Bhubaneswar, Nov 26 (LocalWire): Today marks the 11th anniversary of a series of terrorist attacks that shook Mumbai in 2008.
LocalWire spoke with an Odia journalist who was one of the first victims of the brutal assault.
Sourav Mishra, 40, was a Reuter’s journalist at the time of the attack.
He was reportedly having dinner with his friends at a resto-bar called Leopold Café on Colaba causeway in South Mumbai.
Two of the 10 terrorists involved in the attack rained bullets inside the café between 9.30 p.m. and 9.48 p.m, killing 10 people and injuring many more.
Mishra, who is a resident of Navi Mumbai, took a bullet under his right shoulder while running out of the cafe.
He was taken to St. George’s hospital in Mumbai by a nearby hawker, Kishore Pujari.
‘I have, now, come back to normalcy, but every year on this day or whenever I am in a reflective mood, I think about the event and how it has changed my life,’ Mishra told LocalWire.
“Of course, the horrors of the incident cannot be completely mitigated and I often wonder why so many innocent people had to lose their lives or the security personnel who selflessly gave up their lives to save others,” he said.
The attacks which later came to be referred as the 26/11 attacks, were executed by 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba members based out of Pakistan.
174 civilians lost their lives and over 300 people were injured.
Nearly 600 people were held hostage and were later rescued by the security forces.
The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, the Oberoi Trident and Nariman House were some of the prominent places held under siege for three days.
By the early morning of 28 November, all sites except for the Taj Hotel had been secured by the Mumbai police and security forces.
On 29 November, India’s National Security Guard conducted Operation Black Tornado to flush out the rest of the attackers.
Mishra had learnt art from his elder sister and it came to his rescue later on as he turned to it more often to tackle the trauma of 26/11.
Mishra has 30 acrylic canvas paintings to his name, which are mostly abstract in nature.
He has also created artwork capturing the dark scenes of the attack at Leopold cafe, the Taj and CST.
‘People from every community should be aware that we shouldn’t be driven by any agenda or be filled with hate.
We need to look for the goodness in people,’ Mishra added on being asked how we can curb terrorism.