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How has India levelled up its National Security in 14 years since 26/11 Mumbai attacks

How has India levelled up its National Security in 14 years since 26/11 Mumbai attacks

Mumbai: It has been 14 years since ten men stormed into India’s financial capital and struck terror into the minds of Mumbaikars on November 26, 2008.

The heavily-armed terrorists, belonging to the Pakistani terror outfit, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), sailed on a boat from Karachi and entered Mumbai, without anybody noticing them. They attacked multiple locations in the city. What followed was a bloodbath in which 166 innocent lives were killed and over 300 were left injured.

The attack was a massive disgrace since it exposed India’s flagrant weaknesses in maritime surveillance, national security, and intelligence sharing and inter-force coordination. It was a stark reminder of what might happen to a country if maritime surveillance and security are not levelled up.

Ever since the attack, the government has taken a string of security measures to enhance the border security of the nation. With numerous bold moves, India seems to be a prepared country when it comes to tackling terror attacks.

Measures taken by the Indian government to strengthen national security

Enhanced maritime surveillance

India has a coastline of around 7,500 kilometres. Terrorists sneaking to Indian coast guards was a huge embarrassment for security agencies.

More than a decade after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, a major maritime defence and surveillance architecture is in place so that there is no repeat of the horrific terror attack in any part of the nation.

Earlier in February this year, the government appointed Vice Admiral (retd) G Ashok Kumar as India’s first national maritime security coordinator to enhance the country’s maritime security.

The coastal surveillance network has been established along the huge coast with the first phase of 46 radars already being completed. While the second phase of 38 radars is underway. For this, the government has already commissioned the Gurgaon-based Information Management and Analysis Centre for easy collection and dissemination of shipping data for increased awareness.

The authorities have installed more metal detectors and the presence of armed forces in sensitive areas in the country than ever before. Additionally, the Indian Navy’s ability to tackle terror attacks has also been strengthened.

Strengthening internal security and intelligence sharing mechanism

Intelligence Bureau (IB) has reorganized its MAC, which now functions 24×7. Inputs are shared regularly by various intelligence agencies on a real-time basis on MAC-SMAC Network with law enforcement agencies, including the State Police Forces. Notably, the SMACs are established in 30 vital locations across the country. Interstate Intelligence Support Teams (ISISTs) are also formed in over 25 states and four union territories.

Operation Sagar Kavach

After the 26/11 terror attacks, operation Sagar Kavach was put into action to improve the coordination between security agencies such as the Indian Navy and Coast Guards, and the local police. Multi-layer security, infiltration from seaward, simulated attacks on vital installations or assets, hijacking of merchant ships, and cross-landings were exercised to check the preparedness of all the agencies.

NSG vigilance

National Security Guard (NSG) is equipped for all kinds of terror activities in the country. Maharashtra government, post 26/11 attacks, has constituted an elite commando force called ‘Force One’. Specialised training is introduced here for the forces on the lines of NSG.

Centralised database creation

National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) has been instituted to create a database of modes Operandi of various crimes committed within the country. The government will also be developing a national database to monitor hawala transactions, terrorist funding, counterfeit currency, narcotics, bomb threats, and other terrorist activities.

Tracking fishing boats 24×7

The government has placed a system that detects all the fishing boats 24×7. With the help of state governments, biometric cards have been issued to all the fishermen. Other measures such as using an Automatic Identification System (AIS), and going digital by using online registrations have been undertaken.

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