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26/11 Mumbai Attack- The full story

November 26, 2008 is considered as one of the darkest day in the History of India. With so many advanced both technologically and in the surveillance techniques it is difficult to understand how this dark day came into existence. Understanding the happenings of the event we shall understand the flow of the happenings on the day. On 23rd November, 2008, ten Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists, trained by Pakistani spy agency ISI, began their deadly journey from Karachi through sea route. They entered India three days after on November 26, after killing an Indian fisherman and capturing his ship.

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Once they reached Mumbai they activated their telephones and were constantly instructed by their ISI heads as to what shall be the course of actions. They targeted several high-profile places including Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, Taj Hotel at the Gateway of India, Cafe Leopold, Chabad House, Rang Bhavan Lane near Cama Hospital and St Xavier's College where many were killed at the hands of these terrorists.

More than 160 people including 18 police officers and two NSG commandoes were killed during this massacre. 310 people were injured during the struggle for survival while the rescue operation continued for about 60 hours.

26/11 MUMBAI TERROR ATTACKS: SEQUENCE OF EVENTS

  1. As per the reports by various agencies the terrorists were dressed as tourists. A total of 10 terrorists were spotted by a local fisherman while they were dropping off from their boat near Badhwar Park. There they emptied their bags full of explosives and carried AK47 assault rifles in their rucksacks to execute the operation.
  2. Out of the ten LeT terrorists, later in the investigations it was found that eight got off near the shore while two of the gunmen went back into the sea. The two  headed towards the 5 star hotels at Nariman Point- Trident and Oberoi which was their target point.
  3. As per the statement of the fisherman, the eight terrorists, who entered at the Machchhimar Nagar near Badhwar Park in Mumbai's Cuffe Parade area, divided into four pairs. From where they spread across the city to complete their deadly and inhuman mission  for three days in Mumbai, killing around 25 foreigners amongst the others.
  4. The ammunitions that each of the terrorists carried included AK47 automatic rifle, around 500 rounds of ammunition, pistols, hand grenades and improvised explosive devices. They had enough ammunition to keep the city awake for next 3 days in horror and suffering.  
  5. It was around 9.20 pm when the first attack took place at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. Mohammed Ajmal Kasab (the terrorist that was caught later) and Ismail Khan attacked the CST where fifty-eight people were killed in a-half-hour indiscriminate gun firing . The videos of the CCTV show how blood and screams had plundered the CST with no one having a clue as to what had just happened. The police at the station was clueless with this sudden attack.
  6. Just 8-10 minutes later another attack took place at the Nariman House area. The second group of terrorists set a gas station on fire before attacking Jewish Chabad Lubavitch outreach centre. The Rabbi, his wife and five Israeli hostages were killed here. The only survivals were Rabbi’s two-year-old child and his housemaid who struggled to keep the baby safe all along the attack.
  7. The next point of target was the Leopold Cafe, another elite restaurant. Again an indiscriminate fire was opened at the dining crowd. The Nariman House locality attack and Leopald Café attack almost happened simultaneously giving very little time for the Mumbai police to understand the happenings or course of these attacks. The terrorists who attacked the Leopald Café were later identified as Shoaib and Umer. They later headed to the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel while planting bombs in taxis on their way.
  8. Taj was the meeting point for the terrorists Shoaib and Umer met with LeT gunmen Abdul Rehman Bada and Abu Ali. They even left IED for the Leopold Cafe attackers outside the hotel.  It was between 9.35 pm and 10 pm that Taj was now on target of the terrorists and was under attack. Simultaneously Oberoi-Trident Hotel was under attack by the terrorists. The terrorists made their way through the restaurant entrance and started showering bullets into the gathered crowd.
  9. The only terrorist to be captured alive was Ajmal Kasab. After attacking CST railway station, he and Ismail Khan had targeted the Cama Hospital. Afterwards he ambushed a police team and killed six officials including ATS chief Hemant Karkare and captured their jeep in which they commuted across Mumbai.
  10. Kasab and Ismail Khan were targeted near Girgaum Chowpatty by the Mumbai police. It was here when Tukaram Omble grabbed the barrel of the rifle from Ajmal Kasab and this gave the police team time to subdue Kasab and capture him. He was the only living terrorist after the attack and was kept under tight security. He was later sentenced to death in May 2010. Kasab was hanged at the Yerawada jail in Pune in November 2012.

