Two city heroes whose bravery saved many lives on November 26, 2008 – railway announcer Vishnu Zende and constable Jillu Yadav – are likely to meet US president Barack Obama during his two-day visit to the city.
S Mudgerikar, chief public relations officer, CR, confirmed that the tentative guest list includes their names. The duo is expected to attend a function at the Taj on November 6.
As two Pakistani terrorists, Abu Ismail and Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, opened fire at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Zende could see what they were doing and repeatedly kept announcing their location on the station’s public announcement system so that commuters could avoid them. Zende made announcements for more than 25 minutes, and the terrorists fired at his cabin, but he escaped unhurt.
Yadav, who works with the Railway Protection Force, threw a plastic chair in the direction of the two terrorists, trying to distract them. A CCTV grab also shows shots fired from his .303 rifle even as other policemen fled.
Kul Bhushan, general manager, Central Railway, has told Zende and Yadav to keep themselves free on Saturday. “They are the only two representing the railways, apart from Bhushan, who are likely to meet Obama,” said a railway official, on condition of anonymity.
Sources said the US Consulate has asked the railways to share details about Zende and Yadav.