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Mumbai-the city of dreams. But the dream city seemed like it would shatter in just 3 days. Yes, I am talking about the 26/11 that shook not just Mumbai but the entire nation itself. It’s been seven years since the attack, but the wounds and scars still seem to be present somewhere. Observers compare the recent attack on Paris to that of 26/11. We can not neglect the possibility of another attack on India.
The otherwise ever-lively city came to a halt. The attacks that lasted from 26th November till 29th November was carried out by 10 members of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, an Islamic militant organization. The terrorists mainly attacked eight places – Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, the Oberoi Trident, the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Leopold Cafe, Cama Hospital, the Nariman House Jewish community center, the Metro Cinema, and a lane behind the Times of India building, and St. Xavier’s College.
Around 160 innocent people lost their lives, and many more were injured. Our soldiers and all our forces had put a commendable fight against the terrorist. The terrorist aimed to take the lives of at least 1000 innocent individuals. All thanks to our brave forces, they couldn’t quite succeed at it—a salute to each of them who lost their lives fighting for us.
Ajmal Kasab, the only attacker captured alive, was hanged 3 years ago on 21st November 2012. David Headley, the mastermind behind the attacks, has been sentenced to imprisonment for 35 years by the US court on the grounds of his involvement in the death of US citizens who were present in Mumbai during the attacks. Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, another mastermind behind the attack, has led many other terrorist attacks after 26/11. But the Pakistan army refused to hand him over to the Indian government though there is evidence of his involvement in the attack.
Seven years down the lane, the city seems to have moved on from it. But how can someone ever forget the loss of their dear and near ones? I still remember how I got tears in my eyes when I heard the story about a two-year-old who lost his parents on that day. It was also his birthday. This was just one among thousands of such stories. Who is to be blamed? And will blaming one another help us in any way?
Those days we didn’t change our Facebook display picture to show our support for the victims. There were no trending hashtags like #PrayforMumbai. But we know that we did pray for them. We prayed wholeheartedly for our brothers and sisters in Mumbai. The attackers have changed, but their intention seems to remain more or less the same- to destroy peace and harmony, to harm innocent lives.
Instances of extremely violent acts like 26/11 were not new to Mumbai. Mumbai had witnessed an even worse terror attack in 1993. The 1993 Bombay bombings took the lives of more than 250 people in a single day and left many more injured. The attacks were carried out under the leadership of Dawood Ibrahim along with his subordinates Tiger Memon And Yakub Memon.
Tiger Memon and Dawood Ibrahim have not still been arrested. Yakub Memon was sentenced to death in 2007 and was hanged on 30 July 2015. Various Human Rights organizations and other NGOs raised questions over Capital Punishment following his hanging. But that’s an entirely different topic of debate. Mumbai – the financial capital of India, again became a victim of such attacks in 2011 – the 13/7 attack.
But this is not the story of Mumbai alone. It’s the story of Paris, Iraq, Syria, and our entire world. Although all the top leaders of our world have declared their fight against terrorism, we still have a long way to go before leading peaceful lives. With more and more terrorist groups emerging every day, our dream of a peaceful world gets weaker.