The story of Mumbai policemen who caught Ajmal Amir Kasab alive needs to be ciruculated and the valour of these policemen celebrated and commended.
While the senior officers of Mumbai police and the commandos of NSG get the well-deserved accolades for their role during the anti-terrorist operations in Mumbai, little has been written about the junior operatives of the Mumbai police who caught alive one terrorist at Girgaum Chaupatty. Indian Express recounts the tale of the brave men of Mumbai police who captured the dreaded terrorist, Ajmal Amir Kasab during that encounter.
Senior Police Inspector Nagappa Mali from the DB Marg police station said, “On that night, I was about to go home when I got to know that some terrorists were headed towards my jurisdiction. I immediately formed two teams, one of which was posted at Girgaum Chowpatty and the other at the Tribhovandas Zhaveri Lane. When the Skoda neared the barricades that we had erected at Girgaum, the two men sitting inside turned their head lights to full beam, squirted water on their wind-shields and turned on the wipers in an attempt to hide their faces.
However, as we had information about the colour and make of the car, we signalled them to stop and demanded that they emerge from the car with their hands raised. Kasab who was sitting in the passenger seat came out with his hands raised but then immediately started firing from his AK-47 which he had hidden between his knees.”When the firing started, ASI Tukaram Umble got hit even as the rest of the team pounced on Kasab and subdued him. In the meantime, Inspector Vinod Sawant who had gone to the driver’s side saw that the driver, Ismail, was also firing with his weapon and Sawant and his associate immediately opened fire on him, said Mali. Ismail was declared dead later and Kasab, who initially pretended to be dead, was taken to the hospital.
In the media hype over the political fallouts of the Mumbai terror attacks, this story will pale into insignificance. However, this is the kind of story that needs to be circulated over and over again to inspire other policemen and to restore the faith of the common man in the state in general, and the local police in particular.
Let us remember that the local police is the first and the most important round of defence that the Indian state has, among the plethora of agencies dealing with national security, against the terrorists. If the police are heavily criticised when they fail in their duty, then they deserve to be commended and celebrated when they go beyond the call of their duty.
Finally, Ratan Tata, always the sagacious voice, puts the current emotional state of the nation rather succinctly.
We’re indignant, but we’re not scared. If there’s a view that this has pulled us down, I think it will unite the country that much more.