As India struggles to answer questions regarding last week’s tragedy, Home Minister Shivraj Patil, India’s highest-ranking security official, resigned Sunday, taking responsibility for the failure of the country’s intelligence services to stop the attacks, according to the International Herald Tribune.
Patil, who had been under wide scrutiny even before the attacks, was responsible for public safety and internal security. He fell under the radar after it became evident Parliament received a report last year indicating that Mumbai could be easily infiltrated by water.
The terrorists sneaked into the country by sea.
Officials told news media that the terrorists had planned a much larger attack than the one they were able to carry out.
“We found bullets with them, hand grenades, bombs” said R. R. Patil, deputy chief minister of Maharashtra state, where Mumbai is located. “Based on our investigation, we believe they had planned to kill 5,000.”
Patil’s resignation could hamper the investigation; his departure could possibly delay aid from external police agencies like Interpol, who’ve offered their help and are currently waiting for official permission to enter the country.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh replaced Patil with Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, who has immediately started to overhaul India’s security forces by doubling the size of the 7,400-member National Security Guard, reports IHT.
Ever since the attacks, Indian officials have been investigating the terrorists and their possible ties to Pakistan.
An Indian news network recently showed photographs of a phone log revealing calls to Pakistan. The log had been taken from telephones that were found aboard an abandoned boat off the coast of Mumbai, the same boat that had been used the terrorists to enter the country.
Security forces at the Taj hotel have also come under some scrutiny. Many believe that, since they did receive indication of an impending attack, it could have been prevented.
Ratan Tata, chairman of Taj hotels and Tata group, told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that measures to protect the entrance of his hotel would not have stopped the terrorists.
“They came from somewhere in the back. They planned everything” he said of the attackers. “I believe the first thing they did, they shot a sniffer dog and his handler. They went through the kitchen, they knew what they were doing.”
It is believed that the lax increase in security at the Taj following the indication of an impending attack is what largely led to Patil’s resignation.