November 2008


A little know group, calling itself “Deccan Mujahideen”, attacked multiple targets – including hospitals, hotels , tourist spots and railway stations. The attacks have left over 100 dead and around 900 injured . The terrorists, most of them around the age of 20 -25, also took some people hostage , around 40, at the Taj hotel- a five star hotel in the posh southern part of the city- including several foreigners.

The attack has also cost Mumbai its top police brass- including its Anti-terrorist squad chief
Hemant Karkare, Mumbai’s additional commissioner of police (east) Ashok Kamte and celebrated encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar – all killed today in separate incidents.

According to latest reports a European Parliament staff member was wounded in the attacks. The reports are confirmed after a member of the Parliament in Madrid told the Spanish radio.

One of the EU member had this to say -“We arrived in Mumbai to have meetings tomorrow today, and ten minutes after leaving the hotel the shooting began in the same hotel we had left.”

Two members of an Australian trade delegation also appeared to have been injured.

The Japanese authorities have confirmed that one of their citizens is dead.

The terrorists appeared to be heavily armed with

Terror attacks in Mumbai
A suspected terrorist of Mumbai terror attack seen in this image. (Times Now)
More Pictures

machine guns, including AK-47s, and grenades to strike at the city’s most high-profile targets — the hyper-busy CST (formerly VT) rail terminus; the landmark Taj Hotel at the Gateway and the luxury Oberoi Trident at Nariman Point; the domestic airport at Santa Cruz; the Cama and GT hospitals near CST; the Metro Adlabs multiplex and Mazgaon Dockyard.
The attacks aimed at getting international attention as the terrorists took upto 40 British nationals and other foreigners hostage. The chairman of Hindustan Unilever Harish Manwani and CEO of the company Nitin Paranjpe were among the guests trapped at the Oberoi. All the internal board members of the multinational giant were reported to be holed up in the Oberoi hotel.

Two terrorists were reported holed up inside the Oberoi Hotel. Fresh firing has been reported at Oberoi and Army has entered the hotel to flush out the terrorists.

The Army and Navy in Mumbai were put on alert. 65 Army commandos and 200 NSG commandos were being rushed to Mumbai, Home Minister Shivraj Patil said.

The Navy commandos too have been asked to assist the police. Special secretary M L Kumawat is in constant touch with the state police.

Some media reports attributed the attack to Lashkar-e-Taiba. There were also unconfirmed reports that some of the terrorists came in by sea. A boat laden with explosives was recovered later at night off the Gateway of India.

Well after midnight, sources said two of the terrorists were shot and wounded at Girgaum in south Mumbai. The two were driving in a commandeered silver-coloured Skoda car. Earlier, these men had sprayed bullets from a police Bolero, outside the Metro Adlabs multiplex.

“This is definitely a terrorist strike. Seven places have been attacked with automatic weapons and grenades. Terrorists are still holed up in three locations Taj and Oberoi hotels and GT Hospital. Encounters are on at all three places,” said Maharashtra DGP A N Roy.

St George’s Hospital and G T Hospital were said to have received 75 bodies and more than 250 injured people, additional municipal commissioner R A Rajeev said. Bombay Hospital got two bodies and 30 injured people were admitted there; Cooper Hospital, Vile Parle, got three dismembered bodies.

Three of the deaths occurred inside the Taj and one G T Hospital attendant died in a shootout inside the hospital. There were reports of people cowering under tables and chairs at both the Taj as well as G T Hospital.

Metro Junction resident Manoj Goel said: “My brother, Manish, died in the firing at Colaba’s Hamaal Galli.” Cops fired back at the men — probably from one of the Lashkar groups, dressed in black and with backpacks and SRPF, Crime Branch, ATS and teams of military commandos were summoned to the spot. Train services at CST were suspended and all roads leading to and from south Mumbai were blockaded.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh cut short his Kerala visit and was returning to Mumbai. He described the situation in Mumbai as “very serious”.

Deshmukh promised “stringent action” against the assailants but the mood across Mumbai was not so optimistic.

There were reports of firing around several landmark buildings in the Colaba-Nariman Point area, including the Taj hotel, Oberoi and other tourist attractions and pubs like Leopold’s. The top floor of Oberoi was said to be on fire amid reports of blasts in the area and blood-smeared bodies were being brought out of the Taj lobby.

