Naval Chief admits to 'systemic failure' in Mumbai terror attacks

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New Delhi, Dec 2 : Navy Chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta has admitted to 'systemic failure' in last weeks Mumbai terror attacks.

Addressing a news conference in New Delhi today, Admiral Mehta said, a lacuna did exist in country's coastal security and intelligence mechanisms.

"It is a serious issue, a serious matter, the issue of security. There is a systemic failure and it needs to be taken stock of," said Admiral Mehta.

Days before militants struck Mumbai, Indian authorities were warned of an imminent attack by Islamist terrorists who would arrive by sea, according to a senior Coast Guard source.

Indian authorities say the militants who attacked Mumbai, killing at least 197 people, belonged to the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) group, also blamed for an attack on Indian parliament in 2001.

The militants appeared to have dodged the coast guard by hijacking an Indian fishing trawler to sneak into Indian coastal waters, officials said.

The trawler Kuber was later found abandoned in the Arabian Sea close to the Mumbai coast.

Admiral Mehta, however said, that though coordination was important amongst agencies, the information available should be actionable.

"There are several agencies involved and coordination is important. What is important is that the information available should be actionable. It should have some specifics to it," said Admiral Mehta.

The militants involve in the Mumbai attacks are believed to have entered Mumbai from Pakistan via the sea route, sailing from Porbandar to Mumbai in 'Kuber' an Indian fishing trawler.

For many months now, Indian Defence Minister has been talking about the need for beefing up coastal security in the country, but after the Mumbai attacks the people across the country are pressing the government to take some concrete steps to mount a strict vigilance along the porous Indian coastline.

ANI

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