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HindustanTimes Fri,28 Nov 2014

26/11 top stories

26/11 four years on: India's grand terror checks a no-show
Aloke Tikku, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, November 25, 2012
First Published: 23:56 IST(25/11/2012)
Last Updated: 09:31 IST(26/11/2012)

Four years after the Mumbai terror attacks that lasted three days, leaving 166 dead, India still isn't equipped to prevent another 26/11-type attack, at least going by the status of the three anti-terror initiatives of the UPA government - the National Intelligence Grid (Natgrid), National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) and the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems.

"None of the big ticket projects have reached a critical mass where they would alter our capabilities in terms of counterterrorism," said security expert Ajai Sahni.

Natgrid, which was meant to set up a sophisticated network that could pull out data about any terrorist suspect within a matter of seconds, was P Chidambaram's pet project when he was home minister.

But when Chidambaram returned to the finance ministry, the project lost its most ardent supporter, and consequently, the momentum.

Artist Harwinder Singh Gill displays his latest creation, a model of the Taj Hotel depicting the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks in Amritsar. UNI


Currently, enmeshed in bureaucratic and inter-departmental power struggles, it runs the risk of falling on its face.

The NCTC - the most adventurous project of the three - has been shoved into the deep freezer after chief ministers protested that the Centre was giving itself the right to arrest terrorists anywhere in the states. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2012/11/26-11-Metro-08b.jpg

And, the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems, which seeks to link 15,000 police stations in the country, hasn't taken off either.

Sahni, executive director at the institute for conflict management, attributes these no-shows to the absence of technical expertise within the police leadership.

"Our vulnerability remains despite some half-hearted, hesitant steps," former UP and BSF chief Prakash Singh said, counting NSG hubs, creation of NIA and a coastal security plan as steps forward.

"But poor police strength is the weakest link in the entire security architecture."


According to the Bureau of Police Research and Development's latest report, all the states put together had just about 10,000 more policemen in 2011 than in 2009, though home ministry officials say that recruitment - initially sluggish due to lack of adequate training facilities - has picked up remarkably.

Also, going by the number of VIPs making a beeline to get themselves armed police guards, the security and intelligence measures put in place after 26/11 haven't beefed up confidence in public security arrangements.

Preventing 26/11s:
CCTV plan on track, on paper
PC for cell to scan fishy bank deals
CCTVs will be installed in 2 months: top cop
'300-cr upgrade for cops to prevent another 26/11
Silver lining: systems in place, weapons upgraded

Hurdles:

Kasab dead, but ITBP issue still alive
In war against terror, NIA has its hands tied
India wary as Pakistani terror machinery grinds on
Pakistan doing little to bring terrorists to book: agencies

Flashback:
The day they were scarred forever
Post attack, life has been a roller-coaster ride
We thought it was the underworld: Rakesh Maria
Behind the scenes, super sleuths who cracked the case


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