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26/11: UK victim feels 'let down' by govt attitude

26/11: UK victim feels 'let down' by govt attitude

Author: Press Trust of India
Publication: The Indian Express
Date: May 11, 2009
URL: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/26-11-uk-victim-feels-let-down-by-govt-attitude/457106/

Five months after the Mumbai terror attack, 29-year-old Will Pike, who was injured in the attack and faces a lifetime in a wheelchair, feels "let down" and has accused the UK Foreign Office of neglecting Britons who fall victims to terror attacks abroad.
It is now that Pike felt strong enough to talk about his "nightmare" and his terrible sense of abandonment by many of the institutions he had hoped would help.

This has led to politicians from all parties calling for compensation for UK citizens who have been injured or disabled in terror attacks. Pike has to cope with just £15,000 from a government-backed Red Cross fund.

Like others, Pike returned home to find he was not covered by the compensation scheme set up after the July 7, 2005, London bombings to help all victims of terror attacks, of whichever nationality, on UK soil. He said he felt terribly "let down", at a time when he had hoped the government would show condolence and care.

Pike, along with girlfriend Kelly Doyle, had checked in for a night at the Taj Mahal hotel at the end of two-week holiday in Goa when the terrorists attacked Mumbai last November. Pike, a film-maker with a commercials production company, and Kelly, were in their third-floor bedroom changing before dinner when they heard what sounded like shots in the atrium overlooking reception. Looking outside, they saw what appeared to be gunsmoke and returned to their room. Trapped and terrified, Pike rang his father, Nigel, in London. "I could hardly hear him because he was whispering," Nigel told the observer.

After hiding in the room for five hours, they made an impromptu out of sheets, curtains and towels and Pike volunteered to go ahead to make sure it was safe.

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