We need to be lucky only once to kill you but you need to be lucky every time to escape --- Irish Republican Army to Margaret Thatcher, Ex-British PM
The chilling strike by the merchants of death and fear in Hyderabad is the umpteenth reminder of our plain ineptitude, ad hoc policies and haphazard coordination in matters of internal security. That the perpetrators of the massacre managed to strike at a place and time of their choice underscores the helplessness of the law-enforcement machinery, which has been clearly found wanting. The Home Minister’s admission of failure to act on the intelligence inputs without any specific target” itself displays a bankruptcy of sensitivity and responsiveness. The government’s pompous claims of strong action and deterrent punishment against the wrong-doers are a standard poor joke, which sometimes borders on the farcical. Therefore, the BJP was right in retorting whether the intelligence inputs given by intel ought to have mentioned the “street number” to facilitate the police’s job of preventing the tragedy. Clearly, it’s not a case of intelligence failure; rather, it’s a failure of “intelligence”.
It’s no rocket science to predict what could possibly have been the likely targets in the aftermath of Afzal Guru’s hanging, especially as both the Kashmir Valley and Hyderabad had witnessed protests after the execution. As a matter of fact, the Indian political class has a history of not learning from its past bloomers. Anyone who believed that India is now better prepared to pre-empt terrorist plots post-Mumbai terror attacks obviously lives in a make-believe world. The Mumbai coast, which served as the entry point for Ajmal Kasab and his accomplices is as porous as it was at that time in the absence of any effective follow-up surveillance measures. As is proved by this tragedy, different agencies like National Centre for Terrorism Control, Intelligence Bureau, Home Ministry and the state governments involved in gathering intelligence and acting on it are as miserably coordinated as they could be. The CCTV cameras at sensitive installations, predictably, are mostly dysfunctional. No prizes for guessing what could happen next!
Quite unsurprisingly, the common people have a total distrust of the government’s intentions or capabilities to protect their life and limb. If only we could take a leaf out of America’s books on how to go about a zero-tolerance policy towards terrorism !