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26/11: Black Day for India

Purbasha Das

Twelve Years of Destructive Attack of 26/11

It has been 12 years since the destructive attack of 26/11 took place in Mumbai. It was a massive terrorist attack from Pakistan in the history of modern India. Consequently, the attack took a toll of 174 lives, leaving more than 300 people injured. This included the Mumbaikars, a number of European Parliament Committee on International Trade delegates,  few British Conservative Members of the European Parliament, Spanish and German MEPs and a lot many notable personalities, who witnessed the attack.

How did the attack take place?

The radical minded Muslims (including that of the Indian Muslims) carried out this attack. The well known Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) was the major mastermind for the attack.  Hence, they trained youths in their 20s of Pakistan and the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). The LeT taught them the basic gun-firing and bomb blasting techniques and acquainted them with the technologies available.  The attackers planned the attack several months before and the very first event took place around 8 pm on 26 November 2008. Firstly, they formed a group of 10 from Karachi and headed towards Mumbai by the Arabian Sea.  Secondly, they took speed boats to reach the two locations in Colaba. Finally,  they divided themselves into small groups and headed for the mission.

Furthermore, former IPS officer Rakesh Maria, in his memoir, “Let Me Say It Now”,  revealed that the attackers wore saffron threads on their wrist which were brought from Siddhivinayak Temple of Mumbai. They did so to impersonate a Hindu and veil Pakistan’s hand into the attack. Even,  they carried with them fake identity cards of Indian address containing names of Hindu people.  This could have led to the blame of “Hindu Terror”.

Where did the attack take place?

The attack mainly took place in eight hubs in south Mumbai.  Firstly the attackers attacked Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai Chabad House, The Oberoi Trident, The Taj Palace & Tower, Leopold Cafe, Cama Hospital, The Nariman House, the Metro Cinema, and in a lane behind the Times of India building and St. Xavier’s College. Simultaneously,  an explosion also took place at Mazagaon, in Mumbai’s port area, and in a taxi at Vile Parle.

26/11: Black Day for India
Targeted places

Role of security forces

By 28th November 2008, all the targeted places were secured by Mumbai Police and other security forces. On 29 November, India’s National Security Guards (NSG) conducted Operation Black Tornado to flush out the remaining attackers. Nine of the attackers died on spot but Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab survived and was arrested. Many people became martyrs while this operation. The Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Vilasrao Deshmukh, stated that 15 policemen and two NSG commandos were killed, including the following officers:
1. Tukaram Omble, Assistant Police Sub-Inspector, who succeeded in capturing a terrorist alive, with his bare hands.
2. Hemant Karkare, Joint Commissioner of Police , the Chief of the Mumbai Anti-Terrorism Squad
3. Ashok Kamte, Additional Commissioner of Police
4. Vijay Salaskar, Senior Inspector, Encounter specialist 
5. Shashank Shinde, Senior Inspector 
6. Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, NSG Commando
7. Gajender Singh Bisht, NSG Commando, Hawaldar 

26/11: Black Day for India
List of Officers who were killed during the attack

Commemoration of the 26/11 Attack

The grief of 26/11 terrorist attack is a never forgetting one.  Likewise, it is a nation wide issue which gradually strained the relationship between India and Pakistan. Not only that, US and Israel were also in severe grief after the dreadful attack. 

26/11: Black Day for India

India’s External Affairs Minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar paid homage and tweeted, “Will keep the global spotlight firmly on the menace of cross-border terrorism against India. And on the epicentre of global terrorism,” while on a three nation tour of Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Seychelles.

26/11: Black Day for India
Tweet of S. Jaishankar

The nation expresses  deep sorrow in the memory of the martyrs. 

Source of the description of the Terrorist Attack: Wikipedia

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