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On 26/11 anniversary, survivors recall tales of horror and anguish

November 26, 2017 13:20 IST

Recalling the unfortunate day nine years ago, when the Maximum City witnessed the deadly attacks which claimed the lives of more than 166 people, Devika, a survivour and an eye-witness, termed the incident as traumatising and said she has still not got over it.

"The entire incident still plays in front of my eyes; it was terrifying. I can recall each and every moment," Devika told ANI.

 

Devika survived a bullet injury on her leg and was one of the eye-witnesses to identify the lone-captured terrorist of the attacks -- Ajmal Kasab.

Having battled for almost two months for her life and praised for her bravery to speak against Kasab, Devika felt that justice has still not been served to people who lost their lives as mastermind Hafiz Saeed still roams scot-free in Pakistan.

"When I saw Kasab in the courtroom I was livid. I wished I had a gun in my hand; I would have shot him there. Anyway, Kasab was a mosquito. Hope someday the big terrorists and the mastermind are brought to book," she said.

Her journey since 2008 has not been easy, she said, adding she faced isolation from people for speaking against Kasab, as they feared the terrorist would come after her and they would also face the consequences.

Devika's father, who was also one of the deponents in the case, echoed a similar sentiment and made a heartfelt appeal to the government to bring justice to people killed in the attack by curbing terrorism harboured in the neighbouring country.

"My daughter was just nine years old when she got shot. It was traumatic. Yes, we are happy that Kasab was hanged, but we will not be satisfied till the real mastermind sitting in Pakistan is punished," he said.

Another eye-witness, Mohd Taufeeq, who sells tea at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, said the day has left a lasting effect on him.

"I still get disturbed whenever I think of that moment. I rescued many injured people. The situation was devastating. It has been nine years, but I am just waiting for the day the real mastermind sitting in Pakistan is caught," he told ANI.

Another survivour, Rahim Ansari, lost six of his relatives in the barbaric attack and went into depression after the incident.

"My relatives had no chance to escape. I am happy that the perpetrators were either killed or punished. But the mastermind Hafiz Saeed is in Pakistan; it would be ideal if Indian Government gets him here and punishes him," Ansari said.

Meanwhile, in view of this, security has been strengthened across Mumbai. Various events will be held in the city to mark the anniversary of the terrorist attack.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao paid tribute to the victims at a memorial on early Sunday morning.

Rich tributes were paid to those who laid down their lives fighting terrorists during the attacks.

Governor C Vidyasagar Rao, Chief Minister Fadnavis and a few state ministers laid wreaths at the police memorial in South Mumbai and observed silence in memory of the bravehearts.

Director General of Police Satish Mathur, Mumbai Police Commissioner Datta Padsalgikar and top police officials also paid tributes to the bravehearts.

Family members of those killed were among those who paid respect to the departed souls.

'To the 166 lives lost...to over 239 injured...to the innumerable memories etched on the firmament forever and to Mumbai, the city which picked up its pieces and started stronger than ever -- A Salute and A Bow of Gratitude from Mumbai Police!' the Mumbai Police tweeted.

The financial capital was attacked by 10 terrorists of Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Tayiba, who came by the sea route, on November 26, 2008.

In the mayhem that followed for the next three days, 166 people, including 18 police officers and two National Security Guard commandos, were killed.

The terrorists targeted prominent places like the iconic Taj Mahal hotel, the CSMT railway station and the Nariman House.

Nine of the terrorists were gunned down by security personnel, while the tenth one, Ajmal Kasab, was captured alive.

He was later tried in a court and sentenced to death. The 25-year-old was hanged in November 2012.

With PTI inputs

IMAGE: Sand artist Sudarshan Patnaik gives the final touches to a sand sculpture showing hanging of Ajmal Kasab, on a beach in Odisha. Photograph: Stringer/Reuters 

Source: ANI
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