Shinde, Pawar pay tribute to 26/11 heroes on fourth anniversary of Mumbai attacks
Floral tributes were paid to martyrs and victims of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks amidst tight security here on Monday.
Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar laid wreaths at the police memorial in South Mumbai. They paid homage to the heroes at the Police Gymkhana in Marine Lines where a 26/11 memorial has been erected in remembrance of the policemen, who lost their lives fighting terrorists during the dastardly strikes.
With the anniversary comes close on the heels of terrorist Ajmal Kasab's hanging, the family members of the victims welcomed the government's decision, but cautioned that the wounds of 2008 attacks would never fully heal.
"I would request the government not to consider this (hanging of Ajmal Kasab) an end to 26/11, because I don't think 26/11 is ever going to end and Mumbai is ever going to forget and if the government forgets then it becomes our responsibility to not let them forget," said Divya, daughter of senior police officer Vijay Salaskar, who was gunned down during the attacks.
Kavita Karkare, the wife of Mumbai Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) chief Hemant Karkare killed in action during the 2008 Mumbai attacks after being shot three times in the chest, said that the security in Mumbai was still not efficient and the blasts in the city after the 2008 attacks and in the Pune city were reminders of the evident shortfalls.
"Bomb blasts are still happening. We need evidence that Mumbai is completely secure but that is not the case. Even after 26/11, there have been blasts in Pune, in Zaveri Bazar and Dadar in Mumbai. The security system should be tightened and we are not giving the required attention," she said.
Hemant Karkare was honoured with the Ashoka Chakra on January 26, 2009.
The locals in Mumbai also expressed their delight over Kasab's execution.
"We were very happy when Kasab was executed. The government was late in deciding, but it was the right decision," said Abbas Qureshi, a local resident.
"Kasab's execution has sent out a message that militants should not attack Mumbai again. It has created fear among them, because if they attack again, the government will act promptly," added Manik Borade, another local resident.
At least 166 people were killed when Kasab and nine of his aides unleashed terror on the country's financial capital four years ago.