12/01/2008, 00.00
INDIA

Jewish victims killed in Mumbai tortured before death

Nirmala Carvalho
Autopsies show that the nine victims at the Jewish Center in Mumbai "were tied up and tortured before they were killed." The citizens of India's financial capital are paying homage to the victims, and the eyewitnesses of the attacks are recounting how their friends and coworkers died.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - A candlelight vigil in memory of those who lost their lives in the terrorist attack on November 26. Around the monument of the Gateway of India and at the Taj Mahal hotel, symbols of the attacks, there is a constant procession. Citizens of the country's financial capital are also leaving placards in these locations with words like "long life to our martyrs" or "down with corrupt politicians."

Meanwhile, new details are emerging on the attacks and killings. The doctors who conducted the autopsies on the victims say that many of the bodies showed signs of torture. One doctor explains that "of all the bodies, the Israeli victims bore the maximum torture marks. It was clear that they were killed on the 26th itself. It was obvious that they were tied up and tortured before they were killed. It was so bad that I do not want to go over the details even in my head again."

The statements from the doctors confirm the initial information released by the Intelligence Bureau after early interrogations with the captured terrorist. As the intelligence services and Indian newspapers have reported, Ajmal Kamal, the terrorist arrested at the Jewish Nariman House, "said they were specifically asked to target the foreigners, especially the Israelis."

While protests are mounting against the political class and the government, held responsible for failing to guarantee security, India is burying its dead. On November 29, at the church of the Mother of God in Naigaon, in the suburbs north of Mumbai, the funeral was held for Jordon Fernandes, a 22-year-old young man shot to death during the attack on the Oberoi hotel. Other sources tell AsiaNews about the last moments of the young man employed in the Kandahar restaurant.

According to the reconstruction, after hearing the first shots the diners fled the room. A foreign customer then went to Jordon, begging him to get the documents that he had left in the restaurant. Jordon went back into the restaurant with his coworker Pradeep, and was caught by the terrorists. They told him to set the tablecloths on fire, but he refused, and one of them shot him at point blank range, killing him. The terrorists then set the tablecloths on fire. After asking Pradeep to show them where the elevators were, they went to the upper level, leaving the terrified Pradeep in an elevator that was out of order. He escaped through a service door in the back of the hotel.

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