Nine-and-a-half hours after the terror strike, the Indian “fast-reponse” NSG Commandos arrived in Mumbai.
A world record.
Here is the amazing timing:
9:30 p.m. Wednesday: The terrorists strike Mumbai. Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh is in Kerala. He is briefed about the attack. By the time he grasps the enormity of the situation, 90 minutes have gone by.
11 p.m.: Mr. Deshmukh calls Home Minister Shivraj Patil – who has now resigned from his post – and asks for NSG commandos. “How many men?” Patil asks. “200,” Mr. Deshmukh says. Mr. Patil calls NSG chief J.K. Dutt and tells him to send 200 battle-ready commandos to Mumbai.
11 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday: Most of the NSG men have to be roused from sleep. They don their uniforms, strap on safety gear and collect ammo and firearms. It is discovered that the plane that can take 200 men, the IL 76, is not in Delhi but Chandigarh. Someone wakes up the IL 76 pilot; the plane refuels. It eventually arrives in Delhi.
5 a.m. The commandos land at Mumbai airport. By the time they board the waiting buses, it is 5:25 a.m.
6 a.m. The buses reach the designated place in south Mumbai where the commandos are briefed, divided into different groups and sent out on their mission.
7 a.m. They start their operation about nine-and-a-half hours after the terror strike.
This was called “Operation Cyclone” (sic).