26/11: India remembers victims & martyrs

Last Updated: Mon, Nov 26, 2012 05:22 hrs

Mumbai: The victims and martyrs of the 26/11 terror attack on Mumbai were remembered at an event organised here to mark the fourth anniversary of the attack.
Maharashtra governor K Sankaranarayanan, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde, Maharashtra home minister RR Patil and Mumbai police commissioner Satyapal Singh and several others paid floral tributes to those killed by the terrorists at a commemorative function held at Mumbai Police Gymkhana at Chowpatty on Monday morning, said reports.

A 26/11 memorial has been erected at the Gymkhana.

Security has been beefed up across Mumbai on the eve of the fourth anniversary of the 26/11 terror attacks, which comes close on the heels of the hanging of lone caught terrorist Mohammad Ajmal Kasab.

"There is no specific threat but we have been alert for (the) past one week," Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh said.

"Even though there were 'threats' to the financial capital but Mumbai Police are well-prepared to tackle any eventuality," he told reporters at a press conference.

According to sources, security has also been tightened after Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan warned of mounting attacks "in India and anywhere" to avenge Kasab's hanging.

"Such terror groups have always threatened to take some or (the) other action," Singh said in a lighter vein when asked about the threat perception.

Elaborating further, the police commissioner said "there are four points of preparedness. First is that we should be aware if there is any actual threat or not and if there is threat then we should know its source."

If the threat is real, then its roots should be unearthed and it is also necessary to establish who are supporting the terrorists, he said.

"We have progressed in four years in our intelligence gathering skills," he said, adding that specially-trained cells have been formed at the police station level.

Elaborating on the security arrangements, Singh said there were 39 divisions posted in the city and they have First Response Team (FRT) at their disposal besides five regional additional commissioners of police having QRTs. "Other than that we have Force one, ATS etc," he said.

The Police have visited 400 schools and colleges to help form 'Mritunjay' clubs in order to make students aware about terrorism. "We also conduct mock drills regularly," he added.

Search operations, nakabandis and combing operations are also being undertaken, he said.

"In a month or two, the Mumbai Police will start the process of installing CCTV cameras across the city," the police commissioner said.

A peace march was held in Mumbai to pay tribute to the victims ahead of the fourth anniversary of the 26/11 terror attacks on Sunday.

Prominent among those participated in the march were Union minister of state for HRD Shashi Tharoor, Bollywood actress Mahima Chaudhary and American national Kia Scherr who lost her husband Alan and daughter Naomi during the bloodbath.

The walk started from Nariman Point, opposite Hotel Trident, in South Mumbai, which was one of the targets of terrorists, to Princess Street flyover.

"We paid homage to the victims of the attack. We are also happy over the execution of terrorist (Kasab). We pray todaythat never such an attack should take place anywhere in India and that the masterminds of the 26/11 are also punished," actress Mahima Chaudhary said.

Scherr, who has made the island city her home since 2010, said the peace march would be the most appropriate response to not only honour the victims of the attack but also to share happiness over the hanging of Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab.

"True justice is restored when we join together as one unified whole to live in peace, compassion and love. An irritant has been removed from the city of Mumbai completing the unfinished chapter to the 26/11 tragedy," she told reporters.

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