Exactly on this day, eleven years back, the whole nation was in grief for the horrifying situation in the country’s financial capital Mumbai.
Yes, the most-discussed 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks happened on this day in 2008, leaving many civilians dead and raising a serious doubt on the country’s security stance.
Mumbai coastline, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), Mumbai Chabad House, Oberoi Trident, Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Leopold Café, Cama Hospital and the Nariman House.
None in India would forget these names where the horrifying incidents took place on November 26, 2008.
The frightening incident began with 10 LeT terrorists making their way into the city through Mumbai coastline, followed by the ‘first gunshots’ at 9.21 pm at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), which continued for the next three days until November 29, 2008.
The attacks took away the lives of at least 174 civilians and wounded more than 300, besides key police personnel and Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) chief Hemanth Karkare.
The incident widened gaps in Indo-Pak relations, along with questioning India’s internal and coastal security arrangements.
From 26/11: Where NATGRID Stands?
Eventually, the proposal for setting up the National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) came up under the UPA Government. But the project still remains in the pipeline even after eleven years!
The ongoing winter parliament had a mention of NATGRID, where the government has reportedly said it would happen only by 2020 end.
“Progress of NATGRID is reviewed from time to time at an appropriate level in the Central Government. NATGRID has developed application software for Proof of Technology (POT) which is yet to be fully rolled out. NATGRID Solution is planned to go live by December 31, 2020,” the Union Home Ministry told the Parliament.
“Back then, there was a lot of intelligence which was ignored when 26/11 happened. It was clear that we needed an airtight intelligence network and that takes time. There are new rules in terrorism every day and we are still slow on keeping pace with that. Why do you think Pulwama (Kashmir attack on 40 CRPF soldiers) happened? We need a robust intelligence network,” a former Central Government official said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Barve says the Mumbai police is now capable of handling any situations like 26/11 attacks.
NATGRID is an integrated intelligence grid with inter-connected databases of all core security agencies of the country, including police department, aimed at providing ready-to-access information to the intelligence department.
However, experts suggest India should be innovative in all ways to counter terrorist acts and any such future attempts.
“A 26/11 need not happen again at Mumbai. A large number of smaller towns which are not under surveillance or a security cover of the scale of big metros. One more Innovative seige will be enough to shake us out of our nonchalance but only for a while. We assume that the enemy will take the three options we have but he always takes the fourth one we aren’t prepared for,” says D.P.K Pillay, research fellow at the Institute of Defense Studies and Analyses (IDSA), a Delhi based think tank.
— Sudarsan Pattnaik (@sudarsansand) November 26, 2019
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