Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Slain officer's wife releases hard-hitting book "To the Last Bullet"

The book, To the Last Bullet, is a first person account of a wife who goes beyond her personal grief to search for the truth

By Pamela Raghunath, Correspondent Published: 00:00 November 25, 2009

Mumbai: Vinita Kamte, the wife of slain police officer Ashok Kamte, Tuesday released a book exposing hard-hitting facts that led to the death of her husband, Anti-Terror Squad chief Hemant Karkare and encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar last November near Cama Hospital.

The book, To the Last Bullet, is a first person account of a wife who goes beyond her personal grief to search for the truth by getting hold of police call records through the Right to Information (RTI) Act in her quest to know the circumstances under which the three officers were killed by the terrorists.

Written along with Vinita Deshmukh, a senior journalist based in Pune, the book, launched by Aruna Roy, a Magsaysay Award recipient and RTI activist, also gives an insight into the outstanding career of Kamte, Additional Commissioner of Police, East Region, "which proves that if the law enforcing authority works with dedication, law and order can be under its command", Vinita Kamte said.

Getting the call records wasn't easy, the writers said, since Vinita Kamte had to fight a tenacious battle along with her twin sister Revati to get to the truth — for which they invoked the RTI Act to understand the chronology of the events on that fateful night.

The records revealed that the three officers were not provided reinforcements for more than 40 minutes, despite Karkare's request.

"Also, their bodies lay in the Rang Bhavan Lane for 40 minutes. Curiously, a police van zoomed past [the lane] immediately after they fell to the bullets of the terrorists but did not stop. Could their lives have been saved?"

The book shows that several questions still remain unanswered.

The book traces the life and career of this officer who showed exemplary valour at his postings — be it at the Naxalite-affected Bhandara district or in urban Mumbai.

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