Mumbai Terror Attacks: 59-hour Siege of Taj is Over

Pictures by Rons Bantwal
Daijiworld Media Network - Mumbai

Nation Pays Tribute to Mumbai Braveheart Heroes

Mumbai, Nov 29: The body of Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) chief Hemant Karkare, who was killed while leading from the front in the battle against terrorists attack in Mumbai was on Saturday brought to his home at Shivaji Park in central Mumbai ahead of the funeral.

The cremation was delayed so that his two daughters who live abroad could return in time for the last rites. While his elder daughter Jui is married and lives in the US, the younger Sayali is studying in London. His son Akash is based in Mumbai.

As terrorists Wednesday night targeted 10 Mumbai landmarks, Karkare donned his helmet and bullet-proof jacket and set out to take them on. The protection, however, proved inadequate and Karkare fell to the terrorists' bullets. In all, 148 people were killed in the attacks and 327 were injured.

The 58-year-old Karkare, a 1982 batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, was in the spotlight for leading investigation into the Sep 29 blasts in Maharashtra's Malegaon town. Ten people, including Sadhvi Pragnya Thakur and Lt Col Prasad Purohit, were arrested as a result of the probe.

Karkare had taken over the ATS in January after a seven-year stint with India's external intelligence agency Research Analysis Wing (RAW).

Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan

Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, 31, was martyred while engaging terrorists on Friday at the Taj hotel. He was with the 51 Special Action Group of the force and was with the NSG on deputation. He has been with the Black Cat commando force for the last two years.

An officer of the Bihar Regiment, he was commissioned in the Indian Army in June 1999. The officer had joined the NSG on deputation in January 2007 after having served two tenures with his battalion in counter insurgency and counter terrorism roles. The officer hails from Bangalore where his father works for the Indian Space Research Organisation.

The funeral of the NSG Commando officer Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, who laid down his life battling the terrorists in the Mumbai attacks, will be held with military honours.

Major Unnikrishnan body was brought to his house at ISRO layout in the outskirts of the Bangalore, where arrangements had been made for family, friends and well wishers to have a last glimpse of the Mumbai anti-terror hero.

NSG hawaldar: Gajendra Singh

The body of NSG hawaldar Gajendra Singh, who died fighting terrorists in Mumbai's Nariman House, was today brought to Delhi before being taken to his native place Dehradun for the last rites.

All ranks and file of the elite force gathered at NSG headquarters in Palam to pay their tributes to the slain hawaldar.

The body of Singh, who was a member of NSG's 51 Special Action Group, will be later taken to Dehradun, an NSG spokesperson said. 

Battle Ends in Mumbai, Death Toll Rises to 195

The toll in the worst-ever terror attacks in India mounted to 195 as several bodies were fished out from the Trident hotel and Nariman House after the completion of the 59-hour-long commando operations.

The figure is expected to be much higher, as casualty figure from the Taj Mahal Hotel is yet to be known.

Sources in the disaster management cell of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation said 195 people were killed, including 10 foreigners and 15 police personnel. Besides, 295 others were wounded.

The injured had been admitted to several hospitals in the city.

Anti Terrorism Squad chief Hemant Karkare, Additional Commissioner of Police Ashok Kamte, encounter specialist and Senior Inspector Vijay Salaskar were killed in the exchange of fire at Cama Hospital in south Mumbai on Wednesday night.

Apart from them, National Security Guards Major Sandeep Unnithan and two commandos died during the operation and a commando injured in the Nariman House battle.

The police said 10 terrorists were gunned down in the operation and another was injured. A large number of arms and ammunition were recovered from Trident hotel, Taj Mahal hotel and Nariman House.
Security forces freed the landmark Taj hotel here after an intense night-long firing amid a series of explosions, with three terrorists gunned down by the commandos, authorities said this morning.

"Three terrorists have been killed but we are still continuing our operations," Director General of NSG, J K Dutt, told reporters outside the hotel.

