Chaotic Crisis

By | 12:21 1 comment
In continuation to my last post - the Mumbai Attacks are still taking place - 39 hours and counting as of right now when I write this.

It's heart wrenching to watch the current news coverage - the fact is that neither the media nor the police force is able to give an exact indication of how many people are currently held hostage, how many people are just trapped inside the hotels and how many terrorists are actually within the two hotel properties ... The media has been continuously changing its figures over the past 24 hours and it really puts a damper to ones' spirits to know that the news we are getting - is not even up-to-date.

It frustrates me to see things like policemen preparing for a show-down in completely inadequate protective gear - let's be honest - they had NO protective gear ! A flimsy so-called bulletproof sleeveless jacket that flaps around with a helmet does not account for protective clothing. As per news updates - anyone with common sense (or perhaps it's just my own perception) can tell that the attacks to the senior police officials on the first night of the attacks were in fact targeted. The aim of a terrorist is to instill fear amongst society - and what better way to do that than by provoking a large scale attack such as that taking place in South Mumbai and by targeting the country's most embellished police officers ? The media spent a fair amount of time focusing on how there was stunned silence amongst the police forces on hearing of the loss of lives within the department. The country's senior most Encounter Specialist was killed within a few hours of the start of the attacks.

These officers died in the line of duty and they will be remembered - today, tomorrow, a week or a month from now .. but what about 3 or 6 months from now ? What about the families they leave behind ? How does the family feel knowing that had their husband / father / brother had 'better' protection - there just might have been a chance for them ? It breaks my heart to think of what those families must be going through.

The media has talked about the entry of terrorists into Mumbai via the sea route ... Considering that we are a city surrounded by water - you would think that the Marines or Navy Officers would have a better command and knowledge of those entering our shores. We can't blame them - they may not have the facilities to keep track of every entrant - but we can't help but wonder 'how' was it possible for unidentifiable vessels to enter the waters and reach the shoreline.

Vilasrao 'finally' reaches the Trident hotel ... where was he on Wednesday evening or even Thursday morning - why bother making an appearance on Friday morning ? Really he shouldn't have bothered and just made a TV appearance wherever he was.

I have barely slept more than 4-5 hours in the last 40 hours or so - my eyes have been glued to the TV ... my house is around the corner from the hotel - and it would be 'great' to actually know what is going on ... And it's absolutely mind blowing to watch the members of the general public just wander across to the sites of the attacks to 'watch out of curiousity' and basically just get in the way of the police and NSG that are trying to secure the area ! What is wrong with the public - are they just stupid enough to go and make themselves obvious targets to terrorists who are firing indiscrimanatorily !

Even more frustrating is the way information is being provided to the public - in little bits and bobs - that are hardly clear ! I watched the Taj Hotel - a hertitage structure - BURN for over 2 hours on Wed night before fire engines got around to putting out the fire ... and I watched this magnificent piece of architecture BURN AGAIN over and over - whilst
our firemen made a feeble attempt to try to put the fire out ! Guys come on !!! Use your initiative and brain cells !!! Even I as a layman can see - that if there is a fire on the 4th floor window on the side of the hotel, and there is a partial wall between the two partitions of the hotel - instead of standing on the wall and trying to put the fire out - (which was a highly pathetic attempt since the water from the fire house was barely reaching the base of the window!!) - why not get on the fire engine, use the damn ladder that is there for such situations - take the ladder to a height and start dousing the fire out !!! I was soo distraught by this feeble attempt that I had to keep yelling at my TV screen for the fireman to point the hose 'UP' instead of at 'chest level' !!

The media keeps stating that the 'operations will be over in an hour' - they've been repeating this for over 15 hours now ... what progress has been made ? We had NO news updates until 4 a.m earlier this morning - I succumbed to sleep by that time and woke up early again to find out what the latest scenario is ! The information provided by the press is quite contradictory - on one hand as of yesterday almost all the terrorists were killed and hostages released ... this morning - there are still a 'few terrorists' in the Taj and Oberoi hotels with more hostages ! The press is telling the public that the terrorists have been eating dry fruits, carrying foreign currency (USD $) and credit cards ... give me a break !!! Of course they will have the bare essentials with them !!! Money, credit cards and some sort of food ... are we that clueless as a society not to realise that if a full blown attack is taking place - the attackers won't have some sort of food with them ? It's not like they will tell the chefs of the hotels under seige to go and cook them a meal !!

And on that note - how on earth did the terrorists get INTO the hotels with bags full of weapons ? Does that mean that they had checked-in to the hotels a few days prior and set those rooms up as control rooms ? The hotels don't exactly screen the luggage coming into the property - they just check the exteriors of cars and hand bags (hmmm maybe now they will think of tightening security measures) ...Could it be that the terrorists actually booked rooms and came in with such advanced weapons and camped out at the hotel before meeting their comrades ?

It's logical enough to assume that the reason we didn't get any news updates last night was due to the fact that perhaps (for a change) the media was laying a false trail in case the terrorists were 'watching the news' ... as much as it has been said that the TV's and telephones at the hotels are not working .. these guys must have an outside counter part - perhaps in the city - perhaps in another city or even another country - watching the news and giving the attackers updates. It's a fact - they have more ammunition and explosives than the NSG, Army and Police force could imagine them to have ! One of the NSG reps has just said that the terrorists had over 700 rounds of bullets with them including spares !! jeeeeeez !!

This situation is not just a crisis at hand - it is a chaotic crisis ! As a society, as a city and country we must learn to manage unforseeable crisises and have a contigency plan ready and on hand should we ever need. There was a gentleman on the news - with salt & pepper hair - who was very vocal about his thoughts and it was good to hear that - finally - somebody went on national and worldwide television and publicly stated our pros and cons ! We need to stand up in a united front instead of this divided culture the politicans pave out !

I could go on and on ... so will stop now ... until later .... but think about it !


Maya said...

what else can you expect from the indian way of police and fire dept.

they acted just as expected, at the indian standard time.

its not an hollywood movie.