New Delhi: The nation paid homage to the martyrs of the terrorist attack on Indian Parliament, 10 years ago on this day, that shook the citadel of democracy.
Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani and several other leaders offered floral tributes to the martyrs at a solemn ceremony this morning and paid tributes to the bravehearts who laid down their lives defending their motherland.
The Parliament’s Winter Session is currently underway.
The martyrs’ families have however, decided to boycott the tribute on the grounds of failure in speedy justice meted out to the caught terrorists, especially the delay in executing the death sentence awarded to Afzal Guru.. They would be meeting President Pratibha Patil later in the day to address their grievances.
A number of schools across the nation observed a minute of silence and offered prayers for the brave soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice while performing their duty to protect their motherland.
The social networking sphere was filled with prayers and salutes to the soldiers and condemnation for the culprits.
BJP leader Sushma Swaraj tweeted, “13th December - 10 years of Parliament attack today. We are assembling to pay tributes to the martyrs.”
However, the public sentiment was harsher and comments like, “10 yrs of parl attack on 13th..family of victims still wait for justice..& its become a ritual for netas now to offer tribute(sic),” said an angry netizen, while another one blurted, “Today Parliament will show respect towards those who died protecting them. Why don`t MPs remember the sacrifice when shouting the House shut?”
It was on December 13, 2001 when five terrorists entered the Parliament, the symbol of India`s democracy, and unleashed a reign of terror that was thwarted by brave soldiers of the nation before any lawmaker could be hurt.
Even while both the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha had been adjourned 40 minutes prior to the incident, around 200 Members of Parliament (MPs) and government officials were believed to have still been in the building at the time of the attack.
All five terrorists were killed. However, eight security personnel and one gardener lost their lives. In December 2002, four JeM members were caught by Indian authorities and put on trial.
On December 13, 2006, the families of the deceased security personnel returned the gallantry medals to the government with hope that Afzal Guru will be hanged. However, Afzal Guru continues to live awaiting a clemency.
Ten years from that attack, the nation remembers the sacrifice of the valorous few who protected the dignity of the country.
The question which still remains is whether India managed to retaliate finally?