Monday, December 8, 2008

India Inc wants 26/11 intel lapses probed

NEW DELHI: With security and intelligence lapses behind the Mumbai attack becoming clearer, FICCI president Rajeev Chandrasekhar has written to 
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demanding an independent inquiry into "what went wrong" with the system. He also requested the PM to make the "findings" public -- like what the US did post-9/11.

Hours before home minister P Chidambaram on Friday admitted to security and intelligence lapses, Chandrasekhar -- a Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka -- shot a letter to the PM, saying, "Only if there is a clear and honest understanding of the `how' and `why' of this attack can we realistically plan the changes and solutions to prevent a future attack."

Saying that there will be a natural tendency of the government's various agencies to sweep the `how' and `why' under the carpet, the FICCI president said, "I urge you to initiate an honest and independent inquiry on why the intelligence and security apparatus was unable to prevent this attack. The findings of this inquiry must be made public or at the very least be available to Parliament and to governments of the future."

In his two-page letter, Chandrasekhar insisted on such an inquiry so that the country could be saved from future terror attacks.

He said, "The objective of this inquiry is not to find scapegoats, but rather to establish the systemic flaws and gaps that need to be addressed to prevent another incident like this."

Citing the example of the US where an inquiry was conducted into the terror attack on World Trade Centre by the 9/11 Commission, the Rajya Sabha member said, "This type of act of introspection and inquiry alone will send a signal of confidence through our countrymen, because it will establish, at the least, that the government is acting."

He also reminded the PM of his earlier letter to him (on August 23, 2006) on civil defence preparation of the country.

Chandrasekhar had then demanded setting up of a comprehensive structure that could knit together the various local civil defence agencies like fire services, Territorial Army, police, central reserve forces, ambulance and health team -- which currently operate with independent jurisdiction and oversight.

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