A day after the firing at the Indian Museum, The Telegraph spoke to a couple of employees who were on duty on Saturday evening. Neither saw the alleged shooter but one of them heard the gunshots. Both requested not to be named.
A man in his 40s was on duty at a first-floor gallery, which is home to paintings.
Like every other day, he started asking visitors to leave from around 5.45pm. The visiting hours are from 10am to 5pm, which means no visitor is allowed after 5pm.
The crowd dwindles after 5pm and by 5.30pm, there are only a handful of visitors left, according to museum staff. By 6pm, the galleries are also empty.
“Every day, the galleries are locked by 6.15pm. Museum staff run a check in each gallery before locking it. Yesterday, I locked the gallery I was in and had barely reached the staircase when I heard something like a commotion. I climbed down the stairs and saw a couple of CISF jawans rushing towards the southern side exit,” the man said.
The man went to deposit the keys at the central security control room on the mezzanine floor. When he went there, a CISF jawan is said to have told him to run out of the building “as fast as possible”.
“I started running towards the gate towards Sudder Street (on the northern side). There were a couple of other staff who also ran along with me. Some 150m from the gate, I heard a gunshot, then another. I increased my pace and did not stop to turn back even once,” said the man.
“The first time I turned back was after leaving the compound through the gate. Then, I noticed police vehicles parked outside the gate,” the man said.
The cops had barricaded the road outside and did not let people near the gate. “I walked for around 100 metres and stayed put, huddled with others. I came to know what was happening inside. It took a while for the matter to sink in,” the man said.
He left for home after “around 30 minutes”.
The man was on duty on the ground floor and left around 6.15pm.
When he was walking towards Park Street, he got a call from another colleague who told him about hearing “gunshots”.
The man tried to come back through the Kyd Street gate but was stopped at the road’s intersection with JL Nehru Road.
“I got stuck and people around me said they heard multiple gunshots. I sensed something big had happened inside,” he said. He got a call from his wife who told him about the “breaking news”. “A jawan lost his life. But it could have been anyone. It could have been me,” the man said on Sunday.