Deputy Chief Minister RR Patil, who also heads the Home department, said the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) would investigate the multiple terror attacks once the National Security Guard completed operations at the Taj and Trident-Oberoi hotels and Nariman House.
KP Raghuvanshi, current director general of police (railways), will temporarily head the ATS, Patil said.
Central security officials said the tactic used by the terrorists at Taj and Oberoi was an old modus operandi. After security forces storm the area, the terrorists buy time and wait for nightfall. During the day, they stand the chance of revealing themselves.
Since Wednesday night, they have set fire to the hotel thrice to divert the attention of security forces, officials added. “This is going to be a long night,” an official admitted. The terrorists were prepared for a long haul, said a senior Intelligence official.
The official said the police had recovered bags of dry fruits from the terrorists killed at the Trident, enough to last them a few days, besides AK-47 and AK-56 assault rifles, hand grenades and several hundred rounds of ammunition. This isn’t the first time that terrorists have been found with dry fruits. Terrorists who had stormed into Parliament on December 13, 2001 also carried dry fruits in their ‘survival kit’.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Deshmukh said that in the face of such unprecedented attacks, the government was looking at setting up a separate mechanism for tackling terror with special commandos, coastal security and intelligence officers.
The special cell of the Delhi Police is providing vital inputs to the Mumbai police, sources said. “The terrorists (in the two hotels) were in touch with each other through phones and we got valuable information about their next move,” said a senior Delhi police officer. “We are sharing minute-to-minute details with the Mumbai police,” said Karnal Singh, joint commissioner of police (northern range).