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Paris reminds Mumbai to revisit terror-proof security protocols

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source: jantakareporter.com

Soon after the Paris attacks on November 13 this year, Coast Guard teams launched a mock attack on Mumbai by approaching the city and surrounding through the coast lines, just like the Mumbai attackers had done in 2008. Sadly, the exercise was successful in showing how  security protocols still fail to scan incoming dangers as several of the Coast Guard teams succeeded in slipping through.

Officials stated that the test was not a complete disaster, but exposed India’s continuing vulnerability to outside attacks.

“There was a mixed result,” said a navy spokesman in Mumbai. “We do find weaknesses, but over the years the number of people who can go through (our defenses) is much less,” he added.

In the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks, in which 10 gunmen infiltrated the city after landing on the shores by boat, and proceeded to attack high profile sites, the city took certain steps in defense. A National Security Guard (NSG) unit was deployed to the financial capital, the Mumbai police received better equipment, and knowledge about the sea-borne threat was imparted to the fishermen population, while giving them a helpline to call on in case of suspected threat.

‘Force One’—a counter-terrorism police force, was also set up in Maharashtra.

However, security experts reported that the initial defensive rush faded fast.

“A lot of effort goes in at first. But over time, people lose interest. Momentum is lost. There is no leadership continuity,” said Govind Sisodia, who was a senior NSG commander at the time of the Mumbai attacks.

The immediately reporting police personnel during the attacks were too poorly trained and equipped to deter the heavily armed gunmen attacking multiple spots simultaneously.

Sisodia said that even after 12 hours after the Mumbai attacks started, the elite force wasn’t able to leave their New Delhi headquarters as no plane was available.

Though seven years have passed since the attack, Force One still hasn’t moved into its proposed headquarters and shares a fourth floor office with the police academy in a shabby Mumbai building.

“From every incident, we take a lesson, we revise our protocols,” inspector general of police running the unit, Sanjay Saxena, said on the Paris attacks.

Saxena said little on how the squad operated, including his plans to deal with the city’s high traffic which seriously hinders the journey time of any military personnel to reach the venue.

Security experts cite the evolving military tactics of terror forces as a major source of concern.

The Paris attacked were quite similar to the ones in Mumbai, but they differed in their use of suicide belts, which ruled out capture while maximizing casualties.

“Mumbai ushered in a new era,” said GK Pillai, India’s home secretary after the Mumbai attacks. “This is a new type of terrorism: multiple, very well-trained teams striking a variety of targets.

“The lesson was that in cities you need to have a few hundred of these elite commandos available within 10-15 minutes, whether it is Paris or London,” he said.

India’s main security focus is on containing Kashmir’s separatist tendencies, and as such the country has little force to spare for other regions. Militants crossing in from neighboring Pakistan, who usually target urban settings, is the major source of worry. Apart from the Mumbai attacks, this was also evident in the police station raid in Punjab in July.

“Any urban area remains a target,” said Home Minister P Chidambaram, who took over just after the Mumbai attack. “In a city anyone can burrow themselves and remain invisible for weeks, months, even a year.”

Intelligence sources don’t have adequate information on the tens of thousands of Indians working in Gulf countries. Iraq, which is partly under IS control, houses around 18,000 Indians, according to the government, though the actual number might be a lot higher.

“Our data (on labourers) working abroad, especially in the Gulf, who are usually targeted for joining IS, is woefully inadequate,” said Vappala Balachandran, a senior foreign intelligence specialist who had led an inquiry into the Mumbai attacks.

Islamic State had recruited 23 Indians, according to a recent Indian intelligence report. However, they were considered “inferior fighters” by the terror group.

With incoming threats from terror groups, India has to work fast in gathering any and all loose ends to terror-proof the nation.

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Re-arrest Hafiz Saeed: USA tells Paksitan

Hafiz Saeed was designated a terrorist by the U.S. Justice Department, which has a $10 million reward for his capture or killing. He was released from house arrest before dawn Friday. After being freed, Hafiz has vowed to fight for Kashmir.

