Mumbai’s police paraded past some of the city’s landmarks on Thursday in a show of strength as India’s financial hub marked the first anniversary of militant raids that killed 166 people and increased tensions with Pakistan.
Onlookers waved Indian flags and banners with slogans like ”End The Violence” as police commandoes, showing off new weapons and armoured vehicles, tracked the route of 10 militants who disembarked in Mumbai a year ago to rampage through the city. Other residents lit candles outside a Jewish centre, one of several sites from luxury hotels to the city’s biggest railway station targeted by the Pakistan-based gunmen for three days.
”We just wanted to show our support and show that we care,” said Subir Kumar Singh, who left a written message on a banner outside the Leopold cafe, a popular tourist spot that still has bullet marks from the attacks.
The attacks highlighted the lack of preparedness of India to militant assaults and showed how regional tension in South Asia could undermine the stability of Asia’s economic powerhouse as it emerges on the global stage.
Nine militants were killed by police in the attacks. The lone survivor, Mohammad Ajmal Kasab, is under trial and could face the gallows if found guilty.
Some local residents shouted ”Hang Kasab” as they walked past the seafront Taj Mahal Hotel, where the militants, guided by handlers in Pakistan by telephone, battled commandoes for nearly three days through myriad plush corridors.
India has broken off peace talks with Pakistan since the attacks.
New Delhi has sought to bring international pressure on Islamabad to act against militants operating from its soil, including the Pakistan-based group Lashkar-e-Taiba, blamed for the masterminding the raids.
”The government of Pakistan could do more to bring to book people who are still roaming around the country freely, to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism and I can only hope that there will be progress in that area,” Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said this week in Washington.
In a move seen as trying to appease that frustration as well as deflect United States pressure to act, a Pakistani court on Wednesday indicted seven Pakistani suspects on terror charges in connection with the attacks. — Reuters