Nothing much has changed since 26/11, has it?

Posted: November 2, 2009 in Mumbai Police, NSG, Pune, terrorists

Driving to work this morning, I saw something that compelled me to write this blog – roadblocks put by the Pune Police. It’s just 24 days away from the events that shook Mumbai this time last year, but are we any wiser? After Kasab and his cohorts struck Mumbai on November 26, there was a flurry of announcements from everyone who mattered at both the State and the Centre.

We were told there would be an NSG force stationed at each metro; we would be modernising our police force; CCTVs would monitor movement at all major railway stations, airports and bus stations; we would have a trim and fit police force etc etc; But where are we on those assurances?

It’s taken the government one year to set up an NSG hub in Mumbai. I guess we should thank our neighbours for giving us a respite for a year! They’re probably waiting for us to set up all the other NSG hubs, before they hit us again, just to prove that we are still where we were on November 26, 2008.

Frankly, the Mumbai police didn’t cover itself in glory then. They showed they were incapable of repulsing an attack by a gang of trained and highly motivated assassins. I am not too confident that one year later, things are any different. Even after the flak they received for their collective paralysis on 26/11, neither the State Government nor the Mumbai Police or for that matter the Police force anywhere gives a damn about such serious issues. Instead, they are too busy playing politics over transfers and promotions. When will these petty minded men with their bloated egos realize that there are larger and more critical issues at hand?

See how the naxalites have been targeting SRPF personnel. My domestic help’s husband is a Sub Inspector in the SRPF and stationed in Gadchiroli. I can sense her fear every time she hears reports about an attack there. She has two teenage children and she wonders aloud how she’ll be able to bring them up. Her husband had a narrow escape a couple of months ago when a bus with SRPF personnel was blown up in Gadchiroli. He survived because his seniors ordered him to travel in the second bus, instead of the one which ended up being blown up. There must be thousands of policemen and their families who live with these fears every day. Is the State Government doing anything about assuaging these fears?

Every time you drive into a mall or multiplex in Pune what do you experience? There’s one guy with a metal detector who pushes it underneath the car. Does he even know what he’s looking for? Has he even been trained to spot explosives? Then he opens the boot, looks inside and shuts it! What’s the guarantee that a motorist isn’t carrying something deadly in the backseat or even tucked away under the front seat of the car?

Some days ago, there were reports in the Pune newspapers of a threat to Chabad House and the Synagogue from terrorists. The cops here sprang into action immediately and erected barricades at specific points on the approach roads to Koregaon Park, the city’s most upmarket locality, where Chabad House is located.

I use the road every day to get to my place of work and guess what I see – policemen relaxing at the barricades. I really wonder if these people are capable of protecting anyone. Last week driving past one such barricade, I saw two policewomen giggling and chatting with a couple of guys on a motorcycle. Vehicles were driving past and neither of the women even glanced in that direction. I deliberately slowed down my car as I reached the two women, but so engrossed were they in flirting with the two men that they hadn’t even noticed that a car had stopped right next to them. If another Kasab had rolled down his window and aimed an automatic rifle at them, they would have been dead in seconds. Some other cops were staring aimlessly into space, not even bothering to reprimand the women.

Again, this morning as I drove to work from another approach road, which is a lot less crowded than the main road, into Koregaon Park, I saw couple of pot-bellied cops relaxing in chairs reading newspapers oblivious of the fact that they were being keenly observed by a motorist. Are these the men who are going to protect us from fully armed terrorists? Now you know the reason for this post!

  1. Nilesh Sane says:

    Frankly you are a tad too harsh on the cops. Its because of these pot bellied cops that guys like me can enjoy the multiplexes and don’t have to think twice before taking my family out for dinner. 🙂

  2. Janhavi :-) says:

    I agree nothing has changed. . but its as much as our doings as the cops, the administration, the home ministry and the beaurocrats !!

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