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Rata Tata calls for unity to fight terror, Oberoi Hotel official says six dead, 200 still trapped

Mumbai, Thu, 27 Nov 2008 ANI

Mumbai, Nov.27 (ANI): A senior official of the Oberoi Hotel Group said on Thursday that five or six persons had been killed inside Mumbai's beseiged Trident Oberoi Hotel during the firefight between security personnel and the terrorists, and added that at least 200 people continued to be held hostage.


Oberoi Hotels Vice Chairman S.S. Mukherjee said that there were at least 100 people on the Oberoi side of the hotel, and a similar number on the Trident side.


The five-star hotel has been surrounded by the army and NSG commandos and an offensive is likely to be launched to flush the holed up terrorists out.


Meanwhile, Ratan N Tata, the chairman of Tata Sons and chairman of Indian Hotels Co, which owns the Taj hotel in Mumbai, which terrorists damaged badly, made the following statement on Thursday afternoon.


"The terrible wanton attacks last night on innocent people and the destruction of prominent landmarks in India deserve to be universally condemned. My sympathies and condolences go out to all those who have suffered, been injured, and those who have lost their loved ones in this terrible act of hatred and destruction," a Business Standard report quoted Tata, as saying.


"We cannot replace the lives that have been lost and we will never forget the terrifying events of last night, but we must stand together, shoulder to shoulder as citizens of India, and rebuild what has been destroyed. We must show that we cannot be disabled or destroyed, but that such heinous act will only make us stronger. It is important that we do not allow divisive forces to weaken us. We need to overcome these forces as one strong unified nation," he added.


India Incorporated reacted with horror and dismay to the attacks, with some like Apurva Shah, the head of the brokerage firm Prabhudas Lilladher Ltd., saying that India's investment climate would suffer, as also its tourism and hospitality sectors.


Assocham president Sajjan Jindal called for the deployment of adequate security personnel at all sensitive places including hubs of economic activities.


Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the President of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) urged India Inc to join the debate on terrorism and demand a stronger and firmer leadership.


Habil Khorakiwala, the Chairman and Managing Director of Wockhardt, claimed the terrrorist clearly wanted to spread panic and shatter the confidence of investors in India and global investors coming to India.


According to a Bussiness Today report, overseas investors have pulled out a record 13.5 billion dollars from Indian stocks in 2008 as of November 25, causing the benchmark Bombay Stock Exchange Sensitive Index, or Sensex, to slump 56 per cent. (ANI)



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