On the 15th anniversary of the Mumbai terror attacks on November 26, the Governor of Maharashtra, Ramesh Bais, and Chief Minister Eknath Shinde paid their respects to the security personnel who sacrificed their lives in combating terrorists from Pakistan.
A group of well-armed militants belonging to the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba caused chaos in the main business hub of the country on the evening of November 26, 15 years ago. They opened fire on innocent civilians at various important public sites in the city.
The assaults resulted in the death of more than 166 individuals, including foreigners, and left over 300 people wounded. Although Ajmal Amir Qasab, one of the terrorists, was apprehended alive, the rest were eliminated during the last phase of the siege that lasted for four days.
The Governor and Chief Minister paid their respects by placing flowers at the memorial for the martyrs located at the Police Commissioner's Office in south Mumbai.
Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, along with several state ministers such as Deepak Vasant Kesarkar and Mangal Prabhat Lodha, also attended the solemn commemoration event.
A total of 18 security personnel, including members of the state police and the elite National Security Guard (NSG), sacrificed their lives while performing their duties during the 26/11 attacks.
The country and the world were shaken by the series of terror attacks carried out by the members of Lashkar.
The security personnel who laid down their lives in the attacks included Hemant Karkare, the former head of the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan from the NSG, Ashok Kamte, the Additional Police Commissioner of Mumbai, Vijay Salaskar, a Senior Police Inspector, and Tukaram Omble, an Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI).
During the 26/11 attacks, the terrorists targeted several prominent landmarks including the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, the Oberoi Trident, the Taj Mahal Hotel, Leopold Cafe, Cama Hospital, and the Nariman House Jewish Community Centre, which is now known as Nariman Light House.
Qasab was apprehended and taken into custody at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station, commonly known as the CST.
In May 2010, Qasab received a death sentence and was executed in a high-security prison in Pune city after two years.
While many years have passed since the cowardly acts of terrorism, the lasting emotional wounds from the chaos that unfolded over a span of four days still remain in the collective recollection of the public.