Terror in Mumbai by Dan Reed
Dan Reed’s exhaustively researched film builds up a chilling, detailed picture, using CCTV footage, survivors’ testimonies and from police on the scene – who, with their outdated rifles, were powerless to stop the gunmen.
As compelling as these accounts are, it’s the phone conversations between the gunmen and their controllers back in Pakistan – recorded by the Indian intelligence services and aired here for the first time – that are the most revealing.
I have a lot of emotions right now, but I’ll try to keep this short. The actual recorded telephone conversations and CCTV images are gruesome to watch, but highlight the complete lack of preparation our security forces had in tackling such an attack. There’s footage of atleast a dozen police officers running away in the train station together, instead of trying to fire at the terrorists.
It’s also almost surreal listening to the recorded conversations between the terrorists and their handlers, as they receive *live* instructions on where to attack and what to set on fire *after* getting into the hotel. Was this information even available during the counter-terrorism response? If this was known, why were live feeds of the security activities allowed to be broadcast by the TV networks? I can only hope that our security forces have learned a lot from this incident.
There’s also a conversation with Kasab which is shown, where the police questioner asks him about his motivations. It’s easy to label the terrorists as inhuman, and devoid of human emotion, but the religious conviction which they’ve been brainwashed with in order to justify their acts is incredibly sad to watch. The recorded telephone conversations show how they are repeatedly reminded by their handlers that they should not get arrested and should die, and that God will reward them. It’s going to be education, rationalism and literacy which can prevent such people from turning into terrorists.