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Twitter remembers the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks

Netizens pay homage, express anger, and ask how safe our country really is

  • Published 26.11.19, 7:25 PM
  • Updated 28.11.19, 1:54 AM
  • 2 mins read
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A police officer adjusts his turban as he waits with others to pay tribute to victims of the Mumbai terror attacks, at a memorial in Mumbai, India, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. AP

Ten terrorists. Five locations. 166 dead, at least. Even to those who watched the horror on television, the night of 26th November 2008 was like an ill-fated action movie turned rogue and chillingly real. Long before Twitter, the tension built tenfold as people could do nothing but watch. Nobody knew when they would strike next, or where.

Eleven years ago, the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists, who were trained specifically for the mission, infiltrated Mumbai quietly on a hijacked fishing trawler from a Karachi port. With automatic weapons and grenades, they stormed prominent sites in the financial capital- Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station, Nariman House, Cama Hospital, Leopold Cafe, Taj Hotel, and the Oberoi-Trident Hotel.

Today, netizens and Mumbaikars took to Twitter to pay homage, express anger, and ask how safe our country really is.

Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis (who resigned later in the evening) and governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari paid their tributes at the Police Memorial in Mumbai. Former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan took to Twitter to pay homage.

Mumbai remembered its hero Tukaram Omble, an assistant sub-inspector of the Mumbai police, whose bravery helped to nab Ajmal Kasab (the sole gunman to be caught alive). Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, who led the commando operation on the 27th of November at the Taj Hotel, was saluted as a martyr. 

There were many who questioned the Congress, which was in power at the time, and blamed party politics for making the terror attacks a communal issue.

Why would the Congress blame the RSS for the 26/11 attacks, asked actress Payal Rohatgi. "This is like imagination at its best," she said.

Twitterati slammed Malegaon blast accused and Bhopal BJP MP Pragya Singh Thakur afresh, on her comment about Hemat Karkare, whom she claimed to have 'cursed' because he treated her 'very badly'. 

Karkare, who was the chief of Mumbai Anti-Terrorist Squad, was killed in action by Pakistani terrorists.

Srinivas B.V., president of the Indian Youth Congress, hailed Karkare as a hero whose sacrifice will be remembered by history. 

"Even amidst protest, Opposition leaders pay tribute to the lives lost," he said.

Fire brigade personnel work at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai on November 29, 2008, after terrorists attacked the hotel and other locations in the city
Fire brigade personnel work at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai on November 29, 2008, after terrorists attacked the hotel and other locations in the city The Telegraph file picture

Politicians like Piyush Goyal, Smiriti Irani and Ajit Pawar remembered the sacrifice of the police force, and paid homage.

Calcutta mayor Firhad Hakim said, "A martyr dies not when they are shot but when they are forgotten."

Gautam Adani, chairman of the Adani Group, who was trapped inside the Taj Hotel on that fateful night during the attacks, said he is grateful for the people who helped save his life.

"I'm witness to the bravery and sacrifices of the Taj staff," he said.

But it was not just Mumbaikars, and Indians at large who remembered the attacks.

Ken Juster, the US Ambassador to India paid homage to the victims of the attacks, and the Embassy of Israel lit as candle in memory of the lives lost. 

"France stands by India in combating this global scourge (of terrorism)", said Emmanuel Lenain, Ambassador of France to India.

Of course, the hate towards Pakistan was unanimous.

Padma Shri awardee and sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik, sculpted a beautiful tribute to 26/11. "United against terrorism," it says.

Although in sombre remembrance of three, long days of horror that claimed many lives and crept into many more, people remained strong, and kept the memory of the martyrs alive, for death lies but in forgetting.