Pragmatic | A spectacular save

Seizing the explosive-laden car at Ambala

The graphic below (from Hindustan Times) captures the details of the story of how central intelligence agencies, Delhi Police, Haryana Police and National Security Guards combined to seize a car laden with 5 kilograms of explosive, 5 detonators and 2 timers earlier this week.

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Two points are noteworthy here. One, the involvement of Khalistani terror groups who have combined with the Lashkar-e-Taiba in this case. From last year, particularly in the build-up to the Commonwealth Games, India’s central intelligence agencies have been warning about the terror threat emanating from Khalistani terror groups.This operation validates those warnings. Two, the “dead-letter box” modus operandi  being used by the controllers of this planned terror strike where one group stole the car, another hid the explosive in the panels and under the mat, another one drove it to an exchange point, some other group would have picked it up from there, and perhaps another group would have finally fabricated and placed the bombs on the target.

There will always be sceptics doubting the contentions of the security agencies, and they could perhaps be correct about some of the claims made by the police. Notwithstanding these doubts, it is a success story we can all be proud of. Not only has a terror strike been prevented, this seizure will also provide clues about the planners, controllers and perpetrators of such terror strikes. There is a chance that it could also solve the recent terror strikes in Pune, Mumbai and Delhi where investigators have hit a dead-end. It would have been better if the culprits could have been arrested red-handed but that should not take away from the good work done by the security agencies here.

To use this blogger’s favourite metaphor, the job of security and intelligence agencies in preventing terror strikes is akin to that of a goalkeeper in soccer. The goalkeeper is noticed only for his failures — when a goal is scored. The saves are routine — a part of his job. Even if saves are a part of the routine, this is one hell of a spectacular save. It needs to be applauded and acclaimed.

And finally one for the naysayers, who are so fond of comparing every terror-related incident in India with that in the US. Remember the explosive-laden car that reached the Times Square in New York last year. Haven’t the Indian agencies done better now?

DISCLAIMER: This is an archived post from the Indian National Interest blogroll. Views expressed are those of the blogger's and do not represent The Takshashila Institution’s view.