Among the multitude of commemorative events for the victims of 26/11, the Citizens Initiative for Peace (CIP) raised a banner opposite the Taj Mahal Hotel demanding the implementation of the police reforms promised by the state government last year.
Within 30 minutes, the police itself confiscated the banner as the organizers did not have official permission for the silent protest.
The one-year-old CIP, an informal coalition of nearly 80 non-profit organizations, has been persistently pressing for police reforms based on 2006 Supreme Court directives. It has also sent more than 8,000 letters to the Chief Justice of India for the same.
“The reforms are meant to put in place a system that would insulate the police from political interference,” said Dolphy D’Souza, CIP spokesperson and president of the Bombay Catholic Sabha urging citizens to put more pressure on the state. “It is disappointing that the reforms are not in place despite the martyrdom of brave officers like [ATS chief Hemant] Karkare.”
Meanwhile at Marine Lines, hundreds of students and citizens painted messages of peace and solidarity on the Chandanwadi wall in a wall painting drive organized by NGOs I Love Mumbai and Giants International.
The drive began in the afternoon and continued until midnight. The 1.5-km wall was painted in red, white and black, symbolizing blood, peace and terrorism respectively.
“Most of our neglected city walls have either spit or urine stains on them, so this is an opportunity for all citizens to unite and create something beautiful in memory of our 26/11 heroes,” said I Love Mumbai’s Shaina NC, who spearheaded the drive.
The painters were predominantly students from various city colleges enjoying the experience of expressing themselves through art.