Vinita Kamte’s book, To The Last Bullet, quotes an eyewitness, who saw the shootout outside Cama Hospital on the night of November 26, 2008.
According to the book, the eyewitness saw her husband, additional commissioner of police Ashok Kamte, get out of the vehicle, take position and fire towards the bushes.
There was an exchange of fire and then silence. One terrorist was injured and both went towards the end of the lane near the Special Branch office and fired randomly.
They came back to the Qualis. The witness saw a police vehicle with a flashing beacon zooming past the Qualis. It did not stop.
The terrorists came back, pulled out the people from the Qualis and threw them on the road. One of them took the big gun (AK-47) of one of the police officers and drove off in the Qualis. The bodies were lying there for 40 minutes after which another police van came and took them away.
The control room was aware that the officers had been hit. At 12.25 am (November 27), Arun Jadhav, who had survived inside the cops’ Qualis called the control room and informed that the terrorists had kidnapped (sic) a Qualis car from the Rang Bhavan lane and that Salaskar, Karkare and Kamte had been fired at.
Also, at 12.33 am (Nov 27), a police vehicle while passing through the Rang Bhavan Lane told the control room: Three people are lying in the St. Xavier’s lane. We need a stretcher. At, 12.40 am (Nov 27), another wireless message to the control room stated: Please send help to Special Branch lane, Two to three people are lying injured. I think it is Kamte saheb, please send help immediately.
At 12.47 am (Nov 27) another wireless message told the control room: Karkare sir, Kamte and Salaskar are injured. We are taking them to the hospital.
The final message at 12.49 am (Nov 27) stated: Kamte and Salaskar have been fired upon. Leaving for GT Hospital.
So, for over 75 minutes (between 11.24 pm - Nov 26 to 12.49 am - Nov 27) no help or reinforcements came despite the control being only 2 to 5 minutes away from Cama Hospital.
When help arrived, Salaskar was still breathing and was taken to the hospital.
Had help arrived on time Salaskar would certainly have been saved and maybe even Karkare and Kamte.