London: Five months after he fell victim to the Mumbai terror attack, 29-year-old Will Pike, who faces a lifetime on a wheelchair, feels “let down” and has accused the U.K. Foreign Office of indifference and neglect of British victims of terror attacks abroad.
It is only now that he felt strong enough to talk about his “nightmare” and his terrible sense of abandonment by many of the institutions he had hoped would help him.
Politicians from all parties have now called for compensation for U.K. citizens who have been injured or disabled in terror attacks. The clamour for action was prompted by Mr. Pike’s plight.
He has to cope with just £15,000 in help from a government-backed Red Cross fund. Like others, Mr. Pike returned home to find he was not covered by the compensation scheme set up after the July 7, 2005 bombings in London to help all victims of terror attacks, of whatever nationality, on U.K. soil.
He said he felt terribly “let down,” at a time when he had hoped the government and the Prime Minister would show condolence and care.
Mr. Pike, along with Kelly Doyle, had just checked in for the night at the Taj Mahal hotel at the end of a two-week holiday in Goa when the terrorists struck last November.
The two were in their third-floor bedroom changing before dinner when they heard what sounded like shots in the atrium overlooking the reception. Looking outside, they saw what appeared to be gun smoke and returned to their room. Trapped and terrified, Mr. Pike rang up his father, Nigel, in London. “I could hardly hear him because he was whispering,” Mr. Nigel Pike told The Observer. After hiding in the room, they made a rope out of sheets, and Mr. Pike volunteered to go ahead to make sure it was safe. But the knots did not hold. — PTI