Prof. Dhakar Comments on Mumbai Attacks

Thursday, November 27, 2008
Union Leader

NH Indian community stunned by attacks

By BENJAMIN KEPPLE
New Hampshire Union Leader Staff
Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008

MANCHESTER – News of horrific terror attacks against the Indian city of Mumbai has stunned Indian-Americans in New Hampshire.

"We are watching CNN. It kind of reminds you of 9/11; there was continuous coverage," said Manchester resident Tej Dhakar, a Southern New Hampshire University business professor and secretary of the India Association of New Hampshire.

More than 100 people were killed and at least 200 injured in the coordinated attacks, which targeted high-profile transit points and hotels in the country's largest city.

In New Hampshire, many Indian-Americans were keeping a close watch on the latest developments.

"It's very unfortunate and it makes you sad that some people believe in killing innocent people," Dhakar said.

Like New York, Mumbai is the country's financial heart. The city formerly known as Bombay is home to many of India's most important companies and institutions, such as the Reserve Bank of India.

Terror attacks in India are not unknown, and so far this year, several bombings around the country have killed civilians. However, according to Dhakar, the Mumbai attacks were of a greater magnitude than the attacks carried out elsewhere in the country.

According to The Times, the group behind the attacks took more than 40 foreigners hostage. The Times also reported that gunmen fired into crowds at a railway station and launched attacks against two hospitals in the city. Military forces were en route to the city to assist with public safety efforts.

There are about 3,000 Indian families in New Hampshire, Dhakar said, and many have roots in Mumbai. His own family has relatives there. Fortunately, everyone was all right, and Dhakar's family here planned to keep in touch.

"We are going to make a few calls to make sure everybody's OK and find out how they're coping with the situation," Dhakar said.

As for India itself, Dhakar said the country would rebound from the attacks. The country, he said, is a resilient one and largely peaceful.

"Tomorrow, everyone will go on with their lives. That's very important. If you don't do that, the terrorists win," Dhakar said.

Dhakar also expressed his hopes that the spate of terror attacks would come to an end.

"I hope these things will come to a stop -- not just in India but elsewhere," Dhakar said.

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