Narrow escape for ‘Bigg Boss’ participants in Mumbai terror attack

November 27th, 2008 - 2:38 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 27 (IANS) Contestants of the just concluded reality show “Bigg Boss”, who were to attend a bash thrown by model-actor Zulfi Syed, narrowly escaped a blast in Mumbai where terrorists went on the rampage, killing at least 101 people and injuring over 250.”I had organised a party at my lounge in the Sahara Star hotel in Santa Cruz Wednesday night. When I reached close to the hotel there was a rattling sound. Initially, I thought there must be a wedding nearby, but when I reached the hotel I came to know that it was indeed a bomb blast,” Zulfi told IANS over phone from Mumbai.

Among those present at the south Mumbai venue were Zulfi, Rahul Mahajan, Rakhi Vijan, Raja Chaudhary and Zulfi’s other friends, including actor Shahwar Ali. Bollywood actors Shilpa Shetty and Aditya Pancholi were also supposed to be present there.

“I had invited my friends from ‘Bigg Boss’, but when I got to know that things are not under control in the city, I called those who were on their way not to come because I felt it was not safe,” Zulfi said.

According to Zulfi’s publicist Dale Bhagwagar, who was also at the party, the blast was in a taxi that exploded just two buildings away. The blast was part of a massive terror strike in Mumbai - India’s financial and entertainment capital - that began Wednesday night and continued into Thursday.

Bhagwagar said: “Rahul Mahajan was scared to bits, he was shivering like a kid. Luckily, the hotel’s staff and security were extremely sharp and alert to the situation, and handled it with care and reassurances to all the guests, avoiding any panic situation.”

The show “Bigg Boss” ended Nov 22 after Ashutosh Kaushik was declared the winner.

Raja Chaudhary, who was the runner-up in the reality show, said: “I was about to reach Zulfi’s party, but I heard a deafening sound. I looked back and realised there was a bomb blast almost 400 meters behind my car.

“When I reached there, everyone was shocked. Though the party was cancelled, everyone was talking about these terrorists.”

Raja, who is the estranged husband of TV actress Shweta Tiwari, added he was stuck inside the hotel with other guests until almost 1.45 a.m.

Even as terrorists continued to hold people hostage in two prominent hotels in the city, Zulfi said the state of affairs in the city was awful.

Raja said the terrorists must be mentally ill. “They can’t see people happy. Mumbai is a cosmopolitan city and it is a very happening city. I think they need psychiatric treatment,” he said.

The most audacious terror attack targeted high profile landmarks, including the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel, Oberoi Trident Hotel, Metro Theatre and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus) railway station.

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