Unsung Heroes of Mumbai Terror Attack - Part I

December 11, 2008

'How we caught the fidayeen alive'

The first thing you notice as you enter D B Marg police station in south Mumbai is the photograph of Tukaram G Omble, who died battling terrorists early on the morning of November 27.

The assistant police sub-inspector had grabbed a terrorist's AK-47 and did not let go even as six bullets ripped through him. Omble knew that if he let go his comrades would also die. His heroic action helped his colleagues kill one terrorist and nab the other -- Ajmal Qasab.

Senior Inspector Nagappa R Mahale is the man in charge of the D B Marg police station. He was on duty when he heard that terrorists had attacked south Mumbai. "The first thing I did was put up nakabandi (police blockades) at two places. There were the two roads that led from south Mumbai to our area."

"When we heard that a Skoda car was heading with two armed terrorists towards Girgaum Chowpatty, I immediately told my men to seal the road and put up two barricades. I did not want them to try and crash through."

"At 0015 am we got the message that the Skoda had entered Marine Drive and was coming towards us. At 0030 the Skoda stopped 50 feet away from our barricades. They knew that they could not go through."

'We know we are brave'

They sprayed water on the windshield, started the wipers and put on the headlights on high beam. Two of our inspectors, Bhaskar Kadam and Hemant Bhoundhankar, fired at the driver and killed him," says Senior Inspector Mahale.

"On the other side, the other terrorist lay down on the road as if in surrender. Omble, who was closest to him, tried to disarm him, by grabbing his gun. But the man fired. Omble did not let go. He was killed, but he saved his colleagues."

"As the terrorist tried to shake off Omble, the rest of the policemen leapt on him. One grabbed his gun while another took out his revolver. The rest hit him with lathi (batons) till he fainted."

"We took the terrorists to the Nair Hospital and our men to the Harkissandas Hospital. Another colleague, Sanjay Govilkar, also had a bullet injury. Omble died in hospital, but Sanjay survived."

"We filed the FIR (First Information Report) and conducted the primary investigation before the Crime Branch took over."

Mahale has been a policeman for 30 years. He has seen the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, riots, blasts in taxis, blasts on trains, and now these attacks. "It has made every Mumbai cop proud. We know we are brave. We know what we are capable of, when the occasion demands."

He presides over 160 policemen and officers, most wielding lathis.

'We fired three shots at the terrorist'

Bhaskar Kadam is an assistant sub-inspector. He joined the force in 1991. He was on duty that night when Inspector Mahale told him to man the Chowpatty check post. He is the main detective at the D B Marg police station and has six detectives reporting to him. Kadam and his men were in mufti when they arrived at Girgaum Chowpatty.

"I was standing on the other side of the divider with ASI Bhoundhankar, who was already there as this was his beat. We were both carrying pistols. We were there from 10 pm. We were getting the news on our wireless of all the happenings in south Mumbai. Our men were behind the barricade."

"Traffic was thinning as time passed. Finally, there were no vehicles on Marine Drive. We had checked every vehicle since 10 pm. Now there were none."

"At 0016 we heard that the terrorists had hijacked a Skoda car. There was a strong possibility that they would come here. On the wireless we got confirmation that they had entered Marine Drive. At 0030 the silver Skoda stopped 50 feet away from our barrier."

"They turned on the wipers and headlights. We shouted, "Headlights off, surrender, get down." For 90 seconds they stood still, then then tried a 'U' turn."

"The road divider obstructed the 'U' turn. I was near the divider. The driver fired two rounds with his left hand. I fired three shots from my pistol. Bhoundhankar also fired three shots. The driver was seriously injured (he died later)."

"My people rushed forward and took his AK-47, and car keys."

"On the other side, the terrorist opened the door and lay down on the road. His gun was still in his hand. The policemen behind the barricade ran towards him. Omble dived on him and tried to take away the gun. The terrorist fired. Omble took six bullets, but did not let go."

"The other policemen then beat the terrorists with their lathis. They took away his AK-47 and a pistol from his pocket. He fainted from the blows. He also had bullet wounds."

'I realised I was shot after we subdued the terrorist'

Sanjay Govilkar rejoined duty on Monday, December 8. He was in civilian clothes. This is because the doctor told him that the police belt, which is very wide, would hurt his bullet wound.

"I was just behind Omble when he jumped on the terrorist, we all did. After we subdued the terrorist I realised that there was a burning sensation in my back. Only then did I realise that I was bleeding badly."

"The bullet had grazed my back. I survived, but my colleague Omble did not."

Sanjay drew a small diagram to explain what had happened that night. "We had put up the barricade in such a way that they could not take a right turn. The blockade was below the bridge. They couldn't go anywhere."

"We knew that the Skoda was coming, so we were all alert. We had taken positions in three different places. We attacked the terrorists from three directions."

"When that terrorist was on the road, policemen were approaching him from the front, from behind the barricade. We were approaching from the back. And two sub-inspectors were just across the divider."

