10-year-old joins Mumbai in fight against terror (Lead)

November 30th, 2008 - 10:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Nov 30 (IANS) Ten-year-old Nidhi did not face the bullets of terrorists but the images of the attack in Mumbai broadcast live on news channels have seared her feeligs.A visibly shaken Nidhi Sunday came to the Taj Mahal Hotel, one of the spots in the city where gun-wielding terrorists created mayhem for nearly 60 hours, to light a candle in remembrance of those who sacrificed their lives to save others.

Nidhi was one among the hundreds of denizens of the city who thronged the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel to make their voices heard.

“I am praying for those who killed the terrorists and died to save us,” said Nidhi, as she lighted a candle.

Joining her hands in prayer, she added: “I want that there should not be any attack by terrorists in future.”

Nidhi’s grief is a manifestation of the anger of the common people that spilled over the roads of the city Sunday, a day after the security forces wrested three locations, including two luxury hotels and a Jewish centre, from the terrorists brandishing AK-47s and grenades.

Hundreds of Mumbaikars gathered in front of the hotel and criticised politicians for failing to tackle terrorism.

The protesters, a majority of whom comprised youth, carried banners demanding political accountability. They also hoisted the national flag at the site.

A protestor said: “We saw the National Security Guard (NSG), the army and the police at their best while tackling the crisis. But what were the politicians doing? Where were they in those crucial moments?”

The gathering took place Sunday afternoon, a day after the Mumbai terror tragedy ended, leaving 183 people, including 22 foreigners, dead.

Many others at the protest expressed anguish that terror had become a regular feature in the city of Mumbai that has witnessed a spate of attacks since 1993 when 257 people were killed in a series of deadly bomb blasts.

“We want politicians to own up responsibility. We have had enough,” said another youngster.

An elderly man said he hoped that the public outcry would reach to politicians “who seemed to be in hiding”.

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