Viewers' Voice

Mumbai Terror: Last Wake up Call For The Country

Brigadier Arun Bajpai (Retd)


It took Indian Army and NSG commandos More than 47 hours to kill all the Jehadis and capture one alive in Mumbai the economic capital of India. These Pakistan based Jehadis had on 26 November launched the biggest terror attack in Mambai’s history. 156 innocent people have died and more than 350 have been injured in this terror attack. There can be no denying the fact that once again these Jehadis have fully exploited the lack of political will in this country to fight terror tooth and nail. How long our political leadership will continue to remain soft on terror is what the country is today asking the UPA Government in power?

Unlike the serial terror blast in Mumbai of 1993 or the suburban train blasts a few years back in which these Jehadis used explosive devices to kill people at random in a short span of time, this time by entering and ceasing high profile five star hotels like the famous Taj and Oberoi as also occupying the Nariman House building, taking hostages both of Indian and foreign origin and then killing them, these Jehadis have challenged the pride and self respect of every Indian who loves this country. They also have sent a message to the whole world that India is so soft and its police, its Intelligence Agencies as also its political leadership so incompetent that they are incapable of protecting even their economic capital. In other words not to invest in India because it is not safe.

The whole World has watched the entire episode on TV channels for a sustained period of almost three days. The Indian Army and NSG Commandos by their precision counter action have succeeded in killing these Jehadis and sanitizing these high profile buildings with least damage. Most of all they have freed the hostages without any ransom being paid or demand of the Jehadis being met. This has retrieved some prestige of the country besides clear message has gone home to Jehadis that in all these dastardly actions their death is assured.

This is 24th jehadi terror strike in India since the current UPA Government has taken the reins of the power in the country four and half years back. Including last months Assam terror strike, where 80 people died and 300 were injured, so far 819 Indian citizens have been killed and 1800 injured. We are under the shadow of terror since last 25 years. Recently in US Senate hearing India was listed as second most terror affected country in the World after Iraq. Still we have learnt nothing. It is not that our political leaders do not know what measures have to be taken to arrest this looming shadow of Jihad. The villain of the peace is the vote bank politics and wrong belief that if strong measures are taken it will alienate the community. What is forgotten is that every community in India wants to live in peace and harmony and enjoy the fruits of the stupendous growth of Indian economy. Bad hats are not welcome anywhere.

These Jehadis came from Karachi by a mid size vessel. Midway they shifted to two rubber boats and landed at Budhwar park berth near Cuffe Parade in Mumbai. It speaks volumes of the intelligence gathering capability of Mumbai police that they had not educated the fishermen out here to keep an eye on all such untoward happenings and report to them. These Jehadis were well armed and carried grenades. Judging by explosions that have taken place inside the two five star hotels, they also carried explosives. The way they fanned out in the city, made quiet entry into five star hotels, other upbeat cafes and also hijacked two police vehicles to spray bullets into unsuspecting public, it is very evident that they were very well versed with the lay of the ground and had local support.

The master plan, the type of automatic weapons used, the high level of expertise and the methodology employed including these jehadis carrying satellite phones, straight away point to the hand of Pakistani Intelligence agency ISI behind it. The plan has been executed by Lashkar –e-Toiba (L-e-T) a protégé of ISI, most probably with support from Bangladeshi Terror organization HUJI. The local logistical support apparently has been provided by the Bangladeshi migrants living and working in Mumbai.

This terror attack is linked to bigger mosaic of the ISI and Pakistani Army plan to destabilize Indian economic growth and is to be seen as continuation of series of attacks commencing from July this year at other economic centers of India, namely Banglore, Ahmedabad, Surat and now Mumbai.The newly elected Pakistani civil Government has been coming out with good and positive sound bites towards India. This combined with high turnout for voting despite boycott notice by hard liners in Kashmir has rattled Pakistani Army and the ISI.They fear loss of their supremacy in Pakistan if India and Pakistan become friends so this Jehadi Attack.

Time has now come for our politicians in power and in opposition to sit together, bury their differences and get over vote bank politics. If we want peace then Pakistani Army and ISI will have to be defanged. We must have tough anti terror laws. We must have a federal agency to implement these laws honestly and uniformly. We must have designated courts to deal with terror offences and all cases must be dealt with and punishment granted within six months to one year. The police reforms as desired by the Supreme Court must be immediately implemented. The police must become people friendly, only then aam admi will bring in actionable intelligence to them. Our Intelligence set must be revamped. Finally our politicians must show some strategic sense and tell Pakistan as also Bangladesh that India will go to any length including war to deal strongly with terror. It is better to die once, fighting and head held high, and then dying daily with fear. Now there are no soft options.