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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Vigil to honor victims of Mumbai attacks

    The deadly terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India nearly two weeks ago affected friends and family of victims worldwide. Even strangers offered their condolences for those impacted.

    UA students were among those affected by the attacks. In response, the South Asian Student Cultural Association is holding a candlelight vigil today at 6 p.m. at the Old Main fountain.

    The vigil will be held in memory of the victims of the terrorist attacks, said South Asian Student Cultural Association president Lalita Abhyankar, who planned the event.

    There will be floating candles and various speakers, Abhyankar said. Among them will be members of the Muslim Students Association, a few people who are of Indian origin and the Associated Students of the University of Arizona administrative vice president, Seema Patel, she said. Abhyankar will also be speaking.

    “”The events that happened in Mumbai are very graphic, and they did cause a lot of anger in the community and a lot of shock to the community,”” Abhyankar said.

    The vigil is designed to “”keep unity among the South Asian population, as well as those who may be sympathetic to the events that happened,”” Abhyankar said.

    Patel is “”very, very excited about just being able to share (her) thoughts and feelings with everybody else,”” she said. “”I have a lot of family from Mumbai, so it’s just one of those things where you wish you could be there and you want to do whatever you can.””

    Though not everyone can be in India to show support, “”they’re absolutely not alone in fighting this,”” Patel said.

    International studies senior Brian Kurkjy is going to the vigil in support of a friend.

    “”One of my friend’s aunts died in the attack,”” Kurkjy said. “”So I told him I’d go to it.””

    Abhyankar said that while she was not directly affected by the attacks, she knew people whose friends were affected. The candlelight vigil will be a chance for people in the UA community who have been affected to come together, she added.

    “”It’s really hard to connect with that part of the world when you’re that far away,”” Patel said. “”I’m so glad that the campus is taking an active role.””

    Fighting terrorism has been the “”global sentiment”” for years now, Patel said. “”The international community is stepping up.””

    Patel called the vigil “”an outlet to … give thoughts and prayers.””

    Kurkjy expects the vigil to be somber, and holds strong opinions on the attack.

    “”I think it’s terrible,”” he said. “”I’m a firm believer in diplomacy rather than violence.””

    Abhyankhar said the terrorist attacks “”increased tensions between Pakistan and India.””

    She noted that while the attacks caused anger and shock in the UA community, Abhyankar said the vigil is not intended to agitate.

    “”We’re not trying to go for … an incendiary event,”” Abhyankar said. “”We just want something that establishes the fact that we’re still South Asian and won’t tolerate terrorism. But we support the people that were affected.””

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