How could this happen? This is the question that has haunted us ever since ten gunmen laid siege to Mumbai more than six months ago on November 26, 2008.
Now, people will have another question: why are those who failed us being saved?
The state government appears in no mood to provide any answers.
A two-member committee, comprising former bureaucrat Ram Pradhan and retired Research and Analysis Wing officer V Balachandran, presented a report on what went wrong on 26/11.
The report was expected to be tabled in the state legislature during the budget session, but only a token Action Taken Report was on Tuesday.
This is not the first time a sensitive report has been brushed under the carpet by a state government.
“When I had inquired into the attack on Chandrababu Naidu [at Tirupati by Naxalites] and made some crucial observations, the Andhra Pradesh government refused to make it public,” said Padmashri awardee Prakash Singh, former director general of the Border Security Force.
“Whenever a report is truthful, governments refuse to publish it. They do not want to be exposed.”
Singh said he had reason to believe that the Pradhan committee report had highlighted some important facts or lapses, which were being covered up.
“It is a farcical exercise if you are not going to publish the findings,” said Singh. “People have a right to know who went wrong and why.”
Former police commissioner MN Singh said the report had made valid points like the lack of ammunition and firing practice among policemen.
“There is a provision in the police manual which says that a certain percentage of the force should be given firing practice regularly,” said Singh.
According to the former city police chief, the general feeling during and after 26/11 was that there was a “total lack of preparedness and leadership”.
For now, the Opposition has made a ruckus in the legislature and the government may have made a few cosmetic transfers of key policemen, including Hasan Gafoor as Mumbai Commissioner.
But political drama and cover-ups aside, if the people demand answers, at some point the government will have to come out with the facts.