Ashok Kamte

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Ashok Kamthe
Born (1965-12-12)12 December 1965
Died 26 November 2008(2008-11-26) (aged 42)
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Relatives Vinita Kamte (wife)
Rahul (son)
Arjun Kamte (son)
Colonel M.R. Kamte (Retd.) (father)
Prem Kamte (mother)
Sharmila Kamte (sister)
Awards Ashoka Chakra
Police career
Department Indian Police Service officer
Country Mumbai Police
Years of service 1989–2008
Rank Additional Commissioner of Police

Ashok Kamte AC (23 February 1965 – 26 November 2008) was the Additional Commissioner of the Mumbai Police supervising the Eastern region. He was killed by terrorist bullets, while in action during the 2008 Mumbai attacks.[1] His bravery was honored with the Ashoka Chakra on 26 January 2009.[2]

Personal Background[edit]

The son of Lieutenant-Colonel Marutirao Narayanrao Kamte IA (Ret'd) (1929-13 January 2014) and his wife Kalpana, Ashok Kamte was born on 23 February 1965 in a Maratha family with a long tradition of police service. His great-grandfather, Rao Bahadur Marutirao Kamte KPM IPM, had served in the Indian Imperial Police from 1895 to 1923, while his grandfather Narayanrao also joined the Imperial Police in 1923, eventually serving as the first Indian Inspector-General (Director-General) of the Maharashtra Police from 1947 to 1955.[3][4]

Kamte's schooling consisted of The Rajkumar College, Rajkot, and then the Kodaikanal International School for five years. He was an international scholarship recipient at Camp Rising Sun in 1980 and subsequently graduated with the Class of 1982. He completed his bachelor's degree from St. Xavier's College, Mumbai, graduating in 1985 and a post graduate degree in Arts from the St. Stephen's College, Delhi, 1985–87. An accomplished athlete, he represented India at the junior power-lifting championship in Peru in 1978.

Ashok Kamte was survived by his wife Vinita, their two sons Rahul(15)and Arjun(8) and by his father, mother and sister Sharmila.

Assignments in Police Career[edit]

Ashok initially made it to the Indian Revenue Service but chose the IPS over the IRS because of his affinity towards wearing a uniform. He joined the Indian Police Service in the 1989 batch of the Maharashtra Cadre

Service Record
1989: Joined state as an Indian Police Service officer
1991: Posted as Assistant Superintendent of Police in Bhandara
1994: Superintendent of Police, Satara
1997–1999: Superintendent of Police, Thane rural
1999–2000: U N Mission, Bosnia
2000–2002: DCP, zone-1 Mumbai
2002–2004: Superintendent of Police, Sangli
2004–2005: Superintendent of Police, Kolhapur
2006–2008: Commissioner of Police, Solapur
June 2008 – November 2008: Additional Commissioner of Police, East zone, Mumbai

Service Medals
1995: Special service medal- Anti-naxalite operations
1999: UN medal
1999: Videsh seva medal for UN service
2004: Awarded Director General's insignia
2005: Antarik Suraksha Padak for Anti-naxalite operations
2006: Police medal

Functioning Style as a Police Officer[edit]

Kamte was an excellent negotiator in crisis situations, a quality for which he was summoned late night on 26 November 2008 to deal with Pakistani terrorists holed up in Mumbai buildings. During his police career, Kamte had earned a substantial following of ordinary citizens[5] as he took on hardened criminals and politicians with criminal backgrounds. Shortly after taking over the Sangli police department, the notorious criminal Raju Pujari was killed in a police encounter.

Kamte came into media limelight after an August 2007 incident in Solapur when he arrested Ravikant Patil, a three-time Member of the Legislative Assembly from Indi in neighboring Karnataka. Patil and his supporters were celebrating at the residence of Patil's brother Ratikant a Shiv Sena leader. They scuffled when police tried to enforce the law against bursting of crackers late in the night. Kamte sustained hand injuries in the process of arresting Patil. Patil suffered multiple wounds.[6] The incident created an uproar in political circles but the people of Solapur supported Kamte. Kamte told the Times of India: "Law is equal for all and nobody has the right to violate it".

During Mumbai's occasional communal violence between Hindus and Muslims, the areas under his supervision remained largely free of riots. He was known to be a secular officer and equally loved and respected by both communities.

"He was a daredevil officer who had gained popularity matching [that of] a Bollywood hero. He himself was on the roads maintaining peace after the Khairlanji massacre. While other cities in the state witnessed violence, Solapur remained calm", said Anand Salunkhe, former member of Solapur Municipal Transport.

Nearly 3000 people turned up to pay their respects to Additional Commissioner of Police Ashok Kamte who was cremated in Pune with full state honours. Kamte was one of the most respected and admired officers of the Mumbai Police force. News of his death sent shock waves not just across Maharashtra but across South India, where he had served in Belgaum for a period.

