Constable Suresh Kadam on Monday told the special court trying the 26/11 attack case how he and his colleagues saw the Cama Hospital encounter but remained at the spot doing nothing.
He said this happened when the three slain officers — Anti-Terrorism Squad chief Hemant Karkare, Additional Commissioner of Police Ashok Kamte and Senior Inspector Vijay Salaskar — laid down their lives.
Kadam told the court that they did not move inside the hospital despite orders from Additional Commissioner of Police Sadanand Date who was injured fighting the two suspected Lashkar-e-Tayyeba operatives inside the hospital.
Kadam said Date had asked him and two other policemen to come directly to Cama Hospital with some bulletproof jackets and arms. “There were only two jackets at the [Azad Maidan] police station. And we could not find any arms,” said Kadam.
He added that he wore one bulletproof jacket and the other had been taken by a sub-inspector. Senior Inspector Yeshwant Thorawade and three others joined them on their way back to Cama Hospital.
“We thought the terrorists would pass through the Mahapalika Marg, so we stood near St Xavier’s College,” Kadam told defence lawyer Abbas Kazmi during cross-examination.
Kadam said he had spotted the two terrorists – Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab and Abu Ismail alias Ismail Khan — jumping the hospital’s compound wall.
“We, at that point, thought that the two were photojournalists because they were carrying haversacks on their back,” said Kadam.
But Kadam and his colleagues realised that they were terrorists when the duo fired at Sub-Inspector Dhurgude, who was passing by on a bike.
Kadam and his colleagues from the Azad Maidan police station continued to remain at the spot even as the two terrorists hurled a grenade and opened a burst of fire on a white Honda City with a red beacon that was passing by along the road.
The policemen, led by Senior Inspector Thorawade, chose to wait instead of following the attackers even as the two Lashkar operatives fled in a police Qualis — the one in which Karkare, Kamte and Salaskar were killed.