Two more well-decorated officers – additional commissioner of police Ashok Kamte and “encounter specialist” senior police inspector Vijay Salaskar – were killed along with Hemant Karkare at the same spot in the dark lane, a little behind the Times of India building near CST. Another officer, who fell to the bullets on Wednesday, was DIG Ashok Kamte, who will be remembered as nothing but a brave man from a family of policemen – his grandfather was the first Inspector General of Police, Maharashtra. He was a fitness freak, a body-building champion, a power lifter and achieved a first in the police service when AK Club, a club started by young “fans” of his in Solapur, was inaugurated during his stint as the city police chief. Kamte, who had specialized in handling crunch situations like post-Kahirlanji massacre riots, was famous for his unconventional approach at tackling unusual situations, and had also worked with the United Nations. But perhaps the most “visible” face of the trio was “encounter specialist” Vijay Salaskar, who was referred to many a time as an “urban cowboy” for eliminating 78 hard-core gangsters. Belonging to the famous batch of 1983, which produced quite a number of “encounter specialists”, Salaskar was the only one in the clique whose earlier work did not come under the scanner and hence continued to remain in the force, his last posting being the head of the elite Anti Extortion Cell. It will be an awfully difficult task for Mumbaikars to erase the memories of Black Wednesday. It will probably be even more difficult to forget these few good men. Bureau report – NMTV News.


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