Six years later, Mumbai remembers 26/11 victims, heroes

Mumbai: Six years after the audacious terror attacks in Mumbai, tributes were today paid to victims and heroes, while the state government announced that it will implement recommendations of the Ram Pradhan panel which probed the 26/11 carnage.

"We will implement recommendations of the Ram Pradhan committee, which the earlier government failed to do," senior BJP minister Vinod Tawde told reporters after paying homage to the heroes at the Police Gymkhana in Marine Lines, where a 26/11 memorial has been erected in remembrance of the policemen, who lost their lives fighting terrorists.

Tawde, his Cabinet colleague Prakash Mehta, Maharashtra Director General of Police Sanjeev Dayal, Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria and Mayor Snehal Ambekar were among those who paid floral tributes to the martyrs.

Tawde, who also met families of the martyrs, said a meeting will be held in a week to resolve grievances of the martyrs' families. "I have spoken to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on the issue," he said. Fadnavis, who was out of Mumbai in connection with President's Maharashtra visit, said in his message: "I pay homage to the brave policemen who fought for Mumbai's safety and laid down their lives for us on 26/11. We are proud of them and we will strive hard for safety and security of our state."

Six years ago, 10 LeT terrorists launched coordinated attacks across key locations in the country's financial capital killing 166 people, including policeman, NSG commandos and some foreigners. In addition, nine terrorists were killed and attacker Ajmal Kasab was captured and later hanged.

India has been demanding that the perpetrators of the Mumbai carnage should be brought to justice and Pakistan should swiftly conclude the 26/11 trial of the accused.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the nation in paying homage to the martyrs and victims of the 26/11 terror attacks. "We remember the horrific terror attacks in Mumbai on this day in 2008 and pay homage to the innocent men and women who lost their lives," he said in a message.

During his address at the SAARC summit in Nepal, the Prime Minister made a brief reference to terror and the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. "Today as we remember Mumbai terror attack, we feel endless pain of loss of lives. Let us work together to fulfil our pledge to combat terrorism and transnational crimes," Modi said.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis also announced the state government's commitment to "strengthen police force and provide them modern and better equipment." "It is our priority," Fadnavis said. Maharashtra government is yet to fully implement the recommendations of Ram Pradhan Committee report, constituted after the terror attacks in Mumbai on November 26, 2008.

The then state Home Minister R R Patil had told the Legislative Council last year that the state government was "trying to implement the recommendations of Ram Pradhan Committee report."

The two-member committee, headed by former Governor and Union Home Secretary R D Pradhan, had been appointed to probed the government's response to the terror attacks. Among other things, the committee had suggested steps to strengthen coastal security through better monitoring and modernisation of police with automatic arms and ammunition.

Meanwhile, family members of policemen, who lost their lives during the attacks, were also present at today's event to pay tributes to 26/11 martyrs. The then Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare, Mumbai's Additional Police Commissioner Ashok Kamte, Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, and Senior Police Inspector Vijay Salaskar were among those killed in the attack.

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