Unfortunately, after losing seven Defence Security Corps personnel, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar admitted to “some gaps” that led to the terror attack on the Air Force base in Pathankot in which all the six infiltrators, who used some “Pakistan-made” equipment, have been killed. Addressing a news conference after a visit to the forward base, he said the terrorists were neutralised in an operation that lasted for more than 36 hours since 3.30 a.m. on Saturday but combing operations are still on. Parrikar announced that all the seven security personnel killed during the attack will be treated as martyrs that will entitle them to all the benefits available to “battle casualty” like in war-like situations. We are losing one after another army men but government is yet to understand the importance of lives.
The terrorists were carrying 40-50 kg of bullets, mortars, which were fired from modified Under-Barrel Grenade Launcher besides some magazines. No one knows from where these terrorists entered such a sensitive area; however Parrikar still doesn’t feel that there is any compromise on security. Anyway, investigations are still on and things will clear after probe gets over. Government should honestly put forward the fact which will come out in the probe. People are confused, how the terrorists managed to come inside the base which has a perimeter of 24 km and located in an area of about 2,000 acres. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister received a call from his Pakistani counterpart on the offensive. Nawaz Sharif promised that “prompt and decisive action” against the terrorists behind the Pathankot attack will be taken. The Indian leader pressed for immediate steps on “specific and actionable” information provided to them.
When PM Modi’s party BJP was in opposition, he used to be aggressive on Pakistan to teach them lesson. Now he is attending and wishing Pakistani PM’s Birthday party having dinner with them on their land and uttering deep silence on terror attack. This attack didn’t come as an earthquake, but was alerted in advance by the intelligence agency earlier. A SP’s car was hijacked (SUV with a blue beacon light, not an ordinary cab), in the middle of the night. Don’t forget about the letter that was sent by the ADGP to the police circles about the intelligence information regarding the entry of terrorists in the state. These terrorists could kill soldiers trained in DSC, NSG and IAF.
Enemy is not outside India they are within the country. Drugs, corruption, material pleasures, alcohol, pleasing with prostitutes, money laundering, betting, political ambition, greed of power etc gives way to terror in our country. The security forces must be on high alert on all important days. Multilayer security cordon is vital for all installations. High-tech gadgets must be used to check the movements. Under emergency, a signal must alert all concerned. All vital areas must be inspected by experts from IITs/IIMs/IISc/TIFR for their suggestions. I can say, we lack technology and patriotism to conquer such attacks. As there was intelligence report stating possible terror attack, wonder that terrorist could sneak in. Inspite of having all intimations and reports on attack, what must have prevented our security personnel and government to prevent or prepare for such attacks? The command and control over the entire operation should have been exercised by the major general in charge of the division which is responsible for the defence and security of the area that includes the air force helicopter base. The Army and its units having been deployed locally are familiar with the terrain, its advantages and its problems. Pushing in an NSG contingent that was totally unfamiliar with the situation and the terrain is an incomprehensible step which cannot be explained.
Medals or salutes for the martyrs are not enough. We should take steps to avert such incidents. We need advanced Defence Technology like electric fencing walls on borders, juggernaut suits, Ballistic Shields, and foremost robotic soldiers which can reduce casualty in such attacks. We don’t have to put huge amount in research for these technologies as these are already available, but do we own them? There is something seriously wrong in the whole matter. It is surprising that the overall command and control of the operation was assumed by the NSA and operated through the NSG. It is not surprising that this proved ineffective.
Need of the hour is that, the Government should educate every citizen of the country to keep a watch on strangers in their vicinity and bring it to the notice of police force. The police also needs to be directed to act swiftly. Government hereafter shall introduce CCTV Cameras at every nook and corner of the country and also an agency to monitor and report to the home ministry or police so that the untoward incidents like this could be avoided. We are seeing different patterns of terrorism each time and the Government failed to restrict that.
It’s high time, country needs to be secured and save from these anti national elements. Our country’s soldiers need more than salute and tribute. They should be secured first when they are securing us. One needs to understand how these terrorists enter India breaching the security line.