It's closure at last for kin of slain cops

HT Correspondent

Mumbai, Nov. 22 -- There are two dates that Divya Salaskar will never forget - November 26, 2008, the day her father Vijay Salaskar was killed and November 21, 2012, the day the man who shot him was hanged to death. The news of the hanging of Ajmal Kasab on Wednesday brought a sense of closure for Divya. Her message on a social networking site said: "After 4 yrs i.e. 1461 days later... I have received my justice... I have received my closure... I am beyond words today... Finally... Finally.. This 26/11 I will be different... Thank God (sic)."

The Ashok Chakra awardee, Salaskar was shot at and killed by Kasab and his slain accomplice, Abu Ismail, along with senior police officers, Hemant Karkare and Ashok Kamte.

While Divya got a job at the Income Tax office, her mother, Smita looks after the functioning of the petrol pump donated by the state.

"Looking at the pace of procedural formalities, I thought our family would have to take to the streets to demand a speedy execution.I feel satisfied after Kasab was hanged," said Smita. "His hanging is just the start of justice for all victims. Pakistan should take a cue and prosecute the actual masterminds."

Other relatives of police officers who died at the hands of the terrorists also felt justice was done. Snehlata Choudhari, widow of Murlidhar Choudhari, head constable RPF, who was killed during the attack said, "I thank the president. We have waited four year for this day. Today is our true Diwali."

Manasi Shinde, whose husband railway police inspector Shashank Shinde was at CST railway station,agreed. "I finally feel that we have got justice," she said.

Vinita Kamte, wife of senior police officer Ashok Kamte, said though late, justice had been done. "The authorities maintained extreme secrecy to carry out the execution and we are satisfied," said Kamte.

While welcoming the hanging of Kasab, some felt that the real culprits, the masterminds behind the attack, should be brought to book.

"Though, one of the foot soldiers in the attack has been punished, the masterminds are still at large, so things do not end with Kasab's hanging. Even today, I am not satisfied about the government's explanation about how sub-standard bullet-proof jackets were being used," said Kavita Karkare, wife of Hemant Karkare.

A close associate of Salaskar, constable Arun Jadhav, who was in the same car as the senior officer, said, "I am extremely happy with the news that Kasab has been hanged. The blood of our seniors; so many innocents has now gotten justice. Today, it feels that all those deaths have been accounted for."

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.