18February2019

Andaman Chronicle

The Daily Diary of the Islands

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That Night of Terror..!

On that Night of Terror ten years ago, I was just a few feet away as hundreds died! The Press Club where I was spending that evening and finally the whole night, along with the Editor of the Trinity Mirror is situated a few hundred feet from both the CST station where innocents were mercilessly gunned down, and the Madam Cama hospital where others were ruthlessly shot point blank that night, and a kilometer from the Taj Hotel where mass executions took place. As gunshots receded, we heard the sound of the lone jeep which sped down the road outside, and which carried the three brave officers who became lifeless bodies in a few minutes.

I saw photographers running in, unloading ghastly pictures of the bloodied railway station, where terrified men, women and children, in crouching positions, behind sad, pathetic remnants of their baggage were mowed down by the machine guns of Kasab and his accomplice.

I was hardly a few feet away, and it was only providence that did not allow these terrorists from walking towards the bright lit Mumbai Press Club, where we would have all been sitting ducks for slaughter.

But I believe there’s a reason we scribes were spared; and that, to tell the world, “Never Again!”

Never again should such carnage take place, where both poor and wealthy were targeted and killed, even as they looked at their bloodied selves with lifeless eyes, asking ‘Why?”

Yes why? What made Kasab and gang to willingly sail stormy seas, risk their lives from Navy and Coast Guard, strut through strangers and walk fearlessly into four different locations to kill, and be killed?

Why? Well, evidence gathered, shows they had been fed with scenes of atrocities and conditioned to believe that injustice of a high magnitude was being inflicted on their community in our country. In their minds, they repaid hate with hate. And that is how terrorism thrives; on the wheels of hate!

Those wheels are turning now. With no thought of the damage this can do to our nation, hate is being used as a tool to win elections. Anger, harnessed to create the right atmosphere for violence, and with violence comes injustice as we have seen time and again.

I was hardly a few feet away when the carnage took place. Why, were we spared? I believe, to warn the nation today, that this atmosphere being cunningly created will lead ultimately to more innocents losing life, limb and loved ones!

You can stop it! By stopping such leaders from spreading their messages of animosity, and by you yourself, learning to speak and act without hurting others who do not worship as you do!

Lifeless eyes, from the Taj, CST station, Leopold Café and the Jewish House, plead silently, “Not again..!” 

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  • Written by Denis Giles
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