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Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Terrorists equipped with AK-47s and hand grenades attacked at least five locations across Mumbai on Wednesday night killing at least 80 people (7 among them policemen) and injuring 250. The terrorists, young men, wearing T-shirts, trousers and helmets, were carrying heavy rucksacks and were firing ramdomly. They also threw hand grenades towards the people. While two of them were killed at Girgaum Chowpatty, nine of them were eventually arrested.

    Around 9.30 pm, the miscreants first attacked the Trident (Oberoi) Hotel at Churchgate and then moved towards Leopold Cafe in Colaba, behind the Taj Hotel. Television grabs showed an attacker climbing up the stairs inside Trident Hotel. The attackers then divided into groups of two and barged into the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) stations, where the commuters were waiting for trains to go back home.
    Although the police resisted the attackers at CST station, the men managed to retaliate with hand grenades. The CST station was immediately evacuated after the firing began at around 10 pm, which went on for about half an hour. More than 10 rounds of firing were heard from inside the CST station. Around 10.50 pm, however, the firing inside CST station resumed. People waiting for long distance trains were lying injured at the platform after being hit by bullets. ATS chief Hemant Karkare received a bullet to his chest. His condition is not known.
    A grenade was thrown at a taxi in Dongri, killing the taxi driver. People in the surrounding area later managed to extricate his body from the wreckage.
    Around 10.40 pm, two of the men were seen exiting the CST station, and moving towards the Cama Hospital. They then threw a grenade on the canopy of subway near the BMC building. Additional Commissioner, East region, Ashok Kamte, and senior inspector Vijay Salaskar (Anti-Extortion Cell) died in the firing outside Cama Hospital. Another additional commissioner Sadanand Date suffered bullet injuries. Although initial reports were scattered, it has been learnt that the injured were rushed to Bombay Hospital, St George Hospital and Cama Hospital. Among the injured is one female foreigner.
    Around 30 people were rushed to Bombay Hospital alone, while 40 were sent to St George Hospital. Some others were also admitted to JJ Hospital and GT Hospital. At the time of going to press, six people succumbed to their injuries.
    Reports also came in about a blast inside a taxi at the Western Express Highway at Vile Parle near Santacruz Airport. The blast was so powerful that the door of the taxi flew off and got lodged on a tree. Cops say it could be that the terrorists were headed to the airport. There were also an incident of firing at Napeansea Road. Meanwhile, two of the attackers entered Cama Hospital at CST and threw grenades in the campus. Two staffers were killed in the attack.
    Dr Saleha, a resident doctor at the neo-natal intensive care unit at Cama Hospital, said, "We were on the second floor when we saw an armed man go up the third floor. There was firing inside our hospital campus, and I later saw two of our ward boys lying in a pool of blood on the ground floor."
    Dr Akash Akinwar, a lecturer from Government Dental College in CST, was having his dinner at Olympia restaurant. "Suddenly, we saw men firing towards the restaurant. We just stooped down to save ourselves,"he said. Meanwhile, at the new Taj Mahal Hotel building, suspected militants opened fire inside the hotel leaving at least two dead and several injured. The watchman at the hotel said he saw a man inside the lobby wearing a red shirt and brandishing an AK-47 shouting that he was a "desh bhakt". He says the man appeared drunk. The dead and injured hotel guests, mostly foreigners, were seen being brought out on luggage trolleys. The injured have been taken to Bombay Hospital. At the time of going to press, a group of policemen had gone inside the Taj and gunshots could be heard. There was also a bag lying at the gate of the hotel and the bomb
squad had been called in to inspect it. Injured guests who were brought out said there were at least five militants inside the hotel who were locked in a gunbattle with the cops. Some of the militants were also seen at the windows of some rooms in the hotel, shouting to the people outside to leave the area.
    Two grenades were also thrown
from the rooms causing deafening blasts outside the hotel. Half an hour later, there were two more blasts at the top floor of the old Taj building and smoke was seen billowing out of the rooms from the top floors. TV channels reported that there were 5 terrorists holed up in room 631. At 1.30 pm there was another blast at the ground floor of the old Taj building.
At least 60 top brass of Uniliver are stuck inside the Taj after getting caught in the terrorist gunfire on Wednesday night. They were in the hotel since 5 pm at a meeting. A Patil, the driver of D Sundaram, one of the executives, said he had called up his boss at around 10.30 pm and was told that all the executives were safe inside the hotel. Sundaram said the executives were being kept on the first floor of the hotel.
    The attackers had also entered a residential building at Colaba.
    Three policemen were also injured at the Vidhan Sabha. A BP petrol pump was also blown up at Colaba at 12.15 pm. At around 12.30 at Metro junction, the terrorists drove by in a police jeep that they had seized and opened fire at the crowd of journalists and cops standing there. One cop was badly injured while a cameraman sustained minor injuries. They then drove towards Marine Drive.
    At the time of going to press, there were reports that two terrorists had been shot dead at Girgaum Chowpatty area. Cops also found a explosives inside a boat at Gateway The army, navy and CRPF having called in to assist the police.


Maharashtra Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) Chief Hemant Karkare was shot dead by the terrorists, while he was heading an operation against the terrorists near the Taj Mahal Hotel in Colaba on Wednesday night. Karkare, who was appointed the ATS chief only on January 22 this year succumbed to injuries after three bullets were fired at his chest by a terrorist. Karkare was leading a team of three police personnel, who were trying to nab the terrorists inside the Taj. Karkare was the brain behind the team presently investigating the Malegaon blasts. His colleagues say he was always calm and composed, and was a brilliant investigator.
    Karkare was Mumbai Police Joint Commissioner (Administration) before he was appointed at the post of state ATS chief. Karkare, who was a 1982 batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, was also a Bachelor of Engineering from Vishveshvarayya Regional Engineering in Nagpur.

Vijay Salaskar was said to be the last encounter specialist left in Mumbai police's cap. In the wee hours of Thursday as Salaskar breathed his last and as the news of his demise spread, cops across the city mourned his death. "His encounters were genuine. He was very different from the rest," said a senior cop barely managing to control his tears. Salaskar was part of Mumbai police for 25 years. A 1983 batch officer, he started off as a sub inspector. Hailing from Kolhapur, he always said that he was inspired to join the force since childhood. With around 70 encounters to his credit, he was currently posted as senior inspector of anti extortion cell. Salaskar's career as a cop, like other encounter specialists was shrouded by controversy. Not long ago he was sidelined for unearthing the gutka-underworld nexus. After a recent shoot out in Powai in which he shot dead two gangsters, he was facing a legal suit from the family of the deceased.

People lie dead in the waiting area for long distance trains

A shop-owner at CST was downing his shutters when he was shot in his abdomen. There was no help in sight (r)A policeman shot in his chest falls to the ground

This man, shot inside CST, managed to walk to the subway entrance near Capitol cinema

After shooting passangers in the waiting area for long distance trains, the two terrorists walk to the local platforms

Locals and the plain clothes policemen help to take the victims who were shot to a nearby hospital


Anonymous said...

This is the statement being made on behalf of Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL).

We wish to confirm that the Unilever Group CEO Mr. Patrick Cescau, the Unilever CEO-elect Paul Polman and the HUL Management team including HUL Chairman, Mr. Harish Manwani and HUL CEO Mr Nitin Paranjpe, who were at the Taj Hotel (Mumbai) yesterday, had left the hotel last night (November 26th) itself and they are all safe and accounted for.

Our thoughts are with all those who have been affected by these unfortunate events.

For more information on the subject do visit www.hul.co.in.

For any queries write in to us at sandhya@windchimes.co.in

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