After the Taliban assault on an army run school in Peshawar which claimed the lives 126 lives mostly children, questions are being raised whether Mumbai is ready to avert such type of attacks? It was one of the most gruesome attacks in recent years against children. The city had already witnessed the gruesome 26/11 terror attack in which 166 persons were killed injuring 308 persons. Even restaurants and malls too are prone to terror attacks. Already, three people have lost their lives after police stormed a Sydney Café where a gunman held up 17 hostages for more than 16 hours.
Our schools and hotels too are vulnerable to terror attacks. Already, the Leopold’s Café was the first target in the Mumbai terror attacks of 2008. The terrorists threw in a grenade and shot randomly through the café, killing 12 people. Police have been conducting mock-drills in malls for ascertaining the preparedness of security personnel to fight terror attacks. However, more steps are needed to be taken to improve the security in the city.
A DCP rank official spoke to AV on the condition of anonymity and said, “If we receive any intelligence input pertaining to security threat to any school or establishment we beef up the security. We follow the directives issued by the Home department and act accordingly.”
“It is not feasible for us to provide security to each and every school in the city. We have the responsibility of maintaining law and order in the metropolis. Right now the police force is facing huge shortage of manpower which needs to be addressed” said another IPS officer.
Samita Chaudhari a housewife from Kandivali said, “After the Peshawar school attack, I am worried that similar incidents can occur in our country too. I am anxious about children’s safety as there is inadequate security arrangements at the school in which my son is studying.”
Ashni Sanghvi another housewife from Malad said, “Today terrorism has become a major threat for every nation. The government will have to take steps to improve safety of schools, restaurants and major commercial establishment.”
“A group of eight to 10 suicide attackers wearing paramilitary Frontier Corps uniforms entered Army Public School on Warsak Road and started indiscriminate firing around 10.30 am (local time)” Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak said.
The terrorists went from classroom-to-classroom shooting indiscriminately at the shocked students said eyewitnesses.
“At least 24 bodies were lying in the Lady Reading Hospital and 60 others in Combined Military Hospital” Khattak said. At least 43 injured have been shifted to LRH, 40 to CMH and others to nearby hospitals. A three-day of mourning has been announced.