By Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan
SEPTEMBER 20, 2016
SEPTEMBER 20, 2016
Indian army infantry base in Uri came under terrorist attack in the wee hours of September 18, 2016. Four terrorists entered the base and managed to kill 20 soldiers. It apparently took place amidst the change of shifts and caught them off guard. These precisely are the scenarios we need to think through and be prepared for. This comes in the backdrop of another major terrorist attack on one of the Indian frontline air bases — the Pathankot air force base — in January this year.
These attacks raise concerns also about the security of India’s vital installations, especially nuclear ones.
It has been fortunate that India has not faced such a scenario on its nuclear premises, including the civil nuclear power plants, so far. And it is certain that each of these attacks pose new questions to the security managers of India’s atomic energy installations in how they must further beef up security measures. After every major terrorist attack, the Design Basis Threats (DBT) are reviewed to understand the vulnerabilities and gaps and address them accordingly. But it has to be kept in mind that terrorists by and large do not follow a pattern in their modus operandi and hence India cannot be developing its facilities defence action based on a predictable trajectory.
Till date, the Indian atomic energy and security agencies could claim that the security around sensitive establishments are tight and there have been no incidents such as attacks on its facilities, despite fears expressed by some foreign experts about India’s nuclear security. But following the Pathankot and Uri attacks, Indian agencies need to reassess their security measures. The very fact that terrorists have attacked highly secured premises should alert Indian security managers to the type of planning and preparation undertaken by terrorists from across the border.