Mumbai’s Taj Palace to be venue of first day’s meeting of UN counter-terror panel

NEW DELHI, Oct 12: India will host the opening day’s deliberations of the UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee on October 28 at Mumbai’s iconic Taj Palace Hotel which was one of the targets of the horrific 26/11 terror attacks nearly 14 years ago.

The meeting of the top UN panel on October 29 will be held in Delhi, officials said.

The selection of Taj Palace Hotel as the venue for first day’s programme is seen as an attempt to send across a message about India’s strong resolve to deal with terrorism.

On November 26, 2008, a group of 10 Pakistani terrorists went into rampage, carrying out a coordinated attack on a railway station, two luxury hotels (Taj Palace and Oberoi-Trident hotel) and a Jewish centre after they sneaked into India’s financial capital, using the sea route in the Arabian sea from Karachi.

Over 160 people were killed in the nearly 60-hour assault that sent shockwaves across the country and even brought India and Pakistan to the brink of a war.

“The special meeting of the United Nations Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee on ‘Countering the Use of New and Emerging Technologies for Terrorist Purposes’ will begin with a soft opening and associated events in Mumbai on October 28 and continue with a full day’s meeting in New Delhi on October 29,” the panel said in a statement.

India is the Chair of the committee for the year 2022 and will host diplomats of the 15-nation UN body along with other member states for the special meeting in Mumbai and New Delhi.

The very fact that the Special Committee is also meeting in Mumbai itself will be a tribute and a statement to the horrific incident, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ruchira Kamboj, said last week.

She said the members of the committee will place a wreath at the site of the attacks.

India’s two-year tenure as an elected non-permanent member of the 15-nation UN Security Council will end in December.

The meeting in Delhi is expected to specifically focus on increasing threat of terrorism ad ways to effectively deal with it.

The meetings in Mumbai and Delhi will be the seventh time that the committee members would gather outside the UN headquarters in New York.

The last special meeting of the panel that took place outside the UN headquarters was in Madrid in July 2015. (PTI)