Martyrs have a high place in the minds of Indians. As such, the heroes who died fighting terrorists in the 26/11 attacks have not been forgotten. And it shows in the efforts made by people from across the country to keep their memories alive.
For example, the Kisan Veer Satara Sugar Cooperative Factory has put up a permanent memorial to remind the new generation of the sacrifices made by the eight policemen of Mumbai and commando C Unnikrishnan. All were killed in the Mumbai attacks.
It was a touching moment for the families of the policemen to see the faces of their loved ones sculpted in a 25-ft long, 14-ft wide and 18- ft tall solid rock. The memorial also includes a 3,000- square ft garden with floral trees.
A teary-eyed Vandana, daughter of Tukaram Omble who was killed while fighting terrorists at Girgaum Chowpatty, said: “I saw the sculpture. It was overwhelming. This is surely one true tribute to my father’s sacrifice. It’s nice to see he is being remembered so fondly.”
The otherwise reticent Vinita Kamte also attended the function along with Smita Salaskar. They are the widows of Ashok Kamte and Vijay Salaskar.
Kamte said her husband was fond of Satara as he had served there as a superintendent a few years ago. “The memorial is truly beautiful. It is touching that the workers have worked hard to make this come true,” said Kamte.
Smita Salaskar said it was courageous of the police officers to face the terrorists. “They showed more courage than those who sat in their cabins. It is time the public put pressure on the government to hasten the process to hang Kasab,” said Salaskar.
Sanjay Kumbhar who made the sculptures said, “This is my small tribute to those who have made such a huge sacrifice.” Kumbhar said he took five and a half months to complete the task.
The members of the sugar factory had planted 2,300 trees last November in the memory of the policemen and citizens killed in the attacks. Of the 17 slain policemen, five were from Satara.
Madan Bhosale, the chairman of the sugar factory, conceptualised the memorial. Bhosale told DNA: “I was thinking about how to keep alive the memories of these policemen, especially those who are from my constituency.”
Ujjwal Nikam, who was a guest, said, “We know that board members of the sugar factories are from varying political ideologies. I am happy that they came together and sanctioned this novel concept. This is an awe-inspiring sculpture. It will inspire the young generation and remind them that the sacrifices made by these courageous policemen have not gone to waste.”