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Supercop, gentleman

india Updated: Nov 28, 2008 03:53 IST

Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Hemant Karkare (54): Inspector General of Police

Hemant Karkare, head of the Anti-Terrorism Squad, was known as a gentleman. An engineer who graduated from Nagpur’s prestigious Visvesvarya engineering college, Karkare spent a brief stint with a private company before joining the IPS in 1982.

Karkare, eldest among three brothers and a sister, was born in a lower middle-class family at Nagpur and did his schooling at the local New English High School at Congress Nagar.

His mother was a primary school teacher at the local Bengali School while his father was a class III employee with the Central Railway. He then spent more than 10 years in Mumbai, before being sent on a diplomatic mission to Geneva by the Research and Analysis Wing.

A no-nonsense, soft-spoken policeman, he was a tight-lipped intelligence man who was secular to the core and was known to have no enemies. That was partly why he was considered the best man for the tough task of heading the ATS.

He served as superintendent of police in Chandrapur district in Vidarbha region for two years, and was later an assistant commissioner of police in his hometown.


Leading from the front, always

{Ashok Kamte (42): Additional Commissioner of Police}

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.


The gunslinger with a heart

Vijay salaskar (52): Police Inspector

Inspector Vijay Salaskar (48) is best known for gunning down 70 top gangsters over his 20-year career and breaking the backbone of the powerful Mumbai underworld, with help from fellow batchmates Pradeep Sharma and Praful Bhosale.

But among the gangsters that remained loyal informants throughout his career, he was also known as a sensitive, benevolent man. Legend has it he once passed around a collection plate after he found out that the thief he had just arrested was stealing to pay his daughter’s school fees.

Salaskar was serving on the Anti-Extortion Cell of the Mumbai Crime Branch when he was gunned down outside Metro Cinema in south Mumbai early on Thursday.

He had spent most of his career on the Crime Branch, developing a wide network of sources and informers that had made him very popular with his bosses.

A teetotaller who did not smoke, Salaskar was known as a tough but well-mannered man, always chivalrous.
He is survived by his wife and daughter.