"Mumbai 26/11 to 28/11/2008 (Comments as on 30/11)"

  • were given proper First Aid as required and properly processed out to ensure that everyone was identified and that no persons involved with the terrorists escaped and everyone interrogated properly to gather any meaningful intelligence as may have been available.
  • If gas masks were provided and tear gas, if not a more effective gas, was used to incapacitate the occupants of each section of the buildings suspected of housing the terrorists.
  • If night vision devices were called for and used while the electricity was cut off section wise or for the entire building as required.
  • If better use was made of the knowledge of the hotel staff, by calling on them to identify & locate all entry/exit and transfer points, to enable the setting up of blocks there as suitable and thus pin down the terrorists for their subsequent neutralization.
  • If instructions on how to deal with the danger of smoke inhalation and of how to readily identify themselves to the rescuers if called upon, was passed through the hotel intercom system and/or even on loud hailers from outside.
  • If the media was briefed by an authorized point man at regular intervals and kept at a distance and allowed only one pooled and time-delayed video output, so as not to jeopardize the Operation by broadcasting real time action or crucial information.
  • If the MARCOS were immediately authorized to move in and deal with the Terrorists and extricate the inmates of all the affected buildings and all the action was successfully completed within less than 12 hours total.

'SOMEBODY', the Chief Minister, the Home Minister, the Chief Secretary, the D.G. Police, the Police Commissioner, the next in command at the ATS - 'SOMEBODY' had to stand up and take charge and coordinate things. 'SOMEBODY', who even if not fully knowledgeable about all these matters could receive suggestions from others as possible in that time frame and select and decide on which ones to act upon and when and how. 'SOMEBODY' who would have done the best he could in the circumstances and not be paralyzed by the fear of making some mistakes.

This Leadership was what was lacking. This is what we need to ensure is available the next time some crisis like this erupts. There surely will be a next time, not necessarily a terrorist matter, perhaps a natural or even a manmade disaster, but whatever sort of calamity it be, we can under proper Leadership and prior preparation ensure that it will be much less traumatic and damaging on all counts.

LEADERSHIP...is it really too much to ask of our so called LEADERS?

- Jai Hind ! -

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