November 26 2008, a day which every true spirited Indian cannot afford to forget till his last breath on the Indian soil. Mumbai was shattered and brought to a standstill as it witnessed one of the most gruesome terrorist attacks on its soil. Many innocent lives were lost and many officers sacrificed their lives and one among them was ATS Chief Hemant Karkare.
He along with a team of officers gave up their lives for the peace of the nation and were awarded with the most honorable peace time gallantry award, the Ashoka Chakra on 26th January 2009.
Hemant was born in a Karhade Brahmin family and was a very intelligent student right from the initial years. Prior to joining the Indian Police Service in 1982, he worked for the FMCG company Hindustan Unilever LTD and for the National Productivity Council of the Government of India. Due to his hard work, he reached to great heights and was appointed as Joint Commissioner of Mumbai Police after which he was promoted as the Anti-Terrorist Squad Chief of Maharashtra state in January 2008.
Immediately after coming to power, he along with his team of competent officers cracked the 2008 Malegaon blasts case where in many people lost their lives. He was a very efficient and sincere officer even though his actions created many political outbursts amongst the Muslim population.
On 26/11 , when he was informed about the attacks at the Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CTS) station he instantly fled to the spot along with his bodyguards. Unfortunately, during the firing, one of the terrorists, Ismail Khan opened fire and Hemant was killed along with other top officers, just a stone throw away from the Crime Branch office. Millions of Mumbaikers payed their respects to the bullet pierced body of Hemant.
His body was taken on the 3 km stretch on the road and people chanted slogans, ‘Hemant Karkare amar rahe’.His funeral was attended by many prominent leaders including the then Chief Minister, Vilasrao Deshmukh.Hemant, an eminent police officer would continue to live in the heart of the Indian people forever and forever. Jai Hind!