‘Gunman asked me if I was a Muslim’ | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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‘Gunman asked me if I was a Muslim’

mumbai Updated: Sep 12, 2009 01:05 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Taj Mahal Hotel

“Jihad ke naam pe kalank hai, gaddar hai” (You are a disgrace in the name of jihad), rapped one of the four terrorists, who stormed Taj Mahal Hotel on November 26, 2008.

Aadil Irani (31), a steward at the hotel had told the attackers that he was a Muslim after he was held hostage.

Irani deposed before the special court on Friday and recollected his ordeal.

Irani did run but found both the front and back main doors of the hotel locked leaving him with only one option — to go upstairs. He joined his colleague, Swapnil, in room number 639 on sixth floor.

“At 1.15 am someone knocked at our door twice,” he said. “Ten minutes later the door flung open and we could see safety chain being removed by gun barrel,” he added.

Both of them were brought to another room on the same floor where a guest — 69-year-old Bangalore banker — was already present.

One limping attacker, who was constantly in touch with someone on his cellphone, grilled Irani.

The gunman asked him if he was a Muslim. “After thinking a lot I said yes, despite being a Christian,” he said.

He was expecting sympathy but all he received was abuse. “All of us were badly beaten,” he added.

The terrorists discussed fate of the hostages as smoke filled in the room after a bomb blast early on November 27. But they left room with one of them saying, “Forget them, they will anyway die like this,” according to Irani.

The four employees then used bed sheets to get down from a window.

Irani almost fell three floors down in an attempt to help the banker and received more injuries.