Mumbai Attacks Anniversary: Victims and Cops Speak Out

At the time, Bhosale told ABC News how he and a handful of railway police officers armed with only pistols fought against terrorists armed with AK-47 assault rifles.

"They are firing with AK-47, and I have a pistol. The range is different, the capacity is different. We need weapons," he said then.

Today, Bhosale said more officers have been assigned to patrol railway stations. They have been given "better guns," and "the government has helped us, providing us with more training on how to deal with different terrorist threats."

It's not just police who have changed their ways.

"Passengers have also become much more alert," Bhosale said, "coming to us any time they see an unclaimed bag or something suspicious."

Mumbai Bomb Squad on Special Alert for Anniversary

In the aftermath of the attacks, Bhosale was given an award of $10,715 by the government. "Even now, people come up to me, recognizing me from TV coverage," he said.

"They come to shake hands, bring their kids along, say thanks," he said, sounding slightly awed by the attention.

"I have so many letters from people," he said, "but I am just doing my job, same job as I was doing last year."

His words are echoed by sub-inspector Sachin Gavde of the Mumbai Police Bomb Squad, who was part of the team that found and defused five bombs planted by terrorists around Mumbai last November.

"Our strength has increased in terms of manpower. We have new equipment and machines like mobile vehicle scanners (to check for car bombs)," Gavde told ABC News.

"After the Mumbai attacks, the Bomb Squad has set up 13 different teams, and we have beefed up security," he said.

"We are on special alert, carrying out daily checks on vital installations around the city," Gavde said, concerned about possible attacks by terrorists to mark the one-year anniversary.

The bombs found last November were the most advanced yet seen in India, and Gavde said that the Bomb Squad has not come across such sophisticated bombs since then.

But he said, "We are keeping a close eye and trying to learn what we can from the bombings taking place in Pakistan."

Meanwhile, new revelations about the attacks continue to embarrass the Indian government.

In an interview aired Wednesday on the Indian TV channel NDTV, the country's Home Minister P. Chidambaram apologized to Kavita Karkare, the widow of Hemant Karkare, the chief of the Anti-Terrorism Squad, who was killed during the November assaults.

Karkare said authorities misplaced the bulletproof vest worn by her husband the night he was shot by terrorists. In the aftermath of the attacks, there were allegations that the vest worn by Karkare was faulty, but its disappearance makes it impossible to know if that was in fact the case.

"It is being said that my husband, Ashok Kamte and Vijay Salaskar got killed as they went into the operation blindly, but the truth is they kept asking for reinforcements and help for 40 minutes, which they never got. For 40 minutes, their bodies were there on the road while the terrorists' bodies were rushed to the hospital. They have spent Rs 22 crore [$4,760,400] on preserving the bodies of the nine terrorists. But they couldn't be careful enough to preserve my husband's bulletproof jacket," she said.

In his interview, Chidambaram said it was shoddy to have misplaced the vest, adding he could only apologize for the lapse.

Mixed in the somber reflections is a hint of determination.

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...