‘Mumbai terror attack is an attack on every Indian’

November 27th, 2008 - 7:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Somnath ChatterjeeNew Delhi, Nov 27 (IANS) The terror strike in Mumbai is not just an assault on India’s financial capital but on every Indian and the secular fabric of the country, said leaders of political parties Thursday, condemning the dastardly attacks that have left at least 101 dead and more than 250 injured.The leaders also appealed to people to maintain calm and remain united.

“Such acts of terrorism are inadmissible and need to be condemned in the strongest possible terms,” said Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee in a statement.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi, condemning the terror strikes, termed these a challenge for the country.

“I am deeply shocked at the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. It’s a moment of challenge for the country and we have to fight it together,” Sonia Gandhi said in a statement.

She expressed her sympathies for the family members of police officials and other people who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks.

“All the officers who have laid down their lives are true patriots of this country. I express my sympathy with all of them,” Sonia Gandhi said.

Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, who is campaigning for the party in Rajasthan which goes to poll on Dec 4, expressed shock and said the attack was not on the metropolis but on every Indian.

“This attack is not on Mumbai, but on everyone here. It’s an attack on every part of India, on every Indian,” said Rahul Gandhi.

“They think they can divide us, but this is not going to happen, they think they can scare us but this is also not going to happen, they think they can confine us to our homes but we will come out, fight and defeat them and bring progress to India,” Rahul Gandhi said in an emotionally-charged statement.

He said he was told to avoid campaigning in Rajasthan as respect to those killed in Mumbai, “but I realised the real respect for them would be by coming out”.

Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said: “It is a terrible moment for the country. We need to remain calm and foil the attempts to divide the people of the country. Priority for the government at the moment is to control the situation on the ground. ”

“Such attacks need to be condemned vehemently. I express my shock and sympathy with the family members of those who were killed in the attacks. The country expects the government and the security agencies to uncover the full scope of these attacks and the forces behind it,” the Communist Party of India-Marxist politburo said in a statement.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), while condemning the attacks, said the strikes were a result of a long drawn conspiracy.

“The BJP strongly condemns the multi-pronged terror attack. We stand by and share the agony of the bereaved families who have lost their family members in the attacks. Such a well orchestrated attack could not have taken place without a long and large scale conspiracy,” said BJP office-bearers in a statement released under the chairmanship of L.K. Advani.

Shahid Siddiqui, senior leader of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), said the attacks are an assault on the unity and secular fabric of India.

“This is an attack on the unity, progress and development of India. Above all, it is an attack on the secular fabric of our country. I appeal to all those who believe in secularism to stand united against such attacks which are an attempt to divide the people of India,” Siddiqui said.

BSP chief Mayawati said this was not the time to “run down anyone” but to unite against terror. “After all, this is a serious crisis when the focus is only on saving the lives of those who are still trapped or to get hold of the terrorists,” Mayawati said at a press conference in Lucknow.

“It is time that all political parties rise to the occasion to sink their political differences and unite against terror,” she said.

The most audacious terror attack in Mumbai began Wednesday night when militants attacked high profile landmarks, including the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel, Oberoi Trident Hotel, Metro Theatre and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Railway Station. At least 101 people were killed and over 250 others injured.

The crisis continued Thursday with terrorists holding people hostage in the two five-star hotels.

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