CM, other leaders including police chief pay homage to martyrs of the 26/11 attacks on its fifth anniversary
Mumbai : Five years after Mumbai was brought to its knees in a hail of gunfire and grenade blasts by 10 Pakistani terrorists, the nightmare continues to haunt the survivors and families of victims of 26/11 attack but appears to have begun fading from public memory.
Though some solemn ceremonies were organised to pay tributes to the fallen heroes and victims of the most brazen terror assault in the country, there was no public outpouring of grief and outrage, no gigantic posters of bravehearts who laid down their lives in the line of duty in street corners for passersby to pay homage.
Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, his deputy Ajit Pawar, Home Minister R R Patil and Union Minister Shashi Tharoor were prominent among those who paid floral tributes to martyrs at the Police Memorial at Marine Lines in Mumbai.
Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde deplored that Pakistan had not yet punished the plotters of the attack facing trial in that country despite India giving enough evidence.
“We have handed over all the relevant proof to Pakistan. We are urging them to take quick and urgent action against the perpetrators of 26/11 attack,” he told reporters in Delhi.
Shinde said for expediting the trial in Pakistan, India had permitted a judicial commission from there to visit the country twice to examine and take statements of investigating officers and others in connection with the case.
He also said despite repeated appeals, Pakistan has not taken any action to dismantle terror infrastructure.
Though Mumbai city largely appeared unconcerned about the fifth anniversary of the attack that saw India’s relations with Pakistan plunge to unprecedented depths and sent alarm bells ringing in the security establishment, for those who bore the brunt of the audacious assault, the scars refuse to heal.
Constable Arun Jadhav, who suffered bullet injuries while taking on the militants, says images of the ghastly attack simply refuse to go away.
“I am lucky to have survived but get overcome by the grief when I think of the officers who lost their lives while fighting terrorists,” said Jadhav, currently with Maharashtra ATS.
Jadhav was in the ill-fated Qualis with ATS chief Hemant Karkare, Additional Commissioner of Police Ashok Kamte and encounter specialist Senior Police Inspector Vijay Salaskar when they came under a barrage of gunfire from LeT terrorists Ajmal Kasab and Abu Ismail outside Cama Hospital.
“Salaskar was like my brother as I had worked with him for several years. His death has caused a void in my life that can never be filled,” the President Medal Awardee recalled.
Salaskar’s family too is yet to come to terms with the loss. His brother Dilip feels Vijay’s martyrdom will always be remembered.
“In the memory of Vijay, I and my mother go to an orphanage this day to distribute gifts to children. Like every year, this year too we will also visit the spot where he made the supreme sacrifice,” he added.