On November 26th, 2008 television screens across the world lit up with news of yet another terrorist attack. Islamic jihadists had launched multiple coordinated attacks in the heart of the financial district of Mumbai, India. The terror lasted three days. When the dust settled 166 people were dead, 308 wounded. Few who encountered these terrorists first hand survived the ordeal; one who did was a man named Uledar. Uledar, a Christian in his twenties, would later serve as one of the government's star witnesses at the trial of the sole surviving terrorist.
We had the privilege of having Mr. Uledar share his testimony at the Navi Mumbai Youth Movement, a monthly Youth Outreach Ministry of Crossroads, Mumbai. Speaking first hand of his personal encounter with the terrorist Ajmal Kasab, Mr. Uledar spoke about death and life, challenging the young people to think about how fleeting life can be. As a result, 6 young people gave their lives to Christ that night.
With terrorism at the forefront of all our minds we thought you might find uplifting the amazing story of God's saving power in the face of terrifying circumstances. Below is the story of God's protecting grace in Mr. Uledar's own words.
My sister was admitted in Cama Hospital just adjacent to Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus (train station). She delivered a baby girl on 25th November 2008, but due to complications the baby and mother had to remain in the hospital.
The next day, the 26th of November, a large number of family members, friends, and myself (a total of 10 individuals all believers in Jesus Christ) went to visit my sister. It was about 9:30 pm when we decided to go back home. Half of the group left then and a few of us lingered a little longer. Just as we were leaving the hospital the five who had left earlier suddenly rushed back into the hospital telling us to run and hide, shouting that terrorists had attacked people in the train station next door, killing many.
Rushing back into the hospital we turned and saw 2 of the terrorists, armed with AK-47's, entering into the building premises. As they entered, they shot and killed the two security guards at the entrance.
As we sought safety ourselves, we were cautioning people to hide in their hospital rooms or wherever they could. My mother and Aunty went into the 2nd floor where my new born niece was. The rest of us ran to the 5th floor to be with my sister. By this time, panic had set in as news spread fast of terrorists on the hunt within the hospital. Many patients seeking safety had torn open their surgeries, leaving a trail of blood to where they sought safety.
We tried to secure the Ward doors but could not as there was no lock inside. Hence, we tied the gate outside the doors with a piece of cloth and switched off all the lights in the Ward. After few minutes, I noticed that a tube light at the end of the corridor was on and so I went out of the room to switch it off. My brother-in-law (Chinakar) and one of my friends (Soumen Ghosh) followed me. I could not locate the light switch, when I turned back to head for the Ward, I saw the 2 terrorists coming up the stairway armed with assault rifles & guns pulled. As I saw them I was stunned; I could not move and I prayed in my heart "Father I am coming Home, receive me" because I felt there was no way of escape. However there was no fear at all in me because the Word of God says "The Lord has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, of love and of a sound mind" (II Timothy 1:7).
One of the terrorists named Ajmal Kasab came rushing up the stairs directly towards me pointing his assault rifle at my chest demanding, "Where are the other people"? I replied "I don't know as I came running up the stairs" (Ajmal Kasab, was the only terrorist captured alive).
At this time they saw my brother-in-law, grabbing him they demanded "what is this, where are we?" I replied "This is a hospital sir, people are already half dead here". He looked at me in anger and took us back inside the Ward. Ordering the 3 of us to lie down on our stomachs they started loading their rifles with fresh rounds of ammo. We were then told to stand with our hands up. While one terrorist held us at gunpoint, the other, looking like a hungry lion on the prowl, started searching for people. The most incredible thing was that this Ward was filled with many newborn babies and some women who had undergone operation just few hours back, but nobody made any noise.
Searching the Ward, the terrorists found an elderly man (Harischandra - 56 yrs old) hiding in a back room. He was ordered to stand with us but he refused and kept pleading with the terrorists "Don't kill me in the bathroom, kill me here itself". So they caught him by his hair and pinned him on the ground. They told him give praise to "Allah" and shot him in the shoulder. Then standing him in front of us they stabbed him and left him on the floor of the Ward.
A few minutes later, another person was found hiding in a dark corner of the Ward. He was forced to stand with us, hands in the air, as the terrorists repeatedly tried to fire their guns, each time their guns failed to fire.
Suddenly they stepped backwards out of the bathroom locking us in from outside. They had received word that police were in the building hunting for them so they left to take up positions. Left locked in the bathroom we were confessing the Word of God, binding the spirit of terrorism and death while simultaneously releasing the Spirit of Life. No one came to our rescue for nearly 2 hours; then 10 police officers came and opened the door, amazed that we were safe.
The ensuing gun battle with the police left one terrorist dead, the other captured. A year later, I served as a witness in the trial of Ajmal Kasab who in 2011 was convicted and sentenced to death.