terrorist managed to evade the multiple security agencies manning the city's coastline and infiltrate the city.

However, the authorities insist that they have been steadily improving coastal security since 26/11, and this was the best performance by the agencies since they started Operation Sagar Kavach after the 2008 terror attack.

Not an easy task
This year, the operation covered Maharashtra's 720-km coastline, including Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai and all the other districts in the Konkan range. Mumbai alone has a coastline of 114 km. Sources said around 20 mock attacks were made across various jurisdictions, trying trying to target specific targets/installations, in which all but one failed and were caught.

Of the five bids to penetrate Mumbai's coastline, only one was successful. The police and other agencies now analysing how they missed the mock attack. Apart from the Mumbai mock attacks, there were another 13 sent into Konkan districts, said sources.

How it works
Explaining how the operation works, sources said that usually an agency sends mock terrorists in an unmarked boat. The 'terrorists' then select a random target and try to reach it by dodging the agencies guarding the coast.

This year, more agencies were involved in the operation, including Mumbai Police, Thane Police, Navi Mumbai Police, the district police under the Konkan Range, Indian Coast Guard, Indian Navy, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, Customs, Maharashtra Maritime Board, Mumbai Port Trust, among others.

Getting better
Last year, the operation was held twice, and agencies had managed to foil around 75-80 per cent of the attacks. A senior official from the state police said that all agencies had learnt a lot from past mistakes, and they are more prepared than they were in 2008. This year, for instance, mock terrorists were sent even from the south end of the state's coastline, as agencies now realise that any part of the 720-km coastline can be infiltrated, the official added.

Also Read: May Day! Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport Fails Security Mock Drill

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