Civil Society, socio-cultural groups, student bodies, anti-terror forums and citizens from all walks of life came together to observe the thirteenth anniversary of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack. They condemned the barbarity of the attack by terror groups based in Pakistan as well as expressed solidarity with the innocent victims killed during that episode. They also called on the international community to put pressure on Pakistan to take action against the perpetrators who are being sheltered and financed by the Pakistan government, said a press release.
It was November 26 in 2008, a group of ten Pakistani nationals trained by proscribed terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) carried out a daring and gruesome attack on 166 innocent people which included foreign nationals from USA, Canada, Jordan, Malaysia, Mauritius and other countries. Investigations revealed that LeT with the assistance of Pak Deep State had planned, financed and executed the Mumbai carnage.
The masterminds behind the attack, mainly LeT Ameer Hafiz Saeed and his accomplice Zakiur Rahman Lakhvi, had planned the attack and trained the militant cadres. Even after thirteen years, the perpetrators of this heinous crime remained unpunished in spite of repeated sanctions by United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and Paris based watchdog agency Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
To mark the occasion, a number of programmes were organised in major districts and towns which included discussion seminars, street drama, protest demonstrations, candle-light vigil march, movie screening and a host of other activities. The highlight of the day was a photo–exhibition organised by Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee at the renowned Shilpkala Academy in Dhaka which was inaugurated by Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal in the presence of High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh Vikram K Doraiswami and other distinguished guests. The exhibition highlighted the horrors inflicted by Pak sponsored terror groups through seventy framed photos. The violent face of Pakistan which is promoting terrorism to destabilise the entire region was on display in the exhibition. Apart from the photos of Mumbai attack, terror incidents of August 15, 1975; August 21, 2004 grenade attack and Holey Artisan attack in 2016 were also showcased in the exhibition.
In Dhaka, renowned theatre artists gave a somber tribute to the martyrs as well as victims of Mumbai attack by enacting the drama depicting the incident through an emotion filled performance. The performance was witnessed by the huge crowd at a popular mall in the evening hours. Muktijoddah Mancha, a platform of descendants of freedom fighters protested in front of the Pakistan High Commission in Dhaka with banners and placards condemning the role of Pakistan government in sheltering masterminds of the attacks and called for global efforts in bringing the perpetrators to justice.
Bangladesh Online Activist Forum (BOAF) organised a discussion meeting cum seminar titled ‘International Terrorism and Mumbai Attacks’ at the National Press Club in Dhaka which was attended by a host of eminent panelists. Around two hundred volunteers with torch light/candles gathered at the Shaheed Minar and paid tributes to the martyrs. Later, a documentary movie was also screened at Shahbagh on this occasion which drew people’s attention in large numbers.
Hundreds of volunteers from different organisations working against terrorism in the districts of Rajshahi, Chattogram, Sylhet, Khulna, Satkhira, Jashore and Cumilla also organised protest demonstration, formed human chain and arranged bike rallies to mark the occasion.
Bangladesh is no stranger to the acts of terrorism as the country itself has witnessed major terror activities in the August, 2004 Grenade attack and the more recent Holey Artisan Bakery attack in July, 2016. As India’s immediate neighbour with a land boundary of more than 4,000 kms, it is in the interest of both Bangladesh and India to fight the common enemy of terrorism which is the scourge of mankind. The directive of the government to read anti-militancy Fatwa before the Friday prayers indicates the resolve of the government to root out tensions.