Mumbai attack: Was Nariman House the terror hub?
By: A Correspondent
India's financial capital, Mumbai seems to be going through its longest night for the last two days. Wednesday, 9.40 pm,the affluent south Mumbai was struck by terrorists, at 12 different locations, including the VT station, a hub for all railway trains, to two of the most luxurious hotels, Taj Mahal and Oberoi Trident.|
24 hours later, the attention has riveted to these hotels, and a tiny nondescript building, barely a few meters away from the Taj Mahal hotel. Housing a five-storied guest house for Israeli nationals, this building is turning out to be the 'den' for the militants.
"I saw 6 to 7 boats coming in on Wednesday evening and about ten people unloaded many bags from these boats and then gradually took them into the building, Nariman House', Vitthal Tandel, a fisherman in the area said. "The building has many rooms and these are used a s guest houses by travelers, largely Israeli residents. None of us know what their names are", he said.
Virendra Ghunawat, a television journalist who has been tracking the Nariman House shootout since the time it took place Wednesday night, said even the cops have been cagey about details.
"Today, during one of the shootout exchanges, the cops managed to rescue a six year old girl and her mother. We know of a man who is critically injured and requires urgent medical help. A couple is also holed up inside apart from the militants", a senior police official said, who did not wish to be quoted.
The role that Nariman House is coming to play in this entire attack drama, is puzzling. Last night, residents ordered close to 100 kilograms of meat and other food, enough to feed an army or a bunch of people for twenty days. Shortly thereafter, the ten odd militants moved in, obviously, indicating that the food and meat was ordered, keeping their visit in mind, another cop added.
" One of the militants called up a television news channel and voiced his demands today, but, interestingly, when he was asked where are they all holed him, he said at the Israeli owned Nariman House and they are six of them here", one of the investigating cops said. Since morning, there has been exchange of gun fire has been going on and the militants seem well equipped to counter the cops fire. To top it, they have food and shelter. One wonders of they have the support of the residents, a local Ramrao Shanker said.
Cops did not want to go into speculation. "Three residents of the building, all presumably Israeli residents, have also been killed since last night, allegedly by the militants. We do not have their identity and would not like to speculate on this angle", the cops said.