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26/11 Survivor stories, people recall their Brush with death

26/11 survivor stories, brave hearts to managed to escape one of the deadliest attacks.


Today, we are recalling 26/11 survivor stories, take a look at how people managed to escape. 26 November 2008, this date is also remembered as 26/11 Mumbai Attacks. This incident shook not only India, but the whole world came under a state of shock as Maya Nagri aka Mumbai was attacked by terrorists. The city witnessed a series of terrorist attacks when a 10-member terrorist group known as Lashkar-e-Taiba, carried out 12 coordinated shootings and bombing.

Eight of the attacks occurred in South Mumbai at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, The Oberoi Trident, Mumbai Chabad House, Leopold Café, The Taj Palace & Tower, Cama Hospital, the Metro Cinema, The Nariman House, and in a lane behind St. Xavier’s and the Times of India building College by the Pakistan based Islamic terrorist organization.

On the 12th anniversary of 26/11 Mumbai attacks, these people are sharing their memories of the black day.  

The Taj Hotel staff recalled the 26/11 survivor stories and experienced almost a near-death experience.

Raghu Deora, executive sous Chef at Taj Mahal Palace hotel shared his experience of near death.

“They were shooting blindly. Some of my friends got injured. I managed to hide in my kitchen. That is the chambers. But maybe I was hidden so well because I was found out by the terrorists. They got me out, along with 2 more guests.”, said Deora.

Raghu Deora

He added, “We were made to stand in a line and we were shot point-blank. Unfortunately, the 2 guests could not make it. But I was lucky enough that I was not grievously hurt and managed to save myself.” 

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Mallika Jagad, project manager at Tata Trusts remembered the day and said, “A few hours later I was shaken as was everybody. I was terrified and could hear grenades being hurled. Chandeliers were shaking, dust was falling. I remember that I went on to the fifth and sixth floors. Everything was shattered, it was burnt down. And I cried. I think after a few hours, something settled and I was able to calm myself down. I had a very strong feeling everything was going to be okay. But when I moved on, it got rebuilt.”

“And you do not see any trace of that anymore. You do not forget what happened.”, said Jagad.

Devika Rotawan is the youngest survivor of 26/11 Mumbai attacks. She was 9 years old when Ajmal Kasab shot her.

She said, “We (her family) reached CST on 26 November 2008. As we were waiting for my brother who went for a loo, shots were fired and a bomb exploded. “

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Devika was the youngest eyewitness of the terror attack.

“I ran for my life and suddenly Kasab’s bullet hit me on my right leg. I was 9 years and 1 months old. He had a smile on his face. It seemed like killing us made him happy.”, said Devika.

Young Devika walked into court on her crutches. She testified against Ajmal Kasab.

She further added, “I underwent 6 operations in one and a half months. Still my father and I agreed to testify in court. I had seen only Ajmar Amir Kasab. I was 10 years old when I walked into court and felt like throwing my crutches at Kasab.”

Ajmal Kasab

Times of India reporter Shriram Vernekar was the first to capture Ajmal Kasab in his camera. He said, “I saw 2 people at platform no. 7 or 8. They were firing, throwing grenades.”

After creating mayhem, the 2 terrorists moved towards Shriram. Taking care not to be seen, Shriram continued to take their pictures but was not satisfied with the results.

“I have to take his pictures, as he killed so many people.”, said the brave journalist.

Vernekar risked his life to take the pictures of terrorists, jumping and hiding behind the pillars. As the light was dim, he decided to use a flash. Seeing the light, terrorists fire 6 shots at him. Shriram quickly ran to cover.

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Ayushi Mittal

In her journey to become a journalist, Ayushi can inculcate your tale through her news writings. You may find her with a mike in protests, rallies, or in museums. So what's your story?

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