The whole nation knows what happened in Mumbai on the dark night of 26/11 as the city faced one of its worst terror attacks in history. 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists infiltrated Mumbai by means of a sea route from Pakistan and executed a string of shooting and bombing attacks across the city. The terrorists took over Mumbai for four days as they murdered 166 people and injured over 300.
Several brave policemen put their own lives at risk and fought against deadly terrorists and eventually lost their lives. Chief of the Mumbai Anti-Terrorist Squad identified as Hemant Karkare, Police Inspector Vijay Salaskar, Additional Commissioner Ashok Kamte, Sub-Inspector Tukaram Omble were only a few of notable policemen who will forever be remembered by the Mumbai city.
The chief of the Mumbai Anti-Terrorist Squad, Hemant Karkare who always prioritised duty over anything else was martyred during the 26/11 attacks. Karkare, along with senior police officials namely Ashok Kamte and Vijay Salaskar were martyred outside the Cama Hospital after the LeT terrorists Kasab and his right hand Ismail opened fire on their police van.
It is worth mentioning here that it was Karkare who had initially fired shots at Kasab which caused the terrorist to slow down and at the end caught by Sub-Inspector Tukaram Omble.
It all happened on 26 November 2008 at 9.45 p.m. while Hemant Karkare was having his dinner at his Dadar residence. It was when he received a call about a terrorist attack at Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus (C.S.T.) station. He immediately switched on the TV for news and quickly left the place with his driver and bodyguards for C.S.T. He sported a bullet-proof vest and helmet and went to Platform No.1 and he was then informed that the terrorists moved to the Cama and Albless Hospital (“Cama”) next to the Azad Maidan police station.
The operation was complex for the policemen as it was totally dark but it was so easy for terrorists as they were well prepared and organised. The attackers then quickly headed towards Cama Hospital with an aim to kill patients, but the hospital staff locked all of the patient wards and prevented further mishap.
At that time, the officers, with a few constables, went into Cama hospital from the backside and a couple of constables were left stationed at the back entrance of the hospital, while the rest boarded a Qualis jeep. Senior Police Inspector Vijay Salaskar had then asked the driver of the Qualis to let him take over at the wheel. They then learned that the terrorists were hiding behind a red car.
While they were looking for the red car, they saw one of the terrorists running. Ashok Kamte who is ACP of Mumbai East open fired and the bullet hit the terrorist on his arm, his AK-47 fell down. He was Kasab who was the lone terrorist captured alive later. All of a sudden, the second terrorist, Ismail Khan appeared and fired a series of bullets and Assistant Police Inspector Jadhav died.
Hemant Karkare, Ashok Kamte, Salaskar and other officers were martyred in fighting the Mumbai attacks, on 27 November 2008 in a narrow lane between St. Xavier’s College and Rang Bhavan.
The terrorist Kasab’s death sentence was upheld by the Bombay High Court on February 21, 2011. The decision was upheld by the Supreme Court of India on 29 August 2012. Kasab was hanged on 21 November 2012 at 7:30 am. and buried at Yerwada Jail in Pune.