Kamte, a 1989 batch IPS officer of Maharashtra cadre, who died fighting terrorists near Mumbai's Metro cinema, was one of the brightest of his batch, and one of the few officers who dared to take on challenges directly.
Having undergone special training for negotiating hostage situations, Kamte was chosen to tackle one of the worst crisis faced by the financial capital of the country.
The Mumbai Police specially summoned him to undertake the operation at Metro Cinema near Cama Hospital in the city where he laid down his life fighting terrorists along with encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar.
Deputy Commissioner of Police in Mumbai, Kamte was a key officer in the state police. He had also served as the Commissioner of Solapur where he became a hero among locals.
With over 400 fans on his Orkut profile, Kamte enjoyed a lot of respect during his tenure at Solapur.
"A cop that turned Solapur from a wrong city to the right one. The person who every responsible Solapurkar liked and loved. This community has been created to pay the respect and gratitude that he deserves," wrote one person on the social networking web site.
Survived by his wife and two children, Kamte had a panache for body building during his college days. His friends at the IPS academy also remember him as a great athlete and one of the brightest cadets of his batch.
Karkare was a 1982 batch IPS officer (see 1982 photo as fresh recruit and also held a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology, Nagpur. As an ATS Chief, he was involved in the Malegaon blast probe and naxalite-infested Chandrapur district of Maharashtra.
Mr.Karkare had solved the serial bomb blasts in Thane, Vashi and Panvel and was also credited for the stunning revelations in the investigation of the September 29 blast in Malegaon. In January 2008, he was named the head of the ATS after returning to the state cadre. He was credited for helping to uncover the stunning revelations that came about in the investigation of the September 29th blast in Malegaon in which three bombs exploded in Gujarat and Maharashtra of India, killing eight people and injuring 80 (two bombs were detonated in Malegaon, Maharashtra, killing seven). Despite his credible work on the case, his work on the investigation received major criticism from several political organizations after the ATS insinuated that political groups might have been behind the attacks.he is known for his discipline and fair investiga also worked in the R.A.W ( Research and Analysis Wing) -- the India's external intelligence agency -- in Austria for seven years.
Salaskar, an M Com from Mumbai University, had joined the force as a sub inspector. He had been believed to kill around 75 dreaded criminals in police encounters. After being out of the spotlight for quite sometime, the encounter specialist was given the plum posting of heading the anti-extortion wing of the crime branch.
He was also known for his professional animosity against Arun Gawli, a notorious gangster turned politician from Mumbai.
It is worth quoting his beliefs he talked about in his interview with Pritish Nandy.When asked, "How did you acquire this reputation as a sharpshooter, an encounter specialist?", his response was, "Frankly, I do not see myself in any such role. But people see me as that. The media sees me as that. Gradually perhaps I am coming to accept myself in the role. Though I must confess, I do not like such a reputation. It unnecessarily creates a bad impression, particularly among human rights activists. They feel I am a trigger-happy policeman. Famous for killing others. I do not enjoy having such a reputation, sir. I just do my job."
Worthwhile to know was one more answer to the question, "How does it feel to kill a man, looking him in the eye?", to which he had said, "In a shootout, no one has time for such niceties. Either you kill or you get killed. I am plain lucky to still be alive. In this job, you know, we take one day at a time. Who can predict what tomorrow will bring?"
These were his words in March, 1999. On November 26, 2008, Salaskar died during the Mumbai terrorist attacks.
Thirty-one-year-old Major Sandeep is the only son of retired ISRO officer K. Unnikrishnan, who is settled in Bangalore.
His father told presspersons: “I lost my son in Mumbai on Friday. Though I do not like to call him a martyr, I can proudly say that he has done something for this country.”
He was informed of the death of his son by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police (National Security Guards).
According to information reaching the family, “Major Sandeep was leading a team and during the operations two of his colleagues sustained bullet injuries. In a bid to save them Sandeep turned back. The bullets fired by the terrorists pierced him. On November 26, he had called us and said that one of his childhood friends is getting married in the city on December 17. He had planned to attend that marriage,” Mr. Unnikrishnan said.
Major Sandeep was ambitious, talented and a brave soul, said his friends and neighbours. He joined the National Defence Academy and was commissioned in the Bihar 7th Regiment in 1999.
He was drafted to the NSG after his gallantry was recognised,” Kiran Srivasthav, a childhood friend of Major Sandeep told The Hindu.
According to Anirudh Uppal, Inspector-General (Headquarters) National Security Guards (NSG), Major Sandeep had exposure to counter insurgency operations after having served in Jammu and Kashmir for two terms.
He was deputed to the NSG on January 20, 2007 and participated in various operations conducted by the elite force.
The gallant officer of the team commander of 51 SAG was deployed to clear Hotel Taj Mahal of extremists on November 27.
He led the team from the front and engaged the terrorists in a fierce gunfight. When one of the NSG commandos was injured in the exchange of fire, he arranged for his evacuation and regardless of personal safety chased the terrorists who, meanwhile, escaped to another floor of the hotel, and while doing so Major Sandeep continuously engaged them. In the encounter that followed, he was seriously injured and succumbed to injuries.
The body of Singh, who is survived by his wife, was flown in a special aircraft to his hometown Dehradun in Uttarakhand Saturday for the funeral.
Priyanka Vadra, daughter of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, told reporters at Gajender Singh’s funeral: “I condole the death of those killed in the Mumbai terror attack and my heart goes to the security personnel who laid down their life battling terrorists.”
“The nation is reacting to it unitedly and we should take a resolution to fight against terror. I have also lost someone to terrorism,” she told reporters after casting her vote.