INDIA. Mumbai: As the world observes the 14th anniversary of the November 26, 2008 Mumbai terror attack, Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab, a lone terrorist captured alive, has been hanged, while Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, one of the convicted plotters, is moving freely around Pakistan following the Lahore High Court ruling.
In the armed militant attack at a dozen locations in Mumbai, 166 people were killed and over 300 were injured, with some of them becoming disabled permanently.
According to Pakistani officials, Saeed, a co-founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba, is helping them in the de-radicalization of former extremists and has been provided security since he could be targeted by militants disapproving of his cooperation with Islamabad.
Another plotter, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, who was arrested by Pakistani armed forces on December 7, 2008, was released on bail by the court on April 10, 2015. He was re-arrested on January 2, 2021, in Lahore in connection with some other case.
Yet another plotter, David Coleman Headley (born Daood Sayed Gilani), who subsequently turned approver, was sentenced to a 35-year prison term by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on January 24, 2013 and continues to be in prison.
Tahawwur Hussain Rana, the fourth plotter, was awarded 14 years in prison by a US court and lodged at the MDC in Los Angeles for an attack on a Danish paper.
However, since he was not charged for the Mumbai attacks, on January 17, 2013, the Delhi court awarded him a 14-year prison term, and the Government of India declared him a fugitive, asserting that he had not negated the “risk of flight.”
The terrorist Kasab was executed on November 21, 2012, at 7:30 a.m. and subsequently buried within the precincts of Yerwada Central Jail in Pune, Maharashtra.
Ten Pakistani operatives of Lashkar-e-Taiba, who entered Mumbai via sea route (near Badhwar Park, Colaba, and South Mumbai) on the night of November 26, claimed 166 lives and caused massive destruction of property.
Nine terrorists were exterminated by Mumbai police and NSG commandos. The lone terrorist, Kasab, was captured alive by the late Assistant Sub-Inspector Tukaram Omble of the Mumbai Police (a former Indian Army man), who took around 40 bullets to himself.
Those who perished in the attack and counter-attack included: 9 terrorists, 18 foreign guests, 22 Indian guests residing in hotels, 6 members of the ultra-orthodox Jewish Chhabad movement, 19 police personnel, 25 hotel employees and their relatives, 5 Maharashtra government employees, 1 Central employee, and 71 people on the streets.
The then Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) chief Hemant Karkare, Army Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, Mumbai’s Additional Police Commissioner Ashok Kamte, and Senior Police Inspector Vijay Salaskar were among those killed in the attack.
The people of different nationalities killed in the attack included: 5 from Israel, 1 Mexican Israeli, 3 Germans, 2 each from Australia, Canada, the USA, and France, and one each from Japan, Singapore, Italy, the UK, Malaysia, the Netherlands, and Mauritius.
The spots where the people became victims of terrorist attacks included: Leopold Café, Nariman House (Jewish House), Taj Mahal, Trident Hotel, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Railway Terminus, N. F. Street, Colaba, Cama Hospital. in South Mumbai, Byculla in South Central Mumbai, and Vile Parle in North West Mumbai.
On Saturday, President Droupadi Murmu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, and others paid homage through Twitter.
The floral tributes were paid to the martyrs who laid down their lives while fighting terrorists by Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and Chief Minister Eknath Shinde at the martyrs’ memorial in the premises of the Police Commissioner Office in South Mumbai.
Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Minister Deepak Kesarkar, Chief Secretary Manu Kumar Srivastava, State Director General of Police (DGP) Rajnish Seth, Mumbai Police Commissioner Vivek Phansalkar, and other officials were also present at the office.
Family members of the policemen who lost their lives during the November 2008 attacks also paid tribute to the martyrs.