Are we doing enough to thwart terrorists?

In 2001,America witnessed the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Last month,its citizens observed the 10th anniversary of the attack.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: October 10, 2011 12:29 am

In 2001,America witnessed the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Last month,its citizens observed the 10th anniversary of the attack. In these 10 years,they have truly proved to be the leaders of the modern world by dealing with the menace of terrorism with an iron hand and preventing any further attacks on their land. In stark contrast,India seems to have grown used to such attacks,taking them in its stride. Be it the 26/11 attacks,the German Bakery blasts,the Varanasi bombings,we have witnessed dozens of such attacks,all of which show a similar pattern. Yet,despite all this,our security forces refuse to wake up to this,and develop better methods for tackling these problems. We truly need to adopt stringent security measures and change the callous attitude of the police and people,in order to tackle terrorism effectively. Secondly,it is essential for us to delve into the political root of the matter,without letting it affect our sense of judgement and justice. If the blast was about the Afzal hanging case,then the answer does not lie in hanging him at the site of the bomb blast that day itself. Let our anger not cloud our good sense of judgement. Apart from all this,such incidents show a clear sign of intelligence failure. The Ministry of Home Affairs needs to take more appropriate measures,reviewing the process in place and starting to think of fresh approaches to intelligence collection,collation and analysis. Our government needs to stop going soft on terrorism. Why is it that in the USA,even the likes of Pranab Mukherjee and SRK are frisked at airports,whereas our country fails to hang an Ajmal Kasab — refusing to adopt a tough stance on the very issue of security? At the end of the day,the country should treat such incidents as a wake-up call. Either reform,or perish.

Sabah Kochhar,XI-A,Modern School,Barakhamba Road

The blast outside the Delhi High Court premises claimed 13 lives and left several others injured. An earlier attempt in May to set off a bomb outside the High Court had failed as the detonator caught fire,thereby leaving the high explosives intact. But the government did not take the blast seriously,and because of that,today we see blood strewn all around the High Court. The government needs to realise that the threat of terror attacks should not be neglected. The government has to concentrate on strengthening its intelligence department. Adequate number of CCTV cameras need to installed near such terror-prone zones. Also,the government should increase surveillance near areas prone to terror attacks. It is another wake up call for the government. If it does not adopt tough anti-terror methods,such terror attacks will continue.

Siddhant Patra,IX-A,Springdales School,Dhaula Kuan

Blasts have become an important aspect of the Indian calendar. After Mumbai,terrorists chose the Delhi High Court to wreak havoc. Various people had come there for justice,but all they received were deaths and injuries. As my vote is equal to that of Ambani or Tata,it makes me feel equal and dignified,but what will I do of that vote if my very life is at stake? When it comes to playing the blame game,everybody tries to lynch somebody else. The opposition accused the ruling party,and the ruling party accused terrorists. But,in the midst of all this,what happened to the aam aadmi? They end up losing their lives,while the elite folk roam around in their posh bullet-proof cars. Has anybody got the answer to this?

Mridul Mahajan,XII -B,Bal Bharati Public School,Pitampura

The attack at the Delhi High Court was a very sad and deplorable incident. Any criticism of terrorists will not be sufficient to assuage the feelings of affected families. Most of the victims were the only breadwinners of their families. Terrorism has to be stopped at any cost. A war on terrorism has to be declared.The government has to take strong action to counter terrorism,and strengthen security arrangements at places militants are likely to target. In the event of a terrorist strike,any city should be well prepared to deal with the situation. There should be a properly defined hierarchy to manage the situation,in the event of such an incident. Emergency medical services should be kept ready to rush the more seriously affected victims to well-equipped hospitals. Citizens should be also be on constant alert with regard to unclaimed objects and suspicious characters. Besides this,there has to be a strategy to end terrorism. These goals would be accomplished through various means,including imposition of economic and military sanctions against states that harbour terrorists.

Chandni Nangia,X-A,Springdales School,Dhaula Kuan

Incidents like the Delhi High Court bomb blast expose the loopholes in our security system. They prove that all attempts and tall claims made by the police regarding our security have gone in vain. It gives rise to the need for effective measures,such as beefing up our security systems. Steps should be taken not only to introduce new technology but also improve the present one to secure the country. For example,even though most public places have check gates to scan people,how many of them actually work? Further,how many skilled people are employed to check unauthorised infiltration of terrorists in our secured areas. Security at the borders should be tightened,so explosives can’t be brought into the country without permission. The punishment for arms trade should also be made more severe in the country. It is very unfortunate that Kasab’s trial is yet to conclude. One way can be to make TDLAS (Tunable Diode Laser Absorption Spectroscopy) equipment portable and installing it at important places,which would help in detecting explosives. Adoption of such measures would help make India a safe and secure country.

Rishabh Aggarwal,X,Delhi Public School Rohini

On the sunny day of September 7,2011,Delhi was thrown into darkness. A bomb went off at the Delhi High Court,killing 13 people and injuring scores of others. Such attacks could have been averted through simple steps adopted by the Government of India. We all know about the 9/11 attack in the USA,which changed the lives of people around the world. But has anyone ever pondered why no such event was repeated in the country? It was because of preventive measures taken by their government. In India,the officials concerned should be held accountable for any unpleasant event that takes place under their jurisdiction,more so if it happens due to their negligence. Strict and instant action should be taken against such officials,and they should be suspended on the spot. The fear of losing one’s source of livelihood would make them more responsible,and such important security issues would be taken care of.

Aakanksha Khatri,XI-A,Bal Bharati Public School,Pitampura

India has been witnessing a series of terrorist blasts,which threaten to divide us and undermine the sovereignty of our nation. The latest was the explosion at the Delhi High Court. The government as well as intelligence agencies have failed in their duty to check terrorism,as and militant cells continue to operate in our midst. The government needs to act now — the public has suffered enough at the hands of terrorists. Firstly,there is an urgent need to replace defunct CCTVs to monitor any suspicious activities. Security at public places such as airports,railway stations and markets should be enhanced to safeguard the integrity and harmony of the nation. The judicial system requires an urgent reform. Also,enactment of stringent laws to control terrorism and setting up of fast-track courts for speeding up trial should be the primary agenda of the government.

Ayush Mishra,X-L.D,Venkateshwar International School

It’s a shame to see that incidents like the 26/11 attacks and the July 7 blasts have been repeating themselves over and over again in the recent past. The government has failed miserably in providing protection to the people of the nation. Hundreds of lives have been lost in each terror attack,and it seems like nothing is being done about it. Strict measures should be undertaken to put an end to these terror activities. It’s high time that the government wakes up before more lives are lost. Here are a few suggestions that I have come up with for the country’s protection:

We could start by increasing the security level — through technology as well as armed surveillance. Countries like America and Dubai have surveillance cameras set up in every place. From markets to parks,every place is protected and under supervision. A country like India,which is developing at such a great pace,needs to work towards providing security to its citizens.

The government should not deal with situations with a soft hand — it should react strongly towards terror-related activities and not be flexible with the punishment. Amjal Kasab,who was responsible for the 26/11 attack,hasn’t been punished till now. On the contrary,he is being treated like a king in prison. Crores of rupees,which could have been spent on providing security to Indians,are being spent on him. Why hasn’t he been punished even after two years of being arrested?

Awareness programmes,where citizens are given information on how to react in these situations,should be organised on a regular basis. Moreover,citizens should be made to understand that differences in terms of religion and backgrounds should not matter,as these very differences are factors that motivate terrorists to execute their deadly plans. It’s time the government started taking the welfare of citizens seriously.

Srishti Hooda,IX,Tagore International School,Vasant Vihar

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