Dec 19, 2008

How did Salaskar, Kamate, Karkare die?

ATS chief Hemant Karkare, DIG Ashok Kamte and Inspector Vijay Salaskar were at their respective homes when they heard of the terrorist attacks. Karkare reached Haj House in his official vehicle where police had blocked the traffic. He put on a bullet-proof vest and helmet and walked towards CST Terminal.

Meanwhile, Salaskar had reached the Taj Palace Hotel. Joint commissioner of police Rakesh Maria, who was at the control room, directed him to the Colaba station where two israelis had been detained at Nariman house. Maria later directed Salaskar to the Cama Hospital. On his way, he met Karkare and they headed towards Special Branch Office at Dhobi Talao, right behind the Cama Hospital. Kamte joined them there.

They got into a Qualis with Salaskar at the wheel while Kamte besides him. Karkare sat behind them and three constables occupied the rear seats.

They intercepted a terrorist behind St. Xavier's College. It was Ajmal Amir Kasab. Salaskar shot at him with his service revolver and hit his hand. He dropped the bad he carrying. As the vehicle closed towards Kasab and slowed down, Ismail, Kasab's associate emerged and took all by surprise. He sprayed bullets from his AK-47 and hit Salaskar, Karkare, and Kamte. Both the the terrorists pulled their bodies out and made away with the vehicle. In the back, lay constable Arun Jadhav with two of his dead colleagues - taken by the terrorists to be dead as well. He survived and was able to tell the whereabouts of the two as they switched the cars. 

Both the terrorists were eventually cornered at a blockade near chowpatty. Kasab was captured.

The slain officers are being considered for Ashoka Chakra award. Update: They were awarded Ashok Chakra on an 26th, 2009.

The Ashoka Chakra (AC) is awarded to officers and enlisted personnel of all military branches, as well as to civilians, for the most conspicuous bravery or some daring or pre-eminent valour or self-sacrifice other than in the face of the enemy. It may be awarded posthumously. The AC is the peace-time equivalent of the Param Vir Chakra (PVC).