Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said Friday that he
could not reach top police officers for about 15 minutes after
Wednesday's triple bombings due to a "shocking and unacceptable"
In interviews to national TV networks, Chavan said mobile
communication had completely collapsed within minutes of the
terror strikes Wednesday evening.
"There was complete communication breakdown in first 15 minutes.
It was shocking and unacceptable, it unnerved me. Mobile network
was jammed," said Chavan in an interview to CNN-IBN.
In another interview to NDTV, the chief minister said: "I could
not contact chief of police, DGP for 15 minutes."
He said that it was a "very serious" issue and the lacunae needed
to be plugged.
The government, he said, was thinking of getting satellite phones
or dedicated mobile network for such emergency situations.
"We need dedicated apparatus for emergency communication, better
ambulances, better road maps and people too should be educated on
what to do in an emergency situation," he said.
Chavan also spoke about the need to have state-of-the-art
equipment to deal with such situations.
"Procurement of equipment is a problem. I have raised this issue
with the PM (Manmohan Singh) and Home Minister (P. Chidambaram).
But technology keeps on changing, you buy something and then it
gets dated. Almost 5,000 CCTVS were meant to be bought for Mumbai,
which did not happen. I will see to it that this will happen and
it is expedited," he said.
He, however, denied that the emergency medical responses in India
were lagging. "Just a few minutes after the information reached
officials, several ambulances from concerned hospitals moved out.
They reached the spot within some time, though it took time to
take the injured as some spots were overcrowded."
There were both private and public hospitals for the help and all
of them responded "marvellously", he added.
Chavan also disclosed that 12 teams have been formed to probe the
terror attack that killed 17 people and injured 131.
The chief minister said the possibility of the involvement of the
underworld and Left-wing extremists in the worst terror attack
after the November 2008 strike was also being looked at.
Asked about the possibility of a suicide bomber in one of the
bombings, Chavan replied: "I'll not dwell greatly into the
investigation but what is clear is that ammonium nitrate was used.
"It was electronically planted and if it is so then it has a
circuit which denies the possibility of a suicide bomber. It is
not logical to have electronic timer and a suicide bomber."
However, he added, that the male body on which an electric circuit
was found and another with severed head might have been too close
to the impact of the explosion.
He said that investigators have been directed to look at even the
most remote possibility.
"Several teams have been created including the (Anti-Terrorism
Squad) ATS, (National Investigation Agency) NIA, (National
Security Guard) NSG and also the crime branch which cracked the
Dey murder case," the chief minister said.
He said forensic investigators had collected all the required
samples, including blood samples and explosives substances.
He further added that the investigators were examining the
voluminous CCTV footages recorded but it wasn't of much help so
far because "the places were overcrowded and it was raining very
hard (when the bombs exploded)".
Without naming the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), he said he was
"upset" over the government being criticised for its alleged
laxity in fighting the terror.
"I was very upset that one of the political parties tried to
politicise the issue. They have a right to criticise but there is
a time and a place."