The operation to flush out terrorists from Taj Hotel is over, signalling an end to the 62-hour siege by terrorists three of whom were killed this morning in an assault by the elite commandos of National Security Guards (NSG).

However, the NSG is still sanitising the hotel to check if any remaining terrorist or explosive is still in the 400-room hotel, NSG Director General J K Dutt told reporters.

An AK-47 rifle was also recovered from them. "There was lot of shooting. Grenades were lobbed and explosives were used by the terrorists," he said.

On whether all the terrorists have been killed and hotel is now free, he said that it could be ascertained after the combing operation is over.

During the night, terrorists holed out in the hotel engaged in a fierce gun battle with security forces as some places in the first and the ground floors of the 565-room building set afire by terrorists amid explosions in the over 100-year-old heritage complex in the Colaba area.

No hostages alive at Taj Hotel: NSG

Vicky Nanjappa / Rediff
The siege at Taj Hotel may have ended, but unfortunately none of the hostages in the building have managed to survive.

An NSG source told that by the time siege ended the NSG had managed to kill the terrorists holed up in the hotel, but could not save the hostages.

The senior NSG official said they were still not sure as to how many hostages were inside the hotel. It could be around 20 to 25, he added.

The terrorists had used the hostages as a human shield and were killing them one by one.

The last of the hostages was killed on Saturday morning, he said.

Meanwhile, the sanitation process is still on at the Taj. Search for bodies and possible survivors, if any, continues to take place. A message picked up from the wireless frequency indicated that some of the doors in the hotel were jammed.

Several dignitaries, including Tata group chairman Ratan Tata and Zee group honcho Subhash Chandra, visited the site. Subhash Chandra said the scene inside the hotel was very sad and it gave the feeling that the country was not safe.

Taj siege ends; terrorists killed
09.30am, IST, Nov 29

All terrorists holed-up at Taj hotel have reportedly been killed by NSG commandos. Black plumes of smoke are still billowing out of the hotel.

Official reports are awaited.

Black plumes of smoke still billowing out of Mumbai's Taj Mahal hotel as Indian security forces exchanged heavy fire with militants holed up inside.

A witness said a fire had broken out within the hotel.

News channels also showed flames at a ground floor area.

Earlier on Saturday morning, fresh explosions were heard and intense gunfire continued at the besieged Taj hotel as NSG commandos engaged in what is believed to be their final assault to flush out the militants.

Media personnel stationed outside Taj hotel asked to step back as skirmish between terrorists and security forces reaches last stage.

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Comment on this article

  • ansh chouhan, punjab

    Sun, Nov 30 2008

    i proud of any N S G COMANDOS bhaia ian terriesh ka chaka choda do ma shalam kar ta hu uan shedo ko jeano na deash ka liya appny jann de ha.

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    Sun, Nov 30 2008


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  • janaki Devi, Managalore/ Dubai

    Sun, Nov 30 2008

    Dear Deniel D'Souza, You were perfectly right to quote Raj, by the way, what happened to other Goondas in Mumbai, who go about fighting with innocense people, where are our politicians, who want to be famous, and spoil normal life in Mumbai, its a real SALUE To our COMMONDOS, poor guys were risking their lives for so many. Our heartest condolence to everyone in Mumbai and around the world,

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  • Michael D' Souza, Yellur/ Canada

    Sun, Nov 30 2008

    I live in Canada, and regularly read for the latest news from India including the times of India. I find daijiworld is the only one, which publishes the all the facts with pictures all other new papers have no space for pictures but for advertisement. Thanks Daiji keep up the e good work.

