26/11 Mumbai attacks LIVE: Martyrs lost life to cowardice and terrorism, says VK Singh

Nov, 26 2016 IST

  • 11:31 (IST)

  • 11:01 (IST)

  • 10:54 (IST)

    Will strive hard for safety of Maharashtra: Fadnavis

     

    Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saurday was among the dignitaries who paid homage at the 26/11 police memorial site at the Mumbai Police Gymkhana in south Mumbai.

     

    "I pay homage to the brave policemen who fought for Mumbai's safety and laid down their lives for us on 26/11. We are proud of them and we will strive hard for safety and security of our state," Fadnavis said. "We will strengthen police force with better equipment. It is our priority," he said.

  • 10:48 (IST)

    Unity event to pay tribute to 26/11 martyrs

     

    Public Concern for Governance Trust (PCGT) an NGO, in association with the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA), is organising an event, "Unity in diversity—together we remember 26/11", at NCPA's Jamshed Bhabha Theatre on Saturday, The Times of India reports. 

     

    Formed after the 26/11 terror attacks, PCGT has been in the forefront of the fight to get CCTV cameras installed at public places in Mumbai. 

  • 10:48 (IST)

    Unity event to pay tribute to 26/11 martyrs

     

    Public Concern for Governance Trust (PCGT) an NGO, in association with the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA), is organising an event, "Unity in diversity—together we remember 26/11", at NCPA's Jamshed Bhabha Theatre on Saturday, The Times of India reports. 

     

    Formed after the 26/11 terror attacks, PCGT has been in the forefront of the fight to get CCTV cameras installed at public places in Mumbai. 

  • 10:41 (IST)

    Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray pays tribute

  • 10:40 (IST)

    PM Modi likely to address nation about black money and link to terrorism

     

    Reports said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who happens to be in Hyderabad where he is attending the security summit at the National Police Academy, has a day of meetings ahead of him.

     

    CNN-News18 reports that the prime minister might address the nation on the occasion of eighth anniversary of Mumbai attacks and will speak on how demonetisation will cut terrorism at its sources.

  • 10:27 (IST)

  • 10:22 (IST)

    Feel for families... who lost their lives to an act of cowardice: VK Singh

     

    In a series of tweets, Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh said 26 November was a reminder of "cowardice". Singh,early on Satuday took to Twitter and said, ""One of those mornings when you wake up with a heavy heart.Can't help but think of all those who lost their lives in the Mumbai attacks. For those whose lives were altered forever due to the loss of a loved one."

  • 10:09 (IST)

    PM Modi in Hyderabad; pays tribute to 26/11 martyrs

     

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to the martyrs and victims of 26/11 Mumbai attacks in Hyderabad. According to reports, the prime minister is in Hyderabad to attend a security summit along with Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

     

    The prime minister reached Hyderabad on Friday night. 

  • 09:29 (IST)

    CM Fadnavis pays tribute to 26/11 martyrs

     

    TV visuals show that Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis paid tribute to the martyrs and victims of Mumbai attacks who died fighting the ten terrrorists this day eight years ago. 

  • 09:23 (IST)

    Politicians and eminent personalities pay their respects

  • 09:17 (IST)

  • 09:16 (IST)

    Marking eight years of attacks of 26/11

     

    Today, eight years back, India experienced one of it's worst terrorist attacks when a group of 10 terrorists associated with Lashkar-e-Tayiba (LeT) attacked country's financial capital Mumbai and left the entire nation in shock.

     

    The terror strike was different in a sense that for the first time, terrorists trained in Pakistan, used the sea route to enter India. The terrorists who participated in 26/11 Mumbai attacks were highly trained and were preparing for this strike for quite a long time.

It has been eight years since 10 terrorists, trained in Pakistan, entered Mumbai and caused havoc across South Mumbai. The terrorists had entered into the heart of the financial capital of India marching unafraid with only one aim — to cause mayhem and death. At least 164 people were killed and 308 were injured. And they did so for three days, launching coordinated attacks that included hotels, a train station, a hospital and a Jewish community centre.

How it happened:

According to revelations made by Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley who turned approver in the case, 10 terrorists made two unsuccessful attempts to attack Mumbai before they landed on Mumbai shores on 26 November in 2008.

A file image of the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel during the 26/11 attacks. Courtesy: IBN

A file image of the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel during the 26/11 attacks. Courtesy: IBN

An India TVreport offers a detailed account of how they reached Mumbai. According to the report, the terrorists set sail towards India on 23 November on a hijacked Indian trawler named the Kuber. Seven kilometres off Mumbai shores, the terrorists got on inflatable speedboats. Disguised as students, six of them got off at Macchimar Nagar, in Mumbai's Cuffe Parade neighbourhood, while the rest four came ashore at Badhwar Park.

