Back in Time is ED’s newspaper-like column that reports an incident from the past as though it has happened just yesterday. It allows the reader to relive it several years later, on the date it had occurred. 

26th November 2008, Mumbai:

Late in the evening, around 10 PM, Mrs. Kavita Karkare, wife of Joint Commissioner of Police Hemant Karkare, saw her husband leave his food in a frenzy and take a call that changed his expressions from a laughing family man to a focused police officer in an instant. 

She saw him switch on the T.V. and every news channel had only one thing to talk about – Taj Hotel under attack. She told him to take care and he immediately left the house. She sat by the T.V. watching intently. 

She knew that this was the kind of job he had as the head of the Anti-Terrorism Squad, but this day was different. She didn’t know that it was the last time she was speaking to her husband.

Right then, a loud bang blared out of the T.V. showing a bomb blast in one of the wings of the Taj Hotel, quickly engulfing a huge part of the well-known hotel into flames. She knew by the call her husband had received moments before he rushed out that the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus station had also been attacked.

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She anxiously awaited a call from her husband, praying for his safety. It had already been hours since the bullets were first fired and security forces were trying to save as many people as possible.

The news revealed that the Taj Hotel, CST station and Oberoi Hotel were among locations attacked by the terrorists.

After a night of anxiety and attending calls from relatives and friends, Mrs. Kavita Karkare received the news that left a scar in her heart forever – Officer Hemant Karkare died in the line of duty along with many other fellow officers and constables. 

Post Scriptum: 

12 years ago, on 26th November 2008, a three-day siege in the film-city of Mumbai took place, after terrorists associated with the Lashkar-e-Taiba hijacked several places and killed more than a hundred innocent people. 

Several people were taken hostage at the Taj Hotel, killed on the platforms of the Oberoi Hotel and many on the streets too.

JCP Hemant Karkare and his fellow officers rushed to the Cama Hospital when they were told by security personnel at CST about the gunmen’s movements. All except Inspector Jhadav succumbed to bullets fired at them by Kasab’s partner after Kasab was shot. 

Officer Karkare was awarded the Ashok Chakra, which his wife received at the 2009 Republic Day.

ATS Chief Hemant Karkare, Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, ACP Ashok Kamte and senior inspector Vijay Salaskar are a few brave names among many who fought to protect innocent civilians amidst the worst terrorist attack on Indian soil. 

Since then, security measures in the entire country have been improved and Force One, a special team of Mumbai Police has been established.

Not just the dark moments, let us not forget the bravery of the people of this country – in uniform and otherwise, who emerged strong, out of what was nothing less than a war. 

This piece of writing is a tribute to all those who laid their lives on the 26th of November, 2008. We’ve grown more vigilant since then, and our men in uniform will continue to stand first in the line of attack safeguarding this nation. 

Image Source: Google Images

Sources: Mumbai Live, The Hindu, Economic Times

Connect With The Blogger: @som_beingme

This post is tagged under: 2008 mumbai attacks, hemant karkare, india-pakistan clash, lashkar-e-taiba, memoirs of 26/11 attacks, mumbai attacks, mumbai police, pakistan sponsored terrorism, vijay salaskar

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