Mumbai Terror Attack: A decade after 26/11, has India done enough to plug security loopholes? 10 points
The 26/11 Mumbai terror attack exposed fault-lines in the country’s coastal security network, intelligence gathering and uncovered the lack of coordination among various agencies. (Photo: ORF Foundation)
On November 26, 2008, the coastal city of Mumbai came under the siege when a group of 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists launched a series of coordinated attacks at several locations, including Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, the Oberoi Trident, the Taj Palace & Tower and Nariman House Jewish community centre. The terrorists continued their killing spree for four days before security forces gunned down nine of them and captured one alive. Sadly, by the time, 165 people were killed and over 300 sustained grievous injuries. The Pakistani terrorists sneaked into Mumbai through the sea. They took a boat from Karachi to enter the city and went on the rampage in the heart of the financial capital’s downtown area.
The attack exposed fault-lines in the country’s coastal security network, intelligence gathering and uncovered the lack of coordination among various agencies. But after a decade of the worst terrorist strike in India’s history, the situation has changed, and the country is now better prepared and organised to avoid repetition of barbaric attack.
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So, what are the lessons India has learned from 26/11 Mumbai terror attack and how far has our security improved – know in 10 points below.
- Since 2008 Mumbai attack, there has been a major paradigm shift in India’s coastal security as vulnerabilities and risks were fixed and a layered maritime surveillance and security architecture was put in place, making the coastline almost impregnable.
- The critical gaps and vulnerabilities in the country’s coastal infrastructure have been addressed, and a robust surveillance network comprising 42 radar stations linked to a control centre headquartered in Gurgaon has been put in place.
- The radar stations with high-resolution cameras with a range of 10 nautical miles have been fitted. Another batch of 38 radar stations is being set up to keep a hawk-eye vigil on activities along India’s 7,500-kilometre coastline.
- The strength of the Indian Navy has also improved drastically. The Navy has now become a potent multi-dimensional force fully capable of safeguarding India’s interests in the seas. The Indian Navy is now fully prepared to deal with any security challenge facing the country in the maritime domain.
- India now has a multi-layered security architecture for coastal security, involving various agencies including the Coast Guard and the Navy. An overhaul of the coastal defence apparatus was also carried out in the last few years.
- A mechanism has been put into place to tracking the movement of thousands of fishing boats round-the-clock. Colour-coding of fishing boats, their online registration and issuance of biometric cards to the fishermen are some of the steps that have been taken to enhance coastal security. Also Read | 26/11 Anniversary: Kasab was smiling as he fired bullets, recalls youngest witness
- Data about ships, dhows, mechanized trawlers, fishing boats and all other vessels operating near India’s coasts are analysed round-the-clock.
- For a better coordination among the concerned agencies, an Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) has been set up in Gurgaon. The IMAC acts as the nodal agency for national command control and intelligence sharing among the Coast Guard and the Navy.
- A standard operating procedure has been formulated for coastal and offshore security among various institutions including the Indian Navy, the Coast Guard and agencies concerned of the coastal states to streamline the efforts of multiple stakeholders.
- 1,500 landing points for fishing boats are being monitored regularly besides making installation of AIS (Automatic Identification System) transponders mandatory for vessels of 300 tonnes and above for their easy tracking.
(With inputs from agencies)
First Published: Monday, November 26, 2018 11:21 AM