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Fate of missing journalist not known yet

November 28, 2008 16:07 IST

The fate of the journalist -- Sabina Sehgal Saikia, who was trapped inside the Taj hotel when terrorists struck the plush commercial establishment, was still not known even as security forces said the hotel has been evacuated and handed over to police.

"We spoke to security services and they claimed that the sixth floor has not been sanitised as yet. And, as and when they sanitise, they will let us know, what is the status of the people who could be on that particular floor," Shantanu Saikia, Sabina's husband, said.

The last time, Shantanu said, he spoke with Sabina on telephone was at 1 o'clock on Wednesday when terrorists attacked the hotel.

Shantanu also refuted reports that calls made from Sabina's mobile were traced to Raigarh.

"There is some confusion over it. I have utilised the services of Airtel and it is rechecking the information. So, there are some discrepancy in the information coming from the company," he told CNN-IBN news channel.

"The last SMS she sent to me was at 4 am. But I received it at 1:30 am. So it is unlikely that her mobile would have been traced to Raigarh," he said.

Sabina, a consulting editor and resident food critic with Times of India, was in Mumbai for a wedding reception but returned to her room at the Taj hotel early, complaining of fatigue.

Trouble began soon after she got to her hotel room.

"She was obviously worried by what was happening inside the hotel," Shantanu said. Sabina also sent an SMS to Public Relation Officer of Taj hotel. "In her message, she said that they were inside the bathroom. I do not know what it meant. Twenty minutes after that SMS, the room went up in flames. It is most likely she was hiding in the same room."

"I plan to go to all hospitals and check all their records. I hope she is safe," Shantanu said. 

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