It has been 11 years since a group of 10 terrorists from across the border targeted India’s financial capital, Mumbai on 26th November, 2008.
166 innocent lives were lost in the dastardly terror attack. The images of the attack are still fresh in the minds of several Indians.
Mumbai, a city that never sleeps, paused briefly on Tuesday, to honour its fallen heroes & civilians who lost their lives in this attack.
Indian Express, India’s leading newspaper chain, hosted a memorial event called ‘The Indian Express 26/11 Stories of Strength’ at the Gateway of India, Mumbai.
In 2008, Gateway was a silent witness to the senseless massacre, but in 2019, it emerged as symbol of hope & resilience.
Among those who performed at the memorial event were The Maharashtra Police Pipe Band, The Indian Navy band, Kavita Krishnamurthy, L Subramaniam, Rekha Bharadwaj, renowned conductor of Symphony Orchestra of India Zane Dalal, singer Harshdeep Kaur, Mahesh Kale, Shilpa Rao, Divya Kumar
Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, chief guest of the ceremony said India has dismantled the infrastructure of terrorism in the country and is no longer a soft target. “We are now trying to disrupt the financial network of terrorism… If Pakistan does not stop sponsoring terrorism, it will be blacklisted. With Pakistan facing recession, the FATF blacklisting Pakistan may prove to be the final nail in the coffin,” Singh said.
Singh, said India has beefed-up not just its maritime security and its Coast Guard, but has also strengthened its cyber security.
Guest of Honour Union Minister for Road, Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, said the sacrifice of officers such as Hemant Karkare (former Maharashtra ATS chief) and of civilians who lost their lives must not be forgotten. Gadkari said India should have power, not to attack, but to protect its weak and innocent citizens.
A book written by Jui Karkare Navare, the daughter of former Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare, was released at the event. Navare said, “My father always inspired everyone to strive towards helping society and my mother followed this principle even after breathing her last by donating her organs.”
The grand finale of the event was an enthralling performance by superstar Amitabh Bachchan backed by Shiamak Davar Dance Company. The performance by Bachchan received a standing ovation from the two thousand plus audience.
The event was attended by Flag Officer Commanding in Chief Western Naval Command Ajit Kumar P; Colonel Nitesh Kumar, Group Commandant of the National Security Guard, Mumbai; Group Captain A Shreedhar of the Indian Air Force; Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Barve, IGP Krishna Prakash, Municipal Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi, and Mumbai Port Trust chairman Sanjay Bhatia.
Tuesday’s event will be telecast exclusively on Star Plus and Hotstar on Saturday, November 30 at 9.30 pm.