"Omble reached him first, then everyone attacked him with vigour. When we saw that Omble was not letting go of the terrorist's gun, we knew we could not let his sacrifice go in vain. He held on and we completed his unfinished task."

Also see:

Hero's Death : Tribute to ATS Chief Hemant Karkare

By Bharath Shetty Kateel
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Comment on this article

  • Charles D'Mello, Pangala

    Fri, Dec 12 2008

    All know that vthese police men are real heros !!! Only sad thing is we are trying to attack terrorists with AK - 56 and AK 47, using only laathis and small pistols !!!! give the police the best weapons to extract the best from them!!!?

  • alwyn sequeira, kulshekar

    Fri, Dec 12 2008

    this is true patriotism,giving ur life for your country,people will never forget all the heroes who sacrificed their life for our safety,may god bless their families and give them the strength to bear the loss of their loved ones,we all pray for u

  • manoj, Mangalore/muscat

    Fri, Dec 12 2008

    We are proud of our great NSG officers-BHARATH MATHA KI JAI !!!!

  • manoj shetty, kateel/Dubai

    Fri, Dec 12 2008

    I Hope the Indian Government recgonize the  bravery of Mr.Omble and he and his his collegues are properly rewarded as a motivation to all our police personnel in Mumbai.


    Fri, Dec 12 2008

    Hats off to Mumbai Police, especially daring courageous act of Late Mr.Omble,that too infront of AK47. Their sacrifice to the nation and Mumbai is great...may their souls rest in peace...


    Fri, Dec 12 2008

    Great job was done by Mumbai Police. They are the real heroes for us. We remember " Daya Nayak" encounter specialist this time! I agree with Felix comments.

  • Vincy, Mulky/Dubai

    Fri, Dec 12 2008

    We must also remember that these heroes are decived by our own politicians, who denied them right equipment, right training and right infrastructure, since ages.

  • Geetha V.A., Mangalore

    Fri, Dec 12 2008

    Hats off to Mumbai Police. All these policemen should be suitably rewarded by our Govt. Asst. Police Sub-Inspector Mr. obmle should be awarded with any one of Our Country's highest award. One terrorist was caught alive because of his sacrifice from whom our intelligence dept got all the informations of Mumbai terror attack. He is the proof and this proof can not be denied by the terror supporting country. Let our Govt. take proper steps to utilise this tangible proof to prove how the terrorism is supported by our neighbour country to the whole world and the sacrifice of Mr. omble will not go futile.

  • A.D'Cunha Shenoy, Mangaluru

    Fri, Dec 12 2008

    Sacrificing life for duty and country is an esteem sacrifice . We owe these fine gentlemen and the families . Are our politicians prepared for this kind of bravery?

  • Kiran Acharya, Udupi/Udupi

    Fri, Dec 12 2008

    Please remember that the aim of terror groups is to make us hate our rulers and protectors...sadly sans daijiworld, most media is on the overdrive of bashing governement/ police/forces...

  • satish, udupi

    Fri, Dec 12 2008

    All i can say is "Bharat maata Ki jai" for having such brave officers.Jai hind

  • Derrick, Mumbai

    Thu, Dec 11 2008

    Ganesh, They are Maratkar, but not of Raj Thakrey force who only use thier power and strenght to harm the vulnerable.

  • Ubaid, ujire

    Fri, Dec 12 2008


  • M.Bhat, Mumbai

    Thu, Dec 11 2008

    May their soul rest in peace. They were not killed by terrorists but by corrupt system and superiors who never bothered to provide sophisticated arms & train these people for emergency situations.

  • xavier, MANGLORE

    Thu, Dec 11 2008

    I am very proud of these police officers. They are a living example for the present generation to defend any odds. Hats off to you great guys, you made us proud.

  • Denis, Mumbai

    Thu, Dec 11 2008

    Actually, I hated cops. But after the 26/11 incidents ,I salute these cops !!! We are proud of you all.

  • Felix F., India/ME

    Thu, Dec 11 2008

    "HEROES ARE BORN NOT MADE".That is what these brave people are made up of, who not only sacrifice their lives in the line of duty but also are the living examples of the selfless act of saving others at the cost of their own. This is not just courage, but bravery coupled with action beyond any explanation. No amount of money or gifts can be the motivating factors behind these great acts.They did not ask for any additional benifits when the call came to make the utmost sacrifice, unlike the rest of us. How I wish I was one of them. Though I am not, I take pride in them, in offering my gratitude to these Unsung heroes

  • Ganesh, Mangalore

    Thu, Dec 11 2008

    Many of us rebued  Raj Thakrey by saying that there were no Marathi Manoos among those NSG commandoes.  But don't you think the following heroes were Maratikars ?

  • Agnello, Mangalore/Muscat

    Fri, Dec 12 2008

    We need these heroes.Lets sing their praises aloud so our children will be inspired by their brave deeds and carry on with their spirit for a better India and a better world.Tukakaram Omble we are forever indebted to you.


    Thu, Dec 11 2008


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Title: Unsung Heroes of Mumbai Terror Attack - Part I

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