Braveheart Karkare accorded state funeral

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Mumbai, Nov 29 (UNI) Hemant Karkare, the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) chief who became a martyr to insurgents' bullets on the night of November 26, when the commercial capital was under siege of terrorists, was given a state funeral here today.

The funeral procession began this morning from his residence at Hindu Colony in Dadar and reached Shivaji Park crematorium at around 1100 hours, where his teenaged son Akash conducted the last rites.

Karkare is survied by his wife, two daughters and a son. His elder daughter Juhi is settled in the United States and another daughter is studying in Germany, while his son is studying in Second Year Junior College (SYJC) in Podar College here, ATS spokesperson Dinesh Agarwal told UNI.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, Members of Parliament Mulind Deora and Ramadas Athawale, Director General of Police A N Roy and city police commissioner Hassan Gafoor attended the funeral.

Mr Roy, in his condolence message, said that Karkera was very close to him. ''It was extremely difficult to take quick decisions during the terrorist seigem, but he was very clear in his mind and took decisions without waiting for orders from his superiors. Not only Maharashtra, but the whole country has lost a honest and capable officer.'' Mr Gafoor, overcome with emotion at the funeral, said, ''He was the best officer, apart from this I cannot think of anything more to say.'' Top police officers, bollywood actor Farooq Sheikh and script writer Salim Khan attended the funeral.

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