‘It was my duty to fight terrorists, I am no hero’

December 6th, 2008 - 1:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Dec 6 (IANS) Police constable Jhullu Yadav just shakes his head and shies away whenever people congratulate him for having valiantly fought the terrorists who attacked Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) railway station last week.”What is there to congratulate? I was only doing my duty. That is what we are trained for, that is why I am wearing this uniform,” a grey haired Yadav told IANS at his desk inside the CST station, previously known as Victoria Terminus, one of the world’s busiest railway stations that handles about four million passengers a day.

In the most audacious terror attack that India has ever seen, terrorists struck prominent places in south Mumbai, including the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel, Oberoi Trident Hotel and the CST, on the night of Nov 26.

Yadav, Senior Police Inspector Sandeep Khiratkar and Police Inspector Kiran Bhosale were the Railway Protection Force personnel who took the two AK-56 wielding terrorists head on at CST.

Seeing the terrorists shoot indiscriminately, killing at least 58 people and injuring many others, Yadav took a .303 rifle from Khiratkar, ran towards the gunmen and fired at them.

“There was no time to think. These terrorists had attacked us, killing innocent people by the dozen and my immediate instinct was to kill them too,” Yadav told IANS.

Was he, even for a moment, scared? After all, as he admitted himself, he was shooting after probably a decade.

“Scared? No. Not at all. There was no time to get scared. Just act, and that’s what I did. There were enemies in front of me and that’s what I had to do. That’s what I had taken the oath for,” Yadav, prim and proper in his khaki uniform. smiled.

For the common Mumbaikar though, still recovering from the terror attcks that claimed at least 172 lives, 51-year-old Yadav’s act was beyond “just his duty”.

“How many people do their duties in the administration? We are very proud of men like Jhullu Yadav and the city needs more people like him. It’s because of men like him that we have had the courage to come back to VT (Victoria Terminus, as CST was known earlier),” said Kaveri Sharma, a post office employee who commutes by train everyday.

Constable Brijesh Kalekar told IANS: “He’s a hero. Our hero. Now people come asking where he sits so that they can shake his hand and congratulate him.”

Yadav just smiles at the compliments.

“It’s been 30 years since I have been wearing this uniform and this was one occasion when I could prove my worth and save some innocent lives,” he said.

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