Wednesday’s deadly attack in Mumbai has demonstrated the shoddiness of the country’s existing coastal security framework despite repeated threats of terror from sea.
The latest terror attack on Mumbai has left officials of the central Intelligence Bureau (IB) fuming. Despite the IB repeatedly warning the Maharashtra Police and the ATS over the past few years to prepare against terror from sea, there is little on the ground to indicate any effective coastal patrolling, claimed a senior IB officer.
The state police still depend on a few boats to patrol the shore sometimes, he pointed out.
In January 2007, Hindustan Times was the first to report about an IB alert sent to the Maharashtra Police, about the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba’s plan to send its operatives to Mumbai through the sea using “fishing boats/dhows.”
Pakistan’s ISI had allegedly trained the operatives, along with the Pakistani Navy, to carry out terror attacks in “Mumbai and Delhi, aiming at securing the forcible release of Afzal Guru, accused in the 2001 Parliament attack case.”
Only four weeks later, the eight-men team arrived in Mumbai from Karachi. Three of them –– Mohammed Zameer, Mohammed Zuber and Abdul Majid –– were arrested in Kashmir. They had allegedly claimed before Maharashtra ATS interrogators that they had bribed a coast guard patrol vessel’s ship’s captain, who intercepted them, to reach Mumbai.
The then Maharashtra Police Director General of police PS Pasricha, when asked, had, however, said the “bribery” allegations were probed but could not be verified.