It’s been 11 years since the ghastly attack of 26/11, which brought the city to a standstill for four consecutive days after 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists entered the financial capital of India via sea route from Pakistan and carried out the attack in the dark.
Meanwhile, social media is paying tribute to the heroes who lost their lives in the attack through posts. President Ram Nath Kovind also remembered the victims of 26/11 in a tweet saying “On the 11th anniversary of the Mumbai terror attacks, we remember everyone who lost their lives and mourn with their families. A grateful nation salutes the security personnel who made the supreme sacrifice”. He further said that the nation is dedicated to eliminating all forms of terrorism.
Let’s remember some of the brave hearts of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack:
1. Shri Hemant Karkare (IPS)
Karkare was the chief of the Mumbai Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS), known for solving bombing cases and investigation of 2008 Malegaon blasts, became the target of Kasab and his partner Ismail’s firing when he along with his two more officers Ashok Kamte and Vijay Kaluskar following a red Qualis jeep chasing Kasab.
For his sacrifice for the nation, he was honoured with Ashoka Chakra in 2009, India’s highest peacetime gallantry decoration.
2. Ashok Kamte (IPO)
Ashok Kamte was the Indian Police Officer, serving as Additional Commissioner (AC) of the Mumbai Police. During the ongoing attack, Kamte was sent to Azad Maidan Police Station and met Hemant Karkare in pursuit of a terrorist armed with AK47. Following the trail of the two terrorists Ajmal Kasab and Ismail Khan, he was shot in the head.
In 2009, Kamte was also awarded Ashoka Chakra for his service.
3. Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan (Indian Army)
Serving in the Special Action Group of the National Security Guards, in the night of November 26, Unnikrishnan was deployed in the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel which was one of the spots of the terrorist attack that night. When he entered the hotel, he and his 10 other commandos sensed perpetrators on the third floor where few guests were held, hostage. When he approached a room locked from inside to engage in an encounter, he was shot from his back and later succumbed to his injuries.
Major Unnikrishnan was also awarded the highest peacetime gallantry decoration, Ashoka Chakra.
4. Vijay Salaskar (IPI)
Serving as the encounter specialists with the Mumbai Police, Salaskar was driving the Qualis jeep when he was informed that another on-duty officer during the attack, Sadanand Date, was injured while countering a terrorist. Two terrorists came out from behind a tree and opened fire at their car with their AK47 while they were waiting in it to find the predators. In the encounter, Salaskar, along with six other policemen died on the spot except for constable Arun Jadhav.
5. Tukaram Omble (ASI)
Serving as an assistant sub-inspector, Omble’s duty was over that night. But after the news of terrorist attack burst out, he decided to stay back to support his colleagues. In an encounter when Kasab’s partner was killed, the lone surviving terrorist pretended to surrender. Omble approached the car unarmed and Kasab took the chance to open fire at him. Over 40 bullets hit him from the barrel of Kasab’s rifle, however, even with his last breath, Omble helped his team to capture Kasab.
Omble was awarded with the Ashoka Chakra and also CNN Indian of the year for his ‘Extraordinary service to the nation’.
On the eve of 26/11, around 20:10 pm, 10 members from Lashkar-e-Taiba came ashore to Mumbai in an inflatable boat, loaded with 6 – 7 magazines, 8 hand grenades and AK-47 Assault rifles to carry out the attack. The attack took place in Chattrapati Shivaji Terminal (CST), Mumbai Chabad House, The Oberoi Trident, The Taj Palace and Tower, Leopold Cafe, Cama Hospital, The Nariman Point.