First and foremost we pay homage to Assistant Sub Inspector Tukaram Omble, Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, Havildar Gajendra Singh Bisht and the other two hundred martyrs whose valuable lives were lost due to the mishandling of the 26/11 Mumbai carnage by our netas and baboos. We are not playing any blame game. Our only object is to analyse our weak and strong points.
Our first weak point is the callous and insensitive attitude of our netas and baboos.
Apart from their callous and selfish attitude these people cornered a large number of security personnel for their own personal and private domestic services. Our counter jehadi forces were thus thin on the ground. Secondly our counter intelligence machinery is weak. Our third weak point was that there was no unified operational commander, therefore, there, was no coordinate action among our counter jehadi forces. Our next weakness was that our counter jehadi forces with the numerable exception of Mumbai Fire Brigade, the NSG, the MARCOS and the self-trained media, were poorly trained. In fact they were no match to the jehadis in combat worthiness. They were so poorly trained that they could not even effectively handle even the obsolete weapons with which they are now armed. It is no use giving them sophisticated weapons unless their weapon training enables them to effectively handle the weapons with which now they are armed. They are not at fault for this poor state of their training. Napoleon said that there are no good and bad soldiers; there are only good and bad officers. Officers who are in charge of these counter jehadi personnel are solely responsible for the poor state of their training. Officers guilty of neglecting the training of their personnel must not be spared. Officers like martyr Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan see that the troops under their command are trained to the pitch of perfection.
We have two strong points. Our first strong point is the quick response to an unexpected challenge. The Mumbai Police, the GRP and the RPF were without their leaders, yet they did not panic like a leaderless mob. Despite their poor standard of training they assembled like a disciplined force in full force in all the five battlefields, namely CST Railway Station, Cama Hospital, Nariman House and Oberoi Tower. These poorly trained units engaged the enemy in an eyeball to eyeball confrontation. The better-trained enemy outclassed them in a matter of physical fitness, skill at arms, field craft and overall combat worthiness, still these units held the enemy at bay with total disregard for their own safety. The unexpectedness of resistance temporarily unsettled the enemy; therefore the enemy could not consolidate themselves quickly and satisfactorily. The NSG Commandos, for no fault of theirs, were brought very late on the scene; but this disadvantage was set off to some extent by the enemy'sdiscomfiture.
Our second strong point is the raw courage of the Mumbai Police, the GRP, the RPF and the public including our children in baby linen. ASI Tukaram Omble is an embodiment of this raw courage. Even with five bullets in his body, this dying hero chased and held in his death grip Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone jehadi captured alive. ASI Tukaram Omble seems to be a reincarnation of Baji Prabhu Deshpande, who died at Panhala, fighting the enemy in a rearguard action to cover the tactical retreat of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj'smain army.
(The writer is former IPS and can be contacted at 32, Sagar Tarng CHS Ltd., 15/A Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan Marg, Worli Seaface, Mumbai-400 030)