26/11 hero survives Mantralaya blaze
After braving bullets in the 26/11 terrorist attack, senior police officer Sadanand Date survived the fire that destroyed Mantralaya’s four floors on Thursday. Dharmendra Jore reports.mumbai Updated: Jun 24, 2012 00:21 IST
After braving bullets in the 26/11 terrorist attack, senior police officer Sadanand Date survived the fire that destroyed Mantralaya’s four floors on Thursday.
Date, the chief of Force One, was in the additional chief secretary’s (home) office when the fire broke out. He evacuated people from the fifth floor and called his unit soon after.
Many recall Date’s heroics when he fought the terrorists at Cama hospital in south Mumbai. Date had sustained grievous injuries while ATS chief Hemant Karkare and colleagues Ashok Kamte and Vijay Salaskar later succumbed to their wounds. Date had received the President’s Police Medal for bravery.
Like many others, who were trapped and later rescued from the parapet, Date broke the window and joined them. He ensured that many were taken to safety before him. After being rescued, he walked to the sidewalk, caught his breath and interacted with his commandos.
On Saturday, a modest Date played down the incident. “Many media persons have asked me for an interview, but I have politely declined their requests.”
One of Date’s IPS colleagues said that the officer was known for his publicity shyness. “He’s like that, but very brave when it comes to fighting against all odds.”