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No hostage-like situation at any hotel, says Deshmukh

November 27, 2008 22:26 IST

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Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh on Thursday said there is no hostage-like situation at any hotel where people have locked themselves in their rooms for safety after the attack by terrorists on Wednesday.
      
"There is no hostage situation in Mumbai now, certain people have locked themselves in their hotel rooms for
safety," Deshmukh told media-persons in Mumbai.
      
The operations are still going on to rescue people at Taj, Trident-Oberoi and Nariman House under planning of
the National Security Group, he said. Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil said people stuck inside the hotels are safe.
 
"I spoke to some of them over phone and they are in touch with us," Patil said, adding depending on the activities of terrorists, NSG commandos are doing rescue work. Deshmukh hoped that the metropolis limps back to normalcy by Friday.
 
"The schools, colleges and other prime establishments remain closed today as we appealed them to be. I am sure that
Mumbai will be operational from tomorrow." Deshmukh said six, out of the seven injured foreigners, have died but their nationalities are yet to be confirmed.
 
"One terrorist, involved in the terror act, has been caught. After inquiry only we will come to know to which group
he belongs," he said.
 
He admitted that there was no specific alert given to the state by the Centre. "There has always been a general
perception that Maharashtra is on hit list of terrorists...a lot of Central installations are based in Mumbai.
 
"So, Mumbai is always on their target. The general information was there but there was no particular or specific
alert was given," he said.
 
Deshmukh, however, refused to say that there was an Intelligence failure.

Deshmukh also announced to set up a Coastal Regulatory Commission to check coastal activities, as the terrorists came through the sea route. "There is a plan of Rs 41 crore to establish a Coastal Regulatory Commission in the state," Deshmukh said.
      
The State Government will have police stations, speed boats and patrol squads for coastal areas in the state, he
added. The CM also hoped for the early release of the hostages held in both Taj and Trident hotels.
 
"I am concerned about the people inside the hotels. Their life is very important. NSG commandos are carrying out
rescue operation," he added.
 
According to Deshmukh, the motive behind the attacks was to create panic among people and hamper foreign
investments coming to the state.
      
Deshmukh also did not confirm reports of an organisation Deccan Mujahideen [Images] claiming responsibility for the
attacks.
      
"There was no such report so far. But the investigations are on and soon we will get to know the information," he said.
      
He also said that his government did not ask the Stock Exchange to remain close. But he said he spoke to the chairman of the Bombay Stock Exchange and it will open on Friday.




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