Saturday, 23 July 2011

ATS Chief Hemant Karkare | Mumbai 26/11

Joint Commissioner of Police Hemant Karkare (12 December 1954 – 26 November 2008) was the chief of the Mumbai Anti-Terrorist Squad. He was killed during the 2008 Mumbai attacks after being shot three times in the chest. His bravery was honoured with the Ashoka Chakra on 26 January 2009.

Karkare succeeded KP Raghuvanshi as the Chief of ATS in January 2008 and was eventually succeeded by Raghuvanshi after he was killed on 26 November 2008. He was also involved in the investigation of the serial bomb blasts in Thane, Vashi and Panvel, and led the investigation of the 29 September blast in Malegaon,he was investigating the possible and alleged links of saffron terror and the group Abhinav Bharat in these attacks

Karkare came from a Maharashtrian Karhade Brahmin family. Karkare obtained a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering from Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology, Nagpur. After graduation he worked for National productivity council, Government of India and then Hindustan Lever Limited now Hindustan Unilever Ltd., India's largest FMCG company.

He joined the Indian Police Service (IPS) as a member of the 1982 batch. Before becoming ATS Chief of Maharashtra State in January 2008, he was Joint Commissioner of Police (Administration) of Mumbai Police. He served seven years in Austria in the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), India's external intelligence agency. According to former senior Mumbai Police officer Y.C. Pawar, Mr. Karkare was regarded as very influential officer in police circles.

At 9.45 p.m. while having his dinner at his Dadar residence, he received a call about a terrorist attack at C.S.T. (earlier V.T.) station. He switched on the TV for news and left at once with his driver and bodyguards for C.S.T. There he donned a bullet-proof vest and helmet (shown on news channels live), and went to Platform No.1, but found it deserted. He was then informed that the terrorists had moved to the Cama and Albless Hospital ("Cama") next to the Azad Maidan police station.

The operation was difficult as it was dark and the terrorists were well prepared and virtually on a fidayeen mission. The officers, with a few constables, went into Cama from the back and Kamte fired at the terrorist. A couple of constables were left stationed at the back entrance of Cama, while the rest boarded a Qualis jeep. Salaskar asked the driver to let him take over at the wheel. About that time, they heard on the wireless that the terrorists were hiding behind a red car.

As they turned from the Crime Branch office towards Rang Bhavan looking for the red car, near the Corporation Bank ATM, they saw a terrorist running. Kamte or Salaskar - or both - fired, the bullet hitting the terrorist on his arm, his AK-47 fell down. He was Kasab, the lone terrorist captured alive later. As they were thinking of getting down, a second terrorist, Ibrahim Khan appeared and fired a volley of bullets at them. All but one Assistant Police Inspector Jadhav died. ( Times of India 19 Dec. 2008 )

Hemant Karkare, Ashok Kamte, Salaskar and others laid down their lives fighting terrorists during the Mumbai attacks, on 27 November 2008 in a narrow lane between St. Xaviers College and Rang Bhavan, just a stone throw away from the Crime Branch office.

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