Two days after the bloody massacre by terrorists in two landmarks of Mumbai ended, the Mumbai police force is still trying to figure out what hit them.
As armed terrorists — at least 10 of them — went on a brazen rampage, the Mumbai police force, manning the streets of the city, were dumb-struck and aghast at their audacity. But the men in khaki quickly suspended their disbelief, and scurried to do their bit to “tackle” the mayhem.
Hawaldars tried to “maintain law and order” wielding their batons, when the terrorists were raining bulled from AK-47s. “It was the darkest hour for us,” a senior police officer said.
The force’s morale slumped when news trickled in that its top bosses — Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare and additional commissioner of police Ashok Kamte — had fallen to the bullets.
Many officers in the Mumbai police admitted that it was a rude shock. Just minutes after witnessing two grenade attacks and several rounds of firing at Trident Hotel on Thursday, sub-inspector Dilip Patil had remarked, “It is like war. The city has never witnessed anything like this. The atmosphere is volatile, but we did our best (before the NSG commandos took over the anti-terrorist operations).”
“Our guns are outdated,” an officer of the Rapid Action Force (RAF), which was part of the operations, said. “But we put up a brave fight.”
“We were caught unawares,” another dejected RAF officer said.
After the bloody attack, the police force is worried about the safety of its men if such a terror attack were to be unleashed again. Weapons and technologies at their disposal currently are not enough to deal with such organised and planned attacks, officers said.
If senior and trained officers can get killed, lower-rung officers stand no chance of surviving, said a constable on duty at CST railway station.