Thursday, November 27, 2008

Live Blog: Bombay Under Siege V

4.30 p.m.

Nearly 18 hours they say. The ship that brought the attackers has been caught and the Navy is questioning the occupants. At the posh Oberoi there have been reports of around five blasts from grenades. At the Taj security forces are trying to scale the hotel by ropes suspended from its first floor. There is no breakthrough so far. 

One big irritant in between these broadcasts are the advertisements which don't have any relationship with the gravity of the situation. Kotex sanitary napkins, Lakme Pure Defense, Axe Deodorant, Congress campaign in Delhi, anything goes. And not once, many times. What is going on? It's like the occasion is being exploited to sell products. Makes one feel insulted. As time goes on I feel that there is less reporting and more such advertisement breaks. So the media is taking full advantage of the situation of fear. The worst offenders are Star News and Aaaj Tak who kept interrupting the telecast to broadcast these repeated advertisements. NDTV didn't have so many breaks. Thanks NDTV.

Latest news is that the security agencies are evacuating all the rooms they have access to and a big explosion has been reported in Taj Hotel. The pictures show a man in one of the windows wanting to communicate with the security forces. The fire in the Taj Hotel is under control.

The Prime Minister comes on television and expresses his deep shock at the events and offers his condolences to the bereaved especially the police officers who died in the effort to control the situation. He says "it is a threat to the nation's security," and will take "strongest measures to ensure safety and security of citizens." He says that he will set up a federal agency to control terrorism. 

Meanwhile there is news that the terrorists came from Karachi by sea. A deliberate attempt is being made to strike high profile meeting and living spaces. Leopold was the "adda" of the expatriate population and the Taj is known to host Presidents Prime Ministers and star sportsmen. That people can enter these places with grenades and RDX is surprising. I was told that there are sensors in VT station that can detect RDX in the premises. Where were they? Were they at all being monitored. 

Question, and more questions! Where are the answers?

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