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India should have acted faster, coordinated


Manoj Gupta,Sumon Chakrabarti,CNN-IBN
Nov 29, 2008 at 02:28am IST

Mumbai: There is a deep anger in Mumbai among residents, visitors and all across India.

The operation to sanitise Nariman House and Hotel Oberoi Trident are over. Some accuse that the state administration was completely under-prepared and worse yet, underestimated the terrorists.

Questions are being raised over how the rescue operation has been conducted.

Helicopters para-dropping NSG commandoes on Friday morning mirrored the urgency of the situation.

But this action came more than 30 hours after the terrorists took control of Nariman House.

These are serious delays, experts say. In urban terrorism, usually the roof is secured as soon as possible before the terrorists can settle down. The home ministry agrees they were not fully prepared.

"We are looking into all these aspects. In future how to deal with these problems. Every problem is of a different nature. For jungle warfare different type of force is raised. This is a totally different type of a problem. Again we will have to think anew about these problems," said M L Kumawat, the Special Secretary for Internal Security.

When the attack began on the night of November 26, Wednesday, it took the local police nearly two hours to understand the magnitude of the attack.

  • The attack began at 2140 hrs
  • The local police reached the spot at 2148 hrs
  • Local DCP Nagre Patil reached the spot at 2015 hrs
  • Additional CP Venkatesan reached at 2235 hrs
  • The Mumbai Police Commissioner reached the spot at 2255 hrs
  • The Union Home Ministry could speak to Maharashtra DG only at 2345 hrs

And if you think that the lapses ended here, there's more.

  • The decision to deploy the NSG commandoes was taken but the elite force waited for almost two and half hours to get on a flight to Mumbai, an avoidable delay.
  • The special commandoes landed in Mumbai around 0430 hrs on Thursday but had to wait for 30 minutes to get a bus that ferried them to the spot.
  • in fact, sources say, that there was hardly any coordination between the local administration and the central government at that point.
  • Officials involved in the operation say the NSG had to wait till about 0600 hrs on Thursday morning to be briefed about the maps and layouts of the Oberoi and the Taj because ministers were busy getting their own briefing.
  • Finally, at 0715 hrs, the NSG personnel moved into their positions. But by then the body count of hostages and victims had increased steadily.

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