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'I didn't want to run away, so I fought back'

December 15, 2008
Attacked by a terrorist wielding an automatic weapon and a knife, Harishchandra Shrivardhankar was one of the few citizens who dared to fight back during Mumbai's night of terror, and survived to tell the tale.

Shrivardhankar, a resident of Kalyan, a township near Mumbai, sustained life-threatening wounds in the encounter. He suffered two gashes to his neck and two bullets in the back, but he put up a valiant fight. He managed to knee the attacking terrorist in the groin and hit him in the head with his carry bag.

And that is the last thing he remembers, because shock and loss of blood quickly sapped him of consciousness.

He woke up the next day, one of a hundred-plus victims being treated at the JJ Hospital. He, like many others, was admitted as an 'unknown'. When hospital staff found an identification card in his pocket, they alerted his wife by phone.

Today, he is almost out of danger, but he sports two deep, jagged, vicious knife wounds to his neck and two bullet holes in his back. One of the bullets sits lodged in his kidney, and can only be treated after consultation with specialists.

Dr M V Jagade, professor and head of the ear-nose-throat clinic at the JJ Hospital, says, "The neck wounds are quite substantial, but he is very fortunate that the knife missed the main arteries and veins. Else, he would have died. Today, looking at only those injuries, he is out of danger. Now, he will be shifted to the urology clinic, where the bullet in his kidney can be operated on."

Image: Harishchandra Shrivardhankar at the JJ Hospital. Text: Matthew Schneeberger | Images: Rajesh Karkera

Also see: Inside Pakistan's terror schools

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