FLORAL tributes were paid on Tuesday to those who laid down their lives while fighting Pakistani terrorists who had attacked Mumbai on this day 11 years ago. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was among the dignitaries who paid homage at the 26/11 police memorial site at 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 the safety and security of our state,” Fadnavis said. Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari also paid tributes to the martyrs.
State Chief Secretary Ajoy Mehta, Director General of Police Subodh Kumar Jaiswal, Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Barve, and family members of the policemen who lost their lives during the attacks were also present during the ceremony. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also paid tributes to the victims of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks on the 11th anniversary of the assault. Addressing members of both Houses of Parliament on Constitution Day, he said that while November 26 is a happy occasion as India celebrates Constitution Day, it is also a reminder of the Mumbai terror attacks of November 26, 2008. “I pay tributes to those killed in the Mumbai terror attacks,” he said.
On November 26, 2008, 10 Pakistani terrorists arrived by sea route and opened fire indiscriminately at people killing 166, including 18 security personnel, and injuring several others, besides damaging property worth crores. 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 attacks had begun on November 26 and lasted till November 29.
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 the terrorists. Ajmal Kasab was the only terrorist who was captured alive. He was hanged four years later on November 21, 2012. Railway officials also laid wreathes at the 26/11 memorial at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, one of the targets of the terror attack.