Indian origin guest recounts terror at Taj hotel

December 2nd, 2008 - 5:55 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 2 (IANS) Praful Patel, an Indian origin man from Uganda who lives in Britain, was terrified when he heard a loud knock on the door of his Taj Mahal Hotel room in the middle of the night in Mumbai. He thought the terrorists were outside and would kill him if he opened the door - but thankfully, it was a commando who had come to save him. Sharing his 16-hour ordeal in the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel, Mumbai, last week when terrorists ravaged Mumbai over three days and three nights, killing 183 people and injuring 239, Patel said he was watching a cricket match when he first heard “some shots”.

“I was told it was a gang war going on at the Leopold CafĂ©. Within a few minutes, I was asked to rush to my room and not to open the door unless I was sure who was knocking at it,” Patel told IANS.

“With lights off, I spent the night listening to the frequent bursts of gunfire. I didn’t know what was happening outside as the TV and my mobile phone were not working,” he said.

“At 3 a.m., one of the commandos knocked at my door, shouting that he will blow it if I do not open it.”

“I was terrified but I opened the door and saw someone looking like a terrorist. He ordered, ‘Hands up’ and said he was a commando (who had) come to help me. I could not restrain myself then and started to cry and went to the lobby with tears down my eyes,” Patel recalled.

“As I walked through the lobby and the kitchen, I was horrified at the carnage as I stepped over pools of dried blood. I am still in the after-shock,” he said.

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