Mumbai now fully geared to tackle 26/11 type attacks

Mumbai: Three years after terrorists struck the city leaving 166 dead, India`s financial capital seems better prepared to deal with such attacks having set up an elite commando unit and plans to fit transponders in boats of fishermen to detect suspicious movement.

The state government has fulfilled "majority of the recommendations" of the Ram Pradhan committee instituted after the 26/11 attacks to suggest measures on how to improve the security system in the state, Maharashtra`s Additional Chief Secretary (Home) U C Sarangi said.

"On the lines of the NSG, we have set up a 350 strong elite commando unit called Force one which is well equipped with the latest weapons and trained by Army and foreign experts. Every year, Rs 17 crore is being spent on this unit," he said.

As part of security measure to protect shores of Mumbai, Maharashtra Government plans to fit transponders in the boats of fishermen along the coast. However, some problem areas still remain.

Maharashtra`s Anti-Terrorism Squad ATS is grappling with a severe manpower crunch with 283 posts of the total 732 lying vacant, two-and-a-half years after the panel, set up to probe state police`s response to the Mumbai attacks recommended streamlining the force.

Of the sanctioned strength of 732 personnel for the ATS, which was formed in 2004 to counter terrorism and probe terror cases, 283 posts or 38.66 percent of the required manpower are lying vacant as on September 1, 2011, ATS sources said.

Ahead of the 26/11 anniversary, there is no specific threat or input from intelligence agencies but there is always a chance that terror outfits could resort to a "symbolic strike" to mark the third anniversary of the worst terror strike on India, home department sources said.