Tribute paid to martyrs on 13th anniversary of 26/11 attack

Police personnel paying tributes to martyrs of 26/11 terror attack at CSMT Railway Station, in Mumbai on Friday. (UNI)
Police personnel paying tributes to martyrs of 26/11 terror attack at CSMT Railway Station, in Mumbai on Friday. (UNI)

MUMBAI, Nov 26: Political leaders, Bollywood personalities and citizens on Friday paid heartfelt tributes to the people who lost their lives in the 26/11 terror attacks, which shook the country’s financial capital 13 years ago, with banners carrying pictures of the martyrs dotting various locations in south Mumbai to remember their supreme sacrifice.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the country in paying tributes to the martyrs of the 26/11 terror attacks and President Ram Nath Kovind said the nation will always be grateful to the security personnel who laid down their lives in the line of duty.
Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and state Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil paid their respects at the memorial at the police headquarters in south Mumbai.
People paid tributes to the martyrs at Cama and Albless Hospital, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus and near the Gateway of India, some of the places in south Mumbai that were targeted by the terrorists on November 26, 2008. Homage was also paid at Girgaum Chowpatty, where policeman Tukaram Ombale was shot dead by the terrorists during the attacks that lasted for three days.
Banners and hoardings of martyrs were put up at various locations in south Mumbai, where floral tributes were paid by citizens. As a mark gratitude, people were even seen offering flowers to the on-duty security personnel at the Gateway of India. Police were deployed at various key locations in the city as a precautionary measure.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, who is recuperating in a Mumbai hospital after spine surgery, also remembered the 26/11 martyrs.
In a tweet, Thackeray said the terror attack was a clear example of the “cowardly mindset” of terrorists.
Addressing a Constitution Day event in Parliament, Prime Minister Modi said, “Today, 26/11 is such a sad day for us, when the enemies of the country came inside the country and carried out the terrorist attack in Mumbai. The brave soldiers of the country sacrificed their lives while fighting the terrorists. I bow to their sacrifices.
Union home minister Amit Shah saluted the daring of the security personnel who fought the terrorists and made the supreme sacrifice.
“The entire country is proud of your bravery and will always remember your sacrifice,” Shah tweeted.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi shared a two-minute video of the pictures of all the martyrs who gave the supreme sacrifice during the attacks.
On November 26, 2008, 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists from Pakistan arrived by sea route and opened fire, killing 166 people, including 18 security personnel, and injuring several others during the 60-hour siege in Mumbai. (PTI)
The then Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) chief Hemant Karkare, Army Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, Mumbai’s Additional Police Commissioner Ashok Kamte, Senior Police Inspector Vijay Salaskar and Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Tukaram Omble were among those killed in the attack.
The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, the Oberoi Trident, the Taj Mahal Hotel, Leopold Cafe, Cama Hospital and the Nariman House Jewish community centre, now renamed Nariman Light House, were some of the places targeted by terrorists.
Nine terrorists were later killed by the security forces, including the NSG, the country’s elite commando force. Ajmal Kasab was the only terrorist who was captured alive. He was hanged four years later on November 21, 2012.
Mega star Amitabh Bachchan in an Op-ed for the Indian Express recalled “the dark night that stretched over three long days”, and said the terror strike has had a long afterlife and gotten entangled with the “tumultuous history that still weighs down the subcontinent”.
He said every year as he marks the day, he discovers that the power of survival is linked to the power of humanity, of “our collective commitment that we shall not let the terrorists define who we become”.
Mumbai police commissioner Hemant Nagrale, who along with Maharashtra Director General of Police Sanjay Pandey paid floral tributes at the memorial, tweeted, “Thirteen years have passed yet their courage in face of extreme adversities still inspires us. Remembering Mumbai’s saviours on the anniversary of 26/11.”
“We will forever carry their unyielding spirits in our hearts. Their sacrifice will always be remembered,” tweeted Mumbai Police. (PTI)