Hemant Karkare, who was on Monday awarded Ashok Chakra posthumously for bravery during the Mumbai terror attacks, was the Mumbai Anti-Terror Squad chief and a key officer probing the Malegaon blasts in which certain Hindu groups came into focus.
Karkare, a Joint Commissioner of Police, was killed fighting Pakistani terrorists who attacked Mumbai's main landmarks such as the Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus, the Taj Mahal and Oberoi Hotels on November 26 last year.
On the fateful day, at around 2140 hours, Karkare received information about a terrorist attack at Chhatrapati Sivaji Terminus Railway Station in the megapolis and acting swiftly, dispatched teams to plug the possible escape routes of the terrorists.
He, along with a small team, rushed to Cama Hospital in the city to where the terrorists had moved by then and a firefight ensued between the terrorists and the police team.
As a result, the terrorists were forced to change their position and Karkare pursued the terrorists but in the process his jeep got ambushed and he was critically injured. He, however, continued to lead the operation and succeeded in injuring one of the terrorists.
Image: Hemant Karkare at a security demonstration in Mumbai.
Photograph: Arun Patil