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'I thought perhaps it was a hoax'

December 17, 2008
Although Rippon had been following the terrorist attacks at the Oberoi and Trident hotels, the Leopold Cafe, the Taj and at the Chhattrapati Shivaji Terminus and subsequent events online, he was initially not too sure what was unfolding in front of him.

"I did not know what was happening. I thought perhaps it was a hoax. Like one of those shootouts (police 'encounters') between smugglers and the police. They were hammering him (Azam Amir Kasav). And they shot the other guy. They then took both of them away in a police van."

Rippon woke up his parents and they came and watched.

Says Naresh Sadh, who runs a business that deals in pressure cookers in Girgaum, close to the family home, "It was like watching a film." He adds that none of them were worried that the bullets would fly their way. After a night of terrorist-inflicted violence, the watching crowd, though panicky, Rippon feels, was half ready to join the policemen beating up Kasav.

Image: The Sadhs' building, far right, at the Chowpatty intersection. The building is usually a popular spot for viewing and photographing the immersion of Mumbai's largest Ganpatis.

Also see: 'How we caught the terrorist alive'
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