Joint commissioner of Mumbai police Vishwas Nangre Patil on Thursday said that police had received general alert prior to the 26/11 attack that the iconic Taj Mahal hotel and six other places in Mumbai could be targeted by terrorists. In 2008, Nangre Patil was Deputy Commissioner of Police Zone-I in South Mumbai where the terrorist attack unfolded on November 26.
Talking about the attack on a web show on its 12th anniversary, he said that after receiving intelligence inputs about Taj Mahal hotel being a possible target, he had visited the hotel and carried out a security audit of the building. On September 30, 2008, he had had a meeting with hotel management, he recalled.
A day prior to the attack, on November 25, he had evicted hawkers on Colaba Causeway outside the hotel, Nangre Patil said. During the attack, 11 people were killed inside the hotel, but not a single person died outside because people could escape from all four sides, he said.
While praising the valour of Mumbai police who took on the terrorists, Nangre Patil said the city cops were trained to handle law and order situations, the underworld and other sorts of criminals, but a 26/11-like terror attack was never anticipated. On November 26, 2008, 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists from Pakistan arrived by sea route and opened fire, killing 166 people, including 18 security personnel, and injuring several others during the 60-hour siege in Mumbai.