BENGALURU: A survivor of the 26/11 attack in Mumbai recounted his experience and the aftermath at the World Summit on Countering Violence and Extremism, held at the Art of Living campus, here on Monday.Dilip Mehta, one of the participants, was holed up at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel during the multiple attacks by terrorists from 26-29 November 2008. It was by a big stroke of luck that he survived the attack — an incident which left an indelible mark on him.
On the night of 26 November 2008, Dilip had been invited to the hotel for a conference by the Consulate General of South Korea. At 9.40 pm, when he went to take the elevator at the 21st floor, he was stopped by the hotel’s security personnel, who told him a “gang war” was in progress downstairs.
“But within 10 minutes, we got to know that it was a terrorist attack. We were all asked to go to our rooms, hide below the tables, lock the doors and place tables and chairs against the doors to stop the terrorists’ entry,” Dilip said.
He said the terrorists did come up to the 21st floor, supposedly with an intention to kill people or take them as hostages, and saw some South Korean nationals huddled in the conference room. An ardent follower of Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Dilip says his view on life changed drastically after the incident, and he was possessed by an urge to give back to society.
At the three-day summit, the delegates brainstormed solutions to modern day conflicts through Gandhi’s principles of non-violence. The summit also features a “special masterclass” on non-violence by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Tuesday.