26/11 attacks: Two years on, rail announcer Vishnu Zende has moved on

Central railway announcer Vishnu Zende, whose presence of mind saved lives of several lives during Mumbai terror attacks at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), still remembers the horror that unfolded at the site.


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PTI

Updated: Nov 24, 2010, 03:32 PM IST

Central railway announcer Vishnu Zende, whose presence of mind saved lives of several lives during Mumbai terror attacks at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), still remembers the horror that unfolded at the site, but has made peace with its dreadful memories.

"Its been two years since the terrorists stormed the railway station and indiscriminately opened fire but I still remember the tragedy minute by minute. Its one such ill-fated incident that I cannot forget in my life..But its memories do not haunt me anymore," Zende told PTI.

On the second anniversary of the terror attacks this year, it will just another day for Zende, who has been working with the railways since 19 years. "It will be life as usual," the 37-year-old announcer said.

Risking his life, Zende saved hundreds of commuters by continuously alerting them to leave the railway station when two terrorists - Abu Ismail and Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab -started firing indiscriminately. He also intimated the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and the Government Railway Police (GRP) to initiate action against them.

Within minutes, commuters started moving out and the terrorist duo headed towards the control room from where Zende was making announcements and opened fire on him but he escaped unhurt.

Post 26/11, the announcer, says, his life has personally not changed much though "those who became victims of terror come up to my cabin and thank me. They say that they have learnt how to handle difficult situations from me."

Zende was one among those invited by the US Consulate to attend the function at the Taj Hotel recently where President Barack Obama paid homage to 26/11 victims.