It took only 10 jihadis armed with Ak-47s, grenades and RDX to hold the city to ransom for almost three days while the entire world watched the jaw-dropping spectacle. More than anything else, it was a telling sign of Mumbai's vulnerability. The statistics are even more horrifying: more than 175 people killed and nearly 300 injured in the heart of India's financial district. It was a litmus test in which our politicians, intelligence agencies, coast guards and even the city's police force failed miserably.
On the eve of the first 26/11 anniversary, Narayan Ghosh takes a look at the security arrangements of the five institutions that had been violated by the terrorists, and comes back unimpressed.
Leopold Cafe: A lone private security guard carrying a double-barreled gun stood at the entrance of Leopold Cafe. A few metres away one could spot his colleague carrying just a metal detector. This was on a Saturday night when the crowd was maximum. The manager of the hotel Eric Anthony informed that another armed guard had done his shift from 7am-1 pm. The man for the evening worked from 4 pm till 1.30 am. When asked about police security, Anthony said the cafe managed only with private guards.
Image: A waiter serves customers at Leopold's cafe in Mumbai on November 5, 2009. Domestic tourists are coming back to Mumbai's most recognisable symbols 12 months after 10 Islamist militants attacked the city, including the Taj, killing 166 people and injuring more than 300.