No one can forget the shameful terrorist attacks of 26/11 that left Mumbai tattered for years. Though the attack did not go unchallenged as many brave hearts of Mumbai Police laid down their life fighting the insurgents despite hidden challenges. Ashok Kamte was one such officer of Mumbai Police who alongwith Vijay Salaskar and Hemant Karkare died fighting terrorists. He put a valiant effort regardless of personal safety. His bravery was honored with the Ashoka Chakra on 26 January 2009.
Ashok Kamte who laid down his life fighting terrorists during the Mumbai attack of 26/11 displaying great courage and valour. The son of Lieutenant-Colonel Marutirao Narayanrao Kamte IA and his wife Kalpana he joined Indian Police Services in 1989. During his long career he served at various locations across Maharashtra. Later in June 2008, he was posted as Additional Commissioner of Police, East zone, Mumbai. He was married to Vinita and had two sons Rahul(15)and Arjun(8).
Born on February 23, 1965 in Maharashtra, Ashok Kamte hailed from the family that served the nation for decades. While his father Marutirao Kamte was Lieutenant colonel in Indian Army, his grandfather Ganpatrao Kamte was first Indian Inspector General of Police in the Imperial Police of Bombay. His great-grandfather, Rao Bahadur Marutirao Kamte KPM IPM, had served in the Indian Imperial Police from 1895 to 1923. With such a family background there was no doubt about his inclination towards joining the force right from his childhood.
He attended The Rajkumar College, Rajkot and then the Kodaikanal International School. He was a sharp student and consistently performed well in academics and sports. During his school life he won many awards including ‘The Diamond Jubilee Prize for 1974-75’, ‘The Wynter Blyth Memorial Junior School Cup 1974-75 for Sports’ and ‘The Mwanza Cup 1976-77 for the Best Junior Cricketer’. He did his graduation from St. Xavier's College, Mumbai in 1985 and post graduation from St. Stephen's College, Delhi from 1985 to 1987. An accomplished athlete Ashok Kamte represented India at the junior power-lifting championship in Peruin 1987. He was a respected power lifter, won six gold & silver medals at National level and broke three records in India. A brave officer he laid down his life fighting terrorists during the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. Kamte was survived by his wife Vinita, their two sons Rahul(15)and Arjun(8) and by his father, mother and sister Sharmila.
Life as an Police Officer
Ashok Kamte joined prestigious Indian Police Service in 1989. His first posting was in Bhandara as Assistant Superintendent of Police. In his two decade long service carrer he served as Superintendent of Police in Satara(1994), Thane Rural(1997-99), Sangli(2002–2004), Kolhapur(2004–2005) and Solapur(2006–2008). He served as U N Mission Officer in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He was Deputy Commissioner of Police and Commissioner of Police at various locations across Maharashtra. He joined Mumbai Police in June 2008 as Additional Commissioner of Police, East zone, Mumbai. Kamte was known for his negotiating skill and bold decisions. He was a type of officer who would love to take challenges. His active Policing and guts to take hardened criminals earned him a substantial following of ordinary citizens. His tenure as Superintendent of Police, Sangli saw elimination of notorious criminal Raju Pujari in a police encounter. His bold decision to arrest Karnataka legislator Ravikant Patil brought him into limelight. Though the incident created uproar in political circles, Kamte was supported by the people of Solapur.
"He was a daredevil officer who had gained popularity matching [that of] a Bollywood hero. He himself was on the roads maintaining peace after the Khairlanji massacre. While other cities in the state witnessed violence, Solapur remained calm", said Anand Salunkhe, former member of Solapur Municipal Transport.
During occasional communal violence in Mumbai the areas under his supervision remained largely free of riots. Known for his secular nature he was equally loved and respected by both communities.
Kamte on knowing about the gruesome attack reached CST area. He was joined by ATS Chief Hemant Karkare and other police officers. They all after getting reports about the movements of terrorists moved to Cama and Albless Hospital he headed where he spotted and fired at terrorists with the terrorists retaliating by throwing hand grenades. At this point Kamte suggested taking on the terrorists from the front entrance of the Cama. But before they could reach the terrorists have left the Cama area. Hot pursuit followed and continued till they received a report that the terrorists were hiding behind a red car in the same lane. On reaching there he fired and injured the lone surviving terrorist Ajmal Kasab who was captured alive later. Before they could get down another Pakistani terrorist, Ismail Khan fired a volley of bullets killing all but Asst. Police Inspector Arun Jadhav. Kamte was hit in the head; although he was wearing helmet with no ballistic vest.
1989 - Joined state as an Indian Police Service officer
1991 - Posted as Assistant Superintendent of Police in Bhandara
1994 - Superintendent of Police, Satara
1997 - 99 - Superintendent of Police, Thane rural
1999 - 2000: U N Mission, Bosnia
2000 - 2002: DCP, zone-1 Mumbai
2002 - 2004: Superintendent of Police, Sangli
2004 - 2005: Superintendent of Police, Kolhapur
2006 - 2008: Commissioner of Police, Solapur
June 2008 - Nov 2008: Additional Commissioner of Police, East zone, Mumbai
1995: Special service medal- Anti-naxalite operations
1999: United Nations Medal
1999: Videsh Seva medal for UN service
2004: Awarded Director General's insignia
2005: Antarik Suraksha Padak for Anti-naxalite operations
2006: Police Medal
2008: Ashoka Chakra (Posthumous)
Mumbai bid a tearful farewell to Ashok Kamte who was killed in action by terrorists during the Mumbai attacks of 26 November 2008. Family members, friends and large number of high-ranking Police officers besides thousands of ordinary people came out in the streets to pay homage to the martyr who laid down his life during the unprecedented anti-terror operation. The body of the slain hero was draped with the tricolour. The funeral was held with State honors at the Vaikunth crematorium on 27 November 2008.
Spouse: Vinita Kamte
Children: Rahul Kamte and Arjun Kamte
Father: Colonel M.R. Kamte (Retd.)
Mother: Prem Kamte
Relatives: Sharmila Kamte (sister)
(FAN OF Shaheed ASHOK KAMTE)
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