India’s coastal security is weak: minister

November 28th, 2008 - 8:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Nov 28 (IANS) Minister of State for Home Sri Prakash Jaiswal said Friday India’s coastal security was week, as elite commandos were fighting the terrorists who unleashed mayhem in the city after sneaking into Mumbai from the sea.”Our coastal security is not as strong as it should be,” Jaiswal told reporters here.

The Indian coastline is about 7,500 km long, about 5,400 km along the mainland and 2094 km on islands.

“All state governments and the central government should work together for strengthening the coastal security. Without the state government’s support, this is not possible,” he said.

At least 143 people were killed and 327 injured after terrorists carried out one of the worst attacks on India’s commercial capital.

A large but unknown number of terrorists infiltrated into Mumbai Wednesday night from the sea and attacked with bombs and gunfire at many places. They then entered two five-star hotels - the Taj Mahal and Trident Oberoi and a Jewish centre Nariman House in south Mumbai.

The operation has continued on to flush out the holed-up terrorists from the three buildings.

Jaiswal said that police reforms, which have been harped upon for quite some time now, have not been implemented as speedily by state governments as these should have been.

“The challenges that are coming up against can be tackled and police reforms is one of the ways. The intelligence will also have to be strengthened - at the district level, the state and the central level and this is our aim now,” he said.

He asked the opposition not to play the blame game over terrorism as, he said, it was shameful to play politics in such times of crisis.

“Politics for the sake of votes, politics when dead bodies are still being brought out of the terror attacked sites…it is shameful when the (operation in Mumbai) was taking place on one hand, opposition leaders were busy politicising it on the other,” Jaiswal said.

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