Thursday, February 22, 2024

‘Terrorists knew Taj hotel layout’

National Security Guard (NSG) chief J.K. Dutt Sunday said the terrorists who attacked Mumbai knew the layout of the Taj Mahal hotel “too well” and tricked commandos, stretching the gun battle for nearly 60 hours.
“They knew the layout plan of the hotel (Taj Mahal) too well. They entered rooms where there were too many doors,” Dutt told reporters at the NSG headquarters at Manesar in Haryana.
“Taj is a heritage building built in a 20th century manner. There are columns, domes, corridors and all that is not linear. Otherwise they could have been trapped in a corner easily,” Dutt said.
He said the terrorists navigated inside the hotel much easily as compared to the NSG commandos.
“We found there was a spiral staircase. One of the terrorists had taken position on that to protect them from the rear side. That is why it became very difficult to dislodge them. We had to keep changing our strategies,” Dutt said.
He also lauded efforts of his search teams.
During the mopping up operation, the NSG, he said, found many unexploded grenades in the hotel after the commandos had killed the terrorists Saturday.
“With great care, our officers defused unexploded grenades found in the hotel,” Dutt said.
At least 183 people, including 22 foreigners, were killed when terrorists who India says came from Pakistan sneaked into Mumbai Wednesday night and struck at 10 sites. They later took over two luxury hotels and a Jewish centre, leading to prolonged firefights with commandos.

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