Mumbai

I confess that I haven’t really paid attention to what happened in Mumbai last week. We were in Balfate getting stuck in rivers (and swimming across others). We were walking on the beach and enjoying the company of the other missionaries and finally, celebrating Thanksgiving. I had heard of the siege in Mumbai, but it wasn’t until I read about it from an Indian missionary brother of ours that I finally “got it” in terms of how horrible it was.

Bro Ghuna Kumar is a man that we have had dinner with once, so I can’t say that I know him well, but I do know him to be a man of God. I’ve received his newsletter (subscription info below) for about a year now and I’ve found it to be a good source of information for events in India. His reporting of the persecution in Orissa, for example, has been factual and “level-headed” to the best of my understanding. That said, when he described the recent tragedy in Mumbai as “India’s 9/11”, that got my attention.

Please read the item from his newsletter below and please join me in praying for the dear souls in Mumbai that were lost as well as those that are left behind to cope with the violence. Please also join me in agreeing with Bro Kumar that the severe escalation between India and Pakistan will subside before war breaks out.

Lastly, let me point out that Bro Kumar states that the killers are from Pakistan as a fact. I have no idea if this is true. It may well be a fact. It seems to me that there is still some question as to where they are from – but I am just not in a place to make any judgments on the validity of that point.

DF — 1 Dec 2008

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SUNDAY SCRIPTURE – 30 NOV 2008
R. C. GHUNA KUMAR
Dec 1, 2008

India’s 9/11 took place on 26/11 in Mumbai. It was like a war in Mumbai. About ten terrorists who belonged to Pakistan and who were well-trained entered Mumbai through sea route and stormed Mumbai with bullets and bombs. They targeted 12 places. The well co-ordinated attacks have been claimed by an organization called Deccan Mujahideen. The terrorists targeted landmarks like Mumbai’s Taj Mahal and Oberoi/Trident hotels, a Jewish centre, as well as Mumbai’s main train station, a hospital and a popular restaurant. They killed the people indiscriminately with machine guns and grenades, and then took hostages, especially looking for American or British passports holders. Their aim was to destroy all these places and kill over 5000 people and bring the economical capital to a collapse. Their target was also the foreign nationals and Jewish people. It was a monstrous act for them to kill the young Rabbai Gavriel (29) and his wife Rivka (28) along with their four friends leaving the two year old son. The rabbai was in charge of the jewish center at the Nariman house, Mumbai. The two year old Moshe Holtzberg kept crying “Ima Ima” in Hebrew which means “mummy, mummy” during the memorial ceremony. They killed over 195 people and among them were 25 foreigners who included 5 Americans and 5 British. The terrorists were of ages between 18 to 24. One of them namely Ajmol was caught and it is reported that two of them escaped and the rest of them were killed. In the whole operation which lasted three days, 30 police men and 3 commando chiefs were killed. This has brought a real terror to the people of Mumbai and to those who live in cities. People of India are shocked and grieved because of this gruesome incident. Some of you called me and also mailed me to find out if I was in Mumbai at the time of attack. I am so thankful for your concern and enquiries. Please pray that the tension between India and Pakistan will subside. Both the countries are amassing the troops in the borders. I believe the terror attack was done by certain elements of Pakistan. May be Pakistan should take measures to clear of the terroristic groups rather than encouraging them.