Hemant Karkare given state funeral

Last Updated: Sat, Nov 29, 2008 10:10 hrs

Mumbai: Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) chief Hemant Karkare, who was killed while leading from the front in the battle against terrorists who attacked this financial capital of India, was given a state funeral here on Saturday.

Karkare's body was taken in a flower bedecked open van from his home in Hindu Colony in Dadar East to the Shivaji Park crematorium. A crowd of nearly 5,000 lined the three kilometre stretch to pay tributes to the martyr as a police band played along.

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Most important Maharashtra leaders, including Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, Home Minister RR Patil and Mumbai Police Commissioner Hasan Gafoor, attended the funeral.

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray had visited Karkare's residence in the morning to offer his condolences to the family.

As terrorists Wednesday night targeted 10 Mumbai landmarks, Karkare donned his helmet and bullet-proof jacket and set out to take them on. The protection, however, proved inadequate and Karkare fell to the terrorists' bullets. In all, 148 people were killed in the attacks and 327 were injured.

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The 58-year-old Karkare, a 1982 batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, was in the spotlight for leading investigation into the Sep 29 blasts in Maharashtra's Malegaon town. Ten people, including Sadhvi Pragnya Thakur and Lt. Col. Prasad Purohit, were arrested as a result of the probe.

Karkare had taken over the ATS in January after a seven-year stint with India's external intelligence agency Research & Analysis Wing (RAW).

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