Gautam Adani : a terrorist attack and a $2 million ransom

Gautam Adani, the man who may soon be Asia’s richest person, is a college dropout who survived the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks and says he was once kidnapped for ransom

Gautam Adani
Gautam Adani

In 1998, Adani accused several men of kidnapping him and a companion, Shantilal Patel, per The Indian Express. He alleged that he and Patel were traveling in a car on New Year’s Day when a scooter blocked their path, allowing a group of men to abduct the pair into a van at gunpoint.

A report filed against the men said that they demanded a ransom of $2 million from Adani’s family and that he and Patel were released after the money was sent over, according to The Indian Express. But two of the people brought to trial were acquitted in 2018, while six others were cleared of the charges in 2005 because the prosecution couldn’t tie them to the alleged kidnapping, Times Now India reported.

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Adani doesn’t like to talk about the incident, according to the Financial Times, telling the outlet: “Two or three very unfortunate incidents happened in my life, that is one of them.”

A separate brush with danger came a decade later, during the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, a violent 60-hour siege of the city by 10 heavily armed Pakistani militants that left 166 people dead.

Adani was dining at the Taj Mahal luxury hotel when the siege occurred and said he could see the militants enter the building from his table, India Today reported.

He hid in a basement with the help of hotel staff and later relocated to a chamber hall on an upper floor as the attack continued throughout the night. He told India Today that when commandos stormed the hotel the following day, and he was escorted to safety, he “saw death at a distance of just 15 feet.”

More than 100 people were hiding with him, he said at the time: “Some had hidden below the sofa while others had taken similar evasive position. Sitting on a sofa, I was telling them to have faith in God.”

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