Prof. Pandit Comments on Mumbai Attacks

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Local Professor With Ties To Mumbai Reacts To Attacks

Ravi Pandit Worked At Taj Mahal Hotel For 20 Years

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- The terrorist attacks in Mumbai have hit close to home for people who used to work or live in the Indian city. One local man said he had very personal ties to a hotel where one of the attacks took place.

Ravi Pandit, of Manchester, worked at the Taj Mahal Hotel for 20 years and had his wedding reception there. He watched this week as the terrorists took hostages and fire ravaged the five-star site.

“When you have so many attachments, and not only to the people I worked with, you really feel really sad,” Pandit said.

Pandit is now a professor at Southern New Hampshire University. He said he got a unique perspective on the chaos in a Thursday morning phone conversation with a longtime friend who is now the deputy police commissioner of Mumbai. Many westerners still know the city by its previous name, Bombay.

“He was worried because the situation is almost under control but nobody knows what’s going on,” he said.

Pandit said his friend did not consider the terror attack to be a total surprise.

“According to him, there have been a lot of cells in Bombay,” Pandit said. “They knew it would explode some day but didn’t know when.”
His friend also said police believe that the terrorists came by boat from Karachi, Pakistan. The friend said there was tremendous confusion among officers and emergency responders about what to do.

“Especially the police,” Pandit said. “They are in the dark about what the rule is, where they go after the terrorists or after law and order in the city.”

Pandit said he has relatives who still live in Mumbai. He said he has been able to contact them and that they are safe.

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