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Ground-level intelligence needed: Pradhan

The spate of terror attacks have underlined the need to develop a ground-level intelligence network, former Union Home Secretary Ram Pradhan, who headed the probe panel into the 26/11 terror attacks, has said.



Mumbai: The spate of terror attacks have
underlined the need to develop a ground-level intelligence
network, former Union Home Secretary Ram Pradhan, who headed
the probe panel into the 26/11 terror attacks, has said.

"We need to develop ground-level intelligence network,
not the intelligence that we get from agencies like IB or RAW.
We have to develop a pedestrian network, which was our
strength in the past, when the beat cop knew his area and the
people living there," Pradhan told a Marathi TV channel.

He said that terror attacks on Mumbai are inevitable and
the way terrorism is being exported from neighbouring
countries, it should be assumed that Delhi and Mumbai will
always be the prime targets (for such attacks). "We should not
forget that," he said.

Pradhan, former Governor and V Balachandran, a retired
IPS officer, were asked by the Maharashtra government to probe
the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks to find what went wrong with
the police and the administrative response.

"It has been over a year since we submitted the report to
the government, but no one (from government) has bothered to
discuss it with us," he added.

"Somebody asked me why Mumbai was attacked. It is quite
obvious. Because Mumbai is an international city. The motive
of terrorists is to make maximum impact. Going by the reaction
on TV, there is unrest among people, Pradhan said.

"There is a feeling that the government has not learnt
anything (from 26/11 attacks)," he said. The basic job of the
Home Department is to protect life and property, he added.

"The panel had come to the conclusion that unless there
was help from local people, such an attack (like 26/11) on
Mumbai was impossible," Pradhan said.

"I have seen terrorism in Punjab, in Assam and Tamil
Nadu. I feel there should be a perception (of the terror
threat)... If you close your windows and doors, how will you
come to know what is happening outside," he said.

Pradhan described the state of affairs in the security
apparatus while preparing the report. "During a visit to the
anti terrorism squad (ATS) office, we found that the
monitoring room at ATS was smaller than our bathroom. That was
the place where the first inputs of 26/11 attacks came.

When I sat in that room, there was not even one and a
half feet space in front of the monitor, where one person
could sit. There were four such monitors. How could one person
handle them?"

The former bureaucrat said, "(In our report), we could
have criticised concerned officials, but we did not, because
we realised that the failure was that of the system."

"We lauded the bravery of young IPS officer Vishwas
Nangre Patil, who showed exemplary courage in acting on his
own (during the Taj siege)," he said.

Pradhan said he had a good rapport with Chief Minister
Prithviraj Chavan and would be available for consultation for
the state government.

PTI

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