Seeking public support to fight terrorism, Maharashtra Home Minister RR Patil today launched an initiative aimed at spreading awareness among Mumbaikars to be on guard and help police make the city safer.
The campaign 'Mumbai Ke Liye 1 Minute' appeals citizens to take out one minute to look around and inform police if they spot anything suspicious. The drive was launched in association with ICICI bank, which sponsored Rs 1.50 crore for the purpose. "The government and police are doing their best to ensure security in the city. However, we also appeal to the citizens to be alert. Many people want to help police but they do not know in which manner they can help the security agencies," Patil said.
He said the campaign gives an idea to citizens about how they can help police in preventing terror attack. "Mumbai is the financial capital of the country and the border enemy is spreading terrorism in India. Hence we need to be alert to foil any attempts by our enemy and terror organisations," the minister added.
Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh recounted how a bomb-laden bag was lying unattended inside the German Bakery in Pune for nearly 86 minutes but nobody bothered to take a serious note of it.
On February 13, 2010, a bomb exploded at the famous eatery in Pune, killing 17 people, and injured at least 60. "An employee of the bakery had informed the manager about the unclaimed bag but the manager was busy in counting money. 20 to 25 minutes after that, the bomb exploded. Had the manager informed police we could have saved the lives of 17 persons," Singh added.
On the occasion, the top cop compared the police job with that of a football goal-keeper. "If goal takes place then the goal keeper finds himself in the midst of the criticism. However, when he stops goal, he doesn't not draw much praise. Likewise, police prevent a number of possible terror attacks, rapes, murders and many other things. But anything untoward happens, they are severely criticised," the police chief said.
Meanwhile, Patil replied in the negative when asked if the German Bakery blast case would be re-investigated as Indian Mujahideen terrorist Yasin Bhatkal has reportedly told his interrogators in Delhi that Himayat Baig, who was sentenced to death in the case, was innocent. "The court has convicted the accused for his involvement. And there is nothing to talk about it," Patil said in response to the question.
Bhatkal (30), one of India's most wanted terrorists, was recently arrested by NIA from the Indo-Nepal border in north Bihar after being on the run for over five years. The IM leader was wanted in a string of terror attacks across the country.