Skip to comments.Mumbai terror attack survivor to be flag bearer at London 2012 Olympics
Posted on 03/31/2012 1:51:44 PM PDT by James C. Bennett
A British Asian man who narrowly escaped death and feared he may never walk again after being shot at in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks has been selected as a flag bearer at the London 2012 Olympics. Chartered surveyor Harnish Patel was fired at by gunmen while dining at Leopold Cafe on that horrific night of 2008 when Pakistani terrorists besieged the city. With bullet wounds to his legs and chest and in chronic pain, Patel was operated on at a Mumbai hospital before being airlifted back to the UK.
Patel, a British Asian of East African Indian heritage who lives in Hampshire, will now be one of 176 members of the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force (RAF) to raise flags at the Team Welcome and Victory ceremonies of the London 2012 Games this summer.
Patel joined HMS King Alfred, Portsmouth as a British Royal Navy Reservist 18 months ago. The Reservists are a part-time force deployed with the British Royal Navy in times of humanitarian crisis or conflict. They wear the same uniform and do much of the same training as the Regulars.
"I guess part of the reason I was selected was because of my recovery and how I have managed to pick things back up again and move on following the Mumbai attacks, " he explains.
As he lay in the Jaslok Hospital in Mumbai, doctors could not give him any indication of how well he would recover and whether he would walk again. But through "sheer grit, determination and focus, " once back in England, he went from a walking frame to crutches, to swimming on crutches. Three months after he came off his crutches, he took part in a five mile race, followed by a duathlon. He then ran in various long-distance races in the UK culminating in his first marathon, the London Marathon in April 2010, which he finished in three hours 10 minutes, one of the best in his age group. Patel says: "After being stitched back together, I had two options, pick myself up or roll over - the latter was not an option. "
"I guess being chosen as a flag bearer is also connected to my long-distance running and my charity work, as I raised £2, 000 (Rs 1. 6 lakh ) for the British Red Cross in the 2010 London Marathon, " the 32-year-old adds.
He says he is "pretty chuffed" that he has been selected. "It's once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It's a real privilege, " he explains. "I'm really proud to be able to represent the Royal Navy and to be involved in the Olympics. I hope that other people will draw inspiration from my story and experiences. It would be particularly special for me to raise a flag at the Paralympic to see how other people have come through adversity and coped with their different life conditions, " he adds. As for whether he would like to one day compete in the Olympics, Patel, who is currently training for the 2012 London Marathon in April, chuckles: "I think I would have to crank up my training a bit more. I don't think I'm Olympic standard. " There will be 805 victory medal ceremonies at the Olympics. Patel is part of one of eight Royal Navy teams who will raise the flags at these ceremonies dressed in ceremonial day uniforms. Patel will be among the servicemen and women raising flags during the The Team Welcome ceremonies as well. "The flag-raising duties at Olympic and Paralympic Games are seen as an honour but we are in fact honoured to have these inspirational men and women be part of London 2012, " says Sebastian Coe, chairman of the Games' organising committee.
Harnish Patel was fired at by gunmen while dining in Leopold Café on November 26, 2008. He is one of the 176 members of the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force to raise flags at the Team Welcome and Victory ceremonies of the London 2012 Games this summer.
Chartered surveyor Harnish Patel was fired at by gunmen while dining at Leopold Cafe on that horrific night of 2008 when Pakistani terrorists besieged the city. With bullet wounds to his legs and chest and in chronic pain, Patel was operated on at a Mumbai hospital before being airlifted back to the UK.It's great that it says "Pakistani terrorists" instead of the usual fast-shuffle "insurgents". But then, this isn't about an Arab terrorist attack on Jews.
Good for him!
No regrets’: Captured terrorist’s account of Mumbai massacre reveals plan was to kill 5,000
By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
Last updated at 10:02 AM on 01st December 2008
Cold-blooded killer: Mumbai terrorist Azam Amir Kasav begins his rampage
This is the only surviving gunman of the massacre in Mumbai. Seconds after this picture was taken, 21-year-old Azam Amir Kasav began to kill.
He and the terror cell’s leader began their attacks at the city’s Chhatrapati Shivaji rail station.
They later hijacked two cars, before police caught them. During two days of questioning, Kashmiri-born Kasav, who used the alias Ajmal Kasab, told police: ‘I have no regrets’.
He is said to have told officers the cell was to seek out ‘white targets, preferably British and American’.
The terrorists thought they would come out alive and had an escape route, added Kasav.
He revealed that the ten terrorists, who were highly trained in marine assault and crept into the city by boat, had planned to blow up the Taj Mahal Palace hotel after first executing British and American tourists and then taking hostages. He then added that their intention was to kill 5,000 people..
‘I have done right,’ he told investigators. ‘I have no regrets.’
Exploring Criminal Justice: The Essentials (9780763756482) - Page 374 - Robert M. Regoli, Robert Regoli, John D. Hewitt - Jones & Bartlett Publishers, 2009 - 427 pages
Terrorist Attack in India On November 26, 2008, a group of 10 terrorists hijacked a ship off the coast of Mumbai, India, killed three crew members and ordered the captain to guide them into Mumbai.
Once near the shore, they killed the captain.
After landing, the terrorists attacked targets popular with tourists, including the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel, the Oberoi Hotel, the Chhatrapati Shivaji train station, and the Nariman House, an ultra- Orthodox Jewish center. When the attacks were over, at least 171 people had been killed.
The terrorists were members of the Pakistani-based Lashkar e Tai- ba, a group affiliated with al Qaeda. Mohammad Ajmal Amir Iman, age 21, was the only terrorist captured.
Police interrogators report that he and the group participated along with 14 others in a year-long terrorist training course in Pakistan. The group’s intention was to blow up the Taj Mahal Palace hotel after executing as many “ white targets, primarily America, British, and Jewish tourists, they were able to find.
Iman told his interrogators “I have done right. I have no regrets.” Interrogators said his account is consistent with evidence recovered from the boat and intercepted satellite phone conversations. Because a number of the Interrogators said his account is consistent with evidence recovered from the boat and intercepted satellite phone conversations.