Mumbai's Leopold cafe buzzing with life, scars remain

Posted By: Staff
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Mumbai, Nov 26 (ANI): The customers here today morning swarmed the 'Leopold Cafi', one of the sites of last year's terrorist attacks to mark the first anniversary of 26/11 terrorist attacks that saw 166 innocent people killed without reason.

The 138-year-old restaurant at Colaba causeway here has kept the bullet marks on the windowpanes - a grim reminder of the bloodshed witnessed last year.

The restaurant was extensively damaged during the attacks when armed gunmen stormed inside the restaurant and started firing indiscriminately killing many customers and two cafi employees.

The cafe reopened four days after the attack but was re-closed by the police as a safety measure because of the unpredictable size of crowds gathering at the cafe. However, regular business resumed the next day.

However, today the cafi regulars and Mumbai residents showed their never-say-die spirit by crowding their favourite place.

"Life has to go on. Lots of our local as well as foreign customers have been coming here regularly. They have shown their solidarity and support to us and that they are not bogged down by the terrorists. Their presence itself shows the spirit of Mumbaikars (local people of Mumbai)," said Farhang, the owner of the Leopold Cafi.

It's not just the loyal customers of Leopold Cafi standing up for their city; even the common people of Mumbai are getting together to mark the anniversary of the attacks.

A few college students have pinned up a white message board where the common people can come and pour their hearts out in words.

"I believe that the city needs such campaigns. Mumbai is so diverse and this is best way of asking people to show what they feel about the Mumbai terror attack. We are asking them to write down what they feel about 26/11 and how can we stop such attacks," said Qureshi Muchala, college student.

Ten gunmen had landed on Mumbai shores by boats at sunset on November 26, 2008 and fired randomly inside a railway station, a Jewish settlement, a cafe and two luxury hotels.

Several people were held hostage for the next three days and at least 166 died before commandoes smoked out the last of the terrorists on November 28 last year.

One gunman, Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, who claims to be Pakistani national, was taken alive and is presently, facing trial in a special court in Mumbai. (ANI)

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