Mumbai vigils mark attack anniversary

By The Associated Press Published: November 26, 2009
MUMBAI, India — On the eve of the first anniversary of the deadly terrorist attacks that paralyzed Mumbai for 60 terrifying hours, groups across the city held vigils, calling for police reform and painting murals to remember the 166 killed.

On Nov. 26, 2008, 10 Pakistan-based gunmen fanned out across the Indian financial capital, shooting up luxury hotels, a major train station and other sites, as police and military struggled for nearly three days to regain control. Seven men were charged Wednesday in Pakistan for their roles in the assault.

Two nongovernmental groups brought 100 people together so they could paint a stretch of wall in south Mumbai where the attacks were focused.

"We want to make sure 26-11 is not just forgotten,” said Shaina NC, one of the organizers.

Schoolgirls left red handprints on the wall. Someone painted "I (heart symbol) Mumbai” in big letters. A man left the words "Wake up govt” in red paint. A woman in a black chador wrote in small block letters: "We forget what they were dying for.”

Police, who were criticized for being poorly trained and underarmed, are using the anniversary to showcase security improvements made over the last year.

Camouflaged armored vehicles and bright yellow boats — part of Mumbai’s new $27.7 million plan to beef up security — rumbled up Marine Drive on Wednesday morning, rehearsing for a parade today. Meanwhile, further police reform is urged.