7 Years After 26/11, Paris Attacks Outline What Mumbai Police Needs

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Personnel of the elite anti-terror unit of Mumbai Police, Force One.


Mumbai:  Seven years after the most audacious terror attacks India has ever seen, the Mumbai Police is a better trained force but its challenges have multiplied.

It is equipped with sophisticated weapons unlike the night of November 26, 2008 or 26/11 when its constables had just sticks to take on terrorists. The Paris attacks earlier this month brought back memories of 2008 prompting the Mumbai Police to review its preparedness for such attacks.

Mumbai Police Commissioner Ahmad Javed told NDTV, "It also gives us the opportunity to see if we need the same things again, (whether) we need to update it because times have changed. Technology has changed."

The first line of defence - Force One, a specialised counter terrorism unit, and a hub for the National Security Guard - is in place. But, the first batch of over 1,200 closed circuit cameras will only be functional by month-end.

Besides, the growing threat of the Islamic State, especially after the Paris attacks, looms large over every mega city in India and abroad.

This has triggered reviews of preparedness and cooperation with other countries fighting terrorism. Four police commissioners from India travelled to the US earlier this month as part of an exercise for both sides to learn from each other.

US Ambassador to India, Richard Verma, told NDTV, "This is a very serious threat and we are going to intensify our strategy. It's going to require a very diligent and serious effort from all levels."

After the 26/11 attack both the US and UK learnt from Mumbai's tragedy. The NYPD set up a special unit to deal with emergencies at hotels after studying the Mumbai attacks in detail.

Graeme Millar, a Former Scotland Yard Detective told NDTV, "In the UK, we have run exercises and role plays so that we can learn from your experience. The country needs to look at what risks it faces, and then what you need to put in place for that. I think you need a robust structure which will enable you to cope with a variety of problems that arise, so that you can fall back on that."

 


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