Vinita Kamte, wife of police officer Ashok Kamte who was killed in the Mumbai terror attack four years ago, is still waiting for clarity on the sequence of events that culminated in his death.
Kamte, who was then additional commissioner of police, together with Hemant Karkare, chief of the Anti-Terrorist Squad, and Vijay Salaskar, senior police inspector, was shot dead by terrorists near Cama and Albless Hospital, not far from CST, on 26 November 2008.
In the months, after the horrendous attack, Vinita enquired from the authorities about the circumstances in which her husband tried to counter the terrorists. Her interest was spurred by reports that suggested the three officers came together by chance and that they did not understand the gravity of the situation.
Vinita’s initial enquiries with the police authorities and under the Right to Information (RTI) Act revealed confusion in the police control room and a lack of coordination on that fateful night, and she put together the information she collected in a book, “To The Last Bullet”, that nailed the police brass for the deaths of the police officers.
According to Vinita Deshmukh, a journalist and RTI activist who helped her with the book, she received two sets of call records from the police department that indicated significant divergence over the timing of the events.
Vinita Kamte sought an explanation for the discrepancies through a first appeal, but when she did not receive a response, she pursued the matter with the state information commissioner, Pune bench, through a second appeal around the end of 2011. The Pune bench directed Vinita to take her application to the chief state information commissioner in Mumbai, where it rests till today. “While the state government did not take the onus to present a clear picture of the sequence of events of 26/11, Vinita Kamte conquered her grief in her pursuit of the truth,” says Deshmukh. “She has every right to ask an explanation for the discrepancies in the call log records. Have they been tampered with?”