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Public apathy marks anniversary of 26/11 as leaders pay homage

Though some solemn ceremonies were organised to pay tributes to the fallen heroes and victims of the most brazen terror assault in the country, there was no public outpouring of grief and outrage, no gigantic posters of bravehearts who laid down their lives in the line of duty in street corners for passersby to pay homage.

Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, his deputy Ajit Pawar, home minister RR Patil and union minister Shashi Tharoor were prominent among those who paid floral tributes to martyrs at the Police Memorial at Marine Lines in Mumbai.

Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde deplored that Pakistan had not yet punished the plotters of the attack facing trial in that country despite India giving enough evidence.

‘We have handed over all the relevant proof to Pakistan. We are urging them to take quick and urgent action against the perpetrators of 26/11 attack,’ he told reporters in Delhi.

Shinde said for expediting the trial in Pakistan, India had permitted a judicial commission from there to visit the country twice to examine and take statements of investigating officers and others in connection with the case.

He also said despite repeated appeals, Pakistan has not taken any action to dismantle terror infrastructure.

Gujarat chief minister and BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi expressed disappointment at the Centre’s failure to bring the real perpetrators of 26/11 attacks to justice.

‘Centre’s failure to bring the real perpetrators of 26/11 to justice is disappointing. It is high time Centre acts decisively,’ Modi said in a series of tweets on Tuesday.

‘26/11 is a grim reminder of the security threat India faces. Let us assure families of the victims that sacrifice of their near ones will not go in vain. Time to work towards a stronger & safer India,’ he said. .
BJP too charged the Centre with having failed in putting diplomatic pressure on Pakistan to hand over the perpetrators based in that country and asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to explain the steps taken in that regard.

In a statement on his Facebook page, BJP president Rajnath Singh said the mastermind and real perpetrators of the Mumbai carnage are still roaming free in Pakistan.

‘The incumbent government at the Centre has failed miserably in putting any diplomatic pressure on Pakistan to act decisively against the forces of evil operating from its territory. The Prime Minister should explain to the people of this country what concrete steps his government had taken in this direction since 26/11,’ he said.

‘Five years after the Mumbai attack, we believe not much has changed. India continues to be a soft target for terrorists as it bleeds through a thousand cuts,’ the BJP chief said.

Though Mumbai city largely appeared unconcerned about the fifth anniversary of the attack that saw India’s relations with Pakistan plunge to unprecedented depths and sent alarm bells ringing in the security establishment, for those who bore the brunt of the audacious assault, the scars refuse to heal.
Constable Arun Jadhav, who suffered bullet injuries while taking on the militants, says images of the ghastly attack simply refuse to go away.

‘I am lucky to have survived but get overcome by the grief when I think of the officers who lost their lives while fighting terrorists,’ said Jadhav, currently with Maharashtra ATS.

Jadhav was in the ill-fated Qualis with ATS chief Hemant Karkare, Additional Commissioner of Police Ashok Kamte and encounter specialist Senior Police Inspector Vijay Salaskar when they came under a barrage of gunfire from LeT terrorists Ajmal Kasab and Abu Ismail outside Cama Hospital.

‘Salaskar was like my brother as I had worked with him for several years. His death has caused a void in my life that can never be filled,’ the President Medal Awardee recalled.
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