Mumbai Police Improve Response Mechanism After 11/26 Terrorist Attack

A police official said the Maharashtra Police Force One commando team had also been granted permission to carry weapons on the flights.

Bombay: Better coordination between different agencies and the rapid response mechanism put in place by the police are key to Mumbai’s security over the past nine years after the 11/26 attack, officials said.

Police are able to secure the city as their response mechanism has improved over the years, Mumbai Police Commissioner Datta Padasalgikar said.

On November 26, 2008, 10 Pakistani terrorists arrived by sea and indiscriminately opened fire on people, killing 166 people, including 18 security personnel, and injuring several others, in addition to damaging property worth crores.

Following the vile attack in the financial capital, the government of Maharashtra has taken a series of measures to improve the police force in areas such as technology, training, gadgets, weapons and coordination among all agencies, another police official said.

To strengthen coastal security, the government has provided radio frequency identity cards and smart cards to fishermen, he said.

The Defense Ministry has also installed around eight radars to detect any suspicious movement across the west coast, the official said.

The establishment of the maritime police wing and securing the coastline with the help of drone surveillance are among the government’s ambitious plans, another
the manager said.

Intelligence sharing among all agencies, including the police, navy, coast guard and other central agencies, has also improved, he said.

Megacities, including Mumbai, are covered by the CCTV network to fight criminal activity, he added.

Maharashtra police recently purchased 4,600 body armor, another police official said.

The purchase was delayed because no company was willing to bid over allegations of purchasing substandard bulletproof vests, he said.

Of the 4,600 vests, 3,000 tests have been carried out so far and these will be distributed in a few days to various police units, the official said.

“In addition to the jackets, we also bought 1,500 bulletproof helmets which we distributed,” he said.

During the past year, the police have also acquired bulletproof shields, “morchas” (a type of protective equipment), night vision monoculars and other modernized weapons for use in the field.
response teams, he said.

There are also proposals to procure bomb suits and full containment vehicles, the official added.

Another police official said the Maharashtra Police Force One commando team had also been granted permission to carry weapons on the flights.

Previously, only National Security Guards (NSG) personnel were allowed to carry weapons on flights.

Mumbai Police Commissioner Datta Padasalgikar said: “The police are capable enough to deal with any type of situation to make the city safe, as our response mechanism has improved over the years.

“We have rapid response teams in each region made up of young and fit men who can strike if the need arises,” the police commissioner said.

Police also regularly conduct joint exercises of Force One and the elite NSG Commando Team, which has a base in the suburb of Powai, he said.

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