Local Indian community in shock over terrorist attacks in Mumbai
Members of New Yorks Indian community reacted with shock, horror and prayers today to the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, with many anxiously calling friends and relatives.
I just talked to my sister-in-law in Mumbai and she said it is horrible there, nobody is going out, said Subhash Kapadia, the owner of Sam and Raj Discount Appliance in Jackson Heights, Queens, which has a large Indian community. They are really scared, they are staying home.
Kapadia, 65, who was born and raised in Mumbai and came to the United States in 1968, said he had been glued to the TV since news of the attacks broke yesterday.
I have lots of friends, lots of family there, he added. Im concerned about my country and concerned about Mumbai.Shyamji, a priest at the Hindu Center in Flushing, said about 70 people showed up today for morning prayers, more than three times the number on a typical day.
We pray to God to give peace to the community, said Shyamji, who uses only one name. We pray for the departed souls.
At least 125 people were killed in a series of attacks throughout the city, including rampages at two five-star hotels, where terrorists sprayed gunfire and set off bombs. More than 300 were wounded.
Ramesh Chadha, the Indian vice consul in New York, was in his office today monitoring reports on TV and the Internet.
We are watching and waiting, hoping for an improvement in the situation, he said.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg attended a prayer service at the Hindu Temple Society of North America in Flushing.
New Yorkers, including the hundreds of thousands that trace their roots to that part of the world, stand together and reject the depraved methods of the terrorists,
Bloomberg said in a statement. New York is in many ways similar to Mumbai: It is a wonderfully diverse city that is a leading center for business, education, science and the arts. I extend my deep sympathies to the families of those killed and to those wounded in [yesterdays] attacks.
Several people interviewed today compared Mumbai to New York, noting that the Indian city is considered the financial capital of the country and one of its principal tourist draws.
Its shocking, just shocking, said Shobha Watal, the manager of Shobhas Hair and Beauty Salon in Glen Oaks, Queens. You cant believe anything like that can happen anywhere in the world.