Amidst heavy security arrangements, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today visited the Trident-Oberoi hotel for the first time after the November 26 terror attacks.
Singh was at the hotel, which was sieged by terrorists during the strikes, for an award function. The whole area around the hotel was cordoned off as part of massive security arrangements.
"Every step was taken to ensure that there was no untoward incident. The venue and the area around it was combed by security agencies and a clearance was given for the PM's visit," Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) K L Prasad told PTI.
"All the routine security checks inside the hotel were carried out by the hotel security staff. Mumbai police also conducted security checks inside and outside the hotel premises," hotel sources said.
The ceremony was originally scheduled for November 28 at the same hotel and the venue was cleared by security agencies.
"Although I visited the city along with Congress President Sonia Gandhi, immediately after the event, I had no opportunity to speak in public on that occasion. I would, therefore, like to use this opportunity to say a few words on that painful subject," Singh said.
Singh, during the award function, said: "To the people of Mumbai, I can only say that we will spare no effort to ensure that their city does not suffer any such attack." He said terrorists chose Mumbai as the target as the city symbolises free, pluralistic, dynamic and cosmopolitan India.
"I was a resident of Mumbai for three years and I feel keenly the pain and anger of the city," Singh said, adding the attack has left a scar behind.
Taking a tough stance against the perpetrators of the attack, Singh said, "The civilized world is against them. They (terrorists) must know that this is something no country can or will tolerate." Altogether 30 persons at the hotel were killed during the terror attack. "My sincere condolences to the families of the deceased and those who suffered injuries. I salute the bravery and sacrifice of the men of the Mumbai police and the NSG who laid down their lives fighting against the attack," Singh said.
The Oberoi Hotel wing is still closed to the public as it is undergoing renovation to repair the damage caused by the gun-battle between security forces and the terrorists.