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He took on armed terrorists with a .303 rifle

December 13, 2008 19:22 IST

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"Had I been armed when they came in sight, they could not have escaped the station alive," said Railway Protection Force Head Constable Jillu Yadav, one of the heroes of the Mumbai terror attacks [Images].

Yadav, who combated terrorists armed with AK-47s with a vintage .303 rifle, was on Saturday felicitated and rewarded with Rs 10 lakh by Railways Minister Lalu Prasad at the RPF Investiture Parade.

Posted at the CST station, Yadav recounted the horror that visited the station on the evening of November 26 and his dare-devil encounter with the terrorists while talking to PTI.

"I was posted around platform 3 and 4 manning the evening crowd when suddenly I heard screams as passengers ran helter-skelter. I shouted at the passengers asking them what has happened and someone said there was firing."

He said that within a moment the platforms were empty.

"I closed the exit gates and for the first time saw two of the terrorists, one of them being Ajmal Amir Iman aka Kasab [Images], loading their weapons sitting in a corner."

"I asked an armed sepoy at a distance to fire at them but he remained motionless, perhaps taken by surprise," said Yadav, evidently the cynosure of all eyes at the investiture ceremony.

It was then that his bravery came to fore. The constable, in service for 30 years now, snatched the .303 calibre rifle from the sepoy and confronted them.

However, Yadav's weapon was no match for their guns as the two terrorists surrounded him from both ends and started firing at him. Yadav took cover behind a wall.

"They fired 35-40 rounds. But I did not give in as it was my time to prove myself to the world. Soon I was joined by other RPF personnel (Inspector Sandeep Khiratkar and Sub Inspector Kiran Bhonsle) and we fought the terrorists. It was then that they managed to escape," he said.

Regretting that the terrorists would have been slain had he been armed, Lalu wished every RPF jawan had taken on the terrorists the way he did.

Yadav's name would be sent for a gallantry award, said Lalu in his speech.

However, unmoved by the adulation being showered on him, Yadav said that he would spend the cash award on his children's education.

The parade function also saw the announcer at the CST station Vishnu [Images] D Jhinde being felicitated by the minister for saving several lives through non-stop announcements, cautioning the passengers and guiding them to safety outside. He received a cash reward of Rs five lakh.

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