“Every one of us remembers and commemorates on this day the courage, fortitude and resilience of Mumbai and every citizen of the world who has known terror and has had to see it in its face and has not blinked but has stared back,” said Indian High Commissioner to the UK Vikram Doraiswami as he addressed a special evening at India House in London to commemorate the 26/11 terrorist attacks in Mumbai.
On November 26, 2008, India’s financial capital came under the brutal attack of terrorists who unleashed 12 coordinated strikes across parts of the city – including some of the city’s most iconic sites such as the Taj Mahal Palace hotel and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus – and claimed 166 innocent lives.
Priti Patel, British Indian Conservative Party MP and former UK Home Secretary, said: “There is one strong message that we must all take away: that terrorism will never win because we will always stand in the face of terrorism and perpetrators of terrorist activities. That is the one thing that unites us all.”
A Photo Exhibition curated to capture some of the most poignant images from the attacks and a film including a message from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the voices of many Indians and foreign tourists caught up in the attack marked the 14th anniversary of the attacks at the Indian High Commission in London.
Catherine West, Labour MP and Shadow Foreign Minister, noted: “We must all pull together to defeat terrorism… and today, together we say: never again.”
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The moving homage evening on November 26 also included a violin recital by celebrated Indian musician Sunita Bhuyan and floral tributes being laid at a shrine created outside India House.
The Taj Hotel at St. James’ Court in London also organised a candle-light tribute in memory of the staff members and guests who lost their lives in the attack at its Mumbai hotel 14 years ago.
Meanwhile, Indian diaspora groups gathered outside the Pakistan High Commission in London to register their protest against cross-border terrorism and the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist organisation linked with the attacks.
The Race, Ethnicity and Cultural Heritage (REACH) India UK Chapter led protest involved several British Indians carrying placards that read: “Stop Terrorism” and “United Against Terror”.