A SMALL memorial on platform 9 at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) on Monday saw many visitors. The memorial, a plaque, bears the names of each of the 52 people who had died at the station on November 26, 2008, in the terror attack.
At the memorial, which was inaugurated on January 30, 2009, many offered prayers and lit candles. “On every anniversary of November 26, we pay tribute to all the victims, including our railway officials. We consider this to be the saddest day in the history of Mumbai’s security. It was also a big blow to the security at one of the busiest stations in the city,” said a railway official.
Among the many names that have found a place in the plaque is that of Government Railway Police officer Shashank Shinde, who was killed while fighting terrorists at the station. He was awarded the Kirti Chakra, the country’s second highest peace time gallantry medal. “He died fighting for the nation. He was a strong, calm and kind officer,” said a colleague of Shinde.
Among the lakhs who travel to and from CSMT every day, many often try to catch a glimpse of the memorial. On Monday, as senior officers, led by General Manager D K Sharma, placed a wreath at the memorial, passersby gathered around to watch.
Banker Kavita Lakhwani, who was near platform 9 to renew her seasonal pass, made a quick visit to the memorial. “I was on maternity leave when the incident happened 10 years ago. Even today, when people recall what they saw and when we read news stories, I get scared. I will also spend 10 minutes before the plaque today.”
For regular outstation commuters, the memorial reminds them of how CSMT continues to remain one of the sensitive zones for Mumbai.