The whole nation knows what happened in Mumbai on the dark night of 26/11 as the city faced one of its worst terror attacks in history. 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists infiltrated Mumbai by means of a sea route from Pakistan and executed a string of shooting and bombing attacks across the city. The terrorists took over Mumbai for four days as they murdered 166 people and injured over 300.
Several brave policemen put their own lives at risk and fought against deadly terrorists and eventually lost their lives. It is during these serious moments of grave pain and danger, one such hero named Captain Ravi Dharnidharka, a former US marine who rose up to the situation and rescued as many as 157 lives during the operation of the Taj hotel.
As per India Times, Captain Dharnidharka was in India after more than 10 years to meet and spend quality time with his uncles and cousins. Especially on the day of the attack, he and his family were dining at Souk, the Lebanese restaurant on the 20th floor of the Taj Mahal Palace.
As per the British journalists Cathy Scott-Clark and Adrian Levy who were also caught inside the hotel, Captain Deharnidharka including 6 South African ex-commandos came together and planned to act when they heard of the news of the attack on the phone.
As per the book by the British journalists – ‘The Siege: 68 Hours Inside The Taj Hotel‘ – two of the South African commandos narrated the whole situation to people, while Captain Dharnidharka including another commando found a secure hall where civilians could remain safe and secure.
They had prevented a fire stairway with tables and chairs only to make it tough for the terrorists to enter the floor. While moving everyone through the kitchen into the secure hall, they had armed themselves with objects like knives, meat cleavers, rods to fight back if the circumstance demanded a counter-attack.
The hall which was occupied with 157 civilians was totally darkened and the doors were barricaded with available heavy object and people were asked to remain in silence.
They had barricaded the fire escape inside the hall and then asked the hotel staff to unblock the stairs if they had to make an emergency exit from the place. Soon they heard 2 explosions. After the terrorists set off RDX in the heritage towers of the Taj, they waited silently for their moment of escape.
It was around 2 a.m. that the terrorists set off 10 kilos of RDX right below the central dome of the Taj, and then set the sixth floor on fire. The fire sparked upwards which could make things a bit tougher by blocking their exit, cutting their power supply or suffocating them Captain Dharnidharka ensured to help people vacate the hall gradually.