Why Can’t You See the 26/11 Report?

“The Mumbai Police initially responded to multi-targeted attacks efficiently but … like in a law and order situation.”

‘The officers cannot escape the responsibility cast on them by the law. In the interests of the people, they must function cooperatively’
Pradhan Committee Report

Apart from a detailed analysis of how that state handled the intelligence alerts, the Committee also studied the police response at each of the target spots – CST, Cama Hospital, Leopold Café and the Taj and Oberoi Hotels. The force was clearly outgunned and outwitted by the AK47- wielding terrorists, but was also disadvantaged for several other important reasons:
Quick Response Teams (QRTs) were trained by the State Reserve Police Force in a commando course in Pune for six weeks and by the NSG for three months in Manesar. However, no actual stimulated training in hostage rescue and in facing terrorist attacks was given to them. The Committee, in fact, notes that since September 27, 2007, no firing practice was done due to shortage of practice ammunition. While the battle dress worn by the teams includes bullet-proof jackets, which protect vital organs from rifle rounds, they do not protect against grenade blasts.
The Commissioner of Police (Hasan Ghafoor) should have taken command. More important, he ought to have presented himself as taking command’
No formal debriefing sessions were held by the Commissioner of Police with all/a group of officers to make an assessment of what went wrong on 26/11’
Despite six alerts between August 2006 and April 2008 about the likelihood of terrorists using the sea route, the state did not beef up coastal security’
Officers must constantly watch the security scenario… otherwise, the political system, as has happened after 26/11, has to pay a price’
Vulnerable Police surround the burning Taj Mahal hotel on November 27, 2008
Photo: Reuters
The Mumbai Police has an anti-terrorist unit called the Assault Mobiles, which are located at vital spots in the city. These are six-man teams with one police sub-inspector and five men. They are armed with one 9 mm pistol, one AK47, one SLR and one Carbine. The Committee, however, found that “these men are nothing more than armed police units, who may be of use to tackle certain law and order activities — such as gang wars — or these may be more useful to deal with sudden violent attacks initially but cannot be effective in dealing with live terrorist situation as on 26/11.”

Scrap A taxi in Vile Parle after a bomb blast
Scrap A taxi in Vile Parle after a bomb blast
Red Alert Flames wreathe the Taj’s exterior
Red Alert Flames wreathe the Taj’s exterior