26/11: A renewed demand for justice

Indian missions in 16 countries hold memorials on the tenth anniversary of Mumbai 26/11. PAWAN LUTHRA reports

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It was one of the darkest days in the history of modern India.

In a horrific terrorist attack in Mumbai between 26 and 29 Nov 2008, 166 people were killed and 293 injured by ten members of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, an Islamic terrorist organisation based in Pakistan. Seven men masterminded the attack from Pakistan, in the full glare of national media, according to detailed investigations which took place after the attack.

In spite of detailed reports given to the Pakistani government, none of the Pakistani men have been brought to justice. Reports allege that the mastermind of the attack LeT operations commander Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi has almost secured his acquittal and his six accomplices are expecting their exoneration anytime in the near future.

On the tenth anniversary of this brutal attack, the message from the Indian government about Pakistan’s behaviour is very clear.

Speaking at a special event at Sydney’s Indian Consulate, Consul General Vanlalvawna said, “Pakistan is showing little sincerity in bringing perpetrators to justice. The planners of 26/11 still roam the streets of Pakistan with impunity. The 26/11 terrorist attack was planned, executed and launched from Pakistan territory. We once again call on the Government of Pakistan to give up double standards and to expeditiously bring the perpetrators of the horrific attack to justice.”

Similar memorials were held at the Indian consulates across the countries of the 16 foreign nationals, including Australia, Japan, United States, United Kingdom, Singapore etc. The message at all these centres was clear – an urgent demand to Pakistan to do their bit in stopping terrorism by bringing these Pakistani nationals to justice.

Even the United States President Donald Trump has expressed strong support for India in its fight against terrorism, tweeting, “On the ten-year anniversary of the Mumbai terror attack, the U.S. stands with the people of India in their quest for justice. The attack killed 166 innocents, including six Americans. We will never let terrorists win, or even come close to winning!”

The US has already announced a new reward of $5 million for helping secure the arrest of those who masterminded the 26/11 attacks. “It is an affront to the families of the victims that, after ten years, those who planned the Mumbai attack have still not been convicted for their involvement,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

A sombre group of some 50 people held a minute’s silence to remember and pay respects to the innocent victims of this terrorist act.