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In Mumbai, Tensions Remain One Year After Deadly Attack

November 26, 2009 at 12:00 AM EDT
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One year after terrorist attacks rocked the Indian capital of Mumbai, Simon Israel of Independent Television News updates the political situation there.
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SIMON ISRAEL: India’s commandos used today’s anniversary for a display of security maneuvers, which were so absent when it mattered, a year ago.

A parade through the heart of Mumbai was an extravagant exhibition of the latest equipment in the multimillion-dollar efforts to beef up security since 10 gunmen rampaged through the city, killing 166 and injuring hundreds more.

They had come in on boats. These new police launchers were on show today to offer reassurance that it won’t happen again. The memories of what happened are stark. Panic had gripped the city. The railway station was littered with bodies. It was the scene of a massacre.

Today, in place of blood being shed, blood was being donated. One hundred beds were set up in the terminal, organized by the railway authorities. There were many candlelit vigils across Mumbai, not just in remembrance of the victims, but also to protest that still not enough is being done to improve a police force which was shamed for its inadequate response on the night.

MAN: This candlelight vigil is to raise awareness that the supreme court recommendations on police reforms have not been implemented by the government. Nothing has been done.

SIMON ISRAEL: Today’s show of force paraded past the Taj Mahal Hotel, which was the scene of a three-day siege, where, as the hotel blazed, the gunmen went from room to room, rounding up guests, who they either killed or held hostage, whilst the authorities struggled to gain control.

The Jewish center, which became the last refuge for two of the gunmen, has only just reopened. The walls are still as they were, the bullet holes a reminder of the horrors. It was here Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife, Rivka, were held hostage, then killed. Their two-year-old boy, Moshe, was rescued. Today saw his grandfather return for the first time.

RABBI SHIMON ROSENBERG, grandfather of Mumbai victim: When I come here and I see this, this place, I — my heart is in — I see this is the place for my children, is a place for Gavriel, for Rivka. It’s a place for the Moshe, the baby.

SIMON ISRAEL: The sole surviving gunman, Ajmal Kasab, has been on trial for seven months. The prosecution’s case against him runs to 11,000 pages.