CST Station: The terrorists than headed to their respective targets, attacking anything that came their way. According to The Indian Express, four militants (one of them being Ajmal Kasab, the lone terrorist who was captured alive) started firing inside the CST station on the night of 26 November. "The attack had left 52 dead and injured over a 100 others. The firing ended at about 10:45 pm," the report said.

Nariman House: Meanwhile, terrorists managed to enter Chabad House (a Jewish community centre) in Colaba. The militants exchanged fire for the next two days torturing the residents of the building. According to The Indian Express, which visited the site after the terrorists were killed, "the site resembled much like a global conflict zone. More than 30 grenades had been hurled. Small craters were all over the floor and bullet marks all across the walls. The stench of decomposed bodies was unbearable. The bodies of the two terrorists lay on the fourth floor."

The Oberoi-Trident: The first victim to fall at the Oberoi-Trident attack was the gatekeeper of the Trident Hotel. According to reports, foreign nationals were the main target of the attack. By the end of the 40-hour seize, 143 hostages were rescued alive and 24 bodies were recovered.

Taj Mahal Palace Hotel: The burning dome of the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel with dark smoke emanating from it has become one of the iconic images of the 26/11 attacks. The attack on the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel made it clear that the terrorist knew about the place. This was further proven during the depositions by Headley, where he said that the terrorists had a mock of the hotel as well as GPS locations of their targets that he had provided. The terrorists were killed after 60 hours of fire exchange between them and the NSG commandos. Around 30 people died in the attack.

Leopold Cafe: On the evening of 26 November, two gunmen opened fire at Leopold Cafe, killing around 10 people and injuring many others.

Timed bombs: According to an India TVreport, two taxis were also targeted in the city using time bombs — one at Vile Parle that killed a driver and a passenger and another at Wadi Bunder that killed three including the driver and injured 15.

Who was behind the attack:

Several investigations and statements given by Headley, have revealed that Hafiz Saeed, leader of Jama'at-ud-Da'wah (JuD) was the mastermind behind the attacks. Headley also revealed the involvement of Pakistan's Army and ISI. India has requested to name Saeed as a terrorist, a move which has been often blocked by China. Ajmal Kasab, the lone terrorist, caught alive was hanged after a special court found him guilty in November 2012. His hanging was carried out secretly by the Maharashtra government. According to reports, the government spent Rs 1.47 crore on Kasab when he was lodged at the Arthur Road jail for four years. Out of the total amount, Rs 1.46 crore was spent on security, Rs 39,000 on his medical expenses, Rs 42,000 on food and Rs 1,878 on clothes.

RPF continues to be ignored: The attacks highlighted how ill-prepared and ill-equipped Indian security forces were when it came to dealing with trained infiltrators like those who attacked Mumbai eight years ago. While frisking and metal detectors have become mandatory in all public places including railway and malls, and India now has its own elite force of commandos called Force One, the wait for a specialised commando training centre for the Railway Protection Force continues to be trapped in the files, reportedDNA.

"The need for a commando training facility was felt after the nation was subjected to painful images of helplessness of RPF personnel during the 26/11 terror raid on Mumbai in 2008," the report said, adding, "RPF constables, armed with British-vintage .303 rifles, first tried to ward off the two terrorists at CST that day. But when most of the British-vintage .303 rifles jammed, these personnel had little choice but to duck for cover from the assault rifle fire from the terrorists."

According to the report, around Rs 26.70 crore was sanctioned and railway construction firm Ircon was appointed to construct a commando training facility for the RPF at Canning in the South Parganas district in West Bengal. But the plan was dropped in 2013 due to hassles in land acquisition.

Security remains a concern: However, security remains a major concern for India. This year alone we saw two attacks, one on an airport base and another in an army camp, both carried out by foreign militants.

Compensation not offered to the dead and their families: What is more saddening is that even after eight years, the Maharashtra state government has compensated only 102 families (of the 166 that died) with the Rs 3 lakh compensation that the government had promised, India Todayreported.

That's not all, though. The state government even failed to seek reports on victims who were not from the state of Maharashtra if they received the due compensation. The state has also not bothered to check whether or not kin of the officials from the police/NSG Commandos/Home Guard (it has no information on 15 officials) who died during the attacks received the promised compensation of Rs 25 lakhs.

According to Indian Express, the government has further stated that it is yet to receive information from embassies for disbursement of compensation to legal heirs of 26 foreigners who died in the attacks.

(With inputs from IANS)