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26/11: When will the masterminds of Mumbai attacks be brought to justice, ask kin of deceased

It has been five years since the lethal attacks that shook the whole nation. Ten terrorists brought the city to its knees for three days, going on a killing spree at several spots in the island city Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and the Taj Hotel witnessed the majority of the carnage.

Photos: Remembering 26/11: Five years later

Hundreds of citizens and several officers lost their lives in the massacre. Their families are slowly coming to terms with their loss, but seeing the masterminds of the attack roam scot-free opens up old wounds. The plot was hatched in Pakistan and is said to be the brainchild of Hafeez Mohammad Saeed, and was executed by terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba.


Vaishali Omble, daughter of Tukaram Omble at their Worli home

Saeed is on America’s list of most wanted terrorists in the world, but still moves about freely in the neighbouring country. India has sent several dossiers of proof indicating Saeed’s involvement in the crime, but Pakistan has refused to take any action against him.

Hemant Karkare Vijay Salaskar Ashok Kamte
Hemant Karkare, Vijay Salaskar and Ashok Kamte

“The masterminds of the attacks are at large. They are sitting safely in Pakistan and can create thousands of Qasabs. What is the government doing to arrest them?” questioned Vaishali Omble, whose father, assistant sub-inspector Tukaram Omble, died in combat while capturing Ajmal Qasab.

Arun Jadhav
Arun Jadhav, who was in the jeep with Vijay Salaskar, Hemant Karkare and Ashok Kamte

Qasab was sentenced to death and was hanged on November 21 last year. But those who suffered the trauma say it is not enough. “The brains behind the plot need to be punished. Only then will justice be delivered. These government relief packages can never bring back our father,” said Vaishali, who is studying medicine.

“Till the time the architects of the attack are brought to book, I won’t be satisfied with the government. I still have the injuries from 26/11. I am out of work and the government has not helped me,” said Abdul Salim Shaikh, who was injured in a bomb blast at a taxi in Mazgaon. The bomb had been planted by Abu Shoaib, killing three people and injuring Shaikh.

Arun Jadhav, head constable of the Anti-Terrorism Squad, recalled, “The memories are still fresh in my mind, as if it happened yesterday. I miss my boss Vijay Salaskar a lot.” Jadhav was the only person to survive from the police jeep that also had Vijay Salaskar, Hemant Karkare and Ashok Kamte.

The three officers were killed by Qasab and Abu Ismail at CST on the night of November 26. Though he is happy that Qasab got what he deserved, Jadhav too called for action to be taken against those who hatched the whole plan. “I hope it happens soon,” he added. 

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