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Hafiz Saeed
Hafiz Saeed, head of the Pakistani religious party, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, gestures outside a court in Lahore, Pakistan, Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017. A Pakistani court has rejected the government’s plea to extend for three months the house arrest of the former leader of a banned militant group allegedly linked to 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

The United States has issued a statement condemning the release of Hafiz Saeed by Pakistan authorities, the mastermind of Mumbai terrorist attacks and has asked that he be rearrested and charged for his crimes.

Pakistani authorities have released a U.S.-wanted militant cleric who allegedly masterminded the 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India, that killed 168 people.

On Wednesday, a court in Pakistan rejected the government’s plea to extend the house arrest of Hafiz Saeed for three months and ordered his release, saying the government had failed to substantiate the charges of terrorism.

Saeed was designated a terrorist by the U.S. Justice Department, which has a $10 million reward for his capture or killing. He was released from house arrest before dawn Friday.

Saeed ran the Jamaat-ud-Dawa organization, believed to be a front for the Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group that was behind the attack in Mumbai, India.

Pakistan put Saeed and four of his aides under house arrest in Lahore in January following increased U.S. pressure on Islamabad to rein in militant groups. Saeed’s aides were released earlier.

On Thursday, India condemned the decision of the Pakistani court to release Saeed from house arrest.

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India plans to host Conference on Anti-Terrorism with participation of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean)

Between April 2016 - December 2016, the FDI inflows from Asean was over 20 percent of total FDI inflows into India

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Extremists
Extremism (Representational Image)

New Delhi, April 5, 2017: India plans to host a conference on counter-radicalisation with participation of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) nations, the government told the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

“India plans to host a conference on counter-radicalisation this year. Asean member states would be invited to participate in the conference,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said in a written response to a question.

NewsGram brings to you latest new stories in India.

On the India-Asean trade, the minister said: “Asean is one of our leading trading partners, accounting for over 10 per cent of our trade.”

“Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows from Asean have increased in the last three years with inflows from April 2014 to December 2016 amounting to $28 billion (Rs 1,81,797 crore approximately), which is more than the cumulative inflows received from Asean between April 2000 and March 2014,” Sushma Swaraj said.

Between April 2016 – December 2016, the FDI inflows from Asean was over 20 per cent of total FDI inflows into India. (IANS)

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India asks Pakistan to halt its “Compulsive Hostility” and depart Pakistan Occupied Kashmir

Pakistan has one more time chosen to misuse the council by passing erroneous references about internal matters concerning with Jammu and Kashmir

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United Nations Human Rights Council, Wikimedia

Geneva, March 17, 2017: India asked Pakistan to halt its “compulsive hostility” towards it during UN human rights council session. Employing its right to reply India further induced Pakistan to fulfill its obligation to depart from the illegal seizure of PoK. The rising concern is disturbing now as Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir region has become the hub of global terror.

During the session, one of the officials was quoted saying “We ask Pakistan to stop inciting and supporting violence and terrorism in any part of India and refrain from meddling in our internal affairs in any manner”. Another official was noted stressing on the violation of Human Rights by the illicit act of terrorism and seizing the territories of J&K forcibly by Pakistan. Pakistan has one more time chosen to misuse the council by passing erroneous references about internal matters concerning with Jammu and Kashmir, the diplomat stated.The Indian side also declares that India does not accept any claims by Pakistan to disparage the democratic choice that has consecutively for 6 decades been employed by people of J&K since the time of independence.

The Indian side also declares that India does not accept any claims by Pakistan to disparage the democratic choice that has consecutively for 6 decades been employed by people of J&K since the time of independence. “It is unfortunate that in recent times the people of PoK have become victims of sectarian conflict, terrorism, and extreme economic hardship because of Pakistan’s occupation and discrimination policies”, said the Indian side.

Pakistan has alienated its own people through continued violation of Hindus, Christians, Shias, Ahmadiyas and other minorities.

“In this council, Pakistan has referred to situation of minorities in India. Minorities in India have been Prime Ministers, Presidents, Vice-Presidents, senior Cabinet Ministers, senior civil servants, cricket team captains, Bollywood superstars – can the minorities of Pakistan claim even a shadow of this? All they have are blasphemy laws and relentless abuse and violation of their human rights”, the Indian side said.

– Prepared by Naina Mishra of Newsgram, Twitter: Nainamisr94