Though this does not concern our group exactly, but as we are all aware, the incidents in Mumbai, which are still not completely over, in which ATS chief of Mumbai Police Hemant Karkare -- who was investigating the Malegaon blast case, Additional Commissioner Ashok Kamte, another Additional Commissioner Sadanand Date, noted encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar, ATS sub-inspector Sudhir Dalvi and many other police officers were killed in different accidents during a series of encounters in Mumbai, must be among the most tragic and gruesome incidents in Independent India's history. This is more bizarre and unthinkable than I could even have dreamt. 54-year-old Mr. Karkare, who was the 1982 batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, held a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Vishveshvarayya Regional Engineering in Nagpur. Before joining ATS, he was aslso with the RAW (the external intelligence wing of our country) for nine years . For a long time, he also served in the Naxalite-infested Chandarpur area of the state. He had solved the serial bomb blasts in Thane, Vashi and Panvel. He was credited for the stunning revelations in the investigation of the September 29 blast in Malegaon goes to his credit. He was known for his discipline and fair investigation. During the Malegaon investigation, Karkare had told his officers not to create false evidence, said, "We have done our job and it is for the court to decide." During the Malegaon enquiry, he was subjected to a lot of criticism from many quarters. He even got a threat of his house getting blown up. His brave act of fighting the terrorists ended in tragedy. Additional police commissioner Ashok Marutirao Kamte had served as Commissioner of Police for Solapur District earlier to his current posting. He was an IPS officer of 1989 batch. He also got killed in a shootout at the Metro Cinema in Mumbai long with Hemant Karkare and Vijay Salaskar. He was a Graduate from The Rajkumar College, Rajkot in 1977, was a body builder and power-lifter who had won six gold and silver medals in power-lifting and held three records for the sport. He was also DCP, Zone 1 in Mumbai, and was known as a key officer in the state police, who had always been in the thick of the action. Vijay Salaskar, who was reportedly sidelined for the last two years for unearthing the gutka-underworld nexus, was recently attached to the crime branch, where he currently headed the anti-extortion cell. An officer of the 1983 batch, Salaskar in his 24 years of service has eliminated many criminals. Amar Naik, Jaggu Shetty, Sadhu Shetty, Kundan Singh Rawat, Zahoor Makhanda are some of the gangsters who had fallen to Salaskar's bullets. He was also known to have acted in a real tough manner against Arun Gawli. He had killed his two trusted men, Sada Pawle and Vijay Tandel, in 1997 during an enclounter. Gawli remained rightly scared of Salaskar all through. Sadanand Date, again an officer of Indian Police Service and a DIG of police, had previously served in the state and also in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). He held a Doctorate from Pune University, a master's degree in commerce, and was also a qualified cost and management accountant. In his 17-year policing career, Mr. Date had held several important posts in state and national police organizations. He had also got the Humphrey fellowship in the year 2005-06 in the University of Minnesota Law School, where he studied the theoretical and practical aspects of controlling white-collar and organized crime in the United States. Loss of such creams, along with the rest of the people, including the Indian and foreign citizen, is a moment of great sorrow and rethinking for all of us. This is a moment when we will have to go for a complete rethinking out what means and methodology we need to adopt so that this repeatedly occurring menace of terrorism is completely wiped out. There can be no denial to the fact that this is not only a great moment of tragedy for India but is also one for the highest concern. We must pay our highest tributes to these slain police personnel who laid their lives for the sake of their nation-making the supreme sacrifice and must also pray for the peace of all the departed souls.
Amitabh Thakur, SP(Intll), Faizabad UP # 94155-34526