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Mumbai and Terror: The Day After

An attack of this scale has surprised the entire country. While India is no stranger to bomb blasts and attacks by terrorists, a prolonged hostage situation at prominent landmarks is a complete surprise. The last hostage situation that was covered this extensively was the hijacking of a flight in 1999.

At Mumbai Metblogs, ideasmith rounds up the events of a day and more.

Later this morning, there was a sudden buzz that a fresh round of firing had opened at C.S.T. station and that hostages had been taken. This turned out to be a false rumour. Apparantly someone had heard some noise that sounded to them like gunfire and panicked.

Just ten minutes back, I heard what sounded like a blast. I jumped but I ignored it. Two minutes later it was followed by another one. I looked up to see if anyone else had heard it. Apparantly no one else had. I was just debating whether to go back to my desk (in one corner of the office so I could have been the only one to hear it, being closest) or tell someone (and risk starting another panic wave). Upstairs someone else had heard it too and called us to check it out. We raced to the terrace, hearts thundering. It turned out to be nothing more than the daily workers going about their deed at the construction site next door. Whhhewwwww.

On Twitter, prempanicker is providing constant updates. In a sense, it captures the high levels of confusion. Every two hours, there is a an announcement of sorts that things are under control, but right after, more gunbattle and blasts are reported.

Prem Twitter

code clicks n caffeine posts photographs from the last two days – taken by various people and from various sources. John P Matthew has been liveblogging the events in Mumbai, with reflections on people's reactions and the media's coverage.

At the office where I am there are excited voices, raised in concern, about attacks at VT station through which I have to pass. Somebody says that in the lane downstairs terrorists were firing indiscriminately. There's panic in the building and a colleague is spreading more terror with his uncontrolled blurting of what little he knows. He gets too excited unnecessarily.

Kunal at Live's Short Live it Up has been liveblogging relentlessly as well –

# GPS Satellite phones found on terrorists. Another phone with foreign SIM card found near Taj hotel
# Terrorists hijacked fishing boards
# All Terrorists in Taj hotel have been Eliminated! [23:25]
# NSG sources say one injured terrorist still holed up at Taj hotel
# More hostages rescued from Nariman House. 15-17 people are out of Nariman house now
# 25 blasts at Taj hotel in last 24 hours
# Fresh round of firing from Taj hotel’s far end

As is obvious, confusion appears to reign supreme, and there's very little clarity on the status of the terrorists and hostage situation.

30 comments

  • Ahmed

    Most humbly, most respectfully and sharing your grieves whole heartly, I would like to state my views about why Pakistan is not involved in Mumbai attacks due to the following reasons:

    – They are not damn fools to leave clues like boats, GPS devices, mobile phones, etc. this is all orchestrated and rubbish
    – The culprits of Samjhota express bombings and other bombings were identified and being interrogated and many Hindu elements were angry on it, why would Pakistan do an act that would divert the whole flood towards them and make a safe passage for real culprits ?
    – Pakistan will never kill the three MOST important COPS of ATS who were interrogating RAW and INDIAN army officers over Melagaon blasts.
    – Pakistan and ISI are already too much troubled and they won’t like to open a new front whereas all the countries like USA, UK, India and Israel are their sworn enemies at the same time.
    – Pakistan army is already fighting terrorists in its own land.
    – why Pakistan will take such an action, result of which would be all attention diverted from Hindu elements in different blasts towards them ??

    And FINALLY some questions to think ….

    – If terrorists were looking for UK and USA citizens and when they had held hostages from Israel, whey didn’t they kill them and let them GO ?

    – Why and How the ATS chief and other two important officers who were interrogating some HINDU elements were hit in the very beginning while they were in their Jeep?

    – When Kashmiri freedom movement is at its full swing, why would they do such an act that would destroy their movement ?

    – Why it has taken more than 48 hours for black ops, black cats, this marine commondo, that marine commondo to complete the task ??? and still doing ???

    …………

    It is very much clear who benefited mainly from the MUMBAI blasts.

    Think about it.

  • Pupster

    I agree with Ahmed. I hope people will hold off on judgment until all the facts are in and a full investigation is performed. These fringe elements want to cause discord; they want India and Pakistan, or Jews and Muslims, or West and the Muslim world to battle each other. They create chaos in order to instigate. The only sane reaction is to cooperate together to defeat these radicals.

    The easy thing is to harbor hate and act in revenge. But if we stand together against these forces we will defeat them.

  • rajeshree

    These are some questions for all the media that believed it was their duty to be at the terror spots…………..

