Mumbai Terror Attacks

  • 19 Feb 2010 07:19
When heavily armed terrorists mounted the biggest ever terror strikes in India’s history in November last year,

Mumbai Terror Attacks – A Tribute to G4S Heroes

When heavily armed terrorists mounted the biggest ever terror strikes in India’s history in November last year, a G4S security team found itself in the front line of defence.In an elaborate operation, the terrorists simultaneously attacked five targets in Mumbai at 21:30 on 26 November. The scale and intensity of the attacks was such that the National Security Forces took 62 hours to neutralise the terrorists.

The main focus of the onslaught was city’s top two hotels, the Taj Mahal and Oberoi Trident in Colaba district and other venues mostly popular with tourists, including the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Railway Station.

G4S has been protecting the Oberoi Trident Hotel in Mumbai for 13 years and a team of 45 male and female security officers were on duty when the terrorists struck.

A number of militants armed with automatic weapons and grenades, walked into the lobby of Oberoi hotel and began firing indiscriminately. G4S security officers Wilson Mandik and Sajerao Bhosle, on duty in the lobby, tried to stop the terrorists but lost their lives on the spot. Their colleague Appaso Patil, who was on duty in the parking lot, rushed to the aid of his comrades, despite the imminent danger to his own life and suffered critical injuries from the bullets fired by the terrorists. He battled for his life for weeks and has now recovered.

The delaying action of these three brave security officers, in the face of heavy firing, undoubtedly saved the lives of several hotel guests and staff. Despite the danger to their own lives, six security officers and supervisors stayed in the Oberoi Trident for 60 hours, locking the guests in the basement and eventually evacuating them safely. At the same time, eight guards stayed outside the hotel giving whatever help they could.

The rest of the G4S security team remained steadfast in their duties, conducting relief and rescue operations and rendering assistance to the hotel staff. Even after the Indian Navy's Marine Commandos took charge of the operation, six of G4S security officers – Ajit Pawar, Amol Kadolkar, Hemant Kolsunkar, Sanjay Thakur, Santosh Kachare and Manoj Singh remained in the hotel. All of them were instrumental in evacuation of more than 250 guests from the hotel.

Members of the morning shift of the guards, comprising 19 personnel, also reached the hotel before the shift timings. They joined their colleagues in the process. The devotion to duty of all the members of team and the ultimate sacrifice paid by two of them, speaks volumes for the heroism of everyone involved. 

In appreciation of their dedication and courage, G4S organised a Hindu religious ceremony – “Pooja”, to pray for the deceased and the health of the injured guard.   Another ceremony, to present gallantry awards to guards and their families, was attended by Ms. Vicky Treadall, Deputy British High Commissioner, Mr. Ratan Keswani, President of Oberoi Trident Hotels, Mr. David I. Hudson, G4S Regional President and many other senior members of G4S and the Oberoi Hotel, everyone paid tribute to the brave guards.

The senior officials of Oberoi Trident hotel expressed their appreciation for the efforts of G4S during the attack and the exemplary display of courage by its security officers.

G4S presented plaques, certificates and monitory aid to the families of the officers who were killed or injured. Plaques and certificates were also presented to all 25 guards who extended their help during the attack. Nearly 200 people died in the three-day siege, including at least 22 foreign nationals and 300 were wounded. Only one of the terrorists survived.