26/11 Mumbai Attacks - Chronology:
Twenty-Six Eleven, as these attacks are often referred to as, witnessed 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists coming to Mumbai via sea route from Pakistan and carrying out a series of coordinated shooting and bombing attacks across the city.
The ghastly attacks lasted for four days killing 166 people and injuring over 300.
After sailing to the city under the cover of darkness, the terrorists targeted major landmarks of Mumbai with first attack taking place at the crowded Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) railway station. Ajmal Amir Kasab and Ismail Khan carried out the attack at this station, killing as many as 58 people and injuring over 100. Kasab and Khan later entered to attack Cama Hospital, but the same was thwarted with the alertness of the hospital staff. They however killed 6 police officials, including city's Anti-Terrorism Squad Hemant Karkare in an ambush after leaving the hospital.
The second site of the attack was Nariman House business and residential complex where a Rabbi, his wife, and six others, including five Israeli citizens, were killed by the terrorists who first held them as hostage. The two-year-old child of the Rabbi couple, Moshe, survived in the attack. Then 'Baby Moshe' became a face of the innocent victims of ruthless terrorism. In July 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Moshe during his visit to Israel. Later, in January 2018 the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on also met the survivor of 26/11, Moshe Holtzberg at Nariman House in Mumbai.
The third site to come under attack on 26/11 was the Leopold Cafe followed by Taj Mahal Hotel and Tower. Four terrorists carried out the attack at the famous cafe before entering the iconic Taj hotel, where they killed as many as 31 people after laying a three-day siege at the hotel.
The other site to come under attack during the 26/11 was Oberoi-Trident hotel where another group of two terrorists entered at almost the same time, as other four had entered Taj. At Oberoi-Trident hotel the siege officially ended on the evening of November 28 with as many as 30 being killed in the horrific attack.
The attack and seize finally culminated on the morning of 29th November 2008, after the National Security Guards (NSG) secured the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel.
By the time commandos of the National Security Guards (NSG) gunned down the last terrorists who had been holed up in south Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace hotel, over 160 people were killed and hundreds were left injured.
After the attack, it was established that the 10 terrorists had sailed to Mumbai from Pakistan's port city, Karachi. Their voyage to Mumbai involved hijacking a fishing dingy and killing four of the five men crew, leaving one occupant to ferry them to Mumbai coast.
In these gruesome attacks, 9 terrorists were killed and the lone survivor, Ajmal Amir Kasab, was caught and was sentenced to death at Yerwada Central Jail in Pune in 2012.
Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab:
Ajmal Kasab confesses to his crimes committed in 2008 in Mumbai. India's financial capital Mumbai was turned into a war zone a decade ago by a group of Pakistani gunmen who launched coordinated attacks in the heart of the city, targeting two luxury hotels, a Jewish centre, a tourist restaurant and a crowded train station. Three days of carnage - beginning on 26 November 2008 - killed 166 people including foreign tourists, and wounded hundreds more. With its imposing, red-tiled dome overlooking the Gateway of India monument, the iconic Taj Mahal Palace hotel was the at the epicentre of the assault. The visceral image of smoke leaping out of the city landmark has come to define perhaps the darkest three days in Mumbai's recent history. In November 2012, India hanged the lone surviving gunman of the coordinated terror attacks.
Ajmal Kasab's confession:
People Who Signed Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab's Mercy Petition - List:
There were total 203 people who had filed mercy petition for 26/11 terrorist Ajmal Kasab to President Pranab Mukherjee, who rejected the mercy petition. In list of 203 people, some names are very shocking as example Harsh Mandar had also filed petition for Ajmal Kasab and he was considered as the right hand of Sonia gandhi and he was also NAC (National Advisory council) member. Sonia Gandhi served as its Chairperson for much of the tenure of the UPA. Aruna roy who was also a NAC member, had also signed the Kasab Mercy petition.
According to Indian Express Report, Mumbai-based lawyer Yug Chaudhry had written to the President on October 28, 212 and sought public support for his petition.
Yug Chaudhry stated in his letter to president, “This petition has been endorsed by 203 citizens of India. I would therefore request you on behalf of all those citizens who have endorsed this mercy petition to exercise your prerogative of mercy in favour of Md. Ajmal Kasab and commute his death sentence to one of life imprisonment.”
Professors of reputed educational institutes like London School and Economics, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, School of African and Asian Studies, Delhi University and Jadavpur University, had signed this mercy petition too.
- 26/11: A timeline of the attacks
- Revisiting 26/11: Ajmal Kasab's confession
- More than 200 people wanted Ajmal Kasab pardoned
- List of people who signed Ajmal Kasab’s mercy petition
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