I can’t let terrorists win: Taj general manager

December 22nd, 2008 - 7:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Dec 22 (IANS) He lost his wife and two sons in the audacious terror attack Nov 26. But Taj Mahal Palace Hotel general manager Karambir Kang didn’t let his personal grief overtake his spirit of duty - neither during the hours of the bloodshed nor after it.When the iconic hotel by the bay reopened Sunday after remaining closed three weeks, Kang bravely responded to the call of duty and has been involved in the process of restoration of the hotel.

On the fateful night of Nov 26, as the fire and the gun battle raged on in the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, the flames and smoke concealed Kang’s story of loss and heroism.

Inside the burning sixth floor suite of the hotel were Kang’s wife Niti and two sons, Uday, 14, and Samar, 5.

But Kang stood his ground - to battle his own tragedy, and help the evacuation process so others may live.

Narrating his ordeal, Kang told CNN-IBN news channel: “I came (at the hotel) 45 minutes after the incident. By then there were just a few people from the Anti-Terrorism Squad. I was giving them directions.”

“I was on the phone with my wife. Then the Marcos (marine commandos) came. I was showing them where the CCTVs were, what the plans were. I was on the telephone with guests. It was a blur of things. I was getting calls from people trapped. At that moment, I did whatever best I could do.”

Asked how he was able to muster strength after facing such a huge personal tragedy, Kang said: “My family is a part of the hotel now. They are there. That was my real strength. I need to be involved and will be in restoring it better than what it was. My family died there. I see them there. I can’t let them down and let the terrorists win.”

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