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  • A.D'Cunha Shenoy, Mangaluru

    Sat, Nov 29 2008

    Our nation has been attacked. As the nation mourns and the politicians ponder, our nation has faced the atrocities if ideology. Does this have to happen to a nation like ours? Should we be blamed? Should the terrorists be blamed? Should Pakistan be blamed? Should Al Qeda be blamed? Yes, as a whole, the blame lies on all the above Except for the innocent Indians. The terrorists were out to kill, destroy our nation, make a statement to the world like 9/11 and above all create an atmosphere where India and Pakistan will never be reconciled, to put India's affluency on hold and above all punish India and the westerners. At the outset, India is becoming a target for terrorists hailing from outside, yet something tells me without local support this planned carnage would have been difficult. Why is India now a target? The reasons are many. India is increasingly becoming a investment destination for US , UK and other nations. Al Queda inspired terrorists cannot infiltrate these countries as easily as they can infiltrate India. The mere fact the terrorists were looking for foreign passport holders, they were there to kill nationals of these nations including prosperous Indians . India's close relationships with US , UK , Afghanistan and its ambitions to become player on the world stage is another reason why India has been targetted. Can India be held to ransom? Yes it can be, because of our political bickering and vote bank politics and loosy goosy security. The only way India can avoid this type of carnage is by extra vigilence, better security, better intelligence, severe punishment for those who are involved or have potential for involvement, banning various outfits who resort to violence and politicins taking care of Indians and not their personal interests and political ambitions. These terrorists tagretted our nation and its landmarks of affluency, our comradeship with the west particularly with UK and US(and in the process to punish the westerners), created a disinvestment scenario for the west creating fear and they dented our forthcoming good relations with Pakistan. In my opinion, certainly the terror elite achieved their objectives with this carnage.

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  • Anil Fernandes, mumbai

    Sat, Nov 29 2008

    I love my india. I salute to my Mumbai heroes. Mr. Karkare, Saleskar, Kamte, you are  true Mumbai icons. You  were the ones who dared to go to finish the enemy. I  salute you and  all other commandos who took a daring step to free all the hostages from the Taj, Oberoi, Nariman House. My advice to all the vote-hungry political parties , stop your unreasonable propanganda. Beunited and try to work for the country instead of tryind to gain popularity for the party. People of Mumbai arise. Mumbai is strong and people of Mumbai are strong too.I am proud to  bean Indian and a Mumbai lad. JAI HIND, JAI MAHARAHSTRA AND JAI MUMBAI.

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  • Ted, USA

    Sat, Nov 29 2008

    The real trouble makers are people like Advani and Thackrey. When there are such people within, how can a threat from outside be countered?

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  • Maxim Patrao, Mangalore/Dubai

    Sat, Nov 29 2008

    India was a peaceful country until our respectable leader of the nation L K Advani orchestrated the Babri Masjid demolition and provoked the muslim community the worldover. It is a fact whether one agrees or not.

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    Sat, Nov 29 2008

    Hats off to our police and commandos who made the ULTIMATE SACRIFICE. Now I would like to hear from politicinas with FIRE in their bellies of what will  be done next. Pakistan is already shamelessly denying any involvement. Still l hiding Dawood in Karachi. High time  we eliminate  TERRORIST TARGETS .

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  • fredrick tauro, mangalore

    Sat, Nov 29 2008

    There are too many people around with divergent ideas,views,opinions who cry out loud just to prove that they are SOMEBODY.Too many inept politicians share power and use their short tenure to amass wealth. Illiterate voters exercise their voting right to elevate criminal leaders and caste based leaders.This is the  world's biggest democracy.

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  • Edward R. Monteiro, Mangalore, Karnataka

    Sat, Nov 29 2008

    I salute all the brave NSG Commondos, Police personnel and others who took part in cleansing the Mumbai's terrorism. My heartfelt condolences to those families who have lost their near and dear ones. May the Almighty console them and give them the strength to bear the grief. Jai Hind.

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  • Rajendra, Udupi

    Sat, Nov 29 2008

    Amar Rahe Veer Jawaanon Jai Hind

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  • Deniel D' Souza, Dubai

    Sat, Nov 29 2008

    When Mumbai was burning , NSG Commondos helped the Mumbaikars. In the 200 commondos all are from South & North Indian. Where  were you Raj Hitler at that time ?

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