Thursday, July 13, 2006

Is India Safe.. Now What?

This is a copy paste of a news item in Mumbai Mirror, on its web page but has no perma link.

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“Lashkar-e-Taiba operative Mushir Siddiqui (37), arrested by the Anti-Terrorist Squad in January this year, had given his interrogators specific details of LeT’s plans to cause explosions on the city’s railway network.

Siddiqui, currently lodged in Arthur Road jail, told ATS officials in May that ten LeT sleeper cells in the city were awaiting orders to carry out explosions on local trains and buses.

Once the cells received orders, they would break themselves up into various modules and perform a ‘major operation at crowded places,’ he had said and identified the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) as a likely target. Also, the cells would avoid using car bombs and instead carry explosives in nondescript objects that would not arouse suspicion, he had noted. This paper reported in its noon edition yesterday how terrorists had carried the explosives in tiffin boxes.Lashkar-e-Taiba operative Mushir Siddiqui (37), arrested by the Anti-Terrorist Squad in January this year, had given his interrogators specific details of LeT’s plans to cause explosions on the city’s railway network.

Siddiqui, currently lodged in Arthur Road jail, told ATS officials in May that ten LeT sleeper cells in the city were awaiting orders to carry out explosions on local trains and buses.”

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Despite this information given in JANUARY, why have the blasts taken place.. is the question plaguing our minds. Now that it is official, that LeT, SIMI and their newest modules are those responsible, as had been posted, in the first instance, the conundrum remains. Since Rdx, in huge quantities had been found in Gujarat and other places over the last few months, it had done nothing to stir the Intelligence out of its stupor of inertia.

It certainly does not help when Police commissioner A.N.Roy quips "We were caught off guard"..Does the police have a right to be unwary, complacent or off guard?

A discussion with personal contacts, highly placed, and news channels, certain disturbing truths have emerged.

The ATS (anti terrorist squad) and the Crime Branch have been at loggerheads for the past few YEARS. In a country where the two chief arms of security have a total breakdown of communication, what, in the name of security is offered to citizens is what happened on Black Tuesday!

Corruption is rampant even in the highest cadres of intelligence units , Whom does one trust?

The anti-terrorist act which would have granted teeth to investigative agencies and concerned officials, was never allowed to see the light of the day, and repealed even as a bill. Why? Who profits from this repealment?

What has the administration learnt from the carnage, or rather mass murdering of 7/11? If one is to go by the personal experiences of media friends, then ..net result is ..zilch. Consider this. On 12th, barely few hours after the bombings, journalists posing as ordinary citizens, freely carrying bags, packets and the like, boarded, trains, even at the yard, those stations, sensitive areas where blasts had occurred..NO checks. They walked freely in and out, merrily, with nobody present to give even a semblance of security.

At “Shirdi” a journalist entered with a fake grenade in his pocket and a Puja thali.. neither was checked.

While one can understand the magnitude of the problem, yet there is nothing that reinforces one to believe that 7/11 will not be repeated.

Lack of infrastructure, the constantly, growing multitudinous population, influx from other states, fluid statistics, all add to a picture of impending doom.It is as if we are on the brink of disaster. Spirit..for how long?? Mumbai, the financial capital has always been vulnerable and a soft target, in order to strike at the mind of India and get the sensex to tumble. So here we are sitting ducks, at the mercy of a weak intelligence and corrupt administrators, with our resilience, infallibility, stoic and strength, grit, bravery and whatever else our dear P.M. bestows on us.. ready.. for what? (btw the readers digest survey about mumbai being the rudest city goes limpingly redundant now, something I had mentioned in a comment in desicritics on the 11th as well)

Citizens ought to do this that and the other..ask not what your country can do for you..blah blah.. is all very well.. If anything, it was Mumbaikars who came together and help salvage a sitution when the administration fell apart. But can we wage a war against terrorism? Is that not the bounden duty of the state machinery to ensure safety for its citizens? Information is never forthcoming from these so called sleuths. One has to wallop it out of them? Dont we have a right to know just what is getting done towards further avoidance? What measures are under way?

Where is the guarantee that criminals will be indicted? There is not A SINGLE instance of a prisoner being penalised for blasts, in any of the past incidents..even from 1993. There has always been a loud proclamation of arrests, as evn this time and years later he is Freed for lack of evidence. The police only hang their heads down in shame or in speak out in defense, when questioned.

One has deliberately not written of the goriness, gut wrenching scenes of anguish and misery personally experienced, since it will only add to angst and feeling of destitution and solves nothing. But today what is needed is a demand for answers. To make the administration accountable and answerable. To voice disgust and protest at the lackadaisical manner that security and anti terrorist measures have been implemented or rather not implemented.

While we can show our tongue out to the terrorists and continue to pretend as if nothing has happened, let this not be the message that the Administration receives. Our confidence is flagging, fear is gaining foothold and hopelessness is slowly setting in. From the looks of it, seems it wil not be long before, INDIFFERENCE replaces concern, and apathy replaces sympathy.

The channels are gradually relinquishing their infatuation with blast news by now opting for spicier stories and interviews. In another week, 7/11 will be another day featuring in the History pages..mentioned with a polite tsk tsk ..and onto the next topic.

While the average citizen waits with bated breath for our blogs to be read by the powers who be..

Or a Superman to take over the reigns of Mumbai.

Femmes Fatales Of Blogcritics has linked this post.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Amen!!! for the Superman:)..



Definitely not the pathetic politicians we have.. can u imagine vilas rao or lalu in the outfit???? he he he

Kaveetaa Kaul said...

Hey no I dont even want to imagine any of these in that outfit.

But on a more serious note..
I was hinting at a Superman like CEO for mumbai.. We desperately need one.

Mayors are a common feature in all major cities abroad..Why not for Mumbai?

Manoj said...

even the mayor will be selected from the current political setup. and we will have a mayor from the same DNA . so what will change ??

Kaveetaa Kaul said...

One was looking at a system of direct election as in the Presidential Systm of governance. The individual is independently elected on the basis of his credibility wit the voting poulace. A case in point, someone like Sunil Dutt would have won the election irrespective of the party he represented. Which apparently he did even when his party as a whole suffered debacle at the polls. The candidate would be then directly accountable and answerable and the voters armed with laws with more teeth to throw him out in case of non-performance..