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India News

Taj devastation chars Mumbaikars' memories, saddens tourists

By Jivraj Burman, IANS,

Mumbai : The sight of fire leaping out of Taj hotel and its gutted rooms - as terrorists ravaged the grand heritage building in Mumbai - made Anilbhai Bhatt, 65, feel that his childhood had been consigned to flames.

"As a child, I always used to go there in the evening with my friends to play on the large courtyard in front of the hotel. We stayed clear of the hotel because it was out of bounds for us," Bhatt told IANS.

Three shot dead by drunk men at Uttar Pradesh wedding

By IANS,

Lucknow : Three people were shot dead and two got critically injured when four inebriated young men indiscriminately opened fire at a marriage ceremony in Uttar Pradesh, the police said.

The incident took place late Saturday night after a group of people asked the four young men to "mind their language" at the wedding ceremony in Hathras distict, about 350 km from here.

Lakshmi Mittal richest person in South Africa again

By Fakir Hassen, IANS,

Johannesburg : India-born steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal has been named the richest person in South Africa for the fourth consecutive year on the annual 'Rich List' compiled by the weekly Sunday Times.

Mittal achieved this distinction despite a 65 percent loss in his 52 percent stake in ArcelorMittal South Africa during the March-November period this year due to the global financial crisis.

Mumbai terror, economic crises bad news for Kerala tourism

By IANS,

Thiruvananthapuram : Members of the Kerala tourism industry, already reeling under the impact of the global economic crisis, fear their losses will mount as foreign tourists are likely to stay away in the aftermath of the terror attacks in Mumbai.

"First the economic recession led to a fall in reservations. Now, following the terror attacks in Mumbai, we have been getting e-mails from people who want to cancel their bookings," hotelier Tomy Pulikattil told IANS.

Bank employee returns jewellery to customer

By IANS,

Kolkata : Jewellery worth Rs.2 million was returned by a State Bank of India (SBI) employee to a customer who left it outside the locker by mistake.

"While locking the locker room on the evening of Nov 11, I found a box full of jewellery on the table. It was very difficult to trace who it belonged to," eastern Kolkata SBI branch messenger Ashok Das told IANS Sunday.

"With the manager's permission, I identified all the customers who operated their lockers that day. All were called to the bank Saturday and asked to check their lockers and tell us if anything was missing."

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The terrorists threatened to kill me: Mumbai hospital liftman

By Shyam Pandharipande, IANS,

Mumbai : Laid up in a hospital bed, Chandrakant Tikhe, 49, relives the moments of horror when he came face to face with two of the Mumbai terrorists, was held at gunpoint, spoke with them and then miraculously lived to tell the tale while 183 others were killed.

That Wednesday night, Tikhe became among the first people to know that fierce merchants of death had struck the city. The two young terrorists he enountered had stormed the government-run Cama Hospital in south Mumbai where Tikhe works as a liftman.

Emotional adieu to journalist Sabina Sehgal Saikia

By IANS,

New Delhi : Scores of teary eyed friends, colleagues, celebrities and even people who didn't know her personally turned up to bid farewell to Sabina Sehgal Saikia, a well-known scribe and food critic who perished in the Mumbai terror strike and was cremated here Sunday.

The body of Sabina, a consulting editor with the Times of India, was consigned to the flames at Lodhi Road cremation grounds.

Pakistan takes U-turn, decides not to send ISI chief to India

By NNN-PTI,

Islamabad : Hours after agreeing to send ISI chief to India to "cooperate" in investigations into the Mumbai terror strikes, the Pakistan government Saturday did a U-turn apparently under pressure from the powerful army and decided to depute a senior official of the spy agency.

The decision to backtrack was taken at a special meeting attended by President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani that spilled well into the wee hours.

Australian PM calls for calm between India and Pakistan

By Xinhua,

Canberra : Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on Sunday urged calm between India and Pakistan following the terrorist attacks in Mumbai which killed at least 195 people and caused strain relations between the two neighboring countries.

New Delhi has accused "elements in Pakistan" of involvement in the three-day siege that wreaked havoc on India's financial capital. Islamabad, however, denies any role in the attacks, warning New Delhi against an over-reaction.

Pakistani President, PM Army Cheif meet again to discuss Mumbai attacks

By NNN-PTI,

Islamabad : Meeting for the second time within hours to discuss the fallout of the Mumbai terror attacks amid suspected Pakistani link to them, Army Chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani briefed the civilian leadership here about operational preparedness of military to address any eventuality.

President Asif Ali Zardari met Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani and Kayani late Saturday night again after their first meeting ended in the wee hours.

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