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Taj, Oberoi did not take terror alerts seriously: Panel

india Updated: Jun 17, 2009 01:07 IST
Sayli Udas Mankikar

The two south Mumbai luxury hotels that were attacked on November 26, 2008, did not take the terror alerts given by the police seriously, says the Pradhan committee report.

“Both the Taj and the Oberoi hotels did not take the important security suggestions given by the deputy commissioner of police (Zone I) seriously and had not implemented any of them,” the report said.

“Also, none of the hotels had requested for additional police security following the tip-offs. It is only after the attacks that the hotels have beefed up security and started screening baggage and guests.”

According to the report, the first warnings on ‘bomb attacks’ at Taj, Oberoi and the World Trade Centre were given by the Joint Police Commissioner (Law and Order) KL Prasad on September 9, 2008.

On September 24, the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower had been given specific warnings by the central intelligence agencies that Pakistani terror outfit Lashkar-e-Tayyeba had “an eye” on locations like the hotel.

A special meeting of the DCP (Zone 1) with the hotel manager Karambir Kang and security personnel followed.

The report points out that despite having terror alerts there was no specific intelligence input on the time period of the attacks.

A Taj spokesperson, however, denied the stand taken in the report.

“We continually review our security position on the basis of incoming intelligence and constantly liaise with all relevant security authorities to maintain appropriate levels of readiness and maintain a position of high security preparedness,” the spokesperson said.

“Taj has always acted immediately on any security recommendations given to it by security forces.”