Least political interference, maximum coordination ensured success

November 29th, 2008 - 7:46 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 29 (IANS) It was the least political intervention and near perfect coordination among the forces, apart from the bravery of commandos, that led to the success of the anti-terror operation in Mumbai, defence officials said Saturday.Black Cat commandos of the elite National Security Guard (NSG) along with the Indian Navy’s Marcos marine commandos and three armed forces calibrated the nearly 60-hour long Operation Black Tornado to successfully neutralise the terrorists holed up inside three landmark buildings in south Mumbai.

“The key to success in the operation was the least political intervention. We assured the political top brass that we would keep them updated on the situation but also sought an assurance that there will be least political intervention in the operation,” a senior defence official told IANS speaking on condition of anonymity.

The 477 rigorously trained commandos earned the gratitude of the nation as they successfully tackled a group of armed terrorists, wrested two five-hotels and a residential-cum-business building in India’s commercial capital from them and gunned down nine ultras and captured one.

“The second key point of the whole operation was the better coordination among the three forces. A four-tier line of attack was formulated to smoke out the terrorists,” another defence official added.

“In the first ring were the NSG commandos and Marcos followed by Army personnel in the second. Third line of attack comprised of ATS (Anti-Terrorism Squad) preceded police personnel in the fourth,” the official said.

In the whole operation, the Indian Air Force (IAF) provided logistics support with its IL-76 transport aircraft ferrying the commandos from the national capital to Mumbai early Wednesday.

One Mi-17 airdropped commandos on the Nariman house, where the gunmen had held a number of people including several Jews hostage.

The IAF also stationed its two Mi-8 helicopters in Mumbai that were used for surveillance of the coastline after the terror attack.

The longest terror drama in Indian history also saw the media reporting the developments minute by minute and that called for media management on the part of the forces.

“We also planned for a better media management since yesterday (Friday) morning. We realized that while the media was playing a positive role by updating the nation about the incident, the rumours spread by using the media were also damaging.

“Hence, we requested mediapersons to withhold certain details vital for the operation and arranged for media interactions with senior officials to give them credible information about the incident,” the official added.

At least 183 people have been killed in the terror attack which began Wednesday night with firing and explosions at several places and turned into a hostage crisis.

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