He was specially summoned on Wednesday night to deal with the terrorists who had laid siege to Mumbai. Kamte was part of the 1989 batch of the IPS of the Maharashtra cadre.[7]

Kamte was shot along with Vijay Salaskar,Hemant Karkare and constables in a narrow lane between St. Xaviers College and Rang Bhavan by the terrorists.

"A cop that turned Solapur from a wrong city to the right one. The person who every responsible Solapurkar liked and loved. This community has been created to pay the respect and gratitude that he deserves," Survived by his wife and two children, Kamte is remembered by his friends at the IPS Academy as well as journalists that interacted with him as one of the bravest officers, ready to face any challenge in the line of duty".[7]

Kamte was one of the 14 men from the police force who lost their lives in Mumbai's latest and biggest fight against terror.

Death[edit]

Ashok Kamte was killed in action by terrorists during the Mumbai attacks, on 26 November 2008 in a narrow lane between St. Xavier's College and the Rang Bhavan opposite Corporation Bank ATM just a stone away from Crime Branch office.

Mr. Kamte was well known for his cool temperament and negotiation skills; during the attacks he offered his assistance due to being Additional Commissioner of the East zone; an area not under attack. When he reached CST area, upon arriving at Azad Maidan Police Station (AMPS) he met with ATS Chief Hemant Karkare and other police officers; they took a Police Toyota Qualis in pursuit of the reported terrorists with Kamte armed with an AK47. When they reached rear entrance of the Cama and Albless Hospital (A women and children's hospital) which is next to AMPS, Kamte spotted and fired at terrorists with the terrorists retaliating by throwing hand grenades; with the this situation Kamte suggested that they should take on the terrorists from the front entrance of the Cama. At this point the terrorists had left the Cama area before the Kamte's plan could be implemented; during pursuit the police received a report that the terrorists were hiding behind a red car in the same lane. At around the same time a terrorist was spotted running from the area which Kamte fired at, injuring him. The terrorist Ajmal Kasab was the only terrorist to be captured alive during the attacks. As they were about to get down another Pakistani terrorist, Ismail Khan fired a volley of bullets killing all but Asst. Police Inspector Arun Jadhav. Kamte was hit in the head; although he was wearing helmet with no ballistic vest. (Times of India 19 December 2008)

India Express quotes statements by API Arun Jadhav, who was with the officers Ashok Kamte, Vijay Salaskar and Hemant Karkare when they died.[8] The three officers and four constables had received information that Sadanand Date had been injured in the gunfire at the Cama and Albless Hospital for women and children. Currently located at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), a ten-minute drive from the hospital,[8] they took a Toyota Qualis and proceeded in that direction. Kamte was in the passenger seat, Salaskar driving, Karkare in the second row, and the four Constables, including Jadhav, were in the back row of seating.[8] According to Jadhav, five minutes later two terrorists stepped out from behind a tree and opened fire with AK-47 automatic rifles.[8] Kamte was the sole officer who managed to retaliate,wounding terrorist Ajmal in the arm.[9] The six policemen, other than Jadhav, were all killed quickly in the gunfire.[8] The wounded Jadhav had no opportunity to render assistance. The two terrorists approached the vehicle, dumped the bodies of the three officers on the road and, leaving the constables for dead, proceeded to Metro Junction.[8] Upon arrival, they aimed three bursts of automatic fire at police and journalist vehicles drawn up at that location, then drove off towards the government offices (Vidhan Bhawan) in South Mumbai. Here again they fired several times. While attempting to leave the area, one of the tyres of the vehicle burst, so the terrorists departed to obtain another. At this point, Jadhav was able to contact headquarters. The bodies of the dead were promptly recovered and taken to St George Hospital.

The body of Additional Police Commissioner Ashok Kamte, was cremated with State honours at the Vaikunth cremotorium on 27 November 2008. A large number of high-ranking officers participated in the funeral procession, including: Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh, Chief Commissioner of Income Tax Shah, Joint Commissioner of Police Rajendra Sonawane and district collector Chandrakant Dalvi. Around 3,000 people were present.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Three top cops die on duty-Mumbai-Cities-The Times of India". indiatimes.com. 27 November 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-27. 
  2. ^ "11 security personnel to get Ashok Chakra". Retrieved 2009-01-25. 
  3. ^ Sakal Times: "Lt Col (retired) Marutirao Kamte passes away," Monday, 13 January 2014
  4. ^ List of Inspector-Generals and Director-Generals since 1947
  5. ^ Agarwal, Vineet (29 November 2008). "Kamte broke a hundred bones but was loved for it". The Times Of India. 
  6. ^ "Ashok Kamte, played tough with MLA as well". The Times Of India. 29 November 2008. 
  7. ^ a b "Ashok Kamte: A life in uniform : Latest Headlines, News - India Today". Indiatoday.intoday.in. 2008-11-28. Retrieved 2013-03-07. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f "Witness Account of Karkare Kampte and Salaskars Death" India Express, 29 November 2008.
  9. ^ By: PTI Date: 2009-01-10 Place: Mumbai (2009-01-10). "Injured Ajmal killed Ombale: Maria". Mid-day.com. Retrieved 2013-03-07. 

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