Monday, December 29, 2008

Tech versus Terror: e-security PIL in Mumbai High Court

Noted techie Vijay Mukhi and lawyer Anand Desai have filed a PIL in the Mumbai high court on behalf of Sarla S Parikh who lost her son and daughter-in-law in the 26/11 terror attack.

"This is the first PIL that we know off that outlines a specific 12 point plan that would cost the Government Rs 50 crore. We need to use large doses of technology not only to gather intelligence but also to collect evidence that can be used in courts to convict the terrorists and also convince the world of the country that they come from. We would encourage others to file PIL’s that specify specific steps that the Government should take which are doable and practical."

I have published a copy of the PIL here.

Do get in touch with Vijay if you have some inputs/suggestions or would like to help in taking this initiative forward.


  1. A great intitiative.I hope you bring atleast awareness among the ordinary professionals who just leave everything to Seminarists and Media who are all having their own agenda.
    God bless you.I have copied and posted the PIL in a security site for input.

  2. I fully agree to the petition filed by Mrs Sarla Parekh & Mr Vijay Mukhi, the article that had appeared in the Mid Day Issue dated 26th March, 2009. What are we doing for the Next generation.

    Today, the modus operandi of terrorists is to cause extreme devastation and fear in society. In wake of the recent attacks, it has been observed that terrorists do not hesitate to employ every innovative, heinous tactic at their disposal to achieve their goal, casting aside all ethical considerations. This explains the rapidly increasing global trend of mounting siege on softer targets like hospitals, hotels and theatres, etc.

    Educational institutions, sports organizations and public structures are amongst the most enduring emblems of a bold, progressive and confident India. Such critical, softer and more vulnerable targets also provide terrorists with the opportunity to cause havoc and global outrage. The menacing threat of terrorism has thus forced a rethink in the way issues of safety and security are tackled.

    For instance, Have you ever wondered while visiting a shopping mall why the guard at the entrance checks only the boot and the under-body of your car, and maybe the bonnet in case the security is tighter. Rarely are you asked to open the doors and the inside of the car inspected. Have you also wondered why, when you and a female companion visit a theatre or a shopping mall teeming with thousands of people, you are subjected to some serious body surfing whereas the woman with you has to merely show her handbag and not get frisked at all, because of lack of a female security guard. Now, let us just remind you that the only VIP suicide attack in independent India’s Indian soil involved an attack by a female suicide bomber?

    n India, the concept of security has always been driven by a misleading perception of visible safety. A security guard or a metal detector or frisking personnel seem to assure people of security. That’s because security management in India is often driven by piecemeal needs of many corporates to look secure rather than actually be secure.

    In that regard, instead of pursing a diagnostic, process-driven approach of evaluating and analysing vulnerabilities, of assessing how deterrence can be effective and what counter measures can be used, the practice has usually been to start backwards with a slapdash approach where the focus is on arbitrary use of gadgets and surveillance devices, irrespective of whether they are suited for the user or the asset or not.

    There is an urgent need for an approach to security. "Unless we've an integrated security plan where hi-tech devices are complimented by specially trained and skilled manpower the multi-cores spent on giving business to security agencies and vendors hawking their produces will prove futile.

    The primary thing to be do is to provide regular training to the security personnel entrusted with the job of guarding the building and equipping them with right weapons. "Training them to engage the terrorist in gun-battle so as to rattle him is mandatory. The terrorist caught at Girgaum chowpatty was caught because of the resistance put up by the police which left him confused and duck for cover.

    Moreover, there is a need for creation of a special corp of police which is trained for such operations. Today the civilian police is unable to tackle such incidents and too much time is lost in calling the special forces. The gap between the police and the special forces should be filled in by created a separate armed corp of the police to tackle situations such as the Mumbai terror strike.