Mumbai: Monday marks four years to the day when Mumbai witnessed the worst terror attacks in its history - the 26/11 carnage left 166 people dead and over 300 injured in its wake. There was absolute mayhem as blasts ripped through, one after the other at several crucial points in the city, including the Chhattrapati Shivaji Railway Station, the Taj hotel, the Trident, Cama hospital, Leopold Cafe and Chabad House. Mumbai was sieged, and at the heart of it were 10 Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists who had come to the city via the sea route.
Over 72 hours and an undying, unflinching, well-coordinated and gargantuan effort by the NSG commandos and the Mumbai Police later, one of those terrorists was captured alive. Ajmal Kasab, then a 21-year-old, was hanged to death just five days ago at Pune's Yerwada Central Prison, with Maharashtra Home Minister RR Patil calling it a tribute to the victims of the bloodbath. The nation welcomed the execution, even as it came just days before the anniversary of the massacre.
Four years hence, Mumbai stands guarded, watchful. On Sunday, a peace march was organised by the wife of one of the victims of the attacks. On Monday, a special memorial service for the martyrs will be held and the Governor and the Chief Minister, Prithviraj Chavan will be in attendance.
Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh says that the city is better prepared today than it was four years ago. "For the last one week, our policemen have been on alert and are well-briefed. All our searches, combing operations, everything is going on smoothly. Our officers are all alerted. As far as logistics, weapons and communications are concerned, everything is good," he adds.
Today we remember those whom we lost in those 72 unforgiving, never-ending hours. Kavita Karkare, the wife of supercop Hemant Karkare, who was killed by Kasab during the carnage, wrote a thought-provoking poem as a tribute to her husband three years ago. Hear it once again... on 26/11... lest we forget.