Kamte`s widow takes on Mumbai Police on 26/11 attacks
Mumbai: The widow of additional police commissioner Ashok Kamte, one of the slain heroes of 26/11 terror attacks, has alleged that Joint Police Commissioner (Crime) Rakesh Maria had attempted to suppress crucial details of the sequence of events that led to her husband`s death.
Vinita Kamte has also accused Maria of feigning ignorance about the location of her husband and his colleague Anti-Terrorist Squad chief Hemant Karkare, who too was slain on the first night of the terrorist attacks.
Vinita was addressing the media after releasing her book, "To The Last Bullet," co-authored with Vinita Deshmukh and published by Ameya Prakashan, here Tuesday night.
In her book, she has narrated in detail how Mumbai Police created hurdles for her and did not disclose details and the sequence of events that led to her husband`s death that fateful night.
Vinita has also alleged that Maria, who is in-charge of the trial of the sole surviving terrorist, Ajmal Amir Kasab, had also declined to provide certain crucial documents pertaining to the incident.
She has revealed how, following non-cooperation from the police, she was compelled to use the Right to Information (RTI) Act for securing every single document, including her husband`s autopsy reports, which were necessary for settling his insurance claims.
She recalled how, when she called her husband on mobile phone upon learning of the terror attacks, he had told her that he was instructed to go to Taj Mahal Palace and Tower hotel by the then Police Commissioner Hasan Gafoor.
But Kamte was killed near Cama Hospital, which is on the road adjacent to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), another site targeted by the terrorists.
"While inspecting the call logs and the conversation between Gafoor and Maria, the latter had informed the former about Kamte`s position at the Cama Hospital. How did he land up at Cama Hospital when he was directed to go to Hotel Taj Mahal?" Vinita asked.
She said that Maria had refused to provide her with the call logs details, citing Section 8(h) of the RTI Act - which says that "information that may impede the process of investigations or apprehension or prosecution of offenders" should not be revealed.
"Why did Maria feign ignorance to the then CoP Gafoor about Karkare`s location at 12.56 a.m. on Nov. 27, when call logs clearly indicated that the ATS chief was at Cama Hospital rear gate, much earlier, at 11.24 am, and the fact that they were both (Kamte and Karkare) were seriously injured at that time?" Vinita asked.
She is puzzled why such a senior officer like Maria denied that he had called Kamte at the Cama Hospital despite wireless logs showing this in the records.
Vinita pointed out that although it is a year since the 26/11 terror attacks, many questions still keep hovering in her mind about the incident and the sequence of events that led to the killings of her husband and two other officers, Karkare and Vijay Salaskar.
"What transpired during the entire Cama Hospital operation that left three top officers killed by terrorists continues to be a mystery," she observed.
The book release function at the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower was attended by Police Commissioner D. Shivanandhan, RTI activist Aruna Roy, and two former city police commissioners Julio Rebeiro and M.N. Singh among others.
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