COST OF CAPTURING AJMAL KASAB

As per the Maharashtra government report they spent around 53.5 Crore on Ajmal Kasab in jail. The government spend around 43 Crore on the special security at Arthur Jail, expenses on judicial officers, security of lawyers and judges involved in the case and special public prosecutor.

An additional Rs 8 crores were spent on a high security cell for Kasab. It was reported that even if a truck filled with explosives bombarded the cell, the cell would still be secure.

Rs. 1.5 Crore were spent on a ward that was constructed at the J J hospital where Kasab was kept and Rs 1 Crore were spent on infrastructure and vehicles.

The cost of security around the jail was Rs3.5 Lakh per day. The costs of his food and medicines had to be further added.

What did Kasab say in his statement?

Judge M.L  Tahiliyani was the prosecuting judge over the case and the statements of Kasab were recorded by him. As per the reports Kasab repeatedly said that he had no involvement in the 26/11 attacks and was captured by the Mumbai police 20 days before the 26/11 attacks from the Juhu Chopati. He agreed to belong to Fardikot village in Pakistan's Punjab but he claimed to have come to Mumbai in search of work in movies.  

Kasab denied about his recorded statements by the magistrate and said those statements were recorded wrongly or under pressure.

The lawyer fighting the case for Kasab was K.B Pawar and that one the other end was Ejaz Naqvi,

In the earlier statement given just after the attack Kasab told that Lashkar-e-Toiba’s chief of anti-India operations Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi was the most important person in the LeT and the mastermind behind the operations in Mumbai.

His statement read “Us waqt Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi ne hamey, ‘Ab jehad ka waqt aa gaya hain,’ aisey batakar usne kaha, ‘Hamara jamaat pandrah saalonsey Kashmir mein ladh raha hain. Iske bavjood bhi Hindustani siyasat Kashmir ko aazad nahi kar rahi hain. Ab hamey Hindustan ke saath jung ladhkar Kashmir ko hasil karna hain.” Uske baad Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi ne hamsey poocha, “Kya tum is jung ke liye tayyar ho.” (Then Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi told us, “It’s time for jihad. Our group has been fighting in Kashmir for 15 years. Despite this, Indian politics is not allowing Kashmir to be free. Now we need to wage war with India and get Kashmir”. He then asked us, “Are you ready for this war.)”


Kasab said that while he was at a training camp held at Baitul Mujahideen in Muzzafarabad in May, June and July 2008, he saw Hafiz Saeed and Lakhvi once hug a man who was introduced to him later as ‘Major General Saheb’.

In September 2008, after his training he was taken back to Baitul Mujahideen, where Hafiz Saeed and Lakhvi allegedly asked them about the marine training, Kasab stated. He added that after three days, Saeed and Lakhvi sent six recruits – Abu Dajana, Abu Hamza, Abu Al Qasam, Abu Abdullah, Abu Umer Kaala and Abu Zuber – to Kashmir to carry out a fidayeen attack.

Kasab added that around 10 days later, Saeed, Lakhvi, Muzammil, Abu Al Qama, Abu Hamza, Abu Kahfa and Abu Umar Saaed called Kasab and the other recruits to the Baitul Mujahideen office, where Lakhvi told them , “Hindustan ki maali dalat Bambai se hain, isliye humey Bambai par hamla karna jaroori hain. Aap sab mujahideeno ne samandari raastey ke baarey mein achi training li hain. Hum samandari raastey se Bambai par hamla karenge.” (India’s financial wealth comes from Mumbai, that’s why we have to attack Mumbai. All you mujahideens have been trained well on the sea route. We will attack Mumbai from the sea.)

In 2012 Kasab was hanged at the Yerawada jail in Pune.

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