Mumbai Shocked By Deadly Attacks

Mumbai Shocked by Deadly Attacks

~Reetu Bajaj ‘12

It all began Wednesday, November 26th. Gunfire was heard at the Chhatrapati Shivaji railway station. Two gunmen stormed a crowded terminal, firing aimlessly. Soon, gunmen were found in the Cama and Albless Hospital. Gunmen also seized control of the Nariman House business and residential complex, the Café Leopold, the Oberoi-Trident hotel, the Taj Mahal Palace hotel, and the Times of India offices. On Thursday, standoff continues at a Jewish outreach centre and India’s prime minister and Pakistan’s president speak of getting rid of terrorism. Friday, the 28th of November, more gunfire and loud explosions were heard from the Taj and Jewish center, Nariman House and hostages were being shot. On Saturday, more gunfire was heard from inside the Taj and a couple of actors later, finally Indian police declare the Taj Mahal siege over, with the deaths of three gunmen.

The day after the siege’s end, the official death toll rose to 183. But the police said they were still waiting for the final figures of dead bodies pulled from the remains of the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower Hotel, the 105-year-old landmark where the attackers held out the longest. As investigations moved forward, many questions aroused if Indian authorities could have projected the attacks and had better security in place. India’s highest-ranking security official resigned on Sunday. The attacks have also increased tensions with Pakistan. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said earlier he assumed that a group based outside India was behind the killings and senior Indian politicians have said the only surviving gunman to be captured is from Pakistan. Some responsibility was made by a previously unknown group calling itself the Deccan Mujahideen – a reference to a mainly Muslim region of India. People continue to mourn the losses and question the government, asking “What is the action the government has taken? Why are these systems not replaced? What is it that went wrong?”

One student admitted “Whether we know people directly affected or not, we all lived through it and I know that we felt helpless, and maybe even guilty for not being home, just to be there and endure the silent sufferings, just to be a part of this gruesome story our friends, family and neighbors suffered through.” Many colleges across the country have planned to hold candlelight vigils in order to commemorate the terrorist attacks.

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