M A I N   N E W S

India pours out: ‘Enough of terror, politicians get out’

Mumbai, December 3
Tens of thousands of people across the country poured onto the streets and held candlelight vigils and peace marches this evening in a spontaneous show of solidarity with the residents of terror-ravaged Mumbai, which saw an unprecedented turnout at the Gateway of India, voicing their anger against the politicians.

Shouting slogans, people gathered at Jantar Mantar in Delhi, near Cubbon park in Bangalore, War Memorial in Secunderabad and at the Maidan and College street in Kolkata, in Lucknow and Chennai as Mumbai emerged from the pall of shock and grief that hung over the city since the 26/11 attacks that claimed 181 lives.

Posters and placards vividly captured the anger and concern as young and old, women and children thronged the iconic red sandstone Gateway of India, opposite the Taj Mahal hotel, which along with the Trident-Oberoi bore the brunt of last Wednesday’s terror attacks.

“Enough of terrorism”, “Let us kill terrorism Halla Bol!”, “Politicians get out” and “We want action not words” were some of the messages conveyed in banners and placards.

“We have never seen such a show of solidarity for a single cause at the Gateway of India,” said Ad guru Prahlad Kakkar, as white candles were lit around a wreath of red roses laid on the cobbled plaza of the harbour front structure.

As dusk fell, the Taj hotel was fully lit with roads packed with people right from Colaba police station till the Gateway of India and Regal.

In other metros, too, anger was the all pervasive emotion.

In Kolkata, a Pakistani flag was burnt by protesters who condemned Islamabad’s “hand” in the terror attack. “Enough is enough,” said a placard in Bangalore, “Terrorism has no religion. People should unite in the fight against terror,” said Sandeep Mishra, an engineer at Jantar Mantar in Delhi.

A young woman, seemingly from a rich family, stretched out both her hands to hold a black banner that said: “I would prefer a dog to visit our house, than a politician.” The reference was to Achuthanandan’s widely denounced remark that even a dog would not visit the Bangalore house of slain commando Sandeep Unnikrishnan had the man not died fighting the terrorists at the landmark Taj hotel, close to the Gateway of India monument.

One huge cloth banner in black had a giant Ashok Chakra logo besides the now famous “Yes We Can!” Another was defiant: “No Security, No Taxes!” Most protestors railed at politicians. Others silently placed flowers and bouquets on the ground close to the Gateway of India. And as it began to get dark, hundreds of candles were lit - in memory of the dead.

A middle-aged man shouted into a mike held by a television reporter: “These politicians need to be shot dead. They should be flogged. They have taken us for granted. Why should we tolerate them?” Among those in the crowds were sports stars and showbiz personalities.

Former Indian cricket captain Kapil Dev said of terrorism: “We have to fight it out. We have to express solidarity with the victims.” There was also anger against Pakistan, which has denied all connections with the Mumbai killers. “Time to make Pakistan history,” threatened one banner.

A Sikh trader was emphatic that terrorism can be defeated. “If it can be overcome in Punjab, it can be done in Mumbai also.” — Agencies



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |