Terror targets now tourist hotspots

While local residents and those coming from other parts of the country had visited the sites soon after the attacks, a large number of foreign tourists have of late been visiting the places which were targeted by terrorists.

One such place is Leopold Cafe close to the Taj Mahal hotel in South Mumbai. It used to be a hotspot for foreign budget travellers and even now is crowded by tourists. “Yes, I am aware of that. Some foreigners have come here. They want to see the bullet marks, what happened, from all over the world,” said Eric Anthony, manager of Leopold café.

Many travel agencies are actually offering the service to travellers. They charge approximately Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,000 to give you an elaborate description of gunbattle at Nariman House or the Cama Hospital.

“I had seen the 26/11 attack on television in Delhi but here I can see the actual AK-47 bullet marks at Nariman House,” said a tourist. It is a thriving business and the tour guides sometimes cook up stories, give some exaggerated versions of what happened at places like Nariman House, to make a dramatic impact on their clients.

Many domestic tourists also visit the Rang Bhawan lane, the place where the three top cops – Hemant Karkare, Ashok Kamte and Vijay Salaskar - were shot dead by two Pakistani terrorists Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, now on the trial stand, and Abu Ismail, the team leader who was killed in the subsequent encounter.

While international travel agents are also travelling to India to visit the Mumbai terror attacks site, some tourists think this kind of tourism should not be promoted.

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