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Mumbai remembers 26/11 victims amid tight security
Shiv Kumar/TNS

Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan and family members of 26/11 terror attack victims pay tribute at a memorial in Mumbai on Monday
Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan and family members of 26/11 terror attack victims pay tribute at a memorial in Mumbai on Monday. — PTI

Mumbai, November 26
Following warnings from the Pakistan Taliban that the execution of Mohammad Ajmal Amir, alias Kasab, would be avenged, security was considerably tightened in Mumbai as the city observed fourth anniversary of the 26/11 terror attacks on Monday.

It was on this day in 2008 that 166 persons were killed and more than 300 others injured when 10 militants stormed the city, attacking the main railway station, two luxury hotels, a popular tourist restaurant and a Jewish centre.

The anniversary of the attacks was observed today at all the major spots that were struck four years ago. At the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, arrangements were made to offer tributes to those who lost their lives in the attack. There were prayer meetings in the morning and throughout the day people thronged the small shrine put up at near the railway station to pay their respects.

The main programme to commemorate the attacks was held at the Police Gymkhana in South Mumbai where a memorial for the policemen who lost their lives in the attack has been built. Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar paid their tributes by laying wreaths at the memorial here. They were joined by Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Home Minister RR Patil, Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh and relatives of those who lost their lives in the attacks.

The Jewish community in the city also marked the event at the Chabad House located in Colaba, which was also attacked. Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivka were among those who were killed.

Among those who attended a prayer service here included Israel's consul-general in Mumbai Orna Sagiv. He told reporters that the Chabad House was in the process of being rebuilt.

The presence of the police was visible on the streets since Sunday night as barricades were put up at all major roads. "We have pressed in additional security personnel to guard sensitive installations like the airport, the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, refineries, chemical factory of RCF and the Gateway of India," a police spokesman said.

The security was also beefed up at major railway stations like Dadar, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and Mumbai Central.

Terror organisations based in Pakistan like the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan had warned that they would avenge the execution of Kasab, the lone terrorist to be caught alive in the terror attacks four years ago. According to Commissioner of Police Satyapal Singh, the Mumbai Police had cracked down on second-hand car dealers and those dealing in SIM cards of mobile phones to curb those selling their wares to unknown customers.

Four years on, Mumbai seems to have put behind the terror attacks. Except for the events to mark the attacks at the locations targeted by terrorists, life seems to move at normal pace in the city.

HOUSE remembers martyrs

New Delhi: Both Houses of Parliament on Monday remembered the martyrs of Mumbai terror attacks. The MPs in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha stood in silence for two minutes as a mark of respect to the departed. The tributes were led by Presiding Officers in both Houses with the two reading out messages of solidarity. “The horrific memories of the tragic attack are still etched in our minds and as a tribute to the valiant security personnel who made the supreme sacrifice for the nation, let us pledge that we will together fight to thwart the forces of terrorism," Vice-President Hamid Ansari said. The Lok Sabha Speaker also paid glowing tributes to martyrs of the tragedy. — TNS



Pak sends terms of reference for visit of 2nd judicial commission

New Delhi, November 26
Pakistan has sent the terms of reference for visit of the second judicial commission to India to cross-examine key witnesses in the Mumbai attack case to speed up the prosecution of seven Pakistani suspects in that country.

Without giving details of communication, official sources said the terms of reference were received recently and have been sent to legal experts for their opinion.

Pakistan had requested for a visit of the second commission as a trial court there had rejected the findings of the earlier judicial commission that visited Mumbai in March.

A Pakistani court had said that the report of the panel had no “evidential value” as it was not allowed to cross-examine the four witnesses and asked the panel to visit India again.

The four witnesses to be cross examined by the panel include the magistrate who recorded the confessional statement of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) terrorist Ajmal Kasab, since hanged, the investigating officer of the 26/11 case and two doctors who conducted the postmortem of the nine terrorists killed during encounters with police and NSG in 2008.

Pakistan has been holding a trial against five accused including 26/11 master-mind Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, Abu Alqama alias Mazhar Iqbal, Hammad Amin, Abdul Wajid alias Zarar Shah and Shahid Jameel Riaz.

Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik, during his meeting with Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, had requested for allowing the second Commission so that the legal formalities could be completed.

Shinde had conveyed to him that 26/11 was a test case and that Islamabad should ensure an early and a speedy trial for all the accused involved in the conspiracy.

A Pakistani commission had come in March this year during which they only recorded the statements of the witnesses and could not question them. — PTI



Kin of ‘Kuber’ crew yet to get govt aid

Vadodara, November 26
The kin of the four fishermen of Kuber, the boat hijacked by the 26/11 attackers to reach the Mumbai coast, have expressed anguish over the ‘missing’ crew members not being counted as victims entitled to aid on a technical ground by the Maharashtra Government.

"We have made a number of requests to Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan to sympathetically consider the plea of the family members of the four fishermen for providing them financial assistance," vice-president of Gujarat Fishermen Association Veljibhai Masani said on the occasion of the anniversary of the terror attacks.

Kuber, a fishing trawler, had been hijacked by the 10 Pakistani terrorists off the Jhakau coast in Gujarat to reach Mumbai for carrying out the strike.

The four fishermen, who are "missing" as per the official records since 2008, were identified as Ramesh Nagji Bamaniya from Junagadh and Balwant Prabhu, Mukesh Rathod and Nathu Nanu from Navsari district.

Bhavesh, son of Bamaniya, said the Maharashtra Government "discriminated" while granting financial relief to the 26/11 victims.

"Non-receipt of financial aid has made it difficult for me to support my family consisting of my mother, three sisters and grandparents," Bhavesh said. — PTI





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