Home And Abroad: Mumbai

Friday, November 28, 2008

There's a lot of information coming out on the attacks in Mumbai, and while I have thoughts on both a personal and political level, for right now, here are some links to news both here and abroad:

Indian Commandos Storm Jewish Center

Indian commandos staged a dramatic helicopter raid and battled pockets of militants on Friday as security forces tried to end the bloody assault by terrorists on Mumbai, the financial and entertainment capital of India.

Commandos slid down ropes from a hovering Army helicopter Friday morning as they stormed a Jewish center that had been seized. The blue-uniformed troopers landed on the roof and soon made their way inside Nariman House, home to the Orthodox Jewish group Chabad-Lubavitch. A gun battle was continuing inside the building, with hundreds of shots fired over at least five hours but there was no word on the fate of hostages assumed to be held there.
Chicago-area Indians worry, wait for news after terrorist attacks in Mumbai

Mafat Patel slept in spurts Wednesday night, waking every few hours to check Indian television and Web sites for updates on the coordinated terrorist attacks in Mumbai. His brother had already canceled a trip to India after a wedding he planned on attending was postponed.

Across the street from Patel Brothers, the popular spice and produce store in the heart of Chicago's South Asian shopping district on Devon Avenue, Vishal Chhabria was having lunch with his father at Uru-Swati, their restaurant. Their family members are Bombayites (as most residents of Mumbai still call themselves). He spent hours sending text messages to friends and relatives, making sure everyone was OK.

Friends of Chhabria visiting Mumbai to shop for a wedding had to be evacuated from the coffee shop at the Oberoi Hotel, one of the luxury hotels attacked by terrorists. A cousin had been hanging out in Colaba, a popular neighborhood where the landmark Taj Mahal Palace hotel and Leopold Cafe are located. He heard explosions, ran home and alerted relatives via Facebook that he was fine.

The bombing also hit home with a Jewish community in Skokie. The Lubavitch Chabad of Illinois held prayer services for hostages at a sister organization, the Chabad Jewish center in Mumbai.
Silicon Valley Indian-Americans react with horror to Mumbai attacks

The attacks, Mishra said, eclipsed the horror of previous terrorist incidents in India "by an order of magnitude" because they clearly targeted prominent places and people. Reports indicated that American and British visitors were sought by the terrorists as hostages.

And Indians in the Bay Area were "absolutely" riveted to news of the attacks on hotels serving an elite clientele of prominent Indians, foreign dignitaries and visiting business leaders. "I just can't believe this is happening," Mishra said.

For many Silicon Valley residents, the ties to Mumbai are both personal and professional. The first report that Silicon Valley Bank executive Ash Lilani received from his hometown was sketchy.
Blogs feed information frenzy on Mumbai attacks

Bloggers across Mumbai fed live updates of the action after Islamist gunmen launched waves of attacks in the heart of India's financial capital, highlighting the emergence of citizen journalism in news coverage. Some, including a blogger named Vinu, were furiously uploading photos of damage from the attacks that killed at least 101 people and injured 287, with scores of foreigners, including Westerners trapped in luxury hotels. Images of the attacks also surfaced on photo-sharing website Flickr. Some bloggers provided running descriptions and commentaries from near the action, while others vented emotions.

"I've been tweeting almost all night, too, from Mumbai. Upset and angry and bereft," said businesswoman Dina Mehta on her blog, www.dinamehta.com/blog.