India admits security lapsesover Mumbai

INDIA acknowledged the Mumbai attacks had uncovered security lapses but Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said yesterday evidence showed the strike originated on a neighbour’s soil, a clear reference to Pakistan.

The ruling Congress party-led coalition is under renewed criticism from the opposition that it is weak on security after the three-day rampage by 10 Islamic gunmen in India’s financial capital last week capped a series of bomb blasts this year.

“I would be less than truthful if I said there were no lapses,” new Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram said. “These are being looked into.”

Chidambaram took the post on Sunday after his predecessor quit amid public fury at government failure to prevent the attacks.

Elections are due by May and analysts say Singh must demonstrate decisive action to counter criticism over security.

“We have impressed upon all world leaders who called me that the people of India feel a sense of hurt and anger as never before,” Singh said at a media conference with Russian president Dmitry Medvedev, who was on a scheduled trip to New Delhi.

“We expect the world community to come to the same conclusion, that the territory of a neighbouring country has been used for this crime,” he said.

Mumbai police have said the gunmen were controlled by the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba group.

Meanwhile, there was evidence of some Indian complicity in the attacks, police in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh said yesterday.

In February, police arrested an LeT-linked Indian named Faim Ansari after an attack on a police station. He was carrying maps of Mumbai, Special Task Force chief Brij Lal said.

“Ansari, who was later handed over to the Maharashtra police, carried some road maps highlighting several important landmarks of south Mumbai that became the target of last week’s terrorist attack,” he said.

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