the hunt for the brutes

1 THE LANDING There have been two independent sightings of a boat landing near the Gateway of India shore in Colaba. First, a guest — after her evacuation from the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower — told the media that she had seen from the window of her room a dinghy anchoring on the shore.
This version was corroborated by fishermen from the nearby colony, who said they had seen a boat coming in from the sea.
The terrorists then fanned out to different locations across south Mumbai to spread terror in some of the poshest areas of Maximum City.

2 HOTEL TAJ MAHAL PALACE & TOWER
TERRORISTS KILLED: 4
PEOPLE KILLED: 99 bodies recovered (no official confirmation)
PEOPLE RESCUED: 100-plus
This is the terror operation that has caused the maximum pain to Maximum City. Four terrorists held Mumbai’s most iconic hotel hostage for a little less than 60 hours and, according to unconfirmed reports, the final count of bodies could be much higher than the figure of 99. The bloodbath started around 9.30 pm on Wednesday, with terrorists lobbing grenades in the hotel’s swimming pool area and then spraying automatic fire on the guests. Over the next two-and-a-half days, they moved between the two wings of the hotel, seeking out guests on the basis of nationality and religion and killing them in cold blood. They engaged around 400 security personnel, from multiple agencies like the National Security Guards and the Marine Commando Force, in a cat-and-mouse game inside the centuryplus-old building and — at last count — they had exploded more than 400 grenades inside the heritage building. The damage to the building has been great but the beating Mumbai’s psyche has taken is far more devastating.

3a CST TO CAMA HOSP CHHATRAPATI SHIVAJI TERMINUS
TERRORISTS KILLED: 0
PEOPLE KILLED: 48
Commuters heard the first gunshots at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus around 9.30 pm on Wednesday. It was a working day and hundreds of people were at the station to catch the train home. Commuters, as well as police personnel in uniform who were without the firepower needed to take on the terrorists, started running helter-skelter as the latter sprayed bullets indiscriminately from their automatic weapons. By the time they quit CST and moved on, they had killed 48 people and spread terror across the city.

3b CAMA TO METRO PEOPLE KILLED: 4
COPS KILLED: 9
The same terrorists walked across the foot-overbridge over D N Road and, after finding the TOI building’s rear entrance locked, walked over to Cama Hospital. They were at the hospital till midnight — killing two guards, and two other persons in the chawl outside — after which they walked out of the rear gate. They opened fire at a police Qualis approaching them, killing Anti-Terrorism Squad joint commissioner of police Hemant Karkare, additional commissioner of police Ashok Kamte, encounter specialist inspector Vijay Salaskar, and two constables. They then took over the vehicle, driving it towards the Metro junction. Four more cops were killed in the vicinity.

3c METRO JUNCTION PEOPLE KILLED: 1
One person was killed as the terrorists sprayed bullets on passers-by. They then drove towards Mantralaya where a shower of bullets from cops met them; it punctured one of the vehicle’s tyres. So the duo got out of the Qualis and stopped a Skoda and forced the occupants — two friends returning home — out.

3d GIRGAUM CHOWPATTY TERRORIST KILLED: 1
TERRORIST TAKEN ALIVE: 1
COP KILLED: 1
The two then drove the car towards Girgaum, where they met a police blockade. The car overturned, as they tried to dodge the block and hit the divider, and cops fired at them. One of them died, the other (Ajmal Amir Kasab) was taken alive. He has proved to be a very big catch for Mumbai Police; he is the only member of the terror group who has been captured alive.

4 NARIMAN HOUSE TERRORISTS KILLED: 2
PEOPLE KILLED: 6 (including an NSG man)
PEOPLE RESCUED: 14
The death toll here may have been lesser than those at other places but the choice of this place, home to a sect of Jews, showed to what length the terrorists could go to kill for religion. The most spectacular rescue operation occurred here, with a chopper air-dropping 10 NSG commandos on the building’s roof and around 300 personnel from multiple security agencies on duty on the ground. The stand-off started around 10 pm on Wednesday and ended only at 7.30 pm on Friday. That it was an operation planned in cold blood and with cool mind was evident from the fact that the two terror operatives had rented this place for a few months.

5 OBEROI & TRIDENT t TERRORISTS KILLED: 2
GUESTS KILLED: 30
GUESTS RESCUED: 31
Terror visited all the spots around the same time and ended at this other landmark hotel only around 3.30 pm on Friday. By the time around 500 security personnel from multiple agencies had succeeded in killing the two terrorists (after a helicopter made an aerial survey of the twin structures), the latter had killed around 30 hotel guests (no official confirmation was available). These two terrorists, officials said, were probably from the module that landed at Colaba. Security agencies managed to rescue seven people on Thursday and 31 more on Friday but the death of 30 other guests left the management shell-shocked.

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