Terrorists were said to be holed up at the Taj as well as G T Hospital and cops scampered to cordon off these places. A white flag was seen fluttering from an Oberoi Hotel window around 11.20 pm, where a blast was said to have occurred.

The blast on the Western Express Highway — near Centaur Hotel outside the airport — occurred in a taxi, deputy commissioner of police Nissar Tamboli said.

The firing and bombing started close to the Gateway of India. The gun battle then moved on towards CST and raged on for over an hour from 10 pm, sending commuters running out of the station.

The assailants also fired into the crowd at CST and people on the trains and then ran out of the station themselves and into neighboring buildings, including Cama Hospital, after being challenged by cops.

SRPF personnel then entered the iconic BMC building — just opposite CST — to take aim at the assailants, BMC commissioner Jairaj Phatak said. “We fear some of the assailants are still inside the station and we want to catch them if they come out,” a police official said.

Vikhroli police station senior inspector Habib Ansari was on his way to work from his Colaba home when he saw two armed men, with sophisticated weaponry, trying to run into bylanes near the Gateway of India.”I rushed back to Colaba and all policemen, including GRP and RPF personnel, were called up,” he added.

The report is written with reference to reuters, times of india, NDTV. The photographs are from reuters.

UPDATE:

Breaking News

Death toll in Mumbai attacks rises to 101, including six foreigners: police  10:29pm EST

UPDATE 27 12:30 AM EST
Operations by the law enforcement, Army and counter-terrorism units are underway in the city of Mumbai. The city is shut down today with curfew imposed.

So far 101 people have died in the attack with 6 foreign officials.
The hostage takers are still holed in Taj and Oberoi hotels. The demands of the hostage taker are that all Mujahideens and Muslims living in India should not be troubled.

Flurry of activity has taken place in Taj hotel with one of the terrorist jumping from one building to another, in Nirman house of the hotel complex, hurdling a grenade at the fireman tending to the fire at the hotel. Fire has broken out at the New block of the Taj hotel.

Intelligence bureau of India has declared that terrorists are from Pakistan. One Laskar terrorist has been arrested in the early hours of Thursday in Mumbai.

Initial reports have released that US intelligence official have been killed at the Taj Hotel.

UPDATE : 12:30 PM EST
The latest death toll has risen to 125, including 14 police personal, after
the terrorists attacks in Mumbai according to the Union home ministry. The Ministry also say up to 9 foreigners have been killed.

The terrorists are flushed out of Oberoi hotel by the NSG commandos. Over 70 people were rescued in the operation . The army say that terrorist arrested at Oberoi hotel are probably from Pakistan’s Faridkot.

The NSG is carrying out the final operation currently at Taj hotel. The authorities say that fire has currently broken out and several explosions heard at in the Nirman house at the Taj hotel complex.

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There has been yet another attack on the financial capital of India, MUMBAI. The authorities haven’t made arrived at any conclusions as to who carried out the attack. Around 16 people are dead with many more injured.

The attack was on the posh south Mumbai area; armed with AK-47 rifles and grenades, a couple of terrorists entered the passenger hall of crowded Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminal (CST) railway station and opened fire.

UPDATE 1:

Firing, blasts in city
NDTV ATS team arrives at the Taj Hotel
NDTV Two types of attacks: Blasts, AK-47
NDTV Attacks at Oberoi, Taj and Trident hotel
NDTV Encounter on between police and terrorists at Taj, Oberoi: A N Roy
NDTV Prime Minister Office confirms five blasts
NDTV Terror attack outside CST Station
NDTV CST Station cordoned off by the police
NDTV 2 blasts reported in Napean Sea Road area
NDTV Oberoi hotel lobby on fire after attack
NDTV Trains on the central line stopped
NDTV 2 terrorists said to be holed up at CST station armed with guns, grenades

UPDATE 2 : The death toll has been increased to 25 by NDTV.

UPDATE 3: The death toll has risen to 80 and over 900 injured.

