‘Words of 26/11 terrorists still ringing in my ears’

Last Updated: Friday, September 11, 2009 - 20:08

Mumbai: A staff of hotel Taj, who was taken
hostage by the terrorists during the 26/11 attacks, on Friday told
the court that he heard one of the attackers telling his
companions to throw grenade and set the hotel on fire.

"`Throw grenades and set the hotel on fire....`, these
words uttered by a terrorist on the night of November 26 last
during terror attacks at hotel Taj are still ringing in my
ears," Adil Irani, a steward with the hotel, told the court.
Thirtyone-year-old Adil, who was taken hostage for about
four hours by four suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operatives,
said the attackers were very abusive and had assaulted some
hostages very badly.

Adil said the terrorist was telling his companions that
they must throw hand grenades and torch the hotel at once.
"This frightened me but I kept quiet", he told Special Public
Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam.

Yesterday, a banker had described in the court how he was
taken hostage and the way he escaped.

The witness told Judge M L Tahaliyani that a terrorist
was talking to somebody on mobile phone and told the person on
the other side "Panch murge pakde hain, ek bada murga hai (we
have captured five people, one of them is a big man)".

"My mobile which terrorists had kept with them, rang and
my wife inquired about me. The terrorist who picked up the
cell phone got furious and told her that `Operation hatao
nahin to Tabahi macha denge` (stop the Operation or else we
would create havoc)," he said.

The terrorist was telling Adil`s wife to stop the
Operation of the Commandoes who were firing at them.
Adil said he was serving in a restaurant at hotel Taj on
November 26 night when he heard gunshots. He was frightened
and took a lift to the sixth floor.

The witness said he met his colleague Swapnil in room
number 639 and they locked it from inside. At 1.15 am, someone
knocked at the door twice but they did not open.

Suddenly the door broke open and two armed persons
entered the room. One with a grey shirt was limping, while the
other tall person with a golden shirt was holding a gun.

"We were hiding behind a table. They asked us to come out
and took us to a passage outside the room where we were made
to lie down on the ground with other hostages. Two more
terrorists joined them thereafter," Adil told prosecutor

Adil said the terrorists asked him about his religion and
when he told them that he was a Muslim, they said, "Ghanta
Musalman hai, Jehad ke naam par kalank hai. Gaddar Musalman
hai" (what Muslim are you, a blot on Jehad. You are a Muslim
traitor). When Adil told them he was a steward, they said,
"chal Allah ko kurban ho ja" (come on, now get ready to
sacrifice your life to Allah).
The witness said some more hostages were brought to the
same place and they were shifted to room number 632. "After
sometime the terrorists left us saying, `Inko chod do, apni
jaan bachao` (leave them, let us save our lives)," he said,
adding that he escaped from a window and was rescued by fire

Judge reprimands Kasab

Pakistani gunman Ajmal Kasab was
today reprimanded by special Judge M L Tahaliyani, who is
hearing the Mumbai attacks case, after the lone surviving
terrorist of 26/11 was found talking to a co-accused in the

"Kya baat kar rahe ho"? the judge asked Kasab after
Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam made a complaint that
the gunman was talking to Faheem Ansari.

Kasab got up and said "kuch nahin huzur" (nothing sir).

The Judge remarked "court mein theek se baitho" (sit
properly and maintain the decorum of the court).

Kasab then sat down on the bench and did not utter a

Nikam complained to the court after he saw Kasab
disobeying the police constable who asked him (through
gestures) not to talk to Faheem.

Kasab is facing the trial along with two Indians, Faheem
Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed. They are charged with
participating in the alleged conspiracy and killing 166
persons in terror attacks on November 26 last year.

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First Published: Friday, September 11, 2009 - 20:08

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