Hayward man awaits fate of family in India

November 29, 2008 5:14:39 PM PST
A Hayward man that used to work at the Taj Majal Hotel is still waiting for word on the condition of friends and relatives in India after the terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

He and many others across the Bay area are also worried about India's future.

While the violence unfolded in Mumbai this week, former Mumbai resident Akshay Kirpeker watched it all from his new home in Hayward.

He used to work at the Taj Mahal Hotel.

"All the things that's happened, has happened so fast that nobody expected something like this to happen at the Taj. It's like a symbol of Mumbai and a symbol of India," he told ABC 7.

He knew at least one of the men who died there.

"He used to work in an industrial chamber which is on the top floor of Taj. He was shot and I just got the news this morning that he's dead. It's a really, really big shock for everyone," said Kirpeker.

At SFO airport Saturday ABC7 spoke with some people who were in Punjab, India during the attack.

"Just think about a 9/11 in India. Everybody watching TV, don't want to go outside, staying home," said Navtej Riar describing the mood there.

As the fear remains throughout India, Imran Maskatia, who lives in Hayward, is concerned about the future.

"Acts like this tend to increase violence between Hindus and Muslims, the sectarian violence there," he said.

He's the spokesperson for the Islamic Networks Group and wants to make sure the Muslim religion is not blamed.

"ING and a number of other Muslim groups all across the country are absolutely abhorred by this attack. We absolutely just can't understand why anyone would do something like this," he said.

Many Indian people that spoke with ABC7 Saturday were quick to put the blame on Pakistanis even though the Pakistani government has denied any involvement.

It is another sign of the strained relations between the countries, even amongst people who now live in the United States.


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