Though the hanging of Ajmal Kasab at Yerawada prison in Pune five days ahead of the fourth anniversary of 26/11 terror attacks came as a welcome relief for the average Mumbaikar, there was a sense of unmitigated loss among the family members of the martyred policemen.
Kavita Karkare, wife of slain anti-terrorism squad (ATS) chief Hemant Karkare, said: “My husband will not come back with the hanging of Kasab.” She felt the city continued to be unsafe even four years after the brazen attacks that left 166 people dead and scores wounded and maimed for life.
“I think the battle against terror has just begun. I feel Mumbai is still unsafe. There have been bomb blasts in Mumbai and Pune even after the 26/11 terror attacks,” Kavita Karkare said.
When asked if Kasab’s hanging had brought a closure of sorts for the victims’ families, Divya Salaskar, daughter of encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar, who was also martyred along with Karkare, said, “Closure is a big word. I don’t think closure is going to happen any time. Closure is when you are entirely satisfied that justice has been done.”
The families of martyrs are still looking for answers to their questions.
“Why didn’t the police officers get any help? I had sought information through the Right To Information (RTI) Act to know what happened to my husband’s bulletproof jacket, which went missing on the night of the incident. I still don’t know what happened to that jacket,” said Kavita Karkare.
She added that she is still trying to know under what circumstances the senior officers died.
Slamming the Ram Pradhan Committee report, she said, “The report questioned why the officers went ahead (to tackle the terrorists). This sends out a wrong message.”
“I haven’t been able to find out why no help was rendered to my father when he was lying injured. It’s a shame that an officer of my father’s stature died due to neglect. I don’t think the case will ever get over for me as he is not going to return,” said slain inspector Vijay Salaskar’s daughter Divya.
Divya and Kavita were present at the 26/11 memorial at the Mumbai Police Gymkhana in Marine Drive on Monday along with the kin of other martyrs to pay tribute to them. Maharashtra governor K Sankarnarayanan, union and state ministers, including Sharad Pawar, Sushil Kumar Shinde, Prithviraj Chavan, RR Patil, Satej Patil and Jayant Patil, were also present.
Nearly 200 policemen were on duty at Marine Drive. All senior officers and retired senior police officers were present at the Gymkhana.