Mumbai citizens to form human chain against terror Friday

December 11th, 2008 - 9:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Dec 11 (IANS) The worst-hit sites of last fortnight’s terror attacks - the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel, the Oberoi Trident Hotel and the Nariman House - will be the starting point Friday for Mumbaikars joining their hands in a human chain for peace and against terror.The effort, coordinated by NGO Mumbai for Peace through some 100 affiliated organisations, will see the participation of people from all walks of life, ages, faiths and linguistic groups.

Prominent citizens like Mahatma Gandhi’s great grandson Tushar Gandhi, poet-lyricist Javed Akhtar, Bollywood actor Rahul Bose, freedom fighter and former city mayor Shanti Patel and other celebrities will take part in the human chain at various locations around the city.

“It will start sharp at 12 noon tomorrow and people will come onto the streets and form the human chain in their respective localities, which will extend continuously all over the city,” said Jatin Desai, a spokesman for the NGO.

He added that although peoples’ participation in forming the human chain was on a “purely voluntary” basis, the effort has generated tremendous enthusiasm among Mumbaikars in the past few days.

“On a conservative estimate, we expect over 60,000 people, including office-goers, housewives, youth and students, to take part and form a huge human chain across Mumbai,” Desai said.

The NGO said that through this action, the citizens would demand that the government take responsibility and map out long-term and short-term strategies to deal with such terror attacks. This should be followed up with a swift, transparent and credible trail and punishment for all those involved in terror, whatever religion they may profess.

It has also demanded a comprehensive Anti-Communal Violence Bill in place of the one pending in parliament, immediate implementation of police reforms, providing equipment and training, basic service conditions to police personnel and the state security forces.

Through the effort, Mumbaikars will show that they are “united” in this ordeal despite the trauma and fear generated after the attack on its spirit by criminals who are without a shred of humanity or conscience, the NGO said in a statement.

The western route for the human chain starts at Nariman House in Colaba and goes on to Leopold Café, Taj Mahal Palace & Tower Hotel, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Cama & Albless Hospital and Metro Cinema - all targeted Nov 26 - and then via Crawford Market, Mazagaon, Sion Circle, Dharavi and Mahim Causeway till S.V. Road in Bandra.

On the eastern side, the human chain will start at Oberoi Trident Hotel and run via Maharshi Karve Road, Girgaum Road, August Kranti Maidan, Mahalaxmi temple, Haji Ali junction, Worli, Doordarshan Kendra, Prabhadevi and Mahim Causeway and till S.V. Road.

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