New Delhi: It’s been 15 years since the devastating terrorist attacks that shook India’s financial capital, Mumbai, on November 26, 2008. Commonly referred to as 26/11, these coordinated assaults by a group of 10 terrorists did mayhem on the streets of Mumbai and sent shockwaves through the nation and the world.
Terrorists from the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terror group had entered the city of Mumbai on the night of November 26, 2008. Over the course of four days, they killed 166 people and injured 300.
The targets were carefully chosen after being surveyed for maximum impact, viz., the Taj and Oberoi Hotels, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, the Jewish centre at Nariman House, and the Leopold Cafe, since these places were frequented by Europeans, Indians and Jews.
The nine LeT terrorists were killed while Mohammad Ajmal Amir Qasab, the lone surviving Pakistani terrorist from the attack at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station, was arrested. In May 2010, Qasab was handed the death penalty, and two years later, hanged in a maximum security prison in Pune city.
The scars left by the tragic event continue to linger in the collective memory of those who witnessed it, and the lessons learned remain crucial for global security.
This year marking the 15th anniversary of the tragic terror attacks, Israel has officially designated Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) as a terror organisation. The action has been taken without any request by the government of India.
The Israeli Embassy said in a statement that all necessary procedures have been completed to declare LeT as a terror outfit, noting that the decision was made independently without any formal request from the Indian government.
Highlighting that Israel only lists terror organisations that are actively operating against it from within or around its borders, or in a similar manner to India–those globally recognised by UNSC or the US State Department–“Israel ministers of Defence and Foreign Affairs have jointly worked in the last few months towards an expedited and extraordinary listing of the Lashkar-e-Taiba organisation on this date to highlight the importance of a Unified Global Front in combating terrorism.”
Israel’s Ambassador to India Naor Gilon also praised the decision and called the ban on Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) the “right thing”. He said that Tel Aviv had a few months ago decided to ban LeT after his deputy found that it was not listed as a terrorist organisation in Israel.
Meanwhile, a day-long poster exhibition was organised at the Broken Chair in front of the United Nations, Geneva on Friday to mark the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.
A human rights activist and author who organised the poster exhibition, Priyajit Debsarkar, said: “Today, we are protesting in front of the United Nations, Geneva. We have displayed a lot of balance here to commemorate the costly and terrible barbaric terror attacks which rocked Mumbai, the Indian financial epicentre, 15 years ago.”
On this day, every year, the nation remembers the people and security forces who lost their lives while fighting the terrorists.