I went to the ‘Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus’ for my personal work this Monday. Being as curious as a cat, I couldn’t stop myself from observing the station from a terrorism angle. I’m not criticising any one. Neither am I pointing fingers the way media men did during the whole Taj-Oberoi-CST attacks. I’m just penning my plain observation (and my comments/concerns in the brackets).
So to start with, the CST had bunkers installed on the sides from where the two terrorists had walked in. (As far as I know, there area at least dozen entrances and exits to the station. I wonder what makes them think the next attack will happen in similar manner.)
There were lot of taxis, public and private vehicles coming in and going out in the same area without much surveillance. (Except for the blasts in local trains, in all other blasts a public carrier was used. May it be a bus, a taxi or any other vehicle. So what if an RDX laden taxi barges in and blows away the are. There is no way a police can stop it.)
Finally there were some uniformed policemen laced with stenguns posted inside the station. Various posts are now in place and we see men (and women) occupying them. Metal detectors are installed as well. However they keep making noise and there is hardly any one listening. I saw 4 policemen sitting besides the post with metal detectors. Two were reading news paper, one was sipping tea and the forth one was dozing off. (Frankly, I cant blame them. There might be 50 policemen at CST. But there were also more than 2000 commuters. Too much for the liking of already over worked security personnel.)
I was carrying a back pack similar to what the terrorist were carrying when they attacked CST. But I was never stoped and questioned. (May be I look too innocent). I had my prying eyes circling the entire station with suspicion. I also tried to take pictures (even of policemen) pretending I was reading an sms. I got away too easily. (Either the police is very smart to know who’s a culprit or they are too dumb to notice it.)
Overall, I think we have not learnt from our mistakes. I dont know how much more lives will it take for us to realise that we are indeed under constant threat of global terrorism.