Expect nothing, live frugally on surprise.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mumbai Attacks: They were our heroes'

A Salute to 3 brave hearts along with all the 18 security force personnel who led their lives fighting against terror and securing our security.

  • Hemant Karkare dies a hero's death
  • Ashok Kamte - A daring officer and excellent negotiator
  • Vijay Salaskar: Life and death by the gun
  • NSG Major Sandeep Unninarayanan
Hemant Karkare dies a hero's death
He wore a helmet, talked on his cellphone and finally put on a bullet-proof jacket before he met his deathly fate in the country's biggest terror seize. Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) chief Hemant Karkare, who was probing the Malegaon blasts case, suffered three bullet injuries in his chest as he was leading the offensive against the terrorists in one of the places the ultras had holed out early this morning. The last television visuals of the 54-year-old officer showed him in a light blue shirt and dark trousers surrounded by uniformed policemen armed with firearms and walkie-talkies. Karkare, a 1982 batch IPS officer, became the head of ATS in January this year following his return to the state cadre after serving seven years in Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) in Austria. One of the brightest officers, Karkare had solved the serial bomb blasts in Thane, Vashi and Panvel and was also credited for the stunning revelations in the investigation of the September 29 blast in Malegaon. He is known for his discipline and fair investigation. During the Malegaon investigation, Karkare had told his officers not to create false evidence, saying, "We should do our job and it is for the court to decide." Incidentally, the Pune ATS on November 26 reportedly received phone calls threatening to blow up the residence of Karkare "within a couple of days". In his last interview to a television channel yesterday, he referred to getting the custody of Malegaon blast accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, and said "police custody would have helped investigations to proceed faster but still we will see how best to deal with it in a legal way".
Ashok Kamte - A daring officer and excellent negotiator
Daring, but with an exceptionally cool head made Ashok Kamte an excellent negotiator in crisis situations - a quality for which he was summoned late Thursday night to deal with terrorists holed up in Mumbai buildings. Kamte, a 1989 batch IPS officer of Maharashtra cadre, who died fighting terrorists near Mumbai's Metro cinema, was one of the brightest of his batch, and one of the few officers who dared to take on challenges directly. Having undergone special training for negotiating hostage situations, Kamte was chosen to tackle one of the worst crisis faced by the financial capital of the country. Maharashtra Police specially summoned him to undertake the operation at Metro Cinema near Cama Place in the city where he laid down his life fighting with terrorists along with encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar. Deputy Commissioner of Police in Mumbai, Kamte was a key officer in the state police. He had also served as the Commissioner of Solapur where he became a hero among locals. With over 400 fans on his Orkut profile, Kamte enjoyed a lot of respect during his tenure at Solapur. "A cop that turned Solapur from a wrong city to the right one. The person who every responsible Solapurkar liked and loved. This community has been created to pay the respect and gratitude that he deserves," wrote one of his fans on the social networking web site. Survived by his wife and two children, Kamte had a panache for body building during his college days. His friends at the IPS academy also remember him as a great athlete and one of the brightest cadets of his batch.
Vijay Salaskar: Life and death by the gun
He was said to be the last of Mumbai's encounter specialists until a hail of bullets brought him down on Wednesday. He is supposed to have killed nearly 80 alleged gangsters.A 1983 batch officer, Salaskar started off as a sub-inspector. But his ability to sniff out criminals quickly made him a favourite with the police top brass, who used him and other cops to get rid of many underworld criminals.His first encounter was in 1983, when he shot dead one Raja Shahabuddin, who had a number of cases against him. Gangsters like Amar Naik, Jaggu Shetty, Sadhu Shetty, Kundan Singh Rawat, Zahoor Makhanda ended up as statistics in Salaskar's growing encounter list.In 1997, he was accused by underworld don Arun Gawli of trying to eliminate him in a fake encounter after the cop gunned down his aides Sada Pawle and Vijay Tandel. Gawli went to the extent of writing to the government that Salaskar would bump him off in a fake encounter. But Salaskar did not face any departmental proceedings. He, however, was frequently in the news for alleged fake encounters


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