Mumbai police taking no chances
On the eve of the 26/11 anniversary, the Mumbai police is taking no chances.
Warning that the new-age terrorists are amazingly sophisticated, Mumbai Police Commissioner Dhanushkodi Sivanandan says the city police have many quick-response teams ready to thwart another 26/11-style terror attack.
Sivanandan, speaking at a seminar last week, said, "The new terror recruits are amazingly sophisticated, with many of them being trained in science and engineering."
Tracing the terror attacks around the world and their targets, he said possible targets in Mumbai are the ongoing Metro project, the Konkan Railway and crowded bus depots.
Image: The Mumbai police's newly acquired motorcycles
Quick-response teams raring to go
Combat vehicles are deployed in 39 divisions across Mumbai -- each having three sub-inspectors and 12 constables. The vehicles are under the assistant commissioner of police who oversees three police stations, each with six men in reserve, who are not on any other beats.
Thirteen other vehicles are deployed across the city with each having a sub-inspector and three cops. Besides, he said, bullet-proof vehicles manned by armed troopers had also been positioned in the city. Further, 160 beat marshals had been deployed on motorcycles.
Speed boats and 'amphibious' vehicles have been deployed in the sea around Mumbai coast. The boats are equipped with global positioning systems and sound navigation and ranging equipment to guide them on location and depth.
Image: The places that came under attack last year.
On a total revamp
Police weaponry has been upgraded, with the force now having automatic weapons, long-range weapons and better life jackets. Closed-circuit television cameras have been installed at major nodal points.
Drawing a parallel between the Lahore hotel attack (September 20, 2008) and the Mumbai attacks, Hagai Segal, a counter-terrorist analyst and lecturer at New York University, said the methodology and targets were reminiscent of Al Qaeda attacks.
Image: The new amphibious boats on display
'Terrorists were well-prepared'
Besides establishing 'footholds' before the attack, the expert said, "They had excellent knowledge of hotels. In fact, their knowledge clearly surpassed that of commandos tasked with getting them out. The bad guys had a great tactical advantage. That is why the siege lasted as long as it did."
Image: Mumbai police's new prized possessions to take on terror
Mumbai police not taking any chances
Singh came down hard on the television channels which covered the 26/11 attacks, and said the terrorists were given information about the commandos which helped them a great deal in staying out of reach.
He also said banning the Voice Over Internet Protocol portal Skype, which the government was contemplating, was impossible.
Image: Graphics: Places where the quick-response teams are deployed.
'Srinagar airport is the only safe one in India'
At the gate, he said, all they would ask are his ticket and identity card. He wanted to know why armed commandoes were checking tickets, a job for a clerk.
He said the only safe airport in the country was in Srinagar, where one will be stopped a kilometre away from the airport and everyone is frisked completely.
The event -- the Security and Resilience Summit-- was organised by Bombay First, a non-governmental organisation, at the Trident hotel where terrorists wrecked havoc a year ago.
Image: 26/11 graphics: The sequence of events