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Mumbai hero's wife seeks inquiry

By Prachi Pinglay
BBC News, Mumbai

Hemant Karkare funeral procession on 29 November
Hemant Karkare was killed early in the Mumbai attacks

The wife of a top police officer killed in the 2008 attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai (Bombay) has demanded an inquiry into his death.

Kavita Karkare said she had still not been told exactly how her husband died, a year after the attacks.

Anti-terrorism chief Hemant Karkare was killed along with two senior police officers outside the Cama hospital.

At least 174 people, including 14 policemen, died when 10 gunmen attacked sites in the city on 26 November 2008.

One of the gunmen was caught alive and is currently on trial. Nine others were killed.

Body armour questions

Mrs Karkare told reporters: "So far no senior officer has told me what exactly happened that night."

She said she had discovered her husband's bulletproof jacket was missing after she filed a freedom of information request two months ago.

"I also came to know that the file which had the date of purchase is also missing."

Mrs Karkare is demanding answers following media reports which have questioned the quality of bulletproof jackets used by the police.

The wife of another officer killed alongside Mr Karkare has filed a similar "right to information (RTI)" request to see police records.

Vinita Kamte said she needed the information to reconstruct the sequence of events which led to the death of her husband, Ashok, and other police officers.

Mrs Kamte said she had received several records and was waiting for some more.

"I am studying the records of calls made to the police control room. It is unfortunate that we have to apply to RTI to get information and speak to the media about it."

'Trauma'

Mrs Karkare said the policemen who died had been treated as martyrs. But she asked if candlelit marches and compensation were enough to forget what happened.

Many relatives of policemen who lost their lives were undergoing psychiatric treatment to cope with the trauma, she added.

Police commissioner D Sivanadhan told the BBC that an inquiry was being conducted and further details were awaited.

An independent inquiry has already criticised the Mumbai police for a lack of co-ordination in dealing with the attacks.



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