MP recalls night of blood and fear at the Taj (Lead)

November 27th, 2008 - 5:55 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 27 (IANS) He says he is a born fighter but Lok Sabha MP N.N. Krishnadas says he felt utterly helpless when masked terrorists barged in and fired all around him at the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel in Mumbai. A night of blood, tears, and fear had just begun.”It was a horrible night in my life. I’m a born fighter, but I was helpless when I saw two foreigners who were sitting next to my table being shot,” Krishnadas, a Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) politician from Kerala, told IANS on phone about Wednesday night’s ordeal. He was rescued by commandos Thursday morning.

He was having dinner with three other MPs at Shamiana restaurant of the hotel when two terrorists indiscriminately fired at them. The hotel was one of seven prominent landmarks where terrorists struck late Wednesday, carrying on their offensive well into the next day, killing at least 101 people.

“It was just like a lightning attack. Around 30 people, including foreigners, were there in the hall at 9.15 p.m. when two gun-wielding terrorists masked in black clothes struck indiscriminately,” said Krishnadas.

“Smelling the danger, I and other MPs Bhupinder Singh Solanki, Lal Mani Prasad and Gaikwad Patil sneaked under the dining table. We remained there for a while. I tried to console the injured foreigners who lay injured next to me. Their shoulders were injured. Our clothes were soaked in blood,” Krishnadas said.

“They (the terrorists) disappeared soon. A hotel staffer evacuated us through an emergency door. We reached near the swimming pool. But we were in danger as the firing and explosions could be heard nearby. We lay in the bushes near the swimming pool for one hour before being taken to a lobby through the kitchen storeroom,” he said.

“At least 150 people were in the lobby when we reached. We spent the whole night in the lobby without making any kind of noise. The lobby was filled with smoke. Tears were flowing from our eyes,” Krishnadas narrated.

“Two other foreigners who tried to escape from the lobby were shot dead,” Krishnadas said.

Krishnadas and three other MPs had reached the hotel at 6.30 p.m. Wednesday to attend four meetings in Mumbai Thursday and Friday. They are members of the parliamentary committee for subordinate legislation.

“The 11 other members of the committee were supposed to reach Mumbai Thursday morning,” said Krishnadas, who was rescued and taken to Azad Nagar police station at 9.30 a.m. Thursday by commandos.

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