India: Mumbai pauses to remember 26/11 victims

Mumbai, 26 Nov. (AKI/IANS) - Citizens in the Indian city of Mumbai went to school, college and office as any other day but also paused to honour the memory of the 170 people killed in the devastating 60-hour terror strike last year.

Thousands of commuters rushing to their offices halted to pay respects to those who slaughtered in the attacks on the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) rail station.

Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel also laid wreaths inside the station to remember the commuters and their colleagues brutally gunned down by 10 terrorists

And while Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and his cabinet colleagues visited the precincts of the Hotel Trident-Oberoi at Nariman Point to offer homage to the victims killed there, a group of people gathered outside the Leopold Cafe in Colaba - where the first attack was launched on this day a year ago.

The Force One - the new crack security force of the state government launched on Tuesday - made its first public appearance by staging a parade in the city early on Thursday.

The Mumbai police will have a separate parade later this morning and display the latest arms and ammunition it has acquired in the past year after the attacks.

Later in the day, Chavan will attend a memorial organised by the Indian Merchants Chamber where the corporate world will pay homage to the 26/11 victims.

Last night, the Citizens Initiative for Peace organised a candle-light march to the Taj Mahal Palace hotel - one of two hotels targeted by the gunmen, only one of whom survived.

This evening, the ravaged Chabad House, a Jewish community centre also targeted by the terrorists will be reopened with a commemorative prayer meeting which will be webcast live.

Home Minister P. Chidambaram was due to inaugurate a memorial to honour the martyrs erected by the Mumbai police Thursday evening and also attend a condolence meeting at the Sahyadri State Guest House.

The state has also organised an all-religious prayer meeting at the Gateway of India in the evening that will be attended by prominent members of society and the masses.

Many other moments of silence, remembering and mourning were slated throughout the day, but the morning rush hour showed the resilience of India's financial and entertainment capital, with commuter trains and buses packed and roads as choked with traffic as ever.


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