In its report on the 26/11 terror strikes, the government-appointed committee headed by Ram Pradhan, had warned of Pune being a possible terror target. On page 84 of the report , the two-member committee said that since Pune was a sensitive place and a possible terror target, it had visited the city on January 30, 2009 to assess its preparedness. The committee was shocked that even though some of the police officers had experience in working in terror-stricken and Naxalite areas, they were not prepared to deal with terror strikes and even though the country was facing such an enormous threat, they had very little idea of it. The police showed them bullet-proof jackets weighing 10 to 12 kg dating back to 1993. How police wearing such heavy jackets can confront terrorists, the report asked.
No attention paid
In a supplementary note to the report, Mr. Pradhan had said that to face terror strikes like the one in Mumbai on November 26, other cities in Maharashtra should also be assessed in terms of preparedness and necessary steps should be taken. The note also pointed out several shortcomings in the State secretariat and police establishment. No attention was paid to intelligence alerts and standard operating procedures, the committee added. It was also suggested that the government set up another high level committee to study the issues raised in the note which Mr. Pradhan submitted on May 29, 2009.
Meanwhile, the government appointed all- party committee on the Ram Pradhan Committee report, met for the first time on Tuesday. However, the Leader of the Opposition Eknath Khadse who was complaining only last week that the committee had not met, did not turn up for the meeting.
As a result, of the 16 –member committee only nine persons including the Chief Minister, who heads the committee turned up. According to Divakar Raote, MLC, Shiv Sena, who is a part of the committee, only the terms of reference were discussed. The issue of how the Pradhan report was leaked to the media also came up for discussion.
In the winter legislative session in Nagpur in 2009, the Opposition had demanded a discussion on the report. However, the government was not keen on debating it in the Assembly due to security related issues. A compromise was achieved when the Opposition agreed to forming a committee to discussing the report after it was tabled in the house.