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Mumbai police bids adieu to its hero

The mood was sombre at the Ahimsa Building, Goregaon (E) residence of encounter cop Vijay Salaskar, who laid down his life fighting terrorists on Wednesday night.

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Mumbai police bids adieu to its hero
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“When my father went out on duty, we always had this fear, and unfortunately this worst fear came true today, but my father was a brave man,” said an inconsolable Divya Salaskar, the 20-year-old daughter of encounter cop Vijay Salaskar, who laid down his life fighting terrorists on Wednesday night. 

The mood was sombre at the Ahimsa Building, Goregaon (E) residence of Salaskar where his body was brought around 12.10  pm. Several top-ranking police personnel, including the additional commissioner of police, Suresh Khopade, and politicians, including MNS chief Raj Thackeray and Congress’  Kripa Shankar Singh were among the thousands  of people who thronged the residence of Salaskar to attend the funeral.

More than 10,000 people paid their homage at the funeral at Majas Wadi in Jogeshwari (E), where the Mumbai police ace shooter, who is credited with over 50 encounters,
was cremated with full honours at 3.30 pm.

“He was a very caring and loving person, though he had no fixed hours of coming home, but whenever he used to be at home, he used to meet us and take us out almost every Sunday for dinner. Now, we are missing him a lot and feel there is an emptiness which can never be filled,” said Vaibhavi Palki, the ten-year-old niece of Vijay Salaskar, remembering her uncle. 

After the pyre was lit by Vijay Salaskar’s brother Dilip, the Mumbai police officials a gave  36-round gun salute to their hero.

Abhijit, the nephew of Vijay Salaskar, said his uncle came to home around 9 pm and after some time sat down for the dinner. In the mean time, he received a message from his superiors to come immediately as terrorists had attacked the town. “He left immediately and his family saw him for the last time. The terrorist hijacked the same police vehicle in which my uncle had gone to the spot of firing.” Abhijit said. 

With his death, the Mumbai police have lost one of their bravest officers.

“In his personal life, he was a loving father and husband. He is survived by a daughter who has just appeared for the CAT exam and his wife. His daughter graduated last year from Ruparel College,” said one of the Salaskar’s relatives. 

Mahendra Kumar, who has been a watchman for 20 years at the building where Salaskar lived, said, “He used to call me Chotu and used to lend me sum of Rs 25 to 50 in 3-4 days to eat something outside.”

p_manish@dnaindia.net
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