Photographs: A Ganesh Nadar/Rediff.com A Ganesh Nadar in Mumbai
Rediff.com's A Ganesh Nadar spoke to Inspector Sanjay Govilkar, who intercepted Ajmal Kasab and his accomplice Ismail Khan when the duo approached them at Chowpatty in their stolen car on November 26, 2008.
In the gunfight that ensued, Inspector Sanjay Govilkar shot Khan and injured Kasab. He witnessed Assistant Sub-Inspector Tukaram Omble struggling and holding onto Kasab's rifle, and subsequently losing his life.
Govilkar didn't realise he had been shot
No sooner had he and his colleagues started beating up Kasab with their lathis, Govilkar realised that Kasab would be more valuable alive.
He pleaded with his fellow policemen to stop beating up the terrorist and they took Kasab to the Nair Hospital.
It was only then that the attending doctor realised that Govilkar was bleeding heavily from his back.
The doctors later discovered that the wound was caused by a bullet.
In his anxiety to capture the terrorist, Govilkar had not realised that he had been shot!
'My colleagues used to curse me for saving him'
This is what Inspector Govilkar, who is now posted to the Mumbai police's Crime Branch told Rediff.com:
I am very happy today. We have proven to the world that we are a legitimate democracy. Even terrorists get the same protection under the law just as every Indian citizen does.
My colleagues used to curse me for saving Kasab. They would say, 'Why did you stop us, we could have beaten him to death -- he deserves it. Do you know the number of people he killed at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus?'
'Today is the real Diwali. Today is the day to celebrate'
A week after the attacks, my superiors congratulated me on keeping Kasab alive.
The conspiracy was unraveling and we realised he was the only reason that stopped Pakistan from denying everything like they usually do.
Keeping him alive for four years has kept the pressure on Pakistan. He was allowed every avenue provided by the law to defend himself. This shows what a great country we are.
Diwali might have been on November 13 this year, but for me, today is the real Diwali. Today is the day to celebrate.
I am proud that I was part of the team that caught him alive.
I am proud that I am part of a force that solved the case.
I am proud of my country that treated him by the law and not vengefully.
I am proud to be an Indian.