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Rediff.com  » News » They saw the terrorists in Leopold Cafe

They saw the terrorists in Leopold Cafe

December 02, 2008 09:18 IST

Anamika Gupta, Meenakshi Sadu, Sarika Upadhyay and Rashika Pandit  strolled along the stretch of Colaba on Wednesday evening, shopping for a wedding due next week.

After a long fun-filled shopping spree, they stopped by the Leopold Cafe later in evening. Little did they know that this exciting evening would land at the hospital with bullet injuries…..

Lying on their beds in J J Hospital, Anamika (28), a beautician, narrates to rediff.com about what she saw and her experience at the Cafe Leopold.

"It is my brother's wedding next week and four of us were to go to Varanasi for that. We never knew that we would land up here (at the hospital) when we left our homes for shopping in Colaba," said Anamika who is severely injured with three bullets in her stomach and one in her leg.

Rashika and I were at the Citywalk purchasing footwear while Meenakshi and Sarika were behind us shopping something else. At about 9:45, all of us tired of shopping, gathered at Cafe Leopold to grab a bite," continued Anamika struggling for breath.

Meenakshi (25), also a beautician who works with Anamika said, "All of us were laughing and teasing each other. I was busy clicking pictures of all of us together and a picture of a God above the counter in the café. We sat in the middle of the cafe a little close to the exit."
 
Adjusting herself, Anamika continued, "One of the terrorist (which we didn't know then) was sitting right in front of us and the other was sitting on a table a little further. We saw them and they looked like any other good-looking college boys.

Lying in the adjacent bed, Sarika (34) interrupted, "We just finished placing our orders when we heard a loud noise. We thought it must be some kind of a short circuit as we saw some sparks."

In matter of less than five minutes these boys started firing randomly," said the mother of a four year old boy who has fractured her left leg with severe gun powder blisters in her arms and right leg up to the abdomen.

Painfully Anamika said, "They looked so normal, that nobody could have even imagined that they could be terrorists who could attack us in just another five minutes. They were well dressed, well educated and looked like any other guest at the café."

Meenakshi continues, "That evening, the boy who was sitting in front of us was the one who got caught by the police." whose left leg is fractured with bullet pieces inside her bone with severely bruised back as a bullet rubbed past her.

After narrating the whole incident, Anamika recollected, "My friend's mother prepares food for paying guests. Sarika and I live near the Nariman house and we could see boys exercising every morning on the Nariman House terrace. That building is Israeli dominated and they give out rooms to college students. They provide shelter and food to them. My friend's mother was told that there are a new set of boys who have come to the house and they need food. It is very surprising that these boys used to go to general stores and buy huge amount of dry fruits and also leave behind a huge sum as tip. It never came across anybody that these people could be terrorists."

Meenakshi has bullet pieces in her left leg that is yet to be operated on, she said, "Bullet pieces went inside my bone and there are multiple injuries on my leg. The doctors say that because of multiple injuries they can't operate on my leg."

When all of them will be discharged only time will tell. As of now, Rashika has undergone a major surgery in the head and the others are still recovering.

Nithya Ramani in Mumbai