On 26th November 2008, 10 terrorists from Laskar-e-Taiba, based out of Pakistan, attacked the iconic city of Mumbai, the horrors of which still remain in the minds of Mumbaikars to this day. The terrorists, after attacking several locations within the city concentrated their attacks in the Taj Hotel, and killed many guests. The terrorists were neutralized soon within 3 days, with 9 terrorists killed and 1 captured alive, but the attack will still go as the deadliest since independence.
Mumbai has been prone to the biggest terrorist attacks India has seen since independence. But none were more haunting than the 26/11 attack which took place sporadically at many places in the city. One of the busiest railway station, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, was the prime targets of the terrorists, along with an iconic heritage hotel, the Taj Mahal hotel.
Among the other important centres of attack were the Nariman House, Leopold Cafe, bomb blasts in taxi at Vile Parle were notable attacks. Total number of deaths in the attack is 175, which includes the deaths of 9 attackers. The last attacker, Ajmal Amir Kasab, who was captured alive in the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, was hanged in 2012.
India’s Counter-Terrorism Methods
Since the 2008 Mumbai attacks, India has increased security measures and counter-terrorism activities to a great extent. The Mumbai and Gujarat coasts are tightly secured from any illegal entry from the seaside. The Mumbai police has stepped up its patrol throughout the city. Security checks have become tighter, in all points of entry into the city.
India also stepped up its technology on intelligence from terror groups in Pakistan. All the attackers have been identified as Pakistani nationals, involved in training camps in remote valleys of north Pakistan. However, the masterminds of the attack are still hiding or allegedly roaming around in Pakistan. David Coleman Headley and Tahawwur Hussain Rana, arrested in the United States in October 2009 for other attacks, were also found to have been involved in planning the Mumbai attacks.
India’s Message to the World on Terrorism
Asserting that the 26/11 terror attack conspirators “remain protected” and “unpunished”, India on Friday, made a concerted effort to highlight cross-border terrorism at the special meeting of the UNSC Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) in Mumbai. The United Nations Security Council is meeting at the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai, one of the venues of the 2008 Mumbai attacks to discuss terror and its funding. China has continued to veto India, US on attempt to listing of terrorists, and in the last week vetoed inclusion of 5 Pakistan-based terrorists. India also do not support Pakistan’s exclusion from the FATF grey list, a move that will in future help Pakistan in terror funding against India.
Written by – Himadri Paul