Three of Mumbai’s finest cops killed in line of duty

November 27th, 2008 - 4:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Nov 27 (IANS) Among the more than 100 people killed in India’s most brazen terror attack are three of Mumbai’s best known cops — Hemant Karkare, who headed the elite Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), ‘encounter’ specialist Vijay Salaskar and Additional Commissioner of Police Ashok Kamte. All three officers, at the heart of crime fighting operations in the city, fell to bullets while battling terrorists at the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel. Terrorists had laid siege to at least six other places in the city.

The 58-year-old Karkare, a 1982 batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, was in the spotlight for leading investigation into the Sep 29 blasts in Maharashtra’s Malegaon town. Ten people, including Sadhvi Pragnya Thakur and an army officer Lt Col Prasad Purohit, have been arrested.

Karkare took over the ATS in January this year after a seven-year stint with India’s external intelligence agency Research Analysis Wing (RAW). Police sources said he had received a threatening phone call saying he would be killed in a couple of days.

Karkare, who has been credited with solving several blasts in the city, had also served as joint commissioner of police (administration) and once headed Mumbai’s Economic Offences Wing as deputy commissioner of police.

Salaskar is credited with killing around 75 dreaded criminals in police shootouts. After being out of the spotlight for a while, the “encounter specialist” was given the plum posting of heading of the anti-extortion wing of the Crime Branch.

He is said to have killed 50 terrorists and criminals and was actively involved in the probe of July 2006 Mumbai train blasts in which 209 people were killed.

Ashok Kamte, additional commissioner of police and a 1989 batch IPS officer, was a key officer and had served as the commissioner of Solapur.

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