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Leading from the front, always

Ashok Kamte was an alumni of St Stephen’s College, New Delhi. A national power-lifting champion, Kamte had an encyclopaedic knowledge of weapons, explosives and unarmed combat.

india Updated: Nov 28, 2008 03:09 IST

Ashok Kamte was an alumni of St Stephen’s College, New Delhi. A national power-lifting champion, Kamte hailed from a family of policemen and armymen.

He had an encyclopaedic knowledge of weapons, explosives and unarmed combat, Kamte was summoned late on Wednesday night to deal with terrorists holed up near Metro Cinema, where he was gunned down.

“We have lost the bravest officer in the entire Maharashtra police force,” said Additional Director General of Police Arup Patnaik.

Kamte, a 1989 batch IPS officer, was one of the brightest. Twice, he was sent on UN peace missions, in Bosnia for a year (1998-99) and later in Somalia.

An HT correspondent spoke to him on his return from Bosnia. Kamte said he was thrilled to meet policemen from other countries but said it was not as exciting being a “soldier without an enemy” as a peacekeeper.

“I want to be in real combat situations,” he said. The much-loved former police commissioner of Solapur also served as superintendent of police in Naxal-infested Gadchiroli.

There are 10 pages set up by fans on Orkut, with comments from over 400 people, most of them ruing the fact that he could not continue as their police chief forever.