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Thursday, November 26, 2015

26/11 ~ that fateful day when Nation was held to ransom ! - intolerant India

An intolerant India ? – this day Nation can never forget 26/11 when it was  under siege by militants from across the border.  How many felt sorrowed and protested for that ??

On 21st  Nov 2012, -  Ajmal Kasab, the living  face of Mumbai terror  was hanged, almost  4 years after that incident that shocked India and entire World. The Nation can never forget that dreaded  day in 2008 when  Kasab and nine Pakistani gunmen launched a bloody attack on multiple locations in south Mumbai. Kasab and another gunman attacked Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in south Mumbai shooting train commuters. Over 50 persons were killed and over 100 injured. They then killed the state anti-terror squad chief and two other senior police officers near Cama Hospital. In this great Nation of ours, even the killer was given a fair trial – the entire legal process unfolded with Kasab being served food and he asking for Urudu papers and more.  India took  the trouble to conduct and ensure, that it believed in a proper justice system and would deal with attacks against its people according to the law.

There were so many victims whose pathetic cases were buried deep – and that was not restricted to humans.  At Mumbai,  Sheru, a stray dog who took terrorists' bullets at CST during the 2611 attack died of a cardiac arrest after surviving a few years.  Today is a (sad) day to remember – it is 26/11.  On that fateful night,   fishermen at Mumbai’s Machhimaar Colony saw ten young men with large rucksack disembark from an inflatable Zodiac speedboat. An hour later, armed with hand grenades and automatic rifles, they created terror across the city, held the city and thereby the Nation itself to ransom.  It was indeed India’s time of shame and pain.  Before midnight, over a ton of people including some Top Police cops were dead.   It took nearly 3 days for semblance of total control.  Its perpetrators or executants including the lone arrested Ajmal Kasab is no more – but those schemers are still large and the pain remains !.

The horrific memories of the night when the terrorists hijacked the police vehicle  and killed top cops and then went on shooting innocents haunts people.   Comics are an integral part of every child’s growth – in our days we had the Ambulimama (chandamama) / Amar chitra katha.  Today’s kid are obsessed with Jetix of Walt Disney.     The illustrious   Bhaskar Kadam, Hemant Bawdhankar, Sanjay Govilkar, Tukaram Omble,  Hemant Karkare, Ashok Kamte ,  Vijay Salaskar, Shashank Shinde, Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, Hawaldar Gajendra Singh – and the like should be the heroes whom the Nation must be reading and knowing.  There were so many unsung heroes too – for example the Fire Service of Mumbai whose personnel did not flinch once as they grabbed their gear and rushed to douse fire amid an intense gun battle.

Today, as we remember the horror of the terror attack in Mumbai in 2008, we feel the endless pain of lost lives. Let us work together to fulfil the pledge we have taken to combat terrorism and trans-national crimes,” Mr. Modi told the SAARC leaders once.   Of the many stories that appeared in various sections of Press, here is something written by a survivor in Firstpost as what one should have learnt as a lesson from the incident :
Firstly, value your family and friends. I strongly recommend you check on
1. Make sure you are covered well by insurance. Even if you are well off - leave them better off if the unfortunate were to happen.
2. Let them know details on things like bank accounts, investments etc. Keep a folio with your spouse and close family.
3. Use every waking moment to cherish what you have - family, friends, nature. Stay smiling, laughing and caring.

Post 26/11 terror attacks, Mumbai police carried out number of corrective steps. However, there are still gaps that need to be filled to make the city safe and secure.  DNA reports that according to former top cops, with changing time terror organisations around the world are becoming more and more tech savvy and are improvising on their plans to create mayhem across the globe. "One cannot say that Mumbai police can ever be fully prepared to tackle such kind of attack as with changing times even the terror outfits are adapting to new technologies but considering our capability in 2008, I believe we are in much better position to respond now,"

The prosecution,  in the year 2013 had filed 22 charges against him, under various sections, that was accepted by the Special Court. Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, the mastermind behind the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, is behind bars since 2012 facing trial for his role in organising the attack.  Jundal was arrested by the Intelligence Bureau that handed over him to Delhi police, who later handed him over to the Mumbai police. After his arrest in October 2012, he had confessed to his crime, that he was the one who had given training to the attackers on how to enter India as well as the sites to target. The confession was recorded by the metropolitan magistrate court presided over by judge PS Rathod. Later, when he was sent to judicial custody, he claimed that he had not given any confessions and that he was just asked to sign on a blank paper. Meanwhile, after the charges were framed against Jundal, the prosecution pleaded the court to add the name of the US national David Headley as an accused in the case. Headley was a member of the LeT, a terrorist organization, and had played an active role in criminal conspiracy behind the 26/11 terror attacks.

The court in October 2015, allowed the prosecution's plea and made Headley an accused in the case. It has asked the accused to be present before the court, via video conferencing on December 10. So the cases are alive, not for those many who lost their lives and their dear ones – to whom it is only sorrow.

Sad day it was for the Nation ~ yet, India has been tolerant !
With regards – S. Sampathkumar

PS: much of these you would have read elsewhere – yet this is another tribute by an ordinary citizen feeling sorrow for that fateful day

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