There are text messages (SMS) making the rounds in Mumbai and India that express an unfounded belief that the Mumbai police force did not respond because they were not of the same community as those being attacked. I do not pretend to understand Indian politics, society, or culture so I will not even attempt an explanation. Nita at A Wide Angle View of India has a better post on the subject. She has printed one such SMS that demonstrates the lack of trust between the various groups,
Don’t know where he is when you need him. We want him to go and save amchi Mumbai. Army, NSG commandoes are not marathi manoos….why should they fight and lay down their life for Mumbaikars.The behavior of the police is very troubling no matter the explanation. Sebastian D'Souza, a picture editor at the Mumbai Mirror, photographed the only surviving terrorist, told the Belfast Times his story (h/t Atlas Shrugs):
It is the photograph that has dominated the world's front pages, casting an astonishing light on the fresh-faced killers who brought terror to the heart of India's most vibrant city. Now it can be revealed how the astonishing picture came to be taken by a newspaper photographer who hid inside a train carriage as gunfire erupted all around him.The behavior of some police officers and the rude SMS text messages are demeaning to those who lost their lives in a terror attack against the entire country, and by extension, the entire democratic world. The dead number 195 and 14 of whom were police officers.
The gunmen were terrifyingly professional, making sure at least one of them was able to fire their rifle while the other reloaded. By the time he managed to capture the killer on camera, Mr D'Souza had already seen two gunmen calmly stroll across the station concourse shooting both civilians and policemen, many of whom, he said, were armed but did not fire back. "I first saw the gunmen outside the station," Mr D'Souza said. "With their rucksacks and Western clothes they looked like backpackers, not terrorists, but they were very heavily armed and clearly knew how to use their rifles.
But what angered Mr D'Souza almost as much were the masses of armed police hiding in the area who simply refused to shoot back. "There were armed policemen hiding all around the station but none of them did anything," he said. "At one point, I ran up to them and told them to use their weapons. I said, 'Shoot them, they're sitting ducks!' but they just didn't shoot back."
Mr D'Souza added: "I told some policemen the gunmen had moved towards the rear of the station but they refused to follow them. What is the point if having policemen with guns if they refuse to use them? I only wish I had a gun rather than a camera."
The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.