NEW DELHI: November 26 serves as an indelible reminder to the world that terrorism is the foremost adversary of humanity in the 21st century. Even 15 years after the fateful 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, the wounds inflicted by the tragic event remain raw and compel us to confront the ominous reality of the menace known as “terrorism.”
For India, the assault laid bare vulnerabilities within the national security apparatus, prompting substantial and decisive action to ensure that history does not repeat itself.
On that fateful day, 10 terrorists of the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT) infiltrated Mumbai and went on a horrifying killing spree that claimed the lives of 166 people and left 300 injured over a period of four relentless days.
The alarming ease with which the LeT terrorists navigated the Arabian Sea, journeying from Karachi to Mumbai undetected and subsequently wreaking havoc in the city, underscored critical vulnerabilities in India’s security apparatus.
The incident not only exposed weaknesses in India’s maritime security but also revealed gaps in the internal security grid and the inadequacy of the counter-terrorism infrastructure and local law enforcement.
One of the critical shortcomings highlighted by the 26/11 attacks, was the lack of effective Intelligence- sharing among various agencies.
In response to these glaring shortcomings, a decisive decision was made to fortify the Intelligence Bureau’s (IB) Multi Agency Centre (MAC), a crucial hub tasked with coordinating the exchange of information between central agencies, the armed forces, and the police force. Defunct subsidiary MACs were revitalised and mandatory, real-time information and analysis meetings were instituted to enhance collaboration.
“The establishment of specialised counter-terrorism units and the use of technology to streamline information-sharing have been pivotal in enhancing the nation’s ability to pre-empt and respond to potential threats,” said a Delhi Police officer, requesting anonymity. Recognising the evolving nature of terrorism, amendments to the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) were made, broadening the definition of terrorism.
The Parliament also took significant action by passing the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act, establishing the country’s first truly federal investigation agency. This legislative move aimed to strengthen India’s ability to combat terrorism effectively by providing a centralised and empowered investigative body. (IANS)