Contrary to earlier expectations, the terrorists holed up in three different buildings in Mumbai namely the Taj, Oberoi-Trident and Nariman House continued to resist the Indian forces.

Commondos have been air dropped on the Nariman House building and an encounter appears to be on. At least one Isreli couple is still expected to be inside the building though it is not known if they are safe. An interesting information that has come out is that the terrorists had rented a place inside this building and hence there may be a cache of arms and ammunitions inside. At Taj one injured terrorist is still to be secured. Most of the guests have been evacuated. Fire has been brought under control. At Oberoi it appears that some hostages are still inside the building and the commondos are still engaged in combing operations.

At the Government level, the response has been muted. Except for initial remarks by the PM, Home Minister and Sonia Gandhi, no further words have come. The Foreign Minister confirmed that he has spoken to many of the foreign chiefs briefing them of the developments. However, the ongoing one day Cricket series between England and India has been aborted. Some of the forthcoming events in the next 15 days are in jeopardy too. Corporate activities in Mumbai are also affected and impact on the stock markets need to be watched.

It will be not before next Monday that things are expected to cool down and some sense of normalcy will return to the public life.

This is the new age of “urban warfare” that India is being initiated. May be we need to learn a lot to improve our response time and effectiveness to such events.

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