Nearly 300 people were rescued alive from the new building of the terror struck Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai, thanks to the quick thinking by a senior police official who kept randomly firing in the air to make the terrorists believe that a large number of cops had arrived at the scene.
According to sources, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Vishwas Nangre Patil who along with his handful men were the first to reach the hotel, sensed that if the terrorists actually moved to the new building of Taj, the catastrophe would be of a very high proportion.
"They directly went to the CCTV room where they saw that terrorists had taken some guests hostage in the old building. By that time the evacuation process in the new building had started. "He realised that if they (terrorists) entered the new building, many innocent lives would be lost and hence he started randomly firing in the air with his service revolver," a senior Mumbai police official said.
The other few men with him too started firing in the air, he said. "Because of the random firing, the terrorists felt that a lot of cops had come into the hotel and hence they too started firing and made no attempt to enter the new building," he said.
The terrorists had even hurled a grenade downstairs but the cops kept firing inspite the fact that they could not see anyone.
"Since the terrorists were busy in the shoot-out, nearly 300 people were safely evacuated from the new building," the officer said. The police party left only by around 02:30 in the morning, that is after the elite Navy commandos - MARCOS arrived at the scene.
Random firing saved nearly 300 lives