She is calm and her replies brief, two traits that remind you of her husband, slain Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) chief Hemant Karkare.
“This is an extremely difficult time for us, especially for the children,” said Kavita, in her first interview after her husband’s death.
Karkare — and his colleagues Ashok Kamte and Vijay Salaskar — was shot down by terrorists on November 26 while they were on their way to Cama Hospital.
Kavita is particularly concerned about her teenaged son Aakash. “It is tough on him. My eldest daughter is married and has her support system in her husband and in-laws, so she is coping. But my younger daughter and son are finding it very difficult,” she said. “Time is the only answer.”
An engineering graduate with a management degree, Nagpur-born Karkare worked with a consumer goods manufacturing company before joining the police. He also conducted personality development courses. That’s how he met his wife. “We met at one such course I was attending,” said 51-year-old Kavita, who lives in Dadar.
As she talks about her husband, it’s clear that Karkare drew a clear line between work and home. Despite being under pressure during the Malegaon blast probe, the 53-year-old officer never let his family feel the heat. “He never discussed these issues with me,” said Kavita. “When he was at home, we only discussed household issues.”
The Malegaon investigation drew severe criticism from political parties, including the Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata Party, the last tirade coming on the day Karkare died.
Kavita clammed up when it comes to talking about politicians. “I don’t want to speak about any political party,” she said when asked about offers of help from politicians, including Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. “I don’t want to discuss that matter.”
A steady stream of visitors has kept the family busy. Soon, her daughters will return to their lives abroad and Kavita will have to get on with hers. “I will join work in 15 days,” said Kavita, who teaches education sociology at a Bachelor of Education college.
But there is something else she wants to do soon. “I would like to go and meet families of other victims.”