explosives, AK-47s — that was in the bulletins, they knew
the exact targets.
Every single target was known apart from the Jewish
center in South Mumbai. The Oberoi, Taj, CST-VT, one of
the hospitals was named. They also named the Bombay
police headquarters as another target and they knew a
cluster of Jews would be targeted, but they didn’t know
where at the time.
I am sure, I’ve seen the bulletins. So if you actually put
this accumulative data together, what you have is a massing threat.
Now the police in Bombay ignored it pretty much
because they weren’t given the assistance to develop it.
R&AW didn’t seem to develop it, IB (Intelligence Bureau)
didn’t seem to develop it.
What is the reason?
Let us ask them what is the reason? I think it is incom-
petence. I think there is a political dogfight between IB
I think the police relationship through Special Branch
and IB is fractured and both sides don’t trust each other.
The police on the ground work very hard. They do the
They work very hard, but they don’t have the resources
because in this city of multi-millionaires, where you can
build yourself a 27-storey town-house to live in with a helicopter landing pad, no one will pay for the police.
Who will buy their helmets? Who will pay the tax for
the vests? And I do think that is the essence of the problem.
The infighting, the lack of seriousness with which they
greeted it, until Vishwas Nangre Patil came into office.
He comes into office in June-July 2008 and the first
thing he does is, he does a security appraisal. Very young,
ambitious officer from the countryside. Not part of the
establishment. He is not like (then police commissioner
Hasan) Gafoor and Nawab (Mumbai police’s crime
branch chief Rakesh Maria).
He has not come from the same background. He is one
of a new breed of country boys who has a lot to prove.
Who has gone through the IPS (Indian Police Service).
His father is a gym instructor, a weightlifter. He doesn’t
have the family credentials.
I think what you see with a man like him is that
immediately in the summer he begins to piece together
the amassing evidence that Bombay is going to be hit
and all of these targets are going to be hit and he begins
to organize a committee of junior officers he meets regularly in the evenings, looking at how to deal with the
pitiful resource system and make the city safe.
He goes and addresses the general managers of the
hotels and says that you are gonna get hit. And in fact he
is even more precise than that, he delivers through
September and October (2008), incredibly detailed
information to those hotels, particularly to the Taj. He
forces his way though the door, takes on the Tatas.
Very brave decision, young officer taking on influential
corporations like the Tata family. And he gives information saying that this is a folly, we can’t give you the date.
We don’t know which date this is going to happen, but
you are going to be attacked.
And then after the attack on the Marriott Hotel in
September 2008 in Islamabad where 50, 60 people were
killed with a truck bomb, he goes back to the hotels and
says it is gonna happen. You are going to get hit now.
Look, they have done that because the jihad factory is
turning against the establishment and we will get hit too.
He writes up a report that he sends to Gafoor, it is a
superbly detailed report, and in it he itemizes all the
things that must be done, shutting all the doors of the Taj,
creating checkpoints in the hotel, having a full-time police
picket on the Taj’s roof by the opening doors.
A whole transformation of the way the hotel perceives
itself. And the hotel agrees to some of these changes, most
of them it is forced to agree.
Patil goes away on leave, and when he comes back, all
the changes have been dismantled. And the hotels com-
plain that the cops are greedy. They want to be fed. And it
is unsightly having them hanging around begging for
food. And all the doors are opened again.
There is no checkpoint, there are no snipers, there is no
blast barrier, the CCTV is disorganized, there are illegal
alcohol storages still kept all around the hotel.
These are issues, if you want to ask who did the work,
the local police in the end tried. People like Vishwas Patil
and Rajwardhan Sinha, he was in the Special Branch.
They would be ultimately the only people who fought for
the safety of the hotel.
Sinha is remarkably insightful and a battle-hardened
officer. He spent his time in Gadchiroli (the Naxal-infested
tribal area of Maharashtra).
But here you have a disaster in the brewing. Intelligence
services that don’t take intelligence services seriously.
‘HEADLEY ASKED ONE OF THE ARMY MAJORS,
WHO CLAIMED TO BE A RETIRED OFFICER,
‘AMERICA CONCEALED ITS KNOWLEDGE, ITS TRUE
FROM WHERE A LOT OF THE INFORMATION
WAS COMING FROM AND HE WAS TOLD THE
MILITARY HAVE BECOME
PARTICULARLY PROUD OF A SERIES OF
SOURCES THEY HAVE IN INDIA. THE PRIME
SOURCE IN DELHI WAS CHRISTENED
HONEY BEE. HONEY BEE HAD ACCESS TO
MATERIAL WHICH ALLOWED LASHKAR AND
THE ISI TO KNOW HOW INDIAN SPECIAL
FORCES WOULD REACT IF THE
ATTACK TOOK PLACE.’
KNOWLEDGE OF THE GROWING RISK ON MUMBAI’
A hostage peeks from
a window of the Trident
hotel, November 28,
A father and child after being rescued from the Trident, November 28,
PAL PILLAI/AFP/GETT Y IMAGES
SHASHANK PARADE /P TI