Taj, Oberoi Management Ignored Security Advice: 26/11 Panel Report

The high-level committee that looked into last year’s Mumbai terror attacks has held the management of Taj and Oberoi hotels responsible for overlooking the security advice given to them much ahead of the attacks.

The Ram Pradham committee report, which was tabled in Maharashtra Assembly yesterday, said that management of the both the hotels did not act on certain important security advice given to them by the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone-1 because of their ‘own policy perspective as hospitality industry’.

The report said that IB sounded an alert on September 24, 2008 about LeT ‘showing interest’ on certain targets, including Taj, and consequently a meeting was held with the hotels security officials on September 29, which was presided over by Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone-I with Karam Bir Kang, General Manager of the hotel.

On September 30, the police officer visited Taj again to brief the security staff personally. The panel has found that no specific requests were made from Taj or the other hotels to augment the police security for them in view of alerts.

The DCP was alerted on June 26 the same year about the possible attack at Leopold Cafe besides High Court and the office of the Director General of Police, Department of Atomic Energy and Naval installations.

The DCP visited the concerned police station and instructed the senior police inspector to take immediate steps to remove hawkers in front of Leopold Cafe.He again visited the cafe on August 11 and 24.

Accordingly, the police removed hawkers from the site. The senior police inspector, who appeared before the Commission, deposed that 92 cases were registered against illegal hawkers between August 24 and November 25.

During the Mumbai terror attack at Leopold Cafe, three hawkers were killed in the firing.

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