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'Even today I regret that I wasn't carrying a heavier weapon'

December 23, 2008

Inspector Bhagwat K Bansode has been with the police for 30 years. He rushed into the Oberoi with Havildar Ravindra Bhosale after the wireless set erupted with news about the attacks.

He was shocked at the destruction he witnessed.

"I saw dead bodies behind the reception counter and in front of it. I could hear firing from above and so went up to the first floor. I saw a foreigner lying dead. He had been shot in the head. There was a lot of broken glass," recalls Inspector Bansode.

"I could hear noises, but could not spot the terrorists. A waiter pointed in the opposite direction. I turned to look. I saw them both. They were wearing blue t-shirts, heavily armed and carrying haversacks."

"I moved to my left," Inspector Banside continues. "There was no place to take position. I fired twice. One of them ducked and the other fired in my direction. The bullets ricocheted on the wall behind me. I realised that I could not face their hail of bullets with my one-shot pistol."

"Even today I regret that I wasn't carrying a heavier weapon. I had them in sight and could have killed them easily."

So he backed off and called for help.

"I realised that help would not come in a hurry as there were emergencies in other places too. We took up positions on the ground floor. We were there for two days till the NSG (National Security Guard) came and finished the job," he says.

"We have heavy weapons in our police station," he adds. "We thought it was a gang war and thus did not take them. Next time we will go with heavy weapons."

Image: Inspector Bhagwat K Bansode, who took on the terrorists's AK-47s with a one-shot pistol.

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