26/11: Carnage, Courage, Callousness

Editorials

ISRO Too Competent To Need Society’s Immature Reaction

Three days have passed since Lander Vikram strayed from the planned trajectory; the nation is still trying to motivate ISRO scientists as if they were in a state of despondency, notwithstanding their 95% success in meeting the Chandrayaan-2 mission objectives

Pandits’ Return Will Be Real Normalcy In Kashmir

The opposition and media would have the world believe that not persecuted Pandits getting their home and hearth back but terrorists conveniently using internet, bombs and bullets would qualify as normalcy in the Valley

Muslim Women Act Proves Modi Can If He Wants To

The passing of the Muslim Women Bill in the Rajya Sabha, which has established BJP's floor management prowess, must wake Hindus and the middle class up to pressure PM Narendra Modi to legislate what they have been demanding for ages
- Advertisement -

new-special-feature[dropcap]T[/dropcap]en Pakistani terrorists, members of Lashkar-e-Toiba to be precise, sailed through the Indian maritime area along the west coast undetected. They struck at the heart of this country’s financial capital Mumbai this day, eight years ago, even as two unprepared governments — the Union and the State of Maharashtra — scrambled for options to bring an end to the three-day stand-off and mayhem.

Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi
Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi

Through 12 coordinated terror attacks using bombs and bullets, Ajmal Qasab (spelt mostly as Kasab in India) and gang killed 164 civilians, including some security personnel, while all his accomplices were killed, too. Qasab was hanged on 21 November 2012. Pakistan reluctantly admitted he was a Pakistani.

Qasab’s handler based in that country, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, is out on bail after depositing Pakistani Rs 2,00,000 as a surety bond at a lower court in a case framed in such a manner by the prosecutors that it is more likely he will be acquitted.

While brave policemen like chief of ATS Hemant Karkare, sub-inspector Tukaram Gopal Ombale, ACP Ashok Kamte, senior police inspector Vijay Salaskar and National Security Guards (NSG) commando Sandeep Unnikrishnan are rightfully remembered for coming in the way of the terrorists, we must also salute the Good Samaritan among civilians who rose to the occasion. But one cop who is hardly recalled must be named here. RPF constable Jillu Yadav, a policeman who took on the gang and yet survived, had hurled a chair at Qasab when the rifle he had grabbed from a GRP cop could not match the might of the terrorists’ AK-47s.

Karambir Kang
Karambir Kang

Karambir Kang, general manager of the Taj Hotel, is one such name. He kept rescuing guests at the hotel, even as his wife and two sons died of asphyxiation in the smoke billowing from the inferno that the terrorists had turned a section of the hotel into.

Ravi Dharnidhirka, while formerly being a captain in the US Marine Corps, was not an Indian soldier on duty. Finding himself in the situation, he, along with his friends who were South African commandos, rescued up to 157 guests from the same hotel.

captain
Ravi Dharnidhirka

On noticing the militants at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, announcers Bablu Kumar and Vishnu Zende made an excuse to tell the people to leave the station from the exit at the rear end of the platforms without revealing the seriousness of the situation. “I was taking down the arrival and departure of two outstation trains as I heard some blasts on platform 9. I believed them to be bomb blasts and immediately made an announcement asking the passengers to move out of the station from platform 13,” Kumar said. “It was a terrible sight, but I am glad I could save the lives of several others,” Zende said. “In fact, this has been a learning ground. We have learned never to let our guard down. And if, god forbid, such an attack is launched on CST again, we will be able to handle it better,” he added.

The saga involves the contribution of a dog as well. Max was a sniffer dog who saved hundreds of lives by detecting 8 kg of RDX outside Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. He died, retired, in April this year.

Amid all this heroism, the entity that came across as worthless was the two governments of the time. The Congress government in Maharashtra added insult to injury with the comment of then Deputy Chief Minister RR Patil. He remarked, “Small incidents do happen in big cities.” Then Chief Minister, the late Vilasrao Deshmukh, was no less callous when he took his actor son Riteish Deshmukh and filmmaker Ramgopal Varma for some sort of a terror tourism through the terror-ravaged Taj Hotel.

On its part, the UPA government at the Centre delayed sending NSG commandos to the affected city from different parts of the country. After the NSG bases were spread out in the aftermath of 26/11, for at least two consecutive years newspapers reported that the measure was still inadequate to meet the challenge of a big terrorist attack.

Indian people light candles as they pay tribute to the victims of the Mumbai terror attacks outside the Raghunath Hindu Temple in  Amritsar on December 9, 2008. Tributes and remembrance events continue to take place across India in the wake of the attacks on Mumbai by armed militants on November 26 that left 172 dead and 300 injured. AFP PHOTO/Narinder NANU
AFP PHOTO/Narinder NANU

During the battle between the terrorists and the security forces, several television channels spelt out in their broadcast the positions taken by soldiers, thus informing the Pakistani handlers of Qasab how to avoid the security personnel and launch a counter-offensive against them.

Nobody was arguably as cunning or politically motivated as the bourgeoisie. Through their candlelight marches, seminars, condolence meetings, etc, they created an impression that it was hardly a political issue and any other party at the helm at the time would have handled the situation as badly. The Congress-led UPA retained power in the general election held next year. Arguably, those stupefied by the outcome of 2009 burst out in rebellion in the name of an anti-corruption movement in 2011.

 

- Advertisement -

More reports

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

- Advertisement -

Articles

BJP Could Not Have Won With This Approach To Delhi

From not paying attention to the corruption-ridden MCD to aloof leaders whose houses witnessed no activity during campaigns, BJP went all wrong in the Delhi assembly election

AAP Win In Delhi Was Foregone Conclusion: 5 Reasons

The five factors that contributed to the AAP victory have been arranged in the decreasing order of relevance; the first three will remain constant for a few more Delhi elections

Rahul Gandhi’s Intemperance Costs INC Dear Again

After forfeiting the Delhi poll with his 'danda mārenge' comment, the politician who has pledged never to grow up must put both his feet permanently in the mouth to gag himself

Bloomberg For US President? Why Not?

Mayor Michael Bloomberg can be an attractive candidate to a lot of voters – those who are concerned about the leftward, idiosyncratic, wokey, “let us butt into every other country’s internal policy initiatives” overreach of the Democrats

‘सभी संगठनों से मुक्त’ जामिया शूटर ‘बजरंग दल’ का कैसे हो गया?

जामिया क्षेत्र में गोली चलाने से पहले 'रामभक्त गोपाल' ने अपनी प्रोफ़ाइल बदली और धड़ल्ले से दक्षिणपंथी संगठनों व एक पार्टी के नाम दर्ज कर दिए

30 साल से ज़िन्दगी तलाशते कश्मीरी हिन्दू

मस्जिदों से हिन्दुओ के सफाए के पैगाम आए; एक के बाद एक दिल दहलाने वाली खबर आई; जुमे की नमाज़ के बाद सड़को पर जो भी हिन्दू दिखा, काट दिया गया

For fearless journalism

%d bloggers like this: