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The man who injured Kasab's partner

The man who injured Kasab's partner

Author: Mateen Hafeez
Publication: The Times of India
Date: November 10, 2009

Assistant inspector Hemant Bhawdhankar says he cannot forget the midnight of November 26 last year, when the country's most high-profile prisoner, Ajmal Kasab, was captured alive.

The 44-year-old officer recalled that he was on night duty on November 26. "After hearing the news that two terrorists had escaped in a Skoda towards Mantralaya, security was beefed up everywhere. We went to Girgaum Chowpatty and put up barricades and took position. At around 12.15 am on November 27, I along with assistant inspector Sanjay Govilkar, subinspector Bhaskar Kadam, assistant inspector Tukaram Omble and staff reviewed the bandobast and waited. We saw a Skoda headed towards us,'' recalled Bhawdhankar.

He said 16 policemen from D B Marg police station were present at the spot when the close encounter with the terrorists took place. "The Skoda slowed down. None of us was wearing a bullet-proof jacket, and some constables had just lathis. The officers had 9mm pistols. As soon as the vehicle came close, its headlights switched to high beam, and its wipers started up. We couldn't see the people inside,'' said Bhawdhankar.

He said the driver was trying to take a U-turn when the vehicle hit the divider. The police urged the vehicle's two occupants to surrender but in vain. "Ismail Dera Khan, who was in the driver's seat, fired a pistol, while Kasab sat next to him. I took position behind the car. While Govilkar, hidden behind a pillar, fired his pistol at Khan, I fired at Khan from behind the car. He was injured,'' he said. Kasab then got out with his AK-47. "Within seconds, Omble came forward and grabbed the AK-47, but by then Kasab had pressed the trigger and several bullets penetrated in Omble saheb's body,'' said Bhawdhankar.

Govilkar and Omble were taken to Harkisondas Hospital. Kasab was beaten up by the angry staff, and the terrorists were rushed to Nair Hospital where Khan was pronounced dead on arrival, and Kasab was operated on to remove bullets from his hands.

Bhawdhankar has been nominated for the President's Police Medal for Gallantry. He is an officer of the 1992 batch, and has worked with Gamdevi police station, airport security, special protection unit and Nagpada police station.

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