Thursday, November 27, 2008

Mumbai Mayhem: Has India become an easy playground for terrorists?

The shocking terrorists attacks in Mumbai last night bring the number of terrorist incidents on major Indian cities , since the Bengaluru & Ahmedabad blasts in July-end, to six. Delhi, Agartala, Guwahati being the other three. Some important observations on the Mumbai attacks, that have already killed 100 (& still counting ) & grievously injured hundreds others are as below :
  1. Attacks have taken place simultaneously at ten places clustered around South Mumbai mostly.
  2. Two international hotels have been under grenade & firing attack with British & American tourists being reportedly seized as hostages in exchange for release of "Mujaheddin" from Indian jails.
  3. Attacks involved bomb blasts( taxi in Western Expressway), grenade blasts, firing from automatic rifles.
  4. Timing of attack : 10.30 p.m at night
  5. Attackers have come out in the open with their pictures splashed all across the media. One is shown wearing an expensive designer t-shirt.
  6. 3 senior police officers including the high profile ATS (Anti Terrorist Squad) chief have been shot dead .
  7. Television channels in America & Europe have caught the news in prime-time since the attack started .
  8. Mumbai , which has been attacked, is the financial capital of India
  9. Hostages have still not been rescued from the hotels, even at the time of writing this post. By now, eighteen hours have elapsed.

These preliminary observations point the attacks to be the handiwork of one or more hardline , well-planned, daring & foreign (Pakistan or Afghanistan, possibly) terrorist groups who are seeking international attention for their support to "jihadis" in India & Kashmir. One hopes that this is not the ill-famed "Al Qaeda", who had threatened India with attacks earlier. A never-before group called "Deccan Mujaheddin" has sent an email (IP address traced to Russia) to a news channel claiming responsibility.

The ease with which the devastating attacks have been made can only once again point out to the complete failure of the intelligence as well as to the impotent Indian political leadership that seem to have given vigilance a "go by" & converted the combat mechanism of police forces a to a mere tool on paper.

India's tolerant attitude to gun-toting attackers (whether Maoists, Pakistani terrorists, ULFA ,LTTE , Bajrang Dal, SIMI & others ) has been time and again encouraged by vote-bank-hungry politicians (Mulayam Singh Yadav, Amar Singh, Lalu Yadav, Mamata Bannerjee, Prakash Karat, L.K. Advani, Karunanidhi, Arjun Singh etc. ) who have patronised such groups citing "achievement of 'historically-denied' social justice " as reason behind such violent behaviour. This had had a twofold consequence .

Firstly, the perpetrators have been given a perception that they can get away with murder & mayhem while the administration has been reduced to a bureaucracy of lackeys, who are more interested in protecting their jobs from the wrath of their uneducated, criminal political masters rather than patrol the streets of cities.

It is now obvious that international tourists & business travellers alike would like to avoid an "unsafe" destination such as India for months to come. One hopes that the genuine leaders among our politicians wake up from their slumber and act decisively to modernise & train our security forces in equipment, intelligence,vigilance, combat & legal justice before India reduces to another Pakistan , Bangladesh or Sri Lanka while family members of innocent victims of the attacks silently shed their tears for the departed.

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