Prayers fail to save Assam's daughter-in-law

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Guwahati, Nov 29 (UNI) It was one long wait that Santanu Saikia will never forget. A deathly wait that brought at its end the lifeless body of his wife.

Noted food critic and senior journalist Sabina Sehgal Saikia's body was today recovered from Mumbai's Taj Palace Hotel at the end of 'operation black tornado', as a desperate Santanu waited for some news after losing all contact with her since Wednesday midnight.

United prayers for her well-being from her in-laws' homeland Assam could not save Sabina from falling prey to the terrorists.

The entire state had rallied behind Santanu Saikia with prayers after news reached that Sabina was trapped at the Taj Hotel when terrorists took control.

A senior journalist with the 'Times of India', she had flown to Mumbai to attend a wedding and was staying at the Taj on invitation by the hotel authorities.

She was constantly in touch with husband Santanu, friends and colleagues till past midnight of November 26. She had informed them that she was probably hiding in a bathroom and the terrorists had stormed into her room.

A few minutes after last contact was made with her, Sabina's room went up in flames and Sanatnu Saikia's worst fears were confirmed when her mutilated body was found today.

It is not yet known whether she died of bullet injuries or was blown up in the several grenade blasts. But what is certain is that a family's happiness has come to a sudden end and a husband and two children left shattered. Sabina was the daughter-in-law of noted Assamese litterateur Chandra Prasad Saikia.

UNI SG PL RN1620

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