Taj Hotel official looking for photos of his lost family

December 4th, 2008 - 8:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Mohali (Punjab), Dec 4 (IANS) Taj Mahal Hotel general manager Karambir Singh Kang, whose wife and two sons perished in the Mumbai terror strike last week, was now trying to collect photographs of his family in happier times as all his belongings were destroyed, a family member said here Thursday.Kang lost his wife, Niti, and two sons Uday (14) and Samar (5), who were locked in their suite on the sixth floor of the hotel. They were asphyxiated in the suite’s toilet after a fire broke out.

Sherry Singh, Karambir’s cousin, told IANS: “Karambir was going to shift with his family in their new house in Mumbai on Dec 1 and even had got its keys. His younger son Samar was to appear for an interview for an admission in one of the leading schools there, and they were all busy in its preparations but this tragedy has shattered their dreams.”

“He has lost everything and all the family photographs and belongings related to his family were burnt in the fire. He is only left with his laptop and mobile phone. So these days, Karambir is busy collecting the old family photographs in happier times from his friends and relatives,” he added.

Kang arrived at Kandala village, about 15 km from here, where his parents reside for prayers after having cremated his family in Mumbai. The ashes of his wife and two sons were immersed in a river near here.

Kang spent over 40 hours in the hotel, helping others in spite of getting the news of his family’s death, close relatives said here.

He was asked by his mother, Kanwaljeet Kaur, to follow the brave deeds of Guru Gobind Singh even as his own family perished in the fire in their hotel suite.

“It was written in our destiny and everyone is helpless before it. My daughter-in-law and grandsons had reached the hotel just 15 minutes before the terrorists’ attack while my son was away attending some official meeting,” Kanwaljeet Kaur told IANS Thursday at their farmhouse in Punjab’s Mohali district.

“My son called me from Mumbai informing me about the tragedy, but I told him to act as a warrior like Guru Gobind Singh at that time. He told me that he is the captain of the ship and would not leave the Taj premises till the situation is under control there,” said an inconsolable Kaur.

Kang’s father is a decorated retired Major-General from the army. His parents were in Bahrain with his sister when tragedy struck and they watched the terror attack on TV.

Sherry said: “We got immense support from all the quarters. Hundreds of people attended the funeral in Mumbai and most of them were unknown to us.”

He added: “Karambir is still in a state of shock and his family members and friends are not leaving him alone (even) for a moment.”

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