Mumbai: Ten years ago on this day, Mumbai faced the deadliest terror attack that killed 166 people and several others injured, leaving behind scars among the citizens. Post this incident, the government was forced to take a reconsider the security system and were compelled to improve it.
One of the main steps taken by the police after the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai in 2008 was to strengthen the coastal and maritime security along the entire coast. Coastal patrolling by Navy, Coast Guard and marine police has increased sharply over the last few years. As a result, the entire west coast is under continuous surveillance by ships and aircraft of Navy and Coast Guard.
A year after the attack, the Force One, an elite commando team was formed for urban counter-terrorism operations. Currently, under Maharashtra Director General, it’s always ready to tackle an armed terror attack in important cities of Maharashtra. Headquartered in Aarey Colony, this special force absorbs only 4-5 per cent of total applicants in state police force who apply for it that too after rigorous training.
In a bid to save youth from losing their way, the Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) too has deradicalised as many as 120 youth in the past three years and helped 240 misguided youth, aiming for at least 300 by March 2019. Even as several groups are under constant surveillance, ATS believes lone wolf, people working alone, still pose a threat.
The government has increased multi-agency centre for Counter-Terrorism along the coasts to share terrorism-related inputs on a day to day basis. Over 100 inter-agency exercises are conducted by various agencies along the coast between nearly 15 national and state agencies has improved dramatically.
The coordination between various agencies and the quick response mechanism has improved with response mechanism coming down to five minutes. An official said with the presence of Force One, Quick Response Team (QRT), National Security Guard (NSG) and several informers on ground, the flow of intelligence information is far better.