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The cabbie who survived
Vijay Singh in Mumbai | August 26, 2003 14:18 IST
If he hadn't stepped out of his taxi for a stroll, Shiv Narayan Pande would have been blown to bits.
The cabbie who survived Monday's bomb blast at the Gateway of India is a "simple, hardworking man", his friends Akhilesh Mishra and Gyanendra Pande say.
The duo -- fellow cabbies at the Khar West taxi stand -- said Pande would not have been in the taxi under normal circumstances. He only drove it on Sundays; the other six days he was driver to a private vehicle.
But on August 24, Sunday, Gyanendra said, Pande had got two 'good' passengers -- a couple who paid him well, and asked him to pick them up at Andheri on Monday.
As he had his routine job, Pande asked a friend to pick up the couple. The friend was sick, and Pande, remembering the handsome amount the couple had paid earlier, decided to go himself.
Pande is currently in police custody. His friends have no idea where he is, or when he will be released.
He has two sons who are mentally retarded, his friends said. The family lives in Poisar Kandivli.
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