Archive for the ‘terrorism’ Category
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a chilling, detailed picture, using CCTV footage, survivors’ testimonies and from police on the scene – who, with their outdated rifles, were powerless to stop the gunmen.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.
While I was walking back to the lab after lunch today, one of my friends informed of the terror attacks against the Sri Lankan cricket team. It’s terrible that six police officers were killed in this incident, although it might have been much worse.
However, words cannot sufficiently express the deep loathing at the pit of the stomach that I feel when reading the comments of the Pakistani Minister of State for Shipping, Sardar Nabil Ahmed Gabol.
“The evidence which we have got shows that these terrorists entered from across the border from India,” Sardar Nabil Ahmed Gabol, Minister of State for Shipping, told private Geo television. “This was a conspiracy to defame Pakistan internationally.”
“This incident took place in reaction to 26/11,” he said referring to the Mumbai attacks in November in which at least 170 people were killed. “It is a declaration of open war on Pakistan by India,”
Politicians like him are opportunistic parasites, who eagerly jump with glee at any human tragedy to attempt to gain political mileage. Even if you ignore his claim to have evidence of the geographic origin of the terrorists within hours of the attack (without even hinting at the actual evidence), and the obligatory conspiracy theory angle, to call this a “declaration of open war on Pakistan by India” is irresponsible garbage.
Terrible events in Bombay today. My heart goes out to the families & people caught in this. A live update of the situation from BBC can be found here.
I am incredibly angry with the completely irresponsible TV coverage from channels like NDTV, CNN-IBN and Times Now. You DO NOT show live feed about positions, type or number of combat troops. You don’t tell that the special forces are in floor X and are about to launch an attack at location Y. All the terrorists need is a contact sitting outside watching the telecast with a cell phone. You’d expect better of a Padma Shri award winning journalist like Barkha Dutt.
We definitely need a proper crisis management and response team (as Ratan Tata rightly indicated), which would handle the media, bystanders, etc during such an event.
I’ve lost a lot of respect towards Barkha Dutt. What a colossally insensitive idiot.