As usual, his warnings and assessment were ignored by the army establishment. But as irony would have it, the point was driven home when the SF was needed the most. On 26/11 at 11.30 pm, two hours after the terrorists had struck in south Mumbai, the crisis management group met at the PM's residence to take stock. In the hours that followed, hundreds of phone calls were made as the Indian security establishment woke up to the enormity of the crisis.
One such call went to the office of the army's director general of military operations (DGMO). Within the directorate, Division 8B, headed by a brigadier, which looks after all Special Forces (SF) operations, was immediately put on alert, say army sources. Soon commanding officers of three other SF units—1 Para (SF), 9 Para (SF) and 10 Para (SF)—were similarly alerted. Unfortunately, all three were terribly pressed for manpower, since their men had been committed to counter-terrorist operations in the Valley.