Vijay Sahadev Salaskar (05.04.1957 – 26.11.2008)
Inspector Vijay Salaskar was a policeman whose work had gotten him a nickname that he did not like — Encounter Specialist. Born in the coastal district of Sindhudurg, he had come to Mumbai for his post-secondary education. He had joined the police as a Sub Inspector in 1983. With organised crime growing in the city, a crack team of sharpshooters had been formed. Salaskar was one of them, and with 78 encounter killings, he was a known face. His larger-than-life stature was even there on his daughter’s cellphone where his name was saved as ‘Control Room’ and later ‘Superman’.
Salaskar had returned home to Goregaon when he heard the news, and drove down to the location. He was on the phone with his wife who was watching television and updating him on what was happening in the southern fringes of the city. He reached the Azad Maidan Police Station where he met senior officers Ashok Kamte and Hemant Karkare. They decided to get into a vehicle and
confront the attackers as they were leaving Cama Hospital. Salaskar, who was very good at the wheel, asked the driver to take the back seat. He drove the car and was soon face to face with the attackers. In the ensuing gun battle, Salaskar received lethal wounds. This was not an encounter he would return from.
A contented man, this martyr cared deeply for his family and ensured that they were comfortable.
26/11 ATHRA (26/11 EIGHTEEN), a book tribute to 18 martyrs in uniform, will be released on November 26, the second anniversary of the Mumbai terror attack.
The book is in Marathi, and its English version was released by home minister P Chidambaram last year. Students of Journaism Mentor (www.journalismmentor.in) have put together the book.They are donating sale proceeds to the Police Welfare Fund. The book is available from JM Foundation (022-28261785 or 022-28268929).