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News Analysis: Maritime and Coastal Security Aftermath 26/11 Terror Attack on Mumbai

MARITIME AND COASTAL SECURITY AFTERMATH OF 26/11

Six yrs have passed since the heinous terrorist attack and its time to introspect whether any improvements have been done in the areas of mitigation and preparedness
Traditionally terrorist used to infiltrate to India through land routes mainly either Kashmir, Bangladesh, Nepal or Myanmar. So this was the first time that terrorist used the sea routes
SOME CORRECTIVE STEPS TAKEN:
Govt has taken a new initiative to set up National Maritime Domain Awareness program.
National Coordination and communication to coordinate and share intelligence among intelligence agencies.
Accordingly govt has notified 8 centers right from Ahmadabad and down to port Blair to ensure communication and intelligence sharing.
Also we have collaborated with 24 countries from East of South Africa to Strait of Malacca to share the intelligence.
All these will be analysed and assimilated at a special center formed in Gurgoan.
BS, which deals with Coastal rivers like Sir Creek, Cori Creek, East Sundarbans will install water surveillance system and look for any alertness when required.
CHALLENGES INDIA IS FACING GEOGRAPHICALLY
We have a long coast line on both the sides. Humanly, its impossible to track or keep surveillance and keep alertness at all posts. So perhaps one has to choose vulnerable or more sensitive points and this should have high confidentiality.
MISTAKES COMMITTED BEING:
RDX which were used in 1993 Mumbai blasts came from coastal routes.In 2004 large no of assault weapons were recovered in Mumbai. All these incidents should have alerted us.
IS THERE A NEED FOR PATROLLING?
The Navy which patrols across territorial waters, there needs a special patrolling force to monitor coastal river and seas.
These coast guards should be upgraded with modern infrastructural equipment like GPS, Assault Helicopters and other modern technologies.
Fishermen who sail long into the seas can be a boon or bane. i.e., they can be used as a intelligence sources but also they should be constantly kept in surveillance so that they are not acting as a support system to terrorists
THINGS WHICH NEEDS TO BE LOOKED INTO;
1. We have to develop a system for national data base where intelligence agencies can no more shy away from in the name of secrecy.
2. QRT (quick reaction teams) should be put in all major coastal cities.
3. Drills should be conducted regularly with lot of rehearsals, preparations and exercises, to contain the panic in security forces when this kind of unprecedented attacks happen.
Source: All India Radio