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Poonam Singh

Mumbai:  On the 12th anniversary of the 26/11 Mumbai attack, Mumbai paid homage to the martyrs and victims felled by bullets and brave-hearts who helped save and secure the city from the assault by 10 Pakistani terrorists, here on Thursday.

"Their sacrifice will never be erased from the memory of time and history. Today, we pay tribute to our saviours #2611Attack #2611Martyrs," Mumbai Police tweeted.

Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray led the state by solemnly laying wreaths at the new Martyrs' Memorial erected inside the Mumbai Police Commissionerate premises near Crawford Market in south Mumbai.

The other dignitaries included Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, Tourism Minister Aditya Thackeray, Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar, Director-General of Police Subodh Jaiswal, Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh and other officers.

A large number of Police personnel also paid homage to their colleagues who had been martyred in the terror attacks carried out at key locations in south Mumbai, with a special thought for Tukaram G. Omble, who sacrificed his life in nabbing the sole terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab alive early on Nov. 27, 2008.

Later, the relatives of the martyrs and several brave-hearts also turned up to pay homage to their departed kin as the Governor, Chief Minister and other top officials waited and acknowledged them with folded hands.

The relatives including widows, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers or sisters stepped upto the memorial and offered their own personal tributes with flowers or tears for their near and dear ones.

Several other relatives of victims felled during the terrorists' mayhem at various locations in a tiny area of south Mumbai also paid homage at the Martyrs Memorial and other locations.

Ratan Tata, chairman of Tata Trusts, tweeted: "The wanton destruction that took place 12 years ago today will never be forgotten..."

Remebering their personnel killed in the attack, the Maharashtra Police in a tweet said, "A tribute to the ones who sacrificed their lives to safeguard the rest!"

"Saluting the bravehearts whose sacrifice still ignites the spirits of millions #2611Attack #2611Martyrs #SalutingMartyrs," Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh tweeted.

On November 26, 2008, 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists from Pakistan arrived by sea route and opened fire, killing 166 people, including 18 security personnel, and injuring several others during the 60-hour siege in Mumbai.

The then Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) chief Hemant Karkare, Army Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, Mumbai's Additional Police Commissioner Ashok Kamte, Senior Police Inspector Vijay Salaskar and Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Tukaram Omble were among those killed in the attack.

The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, the Oberoi Trident, the Taj Mahal Hotel, Leopold Cafe, Cama Hospital and the Nariman House Jewish community centre, now renamed Nariman Light House, were some of the places targeted by terrorists.

Nine terrorists were later killed by the security forces, including the NSG, the country's elite commando force.

Ajmal Kasab was the only terrorist who was captured alive. He was hanged four years later on November 21, 2012.

For the first time in 12 years, the memorial function was held at the new Martyrs Memorial built recently at the Mumbai Police Commissionerate premises after it was shifted from the Mumbai Police Gymkhana at Marine Drive, where tunneling work of the ongoing coastal road project is underway.

(With Agency Inputs)

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