It is a quiet night at the Chowpatty beach in Mumbai. A few fishermen are sleeping at the beach and everything is quiet. Then two boats enter the beach with a total of 10 people onboard. They are all dressed in black and have a huge amount on weapons with them. The men split in different groups and travels by taxis to different places in Mumbai. Two of them move to Leopold Café where they open fire. Mumbai is under attack! The 10 terrorist held the city hostage for more than three days. At least 175 people got killed and more than 308 were injured. Most of you have probably seen the scenes from Taj Hotel that was broadcasted on television all over the world.
Today it is exactly two years since the terror attack on Mumbai. I have now visited most of the places that was under attack. Mumbaians are quite extraordinary people, and they very soon decided that the attack should not disturb their daily life and ruin their lives.
How did the attack affect the city? Well, one thing is surely that the security has been tightened quite a bit. At places like the Taj hotel or CST (Victoria train station) you now have to go through quite a few security barriers to enter. I must admit that the security at the hotel seems quite much better than then one at the railway station. At the railway they don’t have any bomb detection equipment, just some police people sitting there. But at the hotel the security seems very good and very tight. I actually visited the hotel at the 9th of September with an American colleague, which was off course quite a strange feeling.
Café Leopold is maybe the place that has gained the most of the terror attack, if it is possible to use such a word. The attach, and the book Shantaram made the café even more popular among foreign tourists, and it is almost always full of people.
Of the terrorists, only one of them was captured alive. He is now in jail in Mumbai, and they have tried to get his trial done for some time now, but it seems like it is quite difficult to give him a fair trial. The attack off course made the relation between India and Pakistan, a relationship that have not been that good, even worse. India very soon pointed on Pakistan as the place where the terrorists came from. And the fact that this is even highlighted in the news in India today probably says something about this.
Ok. I will go back to Mumbai tomorrow. Talk to you soon.