From times of India ”

In one of the most violent terror attacks on Indian soil, Mumbai came under an unprecedented night attack as terrorists used heavy

Terror attacks in Mumbai
A policeman stands guard after shootings by unidentified assailants at a railway station

machine guns, including AK-47s, and grenades to strike at the city’s most high-profile targets — the hyper-busy CST (formerly VT) rail terminus; the landmark Taj Hotel at the Gateway and the luxury Oberoi Trident at Nariman Point; the domestic airport at Santa Cruz; the Cama and GT hospitals near CST; the Metro Adlabs multiplex and Mazgaon Dockyard — killing at least 80 and sending more than 900 to hospital, according to latest reports.”

ARMY has been brought in. Possibly over 15 foreingers have been taken hostage at the Taj hotel.

UPDATE 4

Deccan Mujahideen claims responsibility for Mumbai attacks: TV

Army moving into Oberoi Hotel in Mumbai after attacks: local TV channels

UPDATE 5

Four gunmen killed, nine arrested: Mumbai police 6:03pm EST

UPDATE 6

Taj Hotel burns

Thanks to reuters.

For more look here

and here.

Of all enemies of public  liberty, war is perphaps the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies. From these proceed debts and taxes. And armies, debts and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few …. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.

– James Madison , 1795.

The wise have always – either predicted most or  seen most – advised us which are for our betterment. The biggest mistake is to ignore the wise and to not look for the advise of the wise is to commit crime on future.

The small mountain state in south Asia has come a long distance in recent years. It abolished monarchy; it then elected a Maoist-a communist- leader as their president and now it has approved same sex marriage.

In a landmark verdict, the apex court in Nepal has given its consent to same-sex marriages,  overcomes one of the biggest social taboos in the conservative nation.

The apex court in Nepal ruled in favor of formulated necessary laws to guarantee full rights to gays, including right to same-sex marriage.

“The court has instructed the government against making any discrimination on the basis of sex. This is a landmark decision for the sexual minorities and we welcome it,” Sunil Babu Panta, a leading gay activist in South Asia and Nepal’s only lawmaker in the Constituent Assembly representing the community, said.

So, same sex marriage has now conquered a part of Everest.

More news can be found here.

Public is very angry with the financial bailout. More companies and financial institutions are lining up in the halls of congress for money. I hope, wish it does not, when Citigroup goes bust, government steps in and saves them. The implications are very severe. IMF staff say, though not IMF’s official stance as though it matters much here, a large financial institution goes under as much as 1.5 trillion dollars worth assets value could be lost, not to mention the job loss and domino effect. Citigroup should protect itself. Breaking up the company might be an option, more important is recapitalization.

More on the impact can be found here.

About the companies financial report.

Negotiations with the US governement for help by Reuters.

President elect Obama has signaled that he will concentrated more on Afghanistan. It may is good that he is focusing there but one needs to be careful here. There are some very big differences between Iraq and Afghanistan.

Government’s biggest contribution to society is a providing a system. Anarchy is no form of government. So, when we look at the recent history of Iraq, there was a social and government structure. No matter how bad things were in Iraq under Saddam, he was not Taliban. People in Iraq had a government which touched all the aspects of the society. Iraqi’s lived under some kind of order and system. Now so called democracy in Iraq is taking shape it is still in no way be compared to Afghanistan.I still am very skeptical of the success because, when US troops draw down in number there will be a bigger power vacuum than estimated. Iran will gain more influence then.

Afghanistan was always a mess from 1970’s. Right after the Soviets invaded Afghanistan they have know war and only fighting. There never has been a central governing structure for nearly 20 years from 1975-1995, they accepted the Taliban. Only reason for this was Taliban brought order. Moreover Afghanistan guys are super-nationalists. They have never been controlled over thousand years, this goes back to the days of Pre-Mogul era. Even the British struggled here so much they gave up.  The Sunni kind awakening is not in the interest of any group here. Here not only Iran could cause problems, Russians and Chinese can also insert their influence.

The surge is not a very good idea. Afghanistan could easily blow up in the face of the new administration.

More report on the surge by Reuters.

We are now well aware of the trouble the big three automakers GM, Ford and Chrysler are in.  But things have turned bad for them this week. The big three did not get a bail out this week. Now things are looking more dire for GM. The company board of GM is considering a bankruptcy option. It might help but if things don’t work out GM will go down fast. What a strange story here, companies which have survived the world war II and the great depression are falling like domino’s for the credit crisis.

More on the bankruptcy is on Reuters.

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