Orchestrated by the Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistan based terrorist organization, the attack claimed an estimated 174 lives with more than 300 people getting injured. The whole operation involved 12 well-coordinated series of mass shootings and bombings, carried by 12 terrorists at some of the busiest locations in Mumbai. The level of ingenuity and tactical approach that was taken by the perpetrators displays the barbarity and malice humans can be capable of.
Eight of the attacks occurred at South Mumbai including the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, the Oberoi Trident, the Taj Mahal Hotel Palace & Tower, Leopold Cafe, Cama Hospital, the Nariman House Jewish community center, the Metro Cinema, and in a lane behind the Times of India building and St. Xavier’s College. There was also an explosion at Mazagaon, in the port area, and in a taxi at Vile Parle.
As the nation watched in shock and horror at the series of events unfolding, as the machine-like humans carried on their killing spree, blinded with bloodlust which just seemed unstoppable.
However, it is only during times of crisis that heroes are born and each and everyone who had played their part either in safety and evacuation or clicking pictures of the terrorists at great personal risk, was a hero for that time. It was only because each and every Indian was truly united, that the terrorists were apprehended within a short span of time, and were swiftly brought to justice. Not all heroes wear capes and some of the names that are worth mentioning are -Sebastian D’Souza, who clicked Ajmal Kasab ‘s photo and subsequently helped the authorities in capturing him; Karambir Singh Kang, who was the Taj Hotel’s General Manager and helped in evacuation of several people during the attack; Devika Rotawan, who was a nine year old kid and yet so courageous to take the stand and testify against Kasab during his trial. Also, India’s intelligence agency RAW and the Mumbai police force gambled on their lives to protect the lives of the citizens. Names of martyrs like Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, Hemant Karkare, Ashok Kamte, Vijay Salaskar among several others are stitched in gold letters forever in Indian fight against terrorism.
Nevertheless, this day extracts a heavy toll on our hearts and we must find the courage within ourselves to mourn with the families of everyone who died that day.