Sahar raised the question of how Mumbai compares with top world cities in terms of (real time) policing, as in responding to crises of a magnitude that cannot be anticipated (Fukushima class). Such comparisons will be naturally in-exact but the following gives some food for thought.
1) London, GHQ Brown Pundits: #1 financial center alongside NYC. London Metropolis largest in the EU with an estimated total population of12-14 million.
Event: On 4th Aug 2011 a black man (Mark Duggan) was (later determined) innocently shot dead by the police. A peaceful protest on 6th August degenerated into riots in Tottenham. The spread of rumors of the incident in Tottenham sparked riots in major parts of London (Brixton, Enfield, Islington, Wood Green and Oxford Circus) on the 7th of August. On 8th August (evening) widespread looting, arson and violence, with significant outbreaks in parts of Battersea, Brixton, Bromley, Camden, Chingford Mount, Croydon, Ealing, East Ham, Hackney, Harrow, Lewisham, Peckham, Stratford, Waltham Forest, Woolwich, and Woodgreen.Rioting continued till 10th Aug.
Impact: homicides 2, civilian injuries in 10s, police injuries 190 (3 serious), 4 buses set on fire, 10 fire-fighting vehicles damaged. At least 100 homes were destroyed in the arson and looting. Estimated losses in London were indicated to be in the region of £100m. As of 1 September 2011, 1027 people that have appeared before magistrates on charges connected with the disorder in London .
Ref. Wiki + Pix @ http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2011/08/riots-in-london/100124/
2) Mumbai, BP Bureau Office: #1 city in India by population of metro area (#4 worldwide) 20.5 million. Highest GDP of any city in South/West/Central Asia
Event: On 11th Aug 2012, a protest march organized by Raza Academy against the Assam and Myanmar disturbances in Azad Maidan (Chatrapati Shivaji Train Terminus area). The crowd of 15000 people turned violent. What happened next is eloquently described in a (near) first hand report by Minhaz Merchant in the Times of India.
At 3.25 pm last Saturday, I received a call from my wife. “We are in the middle of a riot,” she said with as much composure as she could muster. A violent mob of young Muslim men was burning buses, police vehicles and TV Outdoor Broadcast (OB) vans in front of our car in Mumbai’s central business district near Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST). Through my phone, I could hear the muffled shouts of the rioters as they hit our car with whatever they could lay their hands on.
As it left Azad Maidan, the mob began torching vehicles. Our car, along with many others, was caught in the middle of what was now a full-scale riot in south Mumbai’s busiest commercial district. The mob threatened passengers, ordering them to abandon their vehicles. Many did. Within minutes, the mob had smashed their windscreens.
A police jeep in front of our car was set on fire. Three BEST buses a few meters to the right were stoned. I could hear the mob’s growing fury through the phone line.
My wife, Kahini, an artist and the daughter of a decorated Admiral, does not panic easily. She held her nerve and refused to abandon the vehicle. For the next 15 minutes I stayed on the phone line with her, helping guide our driver as he wove the car through the frenzied mob, heading towards the JJ flyover which lies beyond the Mumbai Police Commissioner’s office.
Finally, as the Rapid Action Force and police reinforcements arrived, our car reached the flyover and sped to safety. Two people died in the riot in which the police and the media were deliberately targeted. More than 50 were seriously injured.
Impact: Homicide 2, Injuries 54. Protestors set fire to three media outdoor broadcasting (OB) vans and four police vans besides damaging vehicles, including BEST buses. 30 vehicles damaged. Of the 54 injured during the riots, 45 were policemen. Eight of these policemen sustained serious head injuries. The police claimed “at least five woman police constables were molested by mob.”
The riot was symbolized by the destruction of the Amar Jawan Jyoti, which honors both Muslim and Hindu soldiers from 1857: “The memorial, which was unveiled in 2009, was erected in memory of two sepoys — Sayyed Hussein and Mangal Cadiya — who were martyred during the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857“