Sathi could have helped operations

Written by Rachana Khanzode | Pune | Updated: Dec 5 2008, 06:56am hrs
The NSG commandos, Marcos and the ATS would have found it valuable and suffered fewer casualties if they had Sathi in their kit when they took on Mumbai attackers in Taj and Oberoi Hotels. Developed by Bangalore-based Encore Software, the compact, hand-held communicating platform brought together vector maps, pictures, video and radio together to facilitate an unobtrusive flow of information among all members of the operation. But the home-grown technology enabling real time communication for counter terrorism activities precisely what closed-area commando operations needdid not find any takers in the army, though they funded this product development.

The success of such operations was entirely dependent on flow of real-time information including multimedia when and where possible from every commando to the operations headquarters, points out Vinay Deshpande, CEO, Encore Software. Floor plans of Taj, Oberoi and Trident could have been pre-loaded in the device while the commando groups assembled. The commandos could have marked floor-plans, prepared required information templates and chalked out mission plans with details at the granular level down to the room details, corridor and floor-level movement. Once inside, the actual movement of the individual commando and squad would have been visible to each of their partners as well as the squad commanders and the operations headquarters. Changes in plans could have been communi-cated over the Sathi radio network. Commandos could have sent messages, graphically marked terrorist locations to the supporting agencies that could have provided reinforcements and additional support accordingly.

The Nariman House scenario was more complex as no details of the building were readily available. Inmates locations were not fully known and the floor plans were haphazard. However, during the morning of November 28, when the heliborne operations were launched, Sathi would have helped the squads being heli-dropped to get on the common operational picture with those commandos cornered inside Nariman House. Converging onto the same target could have been hastened.