Image Source: www.onmanorama.com
Exactly 12 years ago on the same day i.e. 26 November, Mumbai witnessed a horrible terror attack that claimed the lives of many. Ten Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists from Pakistan arrived in Mumbai by sea route and targeted Main destinations of Mumbai like Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station, Taj mahal palace hotel, Café Leopold, Cama and Albless hospital, Nariman house, and Oberoi-Trident hotel.
It was a shocking day because no one ever thought that on the day which we celebrate as National law day, we would ever see such a scenario. Out of 10 terrorists, 9 were killed and one was arrested and hanged to death after 4 years. Also, an operation Black Tornado was carried out by Black cats to evacuate the people who were stuck in the attack, neutralize the terrorists. It was a very challenging operation to carry since commanders were had little knowledge about the location. They played an important role. Our many brave commanders lost their lives in this attack.
Here are some words of IPS VISHWAS NANGRE PATIL to make you know the real series of events.
“My bodyguard Amit Khetle & I were on our way to Leopold when I got a 2nd call from the DGP. There was firing & blasts happening at Taj; we rerouted there. Armed with 1 pistol each & no bulletproof vests–we entered Taj from the rear gate.
There we met the Taj security chief Mr. Kudiyadi. The terrorists were mindlessly shooting; he led me to them. On the 2nd floor of the royal staircase, Mr. Kudiyadi showed me, 3 terrorists, 10 meters away–their backs were to us.
I saw an opportunity to kill them & took it–I fired 3 rounds. 1 of them was injured, but they sprayed AK-47 rounds back–we sheltered behind a pillar. They disappeared.
We then scanned every floor until the 6th. It was chaos–blood, bodies, gunpowder & intermittent firing–we had no idea where from. We didn’t know there were just 4; nascent intel stated there could be 100 terrorists in the city!
Until 11 PM it was a blind war; the Taj had gone into a deep silence. I thought they’d escaped, so we went to the main gate where 4 constables joined us. Just then, there were 2 blasts from inside–we went to the 6th floor. When we couldn’t locate them, me & my batchmate Rajvardhan who’d entered Taj by then, decided to go to the CCTV room.
On CCTV we saw 3 terrorists hitting 5 hostages & trying to get them down. I called the control room. CP Sir said, ‘The naval commandos are coming in a few minutes; keep them pinned down.’ On behalf of our team, I said, ‘We will not allow them to come down, though we die.’
We began firing; they threw grenades & fired back–at 3 AM they set the dome on fire. But we kept them occupied & 600 people were rescued from inside Taj.
By then, they knew we were in the CCTV room. So we formed a chain & made our way out, but they saw us & sprayed us with bullets. Our team got split up. Amit was shot thrice; Rahul Shinde was martyred, Rajvardhan & I made it to Crystal Hall.
We had no cell phones, no walkies. We waited there until the NSG arrived, gave them intel & then they carried out their operation. Honestly, I was sure I wouldn’t make it out alive. Even my family thought I was dead; they were preparing for my funeral–but I did my duty & went home.” #ChabbisGyara
It remains a sinful event for the history of India as well as the world.
What is Terrorism?
What is terrorism had always been a matter of long discussion because not only of the fact that there has been no standard definition of it but also because it is very difficult to create a difference between the acts of Terrorism and other forms of violence? The primary factors why we are not able to get the definition of terrorism is because of the fact that no one knows where terrorism begins and where it ends and what are the different characteristics of the same. There are many definitions given by different organizations. According to the oxford dictionary, Terrorism is defined as “the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.”
According to the United Nations "All criminal acts directed against a State and intended or calculated to create a state of terror in the minds of particular persons or a group of persons or the. General public”. According to Global Terrorism Database (GTD), terrorism is “acts of violence by non-state actors, perpetrated against civilian populations, intended to cause fear, in order to achieve a political objective.”
But after getting deep knowledge of what is terrorism, we can find some criteria as to what is terrorism:
· Act must be violent or threaten violence.
· Damage to public and private property must occur.
· Purpose of such acts must be to attack political, social, economic, and religious sentiments.
Some of these pointers mentioned above will help us to distinguish which acts come in the category of terrorism and other forms of violence.
Provisions and Machinery to control terrorism and its Inherent failures
In the Mumbai 26/11 attack, highly deficient and poor arrangements of Indian security were seen. The poor mechanism was seen not because of the intelligence agencies as it issued around 26 warnings to Mumbai police between 2006 to 2008 to indicate that there are possible chances of attack. But what if the Executing agencies continue to deficient and do not pay heed to these warnings.
Many security agencies, as well as national security agencies, are there in India like National security guard, Multi-Agency Centers (MAC), Subsidiary Multi-Agency Centers (SMAC), National Investigation Agency (NIA), the setting up of a National Intelligence Grid (NatGrid), and the plan for a National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) — along with several other initiatives, to enable a qualitative improvement in our counter-terror infrastructure and strategy. All the requirements are there that we need and also can help in stopping terrorism but the main problem lies in enforcement. Strong legislation and enforcement can be a key factor in controlling the same.
We have seen a lot of destruction of lives due to terrorism may it be the Pulwama attack or the 26/11 Mumbai attack and many more. But still, it remains a saddening fact that almost nil improvement has been seen. After the Mumbai attacks, if some attempts could have been made for enforcing stronger legislations, then I feel some significant improvements could have been seen in the coming decades.
But that’s obviously not the case. Almost every nation faces the threat of terrorism. It is said that “The united you stand, the divided you fall”. If all nations stand together to fight against terrorism then there can be to some extent the betterment of each nation. In conclusion, I would like to remember the lines of Shafique Ally-
“First salute to the brave soldiers. We will never forget this black day and pray to the almighty to destroy the evil who has done this.”