26/11, eleven years ago, marked the beginning of the nightmare that brought Mumbai to its knees with a 60-hour seize. 12 coordinated shooting and bombing attacks were carried out as a part of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, launched by 10 members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, an Islamic terrorist organization based in Pakistan. These terrorists had entered India’s financial epicenter via waterways to set one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in world history in motion. It began on 26 November 2008, Wednesday and lasted until Saturday 29 November 2008 claiming 174 lives and leaving hundreds wounded. State of Siege: 26/11 is an upcoming ZEE5 Original web series based on the attacks of 26/11.
Inspired from the book Black Tornado: The Three Sieges of Mumbai 26/11 by Sandeep Unnithan, the series stars Arjan Bajwa, Arjun Bijlani and Mukul Dev in the lead roles, along with Vivek Dahiya, Tara Alisha Berry, Sid Makkad, Vikram Gaikwad and Avinash Wadhwan.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, the arriving point of millions of dreamers who flock the city to make it big, was under attack. Besides, Mumbai Chabad House, The Oberoi Trident, The Taj Palace & Tower, Leopold Cafe, Cama Hospital, The Nariman House, the Metro Cinema, and in a lane behind the Times of India building and St. Xavier’s College amongst others were attacked too. There was also an explosion at Mazagaon, in Mumbai’s port area, and in a taxi at Vile Parle. 2019 marks eleven years of the tragedy that the world will never forget. Here’s taking a look back at the events that unfolded in the four days of terror taking over.
1. Ten terrorists of Lashkar-e-Tayyiba barged into various Mumbai buildings, killing 164 people. Mohammed Ajmal Kasab was the only surviving gunman and was executed in November 2012.
2. The terrorists travelled from Karachi in Pakistan to Mumbai via a boat. They had hijacked a fishing trawler, murdering the people onboard and slitting the captain’s throat.
3. The attackers docked at the waterfront near Gateway of India, split into groups and hijacked cars to reach various destinations in Mumbai.
4. The terrorists even hijacked a police van, and carried automatic weapons and grenades on them.
5. The attacks began around 9:30 pm, with Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station being attacked first.
6. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station: Ismail Khan and Ajmal Kasab opened fire using AK-47 rifles, shooting 58 people dead and injuring many more on the night of November 26, 2008. The fired at pedestrians and police officers too before fleeing the scene.
7. Cafe Leopold: It was one of the first sites to be attacked. Two gunmen, Shoaib alias Soheb and Nazir alias Abu Umer, opened fire on the evening of 26 November between 9.30 and 9.48 pm, killing 10 people (including some foreigners) and injuring more.
8. Cama and Albless Hospital: Six police officers including Hemant Karkare, Vijay Salaskar, Ashok Kamte and one of their officers were killed in an ambush on November 26, 2008.
9. Bomb blasts in Vile Parle: Two timer bombs went off in taxis at Vile Parle and Wadi Bunder respectively between 10:20 pm to 10:40 pm. About five lost their lives and 15 were left injured.
10. Nariman House: Nariman House, a Chabad Lubavitch Jewish center in Colaba known as the Mumbai Chabad House, was taken over by two attackers and several residents were held, hostage. Seven lives claimed in a three-day seize from November 26-28.
11. Oberoi-Trident Hotel: 30 people killed between 26-28 November.
12. Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel: 31 people killed between 26-29 November.
The NSG Raid:
13. Both Taj and Oberoi were surrounded by Rapid Action Force personnel and Marine Commandos (MARCOS) and National Security Guards (NSG) commandos.
14. NSG commandoes fast-roped their way from helicopters onto the roof, covered by snipers positioned in nearby buildings. Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan of the NSG was killed during the rescue of Commando Sunil Yadav. 32 hostages were killed at the Oberoi Trident.
15. By November 28 morning, the NSG had secured the Jewish outreach center at Nariman House as well as the Oberoi Trident hotel.
16. The final operation at the Taj Palace hotel was completed by the NSG commandos at 8 am on 29 November, concluding it by killing three attackers.
17. The NSG rescued 250 people from the Oberoi, 300 from the Taj and 60 people (members of 12 different families) from Nariman House.
18. The police seized a boat filled with arms and explosives anchored at Mazgaon dock off Mumbai harbour.
19. Kasab formally was charged in February, 2009.
20. After an arrest in October 2009, US citizen David Coleman Headley (aka Daood Gilani) pleaded guilty in March 2010. He was accused of scouting locations to attack in Mumbai.
21. On November 21, 2012, Kasab was executed at 7:30 a.m. in an Indian prison.
22. In January 2013, Headley sentenced to 35 years in prison.
23. Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, the leader of a group associated with Lashkar-e-Tayyiba was arrested by Pakistan’s Counter-Terrorism Department in July, 2019 on charges related to 26/11 attacks.
24. Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi still not convicted.
Watch Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, socially relevant film, now streaming on ZEE5 and further raise awareness for sanitation and hygiene this year.