A letter from Mumbai: UM alum Kanika Chadda reports from ‘hell on Earth’

Kanika Chadda

Summer broadcast journalism graduate Kanika Chadda took a job in Mumbai at a television station after graduation. She recently contacted Prof. Tsitsi Wakhisi after the terrorist attacks in the city which killed at least 171 and injured 294. Here is her correspondence, edited and printed with her permission:

I was at the station the night of the first shoot-out and we had assumed it was gang related. Then we learned that grenades were going off at hotels in the city and terrorists had taken guests hostage. Our news reporters camped out on the street and I spent the night at the office helping the assignment desk make calls and help re-route live trucks. Ironically, my family and I were planning to have Thanksgiving dinner at the Taj Hotel that day. We have some family friends who didn’t make it out…one girl was shot but is recovering. My family and I would frequent the Oberoi and Taj and to think the restaurants and lobbies encountered a bloodbath…it’s so difficult to stomach it all.

TERROR: Mumbai's iconic Taj Hotel was one of 10 targets terrorists attacked last week.

TERROR: Mumbai's iconic Taj Hotel was one of 10 targets terrorists attacked last week. COURTESY ASSOCIATED PRESS

Our CNN-IBN feeds were transmitted to the U.S. so I’m assuming you all had live coverage. I’m so relieved it’s all over…now we’re focusing on how the sinister plan was plotted and which insurgencies were involved. One terrorist is under custody, the other nine were killed. The home minister Shivraj Patil resigned…and rightfully so since he didn’t respond to warnings or take charge at all. Mumbai seems to be getting back to normal.

December 4, 2008


Kanika Chadda

UM alumni '08

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