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Mumbai terror attacks: From financial capital to terror capital- Mumbai as bad as Karachi, Kabul

The situation in Maximum City is almost as bad as in Kabul or Karachi, cities located in countries the world knows as hotbeds of terror.

Updated: Jul 15, 2011, 08.13 AM IST
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(This story originally appeared in on Jul 15, 2011)
MUMBAI: That Mumbai has emerged as the country's 'terror capital' is quite obvious. What may come as more of a shock is the fact that the situation in Maximum City is almost as bad as in Kabul or Karachi, cities located in countries the world knows as hotbeds of terror.

Data from the US government-maintained Worldwide Incidents Tracking System shows that 390 Mumbaikars have died and over 1,349 have been wounded at the hands of terror in Mumbai since 2005, a close comparison to Karachi, which has lost 500 citizens and left 1,103 wounded in the same period.

This in fact excludes Mumbai's largest terror incident—the serial blasts of 1993 which killed 257 Mumbaikars and injured 713.

India's financial capital, with its repeated attacks, is heading towards war-torn Kabul, where 520 persons have died and 1,836 have been wounded in the same period.

The Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), in fact, pegs the casualties in Mumbai as much higher. Mumbai has clearly suffered a bigger blow than other Indian metros. Delhi's terror toll stood at 97 and Bangalore's at three since 2005.

ATS records show that Mumbai's terror casualties are nearly three times as many as the next worst-affected, Delhi, since 2001.

But the government response remains abysmal. ATS records show that only 15 terrorists were killed and four convicted in the state in the last decade.

Maybe it's time to learn a few lessons from London or New York, which have spruced up security in the wake of their worst terror tragedies. London, which witnessed two incidents of serial bombing on its underground network in 2005, which claimed 52 lives and left 701 injured, has curtailed terror with only two stray attacks reported ever since.

New York boasts of no casualties, despite its six terror-related incidents since the 9/11 World Trade Centre attack. But action in Mumbai is still wanting. Two-and-a-half years after the 26/11 attacks, there has been no preventive detention of suspects who are part of sleeper cells.

On why the police do not have an effective strategy to pre-empt collaborators of various outfits, an officer replied, "On what charges should we book them?"

Experts say Mumbai has been repeatedly targeted due to the prominent position it enjoys and the absence of pro-active measures to provide adequate security.

A former RAW official said Mumbai has been a soft target because of its 'financial status'. "A lot of publicity is given to such attacks and the city is more economically advanced than others. To prevent such attacks, a public-police relationship and a good police setup is a must," he said.

Encounters after blasts between 2003-07 followed a specific script—Mumbai police guns down an 'LeT operative' and recovers automatic rifles and ammunition from a Maruti 800.

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