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PM keeps Patil out of anti-terror meeting

November 29, 2008 20:47 IST

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With the security forces achieving success in countering an unprecedented terrorist attack on Mumbai's prime landmarks, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] on Saturday discussed the operation, casualties, and the likely security fall-out of the events of the last three days with top defence and home ministry officials.

Singh held a lengthy two-and-half-hour discussion with Defence Minister A K Antony and officers from the armed forces and the intelligence agencies on ways to prevent recurrences of such terror attacks, government sources told PTI.

However, Home Minister Shivraj Patil [Images] was missing at the top-notch meet, as he was not called for the meeting, the sources added, indicating that the PM could be "cut up about Patil's handling of the Mumbai terror crisis".

The 60-hour long fierce battle in the metropolis had left 195 dead and 295 injured at important locations including the Taj Mahal Hotel [Images], Oberoi-Trident, Nariman House and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus [Images].

Singh called the meeting at 1 pm hours to review the security situation in view of the attacks for which the terrorists had apparently come via the sea route into India's commercial capital and caused havoc to prime property, including the 105-year-old Taj Mahal hotel.

Among others who attended the meeting were Defence Secretary Vijay Singh [Images], Navy Chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta, IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major, Army Vice Chief Lt Gen M L Naidu, and Intelligence Bureau Chief P C Haldar. Sources said Major was asked to abandon his plans of visiting the Rashtriya Indian Military College at Dehradun where he was scheduled to attend a function and join the top brass's meeting with the PM.

Army Chief Gen Deepak Kapoor is currently away on a week-long tour of South Africa [Images] and Botswana and could not attend the meeting. He was represented by the Vice Chief of Army in the discussions, they added.

Prior to this, Home Minister Shivraj Patil held a meeting with top officials of various security forces and agencies, in which a decision was taken to step up security measures along the coastline.

The meeting was attended by Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta and Special Secretary (Internal Security) M L Kumawat, apart from the Services chiefs.

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