Heavily criticized for failing to guarantee India’s safety, the country’s home minister has resigned in the wake of the Mumbai attacks. Shivraj Patil’s resignation was followed by that of India’s National Security Advisor M.K.Narayanan, amid mounting anger at authorities inability to prevent the three day rampage that turned the city into a war zone.
India is in shock after militants massacred more than 170 people. The death toll has been revised down from the figure of 195 given yesterday.
Around 30 foreigners are now thought to have died.
The relief that the nightmare is over is reflected in the national press. But newspaper editorials and some protesters have also blasted Indian political leaders.
For while anger is being directed at Pakistan with security sources indicating the gunmen arrived by sea from Karachi, many Indians are looking for answers closer to home.
One demonstrator in Mumbai pointed to the recent bombing by militants of the Marriot Hotel, over the border.
“We are just trying to ask just one question,” he said. “What is the action the government has taken? Why are the systems not in place? What is it that went wrong? Even after knowing that in Pakistan the JW Marriot hotel was bombed, the intelligence has failed completly.”
Pakistan’s cabinet has met to discuss its response to the Mumbai attacks. Islamabad has condemned them and denied it had anything to do with them, amid accusations from India that the gunmen had Pakistani links. Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari has pledged to act swiftly if evidence emerges of involvement by groups or individuals from his country.
One suspected gunman in the hands of Indian authorities has reportedly said that he and the other attackers were trained by a militant group based in Pakistan.