Address by Governor of Maharashtra at the Commemorative meeting organised by the Diplomatic Community of Mumbai to pay tributes to the victims of 26/11 terrorist attacks
Address by Shri CH. Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra at the Commemorative meeting organised by the Diplomatic Community of Mumbai to pay tributes to the victims of 26/11 terrorist attacks at the Bombay Gymkhana, Mumbai at 7.30 p.m. on Sunday, 26 November 2017
Shri Devendra Fadnavis, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Smt Amruta Fadnavis, Shri Kiren Rijiju, Hon’ble Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Mr David Carmon, Ambassador of Israel in India, Shri Gul Kripalani, all distinguished members of the Diplomatic Community, Religious leaders, members of the Shillong Choir, invitees, fellow Mumbaikars, ladies and gentlemen,
At the outset, I thank Mr Gul Kripalani, Chairman of the Honorary Consular Corps Diplomatique and Vice Dean of the Consular Corps Association for his initiative in organizing this Commemorative event to remember the martyrs and innocent citizens of India and other countries who lost their lives in the terrorist attack on Mumbai 9 years ago.
Even as we assemble here to remember the victims of 26/11, we are horrified by the news that Egypt has suffered the deadliest of terrorist attacks two days ago. According to media reports, the attack on a mosque in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt has claimed the lives of 300 innocent people who were offering Friday Prayers. It further confirms the fact that terrorists have no religion. My heart goes out, to the next kin of every single victim of the terrorist attack in Egypt.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I stand before you with a deep sense of sorrow, anguish and bereavement. Memories of 26 / 11 refuse to fade away from the collective conscience of the nation, and particularly that of the city of Mumbai.
Mumbai has been targeted by terrorists on many occasions. But the terrorist attack of 26 /11 that lasted for 3 days, was among the most traumatic and painful attacks for the city, as indeed for the whole of nation.
The terrorist violence had claimed the lives of hundreds of innocent people and devastated several hundred families.
The terrorists of 26 /11, receiving overt and covert support from the neighbouring ‘nursery of terrorists’, targeted places like the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus Railway Station, Hotels, Cafeteria and Community Centre like Chabad House – which offer succour to the tired and the needy.
We lost hundreds of innocent people, brave police officers and personnel of the elite National Security Guard, Hotel staff, industrialists and tourists. No words are adequate to condemn the dastardly act. Likewise, nothing can fill the void caused by their demise in the life of surviving families.
It is painful to recall that a 2-year old child, Moshe Holtzberg was held hostage for 14 hours and his parents killed. The Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi had made it a point to meet Moshe Holtzberg during his visit to Israel.
It is most unfortunate that the mastermind behind the terrorist attack, Hafeez Saeed, – a declared terrorist, has been released and has threatened to renew his war against India.
Fortunately and thankfully, the world has united against terrorism. Globally, terrorism has been acknowledged as the biggest common threat, going by different names, but with the common philosophy of hate, murder and violence. The world has acknowledged the fact that there is no good or bad terrorism; terrorism is pure evil.
The fact that members of the diplomatic community representing various nations have assembled here today demonstrates the firm resolve and determination of the world to fight terrorism with all might. International community will have to join hands to eradicate terrorism, terrorist infrastructure and destroy safe heavens of terrorists.
We also need the willing cooperation of citizens in identifying and isolating terrorist networks. Vigilance is also necessary in the Cyberspace as terrorist organisations are making use of social media to attract youth of impressionable age to their divisive organisations.
This day presents an opportunity to review our security preparedness to face and tackle any challenge thrown by terrorists.
I pay my respects to the martyrs and innocent civilians who lost their lives in the 26 /11 terrorist attack. I salute each and every citizen and members of the armed forces, paramilitary forces and the State Police who nullified the terrorist attack and who have since protected the nation with utmost vigilance and dedication.
Finally, I convey my appreciation to Smt Amruta Fadnavis and members of the Shillong Choir for paying musical tribute to the martyrs and departed souls.