Police botched up 26/11 action: Panel

Maharashtra govt rejects finding, defends Mumbai ex-police boss Gafoor

As reported earlier, the two-member committee headed by former Union home secretary Ram Pradhan and comprising former RAW official V Balachandran, gave a clean chit to the Mumbai police and lauded its handling of the 26/11 attacks, but singled out the then Commissioner of Police, Hasan Gafoor, for whatever failures of the force. However,  the Maharashtra government refuted the committee’s strictures against Gafoor.
The extracts of the report and the Maharashtra government’s Action To Be Taken Report (ATTR) on those portions were tabled in the state assembly by Home Minister Jayant Patil on Tuesday, amid pandemonium and uproar by Opposition members who demanded tabling of the full report.
Gafoor, who was removed from the office just three days ago, “lacked leadership qualities,” and “did not take adequate initiative in handling the multi-target attack,” the report said.

People’s perception

“Gafoor had stationed himself at one spot near the Trident Hotel during the entire operation... he did not guide (the subordinate officers) or inquire about the ongoing operations,” the report said.
Because of his failure at handling the situation, “there was a perception among the people that the police response was inefficient.”
Gafoor’s attitude created an impression among the subordinates that they were not part of the team, the committee stated.
It also blamed Gafoor for failing to implement the standard operation procedures laid down in the Bombay Police Manual in letter and spirit.
“As per the procedure, during emergencies, the joint commissioner (law and order) should take charge of the Control Room and lead the disaster management, and the Joint commissioner (crime) should cooperate with the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) chief.

Damning indictment

* Top police officials failed to lead from the front
* Standard operating procedures not followed during crisis
* Managements of Taj and Oberoi did not take seriously the security alert given by Mumbai police
* No coordinated and visible control

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