26/11 court indicts some cops for cowardice

Court criticised personnel of Azad Maidan police station, saying they acted in a cowardly manner.

Mumbai: Though the Mumbai police came in
for praise for taking on the terrorists during 26/11 attacks,
the special court which conducted the trial has criticised
personnel of Azad Maidan police station, saying they acted in
a "cowardly" manner and "ran away" instead of stopping the

Instead of coming to the aid of Additional
Commissioner Sadanand Date, who engaged the terrorists in a
gunfight on the terrace of Cama Hospital and got grievously
injured in the process, the officers from the police station
possibly "ran away", Judge M L Tahaliyani said in the
judgement, a copy of which was made available to PTI today.
The police station is at a stone`s throw from
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and Cama Hospital where Ajmal
Kasab and his companion Abu Ismail killed scores of people.

After firing indiscriminately on the passengers at
CST, Kasab and Ismail proceeded to Cama Hospital, and went up
to the terrace.

Date had rushed to the hospital after instructing
constable Suresh Kadam to go to the police station, collect
some bulletproof jackets, weapons and ammunition, and come to
the hospital.

But, as according to Kadam`s testimony, he along with
Senior Police Inspector Thorawade and four others went only
upto the rear gate of the hospital in a Bolero jeep and did
not venture further.

Noting that other witnesses had mentioned that the
Bolero was parked at the hospital`s rear side, Judge said "It
is therefore possible that witness no. 138 (Kadam) and others
had entered the Cama Hospital and ran away back...
apprehending danger to their lives as around this time(11.45
pm) the accused had come out of the hospital."

"This definitely is cowardliness and lack of devotion
towards duty," the judgement said.

The judge had orally observed earlier that had
Sadanand Date got timely help, Kasab and Ismail could have
been stopped at the hospital itself and further incidents
could have been averted.