Shoot them, they're sitting ducks!' but they just didn't shoot back.
It is the photograph that has dominated the world's front pages, casting an astonishing light on the fresh-faced killers who brought terror to the heart of India's most vibrant city. Now it can be revealed how the astonishing picture came to be taken by a newspaper photographer who hid inside a train carriage as gunfire erupted all around him.
Sebastian D'Souza, a picture editor at the Mumbai Mirror, whose offices are just opposite the city's Chhatrapati Shivaji station, heard the gunfire erupt and ran towards the terminus. "I ran into the first carriage of one of the trains on the platform to try and get a shot but couldn't get a good angle, so I moved to the second carriage and waited for the gunmen to walk by," he said. "They were shooting from waist height and fired at anything that moved. I briefly had time to take a couple of frames using a telephoto lens. I think they saw me taking photographs but theydidn't seem to care."
The gunmen were terrifyingly professional, making sure at least one of them was able to fire their rifle while the other reloaded. By the time he managed to capture the killer on camera, Mr D'Souza had already seen two gunmen calmly stroll across the station concourse shooting both civilians and policemen, many of whom, he said, were armed but did not fire back. "I first saw the gunmen outside the station," Mr D'Souza said. "With their rucksacks and Western clothes they looked like backpackers, not terrorists, but they were very heavily armed and clearly knew how to use their rifles.
"Towards the station entrance, there are a number of bookshops and one of the bookstore owners was trying to close his shop," he recalled. "The gunmen opened fire and the shopkeeper fell down."
But what angered Mr D'Souza almost as much were the masses of armed police hiding in the area who simply refused to shoot back. "There were armed policemen hiding all around the station but none of them did anything," he said. "At one point, I ran up to them and told them to use their weapons. I said, 'Shoot them, they're sitting ducks!' but they just didn't shoot back."
Dan Friedman opined, "This has been bothering me a lot. Mumbai (Bombay), a great metropolis of 19 million people, is no stranger to terrorism. It has had a history of bloody attacks that have taken hundreds of innocent lives in only the last few years. Yet 10, that's right 10, young men carrying large assault weapons could make their way through the streets of the toniest part of the city during the early evening hours, shoot up a major train station, a popular high-profile bar, then move on unchallenged and enter and reach the upper floors of the Indian equivalents of the Waldorf-Astoria and New York Hilton - all without a shot from law enforcement being fired at them. Pardon the American pride, but if terrorists were to try and mimic their Indian colleagues in any of America's great cities, it wouldn't take two days and 100's of military commandos to stop them. A dozen good cops would have them lying dead on the sidewalks inside of an hour.
Exit question: Just how much of the death and destruction do you think was actually caused by the "good guys" in this incident?"