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Securing Security

Razaan Arif of Dawn News Agency delivers a case study on the security modifications after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. 

After acquiring independence in 1947, the Indian subcontinent became wrapped up in a bubble of bliss, propagating its ideals of peace and complete disarmament at every opportunity and platform. Due to this approach, the State received much criticism, for it seemed to be living in a utopic society, ignorant to the realities of the world and the need for self-protection and defence. However, despite the negative feedback received, it remained that way for many years.

It was only in 2008, 61 years after its liberation, that India finally faced the consequences of its lack of high-profile security. Categorised as the 9/11 of the East, the 26/11 Mumbai attacks were conceivably the most brutal incursions that India had encountered, leading to 166 deaths and over 300 injuries. This terrorist invasion shook the stability of India to its very foundation, compelling authorities to question the truth of the protection promised by the State.  

Thus, convinced by the imminent need to reform its security, the Government of India undertook various measures. Primarily, owing to the maritime nature of the raid, special attention was paid to the Navy, strengthening not only offshore but also coastal guard. In this respect, the government appointed a Coast Guard, State Marine Police, and several other authorities at both State and Central levels. It also set up Joint Operation Centres at Mumbai, Kochi, Vishakhapatnam and Port Blair under the authority of the Naval C-in-Cs. Furthermore, the government led operations for the formation of Sagar Prahari Bal of the Navy, consisting of eighty interceptor crafts and one thousand people. A National Command Control Communications and Intelligence Network has also been established to ensure that there are no issues posed regarding security.

Aside from the maritime measure post 26/11, a number of checks were added for the infamous Taj Hotel as well, being one of the major centres of the foray. The Taj, along with multiple other star hotels, installed a specialised X-ray system to thoroughly examine any luggage before allowing it onto the property. Moreover, it has enhanced its appointment procedure as well and conducts a comprehensive background check before selecting any member of staff. 

Thus, it has become evident that the tragedies of 26/11 have reshaped Indian history in several ways, whether that be tangible or simply the excessive caution instilled into their minds. 




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