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Lessons not learnt from parliament attack
It was on 13th December 2001 that heavily armed Jaish e-Mohammad (JeM) terrorists had attacked the..

THE DASTARDLY attack in broad daylight had revealed the gaping holes in our security systems and the untimely death of nine persons of the Delhi police, CRPF, the watch-and-ward staff of the Parliament house and a journalist lost their lives in this attack. The five gunmen were shot down. Afzal Guru, the master mind of the attack has been sentenced to death but it has yet to be put into effect – his mercy petition is pending with the President.

Then there was the Mumbai Taj hotel terror attack on 26/11/2008 which left 164 dead and 304 injured. Ajmal Kasab, the lone terrorist captured alive, is still in detention in jail and costing the exchequer crores of rupees to keep him alive till he is executed. Apart from these were the Akshardham temple (Gandhinagar) terror attack of 25/9/2002 in which 29 people died and 79 were injured followed by the Bangalore I I Sc terror attack of 28/12/2005 which left one dead and four injured.

Then there were the German Bakery Case of Pune on 13/2/2010 in which 17 people lost their lives while 60 were injured. An American-Pakistan national David Coleman Headley has admitted to his involvement in this attack. After a gap came the Mumbai Jhaveri Bazaar attack. The serial bombings of 13/7/2011 left behind 26 dead and 130 injured and the Delhi High Court terror bombing (Tiffin box bomb) on 7/9/2011 left 11 dead, and 76 injured.

These are facts and figures but, the question is – have we learnt our lessons? The answer would be an emphatic ‘No’! We have acquired sophisticaticated safety and surveillance equipment such as CCTVs, and metal detectors to combat terrorism but do not regularly follow the drills. CCTVs in some locations do not operate, metal detectors exist at the entry points of railway stations but the fencing of the platforms have huge gaps – for the convenience of vendors, urchins, beggars and the likes. What use is then the CCTVs at the entrance?

This is just the tip of the iceberg – mere procuring of equipment is not the answer. There has to be a dedicated effort at all levels to meet the challenge head-on. Policemen armed with stout sticks can never be expected to face terrorists armed with AK-47s.

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