A high-level official committee has severely indicted the former Mumbai Police Commissioner, Hasan Gafoor, for his handling of the Mumbai terror attacks. It faulted him for “absence of overt leadership” and “lack of visible command and control.”
The two-member committee, headed by the former Governor and Union Home Secretary R.D. Pradhan, appointed by the Maharashtra government to go into the Mumbai terror strikes, found serious lapses on the part of Mr. Gafoor in handling the “war-like” multi-pronged attack.
However, it did not find any serious lapse on the part of individual officers and police men of the Mumbai police. In fact, it praised the courage of officers and men -- some may consider as thoughtless -- to launch themselves into situations that were hopeless and knowing that they may be killed.
“Supreme instance of that was the way ASI Tukaram Gopal Omble tackled two terrorists [one of whom was Ajmal Amir Kasab] in a Skoda car in Chowpatty,” it said.
The committee suggested steps to strengthen coastal security through better monitoring at higher levels of the Central and Maharashtra governments and to remove red-tape for quicker modernisation of police with automatic arms and ammunition.
“There was absence of overt leadership on the part of Hasan Gafoor, the CP, and lack of visible command and control at the CP’s office,” said the 85-page report.
The report tabled by Maharashtra Home Minister R.R. Patil in the Assembly on Monday said the attack was beyond the capacity of the Mumbai police and had to be tackled by specialised forces such as the National Security Guards. “However, we find that the CP Mumbai did not exhibit adequate initiative in handling the multi-pronged attack. He remained at one spot near Trident Hotel throughout the operations,” the report said.