Mumbai: Mumbai on Saturday paid solemn tributes to the victims and martyrs of the 26/11 terror attack on its third anniversary as India lamented lack of "decisive" action by Pakistan against the plotters despite evidence provided by it to prosecute them.

READ MORE:26/11: Survivors await Kasab's execution


There was no uncontrolled outburst of emotions, no photographs of martyred policemen peering down from massive hoardings in bustling streets and no smart parade by the anti-terror force as a sense of deja vu marked the remembrance events.
  
Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, his cabinet colleagues and top government functionaries paid homage to the men in uniform who gallantly laid down their lives in the line of duty and others felled by the 10 Pakistani terrorists.
  
Wreaths were placed at the Police Memorial and a minute's silence observed in the memory of the 18 security personnel, including ATS chief Hemant Karkare, who made the supreme sacrifice during the three-day siege.
  
Karkare's widow Kavita, Vaishali Omble, daughter of Tukaram Omble, the policemen who resolutely took the bullets in his chest but did not allow terrorist Ajmal Kasab to escape, and Smita Salaskar, widow of Vijay Salaskar, encounter specialist who was killed with Hemant Karkare, were present.
  
As Mumbaikars engaged in solemn remembrance, India voiced its displeasure with Pakistan over the delay in bringing the plotters of the attack to justice.
  
"We are still waiting for Pakistan to act decisively to bring to justice the perpetrators of the mindless violence that was unleashed on Mumbai. We are still waiting," External Affairs Minister S M Krishna told reporters in Delhi.  Krishna also said that the use of terrorism as an instrument of state policy had no place in today's world and is self-destructive.
  
He deplored that despite the evidence given by the Home Ministry to Pakistan which he said was sufficient for "any normal court" to prosecute the accused, no decisive action had been taken.
  
"I think the evidence provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs would be sufficient for any normal civilian court to prosecute the people involved in the conspiracy and the perpetrators of this crime," Krishna said.  

"I once again call on our neighbour to bring the perpetrators of the crime to speedy justice," he said. 

As Mumbai got immersed in silent prayers, Ajmal Kasab, the only living terrorist of 26/11 attack, sentenced to death for the massacre, had no sense of the day, having lost the track of time with no access to newspapers and hardly any conversation with the securitymen guarding him.
  
"His day began like any other day. He had a breakfast of banana, milk and Poha (puffed rice flakes with potatoes) this morning and lunch in the afternoon. Going by his mental status, we do not think we should talk to him or inform him about the third anniversary (of the attack)," an official at the Arthur Road jail said.
  
"Our priority is to protect Kasab in the jail. Going by the serious nature of their job, why should any security personnel closely guarding him strike a conversation with him on the attacks or anniversary?" he asked.

Bring perpetrators to speedy justice: Krishna


External Affairs Minister SM Krishna on Saturday called upon Pakistan to bring the perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack to 'speedy' justice.'I once again call upon Pakistan to bring perpetrators and conspirators of this crime to speedy justice,' Krishna said on the third anniversary of the audacious attacks by Pakistani terrorists in 2008 in which 166 people were killed.

India is still waiting for Pakistan to 'act decisively', he added.

'Issues have to be resolved through a peaceful dialogue,' Krishna said.

Ajmal Amir Kasab was the only one of the 10 Pakistani terrorists who attacked Mumbai Nov 26, 2008 to be caught alive. They attacked at prominent locations in the city.

Kasab has been found guilty of killing at least 59 people in the carnage. He has been charged with murder and waging war against the Indian state amongst other crimes.

He was sentenced to death May 6, 2010 by special judge M.L. Tahaliyani. He then appealed to the Bombay High Court, which Feb 21, 2011 upheld the death penalty following which he appealed in the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court Oct 10 this year stayed the execution of the death sentence. It directed completion of pleading by Nov 30 and that the appeal be listed for final hearing Jan 31, 2012.

BJP assails Centre on counter terror steps

Taking on the government on the third anniversary of the Mumbai attacks, BJP on Saturday said it has failed to take effective steps to counter terrorism and emphasised on the need for putting international pressure on Pakistan to hand over those involved in the case.

Paying homage to those killed in the attack, BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said, "Every countryman thought that now the government will take steps so that the country
will be safe. But, unfortunately terror attacks continued to take place in Mumbai and Delhi also."

The BJP charged that though NIA had been created and a slew of measures announced post-26/11, not a single terror module has been tracked and successfully investigated.

"No terrorist or real culprits have been nabbed. Not a single terrorist could be captured. People are really worried and concerned about the safety. We deplore this failure of the
government to make the country safe and secure and nab the culprits," Javadekar said.

He maintained that the perpetrators and handlers of the 26/11 terror attack were still walking free in Pakistan and have not been punished despite India handing over sufficient
evidence.

"Pakistan is not serious about bringing them to justice and is actually sheltering them... Against this backdrop, our Prime Minister has called his Pakistani counterpart a man of
peace which is ridiculous," Javadekar said.

He insisted that India should have made these attacks "a prestige issue" and built international pressure on Pakistan. "But our Prime Minister has himself called Pakistan a
victim of terror like India at the Sharm-el-Sheikh meeting.... Today, when US President Barack Obama can proudly say that his country is safe, our Prime Minister unfortunately cannot make such a claim," Javadekar said.

BJP alleged that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had in fact rubbed salt on the wounds of the people.

The opposition also raised the issue of the funds spent on 26/11 convict Ajmal Kasab and government laxity in pursuing the case against Pakistan.  "It is unfortunate that the expenditure incurred on Kasab is more than the money spent on victims of the 26/11
attacks," Javadekar said.

Sachin, Dhoni pay homage to martyrs

Batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar and Indian cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni paid floral tributes to the victims of the 26/11 terror attacks, at the iconic Taj Hotel in Mumbai on Saturday.

Before boarding the team bus for the fifth and final day's play of the third and final Test against the West Indies, the star cricketers, staying at the Taj Mahal Hotel --one of the sites under siege by terrorists-- paid homage to the victims by offering flowers at the Gateway of India.

"It was a terrible attack on Mumbai. The Indian team was playing that day in Cuttack and all of us were stunned on hearing the news. First of all, we were not sure about what exactly happened but when we got back to our room and switched on the TV, we were shocked," Sachin said.

"And today, on 26/11/2011, we are staying in the same Taj that was attacked by terrorists. It was indeed a strange feeling. That is why Dhoni and I thought of offering our heartfelt homage to those who lost their lives during this attack," he said.

The master blaster also thanked the jawans and the security men, who laid down their lives in the line of duty to protect the country.

Dhoni, who was recently conferred with the rank of honorary lieutenant colonel by the Territorial Army, praised the jawans and commandos saying that they were the ones who deserved to be treated as heroes and not the cricketers.

"I always feel proud as an Indian citizen -- more so, as Captain of the Indian team. Cricket matches are like, say, mini battles because you are representing your country. That’s why incidents like 26/11 leave us in a state of shock. We often wonder why it happens. We were really moved after seeing the destruction caused by these incidents."
"I think we are only sport heroes but the real life heroes are those people. It is really impossible to describe their deeds in words. Yeah, but we feel happy and satisfied when we come to know that they like to watch us play," he added.

(JPN/Agencies)