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Why cops sat on Central warning

The warning was not taken seriously because ?the information was general and not specific,? says a police official.

india Updated: Jul 15, 2006 15:58 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Friday that the Mumbai police had been warned of possible terrorist attack in the city.

“Adequate information was given to the state and authorities about a possible terrorist acts,” he said but added that the terrorists succeeded because of the surprise element.

So why didn’t the Mumbai police act upon the warning? Who is to blame for Terror Tuesday?

After the Aurangabad and Malegaon arms haul in May, the Centre had given Maharashtra information on a possible terrorist strike.

That landed on the desks of the home department, DGP PS Pasricha, police commissioner AN Roy and the Anti-Terrorist Squad.

But this warning was not taken with the seriousness it deserved because “the information was general and not specific,” said a top state police official.

The official said that the Home Department and the state police receive intelligence information on terrorist movements and possible strikes roughly thrice a month. And they certainly act when the information is specific.

“Look at the Aurangabad and Malegaon arms haul and the arrest of terrorists who had come to target the RSS headquarters in Nagpur. On both occasions, the intelligence was specific so we were successful,” the officer said.

Moreover, after the arms haul, the state police did not expect the terrorists to go ahead with their original plan, the officer reasoned.

But former Mumbai police commissioner MN Singh said the police should have been more alert after the arms haul. “The haul indicated that the terrorists had a bigger plan. We should have been more careful.”

The offices of the DGP, ATS and police commissioner refused to comment.