26/11 probe: Police get clean chit, despite ‘lapses’ | india | Hindustan Times
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26/11 probe: Police get clean chit, despite ‘lapses’

india Updated: May 28, 2009 02:17 IST
HT Political Bureau
HT Political Bureau
Hindustan Times
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The high-level committee appointed to probe into lapses in handling the November 2008 terror strike has given a clean chit to the men in khaki.

The report found that though there were some lapses, it was impossible for the police or any other enforcement agency to counter the war-like situation that the city faced for over 60 hours.

On November 26, 2008, 10 alleged Pakistani Lashkar-e-Tayyeba operatives held hostages in two hotels and a Jewish centre and indiscriminately opened fire and lobbed grenades, killing 173 people.

On Wednesday, former governor and former Union Home Secretary Ram Pradhan, who headed the two-member committee, handed over the 26/11 probe report to Chief Minister Ashok Chavan.

Retired Research and Analysis Wing V Bhalachandran was the other investigator.

The panel’s term of reference was to find out intelligence lapses, operational errors on part of police officials and bureaucrats and make recommendations to avoid such situations in future.

Chavan said he would table the report before the state legislature in the forthcoming Monsoon Session.

Pradhan told reporters that the committee had no reason to infer that the city police faltered in tackling the war-like situation because there was no direct intelligence from the Centre about the terror strike.

“In fact, Home Minister P Chidambaram had apologised to the people of Maharashtra [for intelligence lapses] after the attacks,” he said.

Pradhan refused to talk on matters that are sub-judice.

“We could not interrogate some persons for the same reason,” he added.

The legislature had specifically demanded to scrutinise the roles of then Director General of Police AN Roy, then Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Chitkala Zutshi and incumbent police commissioner Hasan Gafoor.

Pradhan said the report appreciated police officials who died in action or got injured seriously.

“The officers reached spots immediately and took action. We have checked over 5,000 entries [in log books] of the police control rooms,” he said. “The Mumbai police have always been efficient.”

The committee also interviewed 51 officers who were directly or indirectly involved in the operation to save the city.

Pradhan said the committee’s thrust was to recommend measures to help avoid terror attacks in future.

“I’m happy that the state is already on the job since the last six months,” he added.