During 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, the security were forced to use old ammunition, which misfired, indicate investigations, says a Mid Day report.
For 62 hours, beginning 9.20 pm on November 26, 2008, Indian security forces, including the Mumbai police and the National Security Guard, fired 36,000 bullets to combat the 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba men.
Nine of those terrorists were shot down, one was captured alive the man we know as Mohammed Ajmal Amir Qasab.
The security forces spread out across six locations to combat the incessant volleys from the 10 terrorists. But
the Mumbai police were handicapped by the quality of the ammunition they used.
The bullets were old, procured over 10 years ago, and they misfired. "Had the operation been better planned with better equipment, the number of rounds would have been far less," said a senior police source.
He did not comment on the cost involved, because in a war-like situation, that is immaterial, he said.
"At least three consignments of 5,000 live rounds were sent for the police to the area of action," recalled Ramrao Pawar, former additional commissioner of police in-charge of the armoury.
Then, the Special Action Group of the NSG had borrowed more than 21,000 bullets from the armoury.
On the other hand, the terrorists were carrying just 10,500 rounds during the siege. However, they racked up a toll of 166 dead and 300 injured. A panchnama report has indicated that most of them were on target because they used automatic weapons like the AK-47 rifle.
Investigators also found that all shots were aimed between the groin and chest, increasing fatalities.
Meanwhile, contents of the Ram Pradhan report indicate that the security forces were directionless for more than 10 hours before the NSG, Army and other paramilitary forces like the Marcos stepped in.
This meant, the men fired without a clear plan to engage the enemy.
The police recovered from 26/11 and spent 1.2 lakh bullets practicing. Of this, an estimated 73,000 rounds were fired from the vintage .410 caliber rifle and 27,000 bullets were fired from British era .303 caliber rifles.
In Nariman House alone, the terrorists fired 300 rounds.
Meanwhile, Vinita Kamte, widow of the then Additional Police Commissioner Ashok Kamte who died fighting terrorists during the 26/11 attacks, has questioned the report of the Ram Pradhan Committee, set up by the Maharashtra Government soon after 26/11.
"It is surprising to note that the persons on whom the Ram Pradhan Committee relied were mostly persons who were themselves interested in covering up their lapses," Vinita said in her book To The Last Bullet, released recently.