Hospital watchman recalls 26/11 mayhem

Mumbai: A view of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj terminus on the eve of the tenth anniversary of the 26/11 terror attack in Mumbai, Sunday, November 25, 2018 (PTI Photo/Shashank Parade)(PTI11_25_2018_000233B)

Kailash Ghegadmal was the night watchmen on duty at the Cama and Albless Hospital here on the night of November 26, 2008 when two terrorists barged in after killing 52 people at the nearby Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus.

Kailash and Baban Walu, another watchman on night duty, rushed to lock the gates of various buildings within the hospital complex after hearing shots fired behind the main six-storey building.

"I saw Walu getting shot and immediately hid behind a tree as the two terrorists passed by, from just 10 feet. As only the main building was open, the terrorists rushed there and shot dead lathi-wielding guard Bhanu Narkar," he told PTI.

"I first thought the firing was because of a gang war but when Narkar was shot dead in front of me by Mohammad Ajmal Kasab, I realised the gravity of the situation," he said.

After entering the hospital campus Kasab and his accomplice started firing indiscriminately, which petrified the staff, patients and their relatives, he recalled.

Kailash later led the police team to the sixth floor, where they had an encounter with the terrorists, in which two policemen were killed and he and IPS officer Sadanand Date were injured.

Nurses Minakshi Musale and Asmita Choudhary said they used a fridge, an ex-ray machine, medicine trolleys and chairs to lock the door on the second floor to ensure that terrorists were unable to enter the floor.

"Securing babies and their mothers was our duty. We kept all the cradles adjacent to the wall, to avoid bullet injured to the babies," said Sunanda Chavan, who was then the night supervisor.

The hospital now has armed guards and 67 CCTVs to monitor suspicious activity, hospital superintendent Ameeta Joshi said. 

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Hospital watchman recalls 26/11 mayhem

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