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Hospitals no sanctuary in time of terror

india Updated: Nov 28, 2008 00:10 IST
Team HT
Team HT
Hindustan Times
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The streets were silent and shops shut, but while the city holed up at home, victims and their relatives poured into major city hospitals, especially in south Mumbai.

JJ Hospital was the busiest, with a death count of 17 and 127 injured.

At every hospital, the scene was morbidly similar. Frantic people searching for loved ones, harried doctors who hadn’t slept a wink since the attack, queues outside operation theatres and that quiet corner where a family was told its son, daughter or father was no more

At Gokuldas Tejpal Hospital at Dhobi Talao, victims of firing, dead and injured, were brought in all night. These included victims from Colaba, the Taj hotel’s staff and policemen in the line of duty.

Policemen watched in tears as the bodies of their colleagues in blood-splattered uniforms were brought in.

These included the bodies of Vijay Salaskar, his driver Constable Arun Chitte, Constable Vijay Khandekar and Police Sub-Inspector Pradip More.

Hospital staff said most of these officers were brought in dead.

Three staff of GT Hospital were also killed by gunmen who opened fire indiscriminately at the staff quarters. The dead included Thakur Wagle (31), a support staff member posted at the OPD who was on night shift on Wednesday night and had gone to the staff quarters.

“We were all eating and talking in groups on the pavement around 10.30 pm when two gunmen dressed in blue and black with jackets and big guns burst onto the scene and began firing,” said Thakur’s younger brother Bharat, outside the hospital’s morgue. “We rushed into our homes and bolted the doors, and some minutes later my brother's son came rushing to say his father has been shot badly. We ran and brought his bloodied body here, but he was already dead.”

At St George Hospital, close to several shooting sites, many casualties were reported.

Police Constable N.B. Gawane (58) was on his usual patrolling duty near the Taj hotel on Wednesday night. After he got an anonymous call on his wireless saying gunshots had been heard near Café Leopold in Colaba, he rushed to the spot. “I got shot several times in my leg. I am lucky to have survived as two bullets got stuck in the metal badge of my belt,” said Gawane, who is currently recuperating at J.J. Hospital.

A taxi driver and a passenger lost their lives and two passersby suffered injuries when terrorists blew up the taxi on the Western Expressway in Vile Parle on Wednesday night

The injured identified as Bal Krishna Bare (40), and Shyamsunder Chaudhary (40) were admitted to Cooper hospital with severe injuries on the shoulder and face.