On Thursday, floral tributes were paid to those who laid down their lives fighting terrorists who attacked Mumbai on 26 November, 2008.

“Their sacrifice will never be erased from the memory of time and history. Today, we pay tribute to our saviours#2611Attack #2611Martyrs,” Mumbai Police tweeted.

Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, state home minister Anil Deshmukh and environment minister Aaditya Thackeray paid their respects at the newly-built memorial at the police headquarters in south Mumbai.

The memorial has been relocated from the site at Police Gymkhana in Marine Drive to the police headquarters at Crawford Market because of the ongoing work on the Coastal Road project, an official earlier said.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray pay homage to victims of the 26/11 terror attack on its 12th anniversary. ANI

The 12th anniversary of the deadly terror attack was attended by a limited number of people in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Family of some of the police personnel killed in the attack also paid tribute at the memorial.

During the ceremony, the governor, chief minister, and the home minister met family members of some of those killed in the attack. Remembering their personnel killed in the attack, the Maharashtra Police in a tweet said, “A tribute to the ones who sacrificed their lives to safeguard the rest!”

“Saluting the bravehearts whose sacrifice still ignites the spirits of millions #2611Attack #2611Martyrs#SalutingMartyrs,” Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh tweeted.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar also paid tribute to the policemen and other security personnel who laid their lives during the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, and called for a resolve to intensify the fight against terrorism.

“Tributes to martyrs from the police and other security forces who laid their lives in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack. As we condole with the families who lost their near ones in the attack, we should (also) resolve to intensify our fight against terrorism,” the former Union minister tweeted.

‘Nation will always be grateful’

Union home minister Amit Shah on Thursday paid tribute to all those who lost their lives in 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks on the occasion of its 12th anniversary.

“I pay tributes to all those who lost their lives in Mumbai 26/11 terror attacks and convey condolences to their families. Heartfelt tributes to the brave security personnel who faced the terrorists in these attacks. The nation will always be grateful to your bravery and sacrifice,” Shah tweeted in Hindi.

Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh and his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar on Thursday also paid tribute to those killed. Amarinder said it was an occasion to reaffirm our pledge to collectively stand against all forms of terrorist violence.

“I join the nation in paying tribute to the brave martyrs and victims of #MumbaiTerror Attack. We shall never forget their sacrifice & will forever be indebted to them,” he said in a tweet.

Khattar also took to Twitter to pay tribute to the security personnel and the civilians who died in the dreaded terror strike.

‘Lest we forget’

Actors Akshay Kumar, Abhishek Bachchan, Urmila Matondkar and others on Thursday also joined in.

Taking to Twitter, Kumar said that 26/11 is a day Mumbaikars will never forget. “My heartfelt tribute to the martyrs and victims of the #MumbaiTerrorAttack. We will forever be indebted to our bravehearts for their supreme sacrifice,” the superstar tweeted.

Replying to Mumbai Police’s tweet, about never erasing people’s sacrifice from history, Bachchan wrote, “Lest we forget.”

Matondkar shared a collage of those killed and wrote that citizens will remain grateful to those who laid down their lives while saving others. “Heartfelt tribute to martyrs and victims of 26/11 #MumbaiTerrorAttack. Salute to strength and resilience of people of #MumbaiCity.

Eternally grateful for your supreme sacrifice and you are forever in our hearts,” the 46-year-old actor tweeted.

Actors Ranvir Shorey and Raveena Tandon also prayed for the victims and those killed in the attack, saying they will never forget their sacrifice.

“Never forget. Prayers for all who laid down and lost their lives on the day,” Shorey wrote. Tandon said, “Never Forget . Never Forgive . #26/11.” Actor Randeep Hooda shared a video of the Bomb Detection Dog Squad of 26/11 attacks, which helped trace several live bombs and RDX during the terror strike.

“12 years of #MumbaiTerrorAttack! While the martyrs and victims will never be forgotten, here’s an ode to the pawsome gang, which is a reminder that not all heroes wear uniforms,” Hooda tweeted.

‘Wanton destruction won’t be forgotten’

Veteran industrialist Ratan Tata called for “unity and acts of kindness and sensitivity” that Mumbai showed in response to the terror attack 12 years ago, to continue in the future. In a social media post, the chairman emeritus of the Tata group said, “The wanton destruction that took place 12 years ago will never be forgotten.” But, he said, what is more memorable is the way Mumbai people came together, casting aside all differences, to vanquish the terrorism.

“Today, we certainly can mourn the ones we lost and honour the sacrifice of the brave who helped conquer the enemy but what we must applaud is the unity and acts of kindness and sensitivity which we should cherish,” Tata said. Hopefully, it will continue to shine in the years ahead, he added.

Echoing similar sentiments, Mahindra & Mahindra Chairman Anand Mahindra tweeted, “Mumbaikars won’t forget the night of the #2611Attack when the air was filled with uncertainty and insecurity. I remember feeling as if the city and the country were being invaded.”

Quoting a remark by South African leader late Nelson Mandela —”I learned that courage was not the absence of fear. But the triumph over it” — Mahindra added, “But by the end of that week, we brought to life this quote by Mandela. Mumbai and India did triumph.”

On 26 November, 2008, 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists from Pakistan arrived by sea route and opened fire, killing 166, including 18 security personnel, and injuring several others during the 60-hour siege in Mumbai. The then Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) chief Hemant Karkare, Army Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, Additional Police Commissioner Ashok Kamte, Senior Police Inspector Vijay Salaskar and Assistant Sub-Inspector ASI Tukaram Omble were among those killed in the attack.

The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, the Oberoi Trident, the Taj Mahal Hotel, Leopold Cafe, Cama Hospital and the Nariman House Jewish community centre, now renamed Nariman Light House, were some of the places targeted by terrorists. Nine terrorists were later killed by the security forces, including the NSG, the country’s elite commando force.

Ajmal Kasab was the only terrorist captured alive. He was hanged four years later on 21 November, 2012.

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