    While you reported from these trouble locations and it was being shown live on channels across the country, did it ever occur to you, that could be:

    The terrorists holed up in there where also watching you
    Maybe they could see when the authorities or commandos where closing up on them and hence could change tact because you were their eyes and ears on the grounds
    Maybe seeing successful escapes they would take out their anger on hostages in their grasp
    Maybe seeing the rabbi’s son had escaped, they were angered enough to shoot the parents – today moshe is an orphan, are you sure your action was not the reason
    Maybe seeing that commando’s were now on the roof, their options were getting limited and they were getting desparate
    The information of where they were from given evidence picked up from credit cards founds etc. was out there and hence they needed to destroy phone records or any other possible evidence they have with them
    Did it ever occur to you that because of your huge presence (how can the authorities discriminate) they could not stop civilians from crowding trouble spots
    Did it ever occur to you that because you were so close, the NSGs actions had to be controlled in case the terrorists trained any of their weapons on the media crowd
    Did you know that you were the main reason that by standers were there and hence put at risk the entire operations

    Most of you will go to sleep thinking you did a great job at your coverage, but think back, are your sure anything you did saved even one life – and think even harder, are you sure your coverage did not cost some people their lives? If I were you, I won’t be so sure.

    In a crisis like this what is the media’s role – for certain, the roles you played this time around did not save any lives or help anyone in trouble. Not one of you took the effort to go hospital to hospital and flash names of victims so that relatives knew where to go…. Not one of you urged citizens to donate blood or anything else that was required….. you were nothing but bystanders who did not think twice about capitalizing on the dead or soon to be dead.

    Our problems are many, from our lousy politicians, failed political system, crazed people on the loose etc…. but we are even mre disadvantage when what should be the voice of the people are nothing but a bunch of people who will compromise any situation for their own selfish commercial reasons.

  • Indian

    Ahmed…are you serious…you have nerve to come here and blame what is happening in Mumbai now on Indians man…what ever…. keep drinking the coolaid man…..there is always a judgement day for everything

  • ravi

    Mumbai attack is war on India and we have to defend our nation. Now there is no need for talks of peace with pakistan but pakistan should be held responsible for this. If their government is inefficient in controlling the terrorist activities then India and the other powerful nations of the world shld take control just like the USA did in the case of afganistan and Iraq.

    World shld recognise the potential danger pakistan poses
    as the country has been a training ground for terrorists over the years.

  • Kalpana

    Mr.Ahmed seem to have put in great amount of thought and time in writing this comment. If only his information was as correct. His comment is a very typical Islamic response. “I wholeheartedly condone this heinous attack, but I know who is responsible. It is one of your own Hindu guys.” I mean, are you serious? Why can’t muslims ever take responsibility of their brethern? Why can’t they say I feel ashamed for what’s being done in the name of my religion. Instead of giving some crap explanation such as yours. Even the Pakistani govt is unable to control its own devil the ISI. The most heinous terrorist organization. Please do not comment on something you have no clue about. Its taking time for the commandos to complete the operation is because they do not want to have any more casualties. Because they do not know how many hostages are still locked up inside. Please get your facts straight and then taken more time in writing a sensible comment.

  • Rits

    i am highly disturbed by the death of all the 160 people dead and the others wounded and also by the consistent explosions and shoot out and bangs coming out of the Taj , which is a majestic significant structure which is so dear the most Indians .

    It amuses me how a hand full of terrorists have managed to bring the largest city in India to a stand still .As it is with the dry global economy we did manage to loose a large amount of shares , and now this is like a deep seated wound that is going to burn for a considerable amount of time .

    We talk about the Bombay spirit which is never going to die and that the city is going to jolt back and become normal and start running again as though nothing at all happen . But don’t u think we are exhausted by now after all those attacks , in 2006 , 1993 ….and so on …the list is endless ..our children do not deserve to be raised in such an unsafe atmosphere were we are so numb to violence , how long are we going to count on the spirit of the people , we need help to coordinate the country from the Government .

    I do not mean to point fingers but i do not see the politicians being of any good here ..all they are trying to do is quarreling and back firing amongst themselves which is not helping the situations what so ever while the whole world is analyzing the glitches in our national defense .

  • Axe

    Pakis may not be directly involved but ‘guilt by association’ is something that they know is true. Madrassas breed contempt and hatred of non-Muslims and after all, Pakis were behind the birth of Taliban, so who are they freakin’ kidding ?

    India should absolutely bomb the NW province into oblivion, for starters. Of course the world will erupt into flames but a peaceful, Hindu-dominated society did not start the fire.

    The Axe

  • My prayers are with everyone that is involved. This is a horrific tragedy that is the result of hatred and intolerance.Which is why I am sickened by posts here saying we should bomb pakistan and a very anti muslim sentiment I am hearing, are you people serious!? Going against each other will not solve anything, if anything it will make things worse.The terrorists did this to stop peace talks between Pakistan and India, by having hatred in our hearts at certain groups whom the majority are horrified by, the terrorits will win!We all have to unite and pray for the victems, pray for those who have lost loved ones, pray for the injured,pray for the missing, the hostages and people trapped inside the Taj, pray for Mumbai and the people of India, and pray we all come together, no matter what our creed, nationality,race,gender or social status may be.Only then will we defeat these evil monsters.May the light of our Creator shine through.

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