Mumbai could have been a small incident: anti-terror expert


London : Last year’s terrorist attacks on Mumbai could have been turned into a “relatively small incident” if the city police force had been well-resourced and -equipped, an Indian strategic expert has said.

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“The police system have roots in the community and they are the best equipped to wear the boots to fight terrorism on the ground. The army cannot defeat terrorism,” said Ajai Sahni, Executive Director of the Institute for Conflict Management, New Delhi.

“There are no resources for the police in India, otherwise Mumbai would have been a relatively small incident,” Sahni told a meeting on terrorism and the rule of law organised by the Indo-British Friendship Forum in London Monday.

Sahni said the “only security success” of the Mumbai attacks came courtesy of the city police, when policemen wielding no more than rifles and lathis managed to kill one terrorist and take another alive.

“There would have been no Ajmal Kasab had it not been for those ill-equipped, brave policemen,” he said after the meeting.

The meeting, held at the House of Commons, was co-sponsored by Baroness Emma Nicholson, a Liberal Democrat member of the European Parliament and speakers included strategic affairs experts Rahul Roy-Chaudhury of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) and Steve Tsang of Oxford University.

Sahni said the Intelligence Bureau in India has a total staff of 8,000, of whom 3,500 agents were in the field and only 350 actively involved in anti-terrorism duties.