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26/11 Mumbai attacks: Panel slams Defence Ministry stand against fixing responsibility

PAC draft report on role of Coast Guard

Written by Anand Mishra | New Delhi | Published: August 5, 2016 12:24:43 am
mumbai attacks, 2008 mumbai attacks, mumbai 2008 attacks, mumbai 2008 attack report, 2008 mumbai attack reports, mumbai news, india news, defence ministry FILE – Smoke is seen billowing out of the ground and first floor of the Taj Hotel in south Mumbai during security personnel’s “Operation Cyclone” following the 26/11 terror attacks in 2008. (PTI Photo)

The Public Accounts Committee, which examined a CAG report on Role and Functioning of Indian Coast Guard, has in a draft report slammed the Defence Ministry over its stand that the onus of responsibility for 26/11 Mumbai attack cannot be fixed on any organisation. The panel also “deprecated” the ministry’s attitude with regard to defence preparedness.

The draft report, which was presented at a committee meeting on July 28, could not be adopted as a BJP member raised objections. The member said the report blamed the NDA dispensation, while the “lapse”, according to him, pertained to the UPA period.

In the draft report, the committee rued that although there is close coordination between the Coast Guard and Home Ministry with regard to coastal security, the Defence Ministry had stated that responsibility for the terror attack could not be fixed on any organisation as no credible intelligence was available and there was no past precedence of an attack using maritime routes.

“This analogy of past precedent is not acceptable to the committee as they are of the opinion that defence preparedness of a country is made not only on the basis of past precedent of attack but also against any unforeseen situations. The committee therefore deprecates this attitude on the part of the ministry with regard to defence preparedness,” sources quoted the panel as saying in the draft report that was circulated among its members.

The committee reiterated its earlier recommendation that an inquiry be undertaken to fix accountability for grave lapses with regard to the terror attack on officials of Home Ministry and the Coast Guard.

In the draft report, which is likely to undergo changes after objections from BJP MPs, sources said the panel also expressed dismay about why the process of defence acquisition was taking so much time.

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