for securing lives
A terrorist attack is not just an armed attack. It hurts civilians,
destroys infrastructure, spreads toxic chemicals, causes trauma,
and financial damage
Indian law enforcement agencies are faced with the same issues as large corporations: How to design and manage an organization that can swiftly and
collectively respond to immediate demands, and yet be
able to communicate and fight common challenges.
The 26/11 attacks on Mumbai exposed these challenges with distressing severity. The city did not have
adequate forces to respond, Maharashtra lacked coordination between the police, the intelligence, and paramedics. The federal-state communication was poor. In
the weeks that followed the attacks, both promised a
range of measures, some were acted upon but no comprehensive national strategy was made.
Though law enforcement is not the same as commercial business. Securing lives is undeniably the greatest
responsibility of a society, there are lessons on effective
integration that can be learnt from corporations.
An honest acceptance of existing capability is necessary. Recruiting, training, coordination and organizational changes can be made. This has been done successfully to fight insurgency in India’s North East and
for decades in Kashmir. Procuring expensive technology and infrastructure still poses a problem although we
has made progress in recruiting.
India has added over 36 battalions with 36,000
policemen since 26/11 and 21 more battalions are in
the offing. The strength of the Indian Police Service has
also been increased to 4,720 from 3393.
However, the immediate need is for organization —
and in particular, horizontal and vertical integration.
In a corporation, horizontal integration enables the
different moving parts of a corporation like marketing,
production, sales and finance to synchronize their
efforts while responding to market demands. Our law
enforcement needs similar collaboration on the ground
between different government agencies like the police,
army, medical teams, engineering teams, scientists and
A terrorist attack is not just an armed attack. It hurts
civilians, destroys infrastructure, spreads toxic chemicals, causes trauma, and financial damage.
Effective in-service training is important to secure
cities. Our training strategy must be one that requires
constables from local police stations to train with other
law enforcement agencies. After all, the local police are
always closest to the target, as they were on 26/11.
One way to do this is by grouping stakeholders in
Local first: Responders like constables, commandos,
compounders, coast guard, shop-owners and municipal (or panchayat) teams make up the inner and most
vitally important circle. In other words, an extended
version of the armed Force 1 that Mumbai has now set
Statewide police, business and engineering teams
form the next, middle circle. This could be an extended
version of the state Industrial Security Force that is
there in Gujarat to guard public and private enterprises. Maharashtra approved a similar bill in 2010 but
there is little news of progress since.
Nationwide intelligence, defense, telecom, legislative
and judicial agencies would form the third and outermost circle, and so on. In short, the focus of the training will depend on the level. This approach is markedly different from having National Security Guard centers in the four metropolitan cities, which though comforting as an immediate measure, is a tactical, centre-led response rather than a strategic, state-level
Vertical integration, on the other hand, is traditionally used to eliminate hold-ups introduced by stakeholders in the chain from the top to bottom. As 26/11
exposed, there were six alerts sent by the federal intel