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ATS chief Hemant Karkare died as a brave fighter
The Mumbai attacks have taken away the lives of three brave sons of India. ATS chief Hemant Karkare, ACP Ashok Kamte and encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar sacrificed their lives while fighting against the terrorists on Wednesday night.
THE DEADLY terror strike in Mumbai on November 26, took away the life of yet another brave son of the country. Hemant Karkare, the chief of Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS), who was recently in news for probing the Malegaon blast case met his end while fighting with terrorists.


The ATS chief suffered three bullet injuries in his chest as he was heading the fighting against the terrorists in one of the places the ultras had holed out on Wednesday night. The television news channels visuals showed the 54-year-old officer in a light blue shirt and dark trousers surrounded by uniformed cops, armed with firearms and walkie-talkies.


Among the other police officers dead in the last night’s terror attacks are Vijay Salaskar and Ashok Kamte. Salaskar, who had killed around 75 dreaded criminals in police encounters, was given the plum posting as the head of anti-extortion wing of the crime branch.


Kamte, a 1989 batch IPS officer, was the additional commissioner of police, zone one, in Mumbai and was also the key officer in the state police. Kamte was killed while fighting terrorists at Metro Cinema in the city along with encounter specialist Salaskar.


A 1982 batch IPS officer, Karkare became the chief of ATS only this year after his come back to the state cadre. Before that the head of ATS served seven years in Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) in Austria.


One of the brightest officers, Karkare was known for his discipline and fair investigation. He had solved the serial bomb blasts in Thane, Vashi and Panvel. Recently, the ATS chief was also credited with the stunning revelations in the investigation of the September 29 Malegaon blast. But at the same time, Karkare and his team had to face criticism from Bharatiya Janata Party leaders especially, LK Advani.


In fact, during the Malegaon investigation, Karkare had told his officers not to create false evidence. Karkare said, “We should do our job and it is for the court to decide.” In his last interview to a television news 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.” Meanwhile, he also rejected charges of the Sadhvi being tortured in police custody.


Incidentally, on November 26, the Pune ATS reportedly received phone calls threatening to blow up the residence of Karkare within a couple of days. The unfortunate death of Karkare is a matter of sorrow. Sacrifices of Karkare, Salaskar and Kamte will always be remembered and we salute these great sons of the country.
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