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Five minutes later, the bomb exploded

December 23, 2008

When a bomb disposal squad dog was made to sniff the bag, it did not bark. Instead, it crouched and moved away very softly. It was a live bomb."

"Immediately they asked for our riot shields -- the iron ones we keep use when people throw stones at us at rallies," says Inspector Shinde. "They surrounded the plastic bag with these shields."

Five minutes later, the bag exploded, throwing the shields flying 80 metres away.

"I cannot imagine what damage it would have done if it had exploded undetected," says Inspector Shinde.

Bomb squad Inspector Sachin Gawde, a friend, took Shinde to task for picking up the bag.

"I told him that if I had not picked it up, I would not have known the weight and thus not realised that it was a bomb. He insisted I should have called him without touching it," says Inspector Shinde. "I did it by reflex."

Another officer, Inspector Shashank Shinde, had been killed by the terrorists at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. When Inspector Kishore Shinde's family saw the announcement on television, they thought he was dead. Later, they saw him on television and realised that he was OK. His family was trying to reach him with frantic calls to his mobile.

"I did not take the calls. The situation was so tense," says Inspector Shinde.

Meanwhile, there was a fire in the Oberoi lobby. But none of the firemen wanted to go in.

"Only their chief was willing," recalls Inspector Shinde. "Four of us -- Assistant Police Inspector Pradip Kode, Assistant Police Inspector Dilip Tiangede, Inspector Bhagwat K Bansode and I -- surrounded him and marched him in. He was carrying a hose. We kept an eye out for the terrorists while he put out the fire."

"We had only pistols with us and no bullet-proof jackets. When we came here we thought some gang war was on. We did not expect terrorists. They did not try to come down and we did not try to go up," he adds.

"We then formed a cordon around the entrance. At the back entrance we stationed the State Reserve Police. The Maharashtra Police QRT (Quick Response Team) also arrived. They are trained commandos and helped us cordon off the place."

"Anti-Terrorism Squad Deputy Chief Param Vir Singh came and entered the hotel. He fired twice at the terrorists," he adds.

Image: Inspector Kishore Shinde, who spotted the bomb.

Also read: The NSG commando who won't give up
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