atst1Terror, unimaginable terror, returned to Mumbai’s streets on Wednesday night, killing over 200 people, including Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) chief Hemant Karkare, additional commissioner of police Ashok Kamte, and encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar. All three died fighting the terrorists. The obvious aim of the terrorists was to overawe the police force and bring the country’s commercial hub to a standstill. Moving about in groups of twos and threes, the terrorists struck with impunity all over the city, setting off coordinated multiple blasts and gunfire in a dozen areas across the metropolis, including the crowded Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) railway station and two five star hotels – the Oberoi and the Taj. The terrorists, who apparently arrived by sea with their explosives, did not even spare hospitals like GT and Cama, where gunfire was reported. At least three foreigners, including a Briton, were killed and 18 others injured when heavily-armed terrorists attacked two luxury hotels and other places in southern Mumbai overnight. The Mumbai terror attacks exposed how ill equipped the Maharashtra Police is – their rifles could do little when terrorist armed with the latest hi tech weapons fired at public places. Ironically despite being the financial capital that thrives on the latest technologies of the world, the Maharashtra Police, that despite the latest technology available at their end have officers who are neither fit nor equipped or trained to take on such terror attacks putting a question mark on law and order in the state and the vulnerable security blanket under which citizens of the city are living. If the Maharashtra Police could not save its own ATS Chief Hemant Karkare there is no hope for civilians in the state of Maharashtra. Intelligence reports had warned that there could be a possible entry of terrorists into Mumbai through the sea route, a top police official claimed. This intelligence was available six months ago and subsequently a barge was found by the locals on Shrivardhan coast in Raigad district four months back. Locals feared that the barge might have contained explosives but nothing was found when customs and naval personnel inspected it. The terrorists, who created havoc in Mumbai overnight, came by boats, Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh confirmed later. Even as terror checked in Mumbai like never before, citizens woke up in other unaffected parts of Mumbai and neighboring cities Navi Mumbai and Thane to do their bit. The first being the blood donations camps held across the city. In Navi Mumbai, Shiv Sena City Chief Vijay Chougule called all party workers to conduct a blood donation camp in wake of the appeal of blood by Mumbai hospitals. Several Navi Mumbaikars attended the camp. Similar mass blood donation camps were held in the city of Thane where the Shiv Sena and the district hospital held a blodd donation camp at the Thane railway station itself. Women, men along with youngsters came forward to be a part of this camp and donated blood. Bureau report NMTV


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