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Taj employee’s last frantic call for help


Panaji : “Kevin… Kevin” were the last frantic cries for help of 25-year-old Boris Rego, a trainee chef in Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel, when he called his brother in Goa Thursday afternoon, even as a battle raged in the background between security forces and terrorists who had laid siege to the hotel.

Boris Rego, who was a native of the Divar island, near Panaji, had been working as a management trainee at the Mumbai five star hotel since June 28.

Speaking to reporters at his Divar home Friday morning Boris’s brother Kevin Rego said that authorities in Mumbai had informed him by telephone of his brother’s death late Thursday evening.

“His (Boris Rego’s) last call came in at 2:30 p.m. (Thursday) There was commotion in the background. All he said was ‘Daddy…, Kevin… Kevin’. Then his voice trailed off and there was silence,” Kevin Rego said, as he recalled the last conversation with his sibling, with tear-filled eyes.

Boris Rego worked at the Shamiana, a 24-hour restaurant at the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel.

“The restaurant was full to capacity and Boris was working in the open kitchen, when the terrorists barged in and started shooting,” Kevin Rego said, adding that Boris Rego had been sneaking telephone calls to his brother and father in Goa, even as the terror-drama unfolded Thursday night.

“After the initial commotion, he was herded into the basement by the police along with 200 other guests and hotel employees. Everything was fine. We don’t know what happened later,” Kevin Rego recalled.

Like Boris Rego, his father Urban Rego too worked with the Taj group of hotels. He currently offers consultancy to one of the Taj group of hotels in Sinquerim, in North Goa.

“Boris had joined the Taj for experience. He always wanted to join a cruise-liner. That was his dream,” Kevin Rego said.

Several thousand Goan youngsters have migrated out of the state in the last few decades seeking a career in the hospitality industry, with Mumbai, Gulf countries and cruise-liners being the most favoured options.